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Dog Scouts of America (or anywhere)

Unbonded, free-roaming service dogs
 
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(title changed to a less-aggressive sounding tone. For those of you who don't get it, it's taken from Boyscouts of America)

Police dogs have exceptional senses of hearing and smell. It has been proven that most dogs can sense emotions and intent in humans, as well. Many are also successfully trained not to eat anything except what their handler gives them. Put all these facts together, and you've got the makings of an autonomous dog patrol!

These dog patrols would work without handlers, roaming the streets in pairs, trained like seeing eye dogs to know when it's safe to cross streets. They would wear bright red kevlar body armor for protection and identification, and roam the streets on the lookout for citizens in distress. They would be trained to observe pedestrians crossing the streets, and to deter by growling and barking viciously at anybody who tries to jaywalk. Children jaywalking would be dragged/pushed out of harm's way.

They would use their sense of smell to know when a nearby citizen is about to have a heart attack or a seizure (which service dogs are trained to do already, so it's more than possible) and go to their aid, using a special howling code to alert any human police in the area to call an ambulance.

They would use their amazing hearing to listen for cries of distress from attack/rape victims and go to their defense. Once an attacker/rapist is subdued, they would alert human police officers using a special howling code, who would be led to them by K-9 units following the sound.

These dogs would work in shifts, reporting to a shelter at the local police station for rest, sustenance, and treats.

Edit: To prevent the problem of having animal droppings all over the city, there would be large, fenced-in sandboxes placed throughout the city that the dogs are trained to go in. To prevent anybody else from getting in, the doggy gate only opens for the RFID tag that the dogs would wear on their collars.

To make them more accountable, they would have GPS transponders embedded in their armor that the police can use to track their whereabouts and check up on them from time to time.

21 Quest, Mar 08 2009

'Snow Crash' by Neal Stephenson http://www.amazon.c...d=1236712469&sr=8-1
This one is on the halfbakery recommended reading list. Whilst the main characters dominate the story, the hero in the end is a semi-autonomous, cyborged watch dog who communicates with other semi-autonomous, cyborged watch dogs in the neighbourhood via coded high frequency howls. [DrBob, Mar 10 2009]

[link]






       hmmmm.
  

       I don't know about this one.
Animals, (even highly trained animals), need a handler to know when the leash really should be taken off. For example; say a couple of boys are beating the tar out of each other, are you going to want to be the one to have to explain the bites to their parents?
  

       Of course not, 2 Fries, the dogs would be trained to exercise restraint in the case of juveniles. I've seen dogs physically shove their way between quarrelling children and separate them without biting. Once bewteen the children, a few authoritative growls and snarls sufficed to calm the boys. Mind you, the few times I've witnessed this, it was siblings fighting, and a family dog that was loyal to both of them. But I've seen it. These would not be dogs who are trained for viciousness, like K-9's. These dogs would recieve a more well-rounded training regimen that focuses more on rescuing citizens in distress than taking down criminals. These are dogs that would be raised with a loving hand, maybe even raised with children. Think of them more as unbonded, free-roaming service dogs than police dogs. That would be the mindset the trainers are going for.
  

       No, I can't say for certain it would work, but I'd sure like to find out if it could work. It would save the city a lot of money in paychecks for human officers if it could work. Also, being a dog lover, I'd personally love the aesthetic effect of uniformed dogswandering about through the city. Sort of legitimizes them a little more, I think, as well as giving puppies everywhere a role model.
  

       Edit: The original title sounded too aggressive for what I was striving for, so I changed it.
21 Quest, Mar 08 2009
  

       yes but could we teach them the difference between a marijuana air-freshener and marijuana ?
FlyingToaster, Mar 08 2009
  

       Doesn't matter, they're not trained for drug enforcement. That's not their purpose or jurisdiction, and they'd turn a blind nose to it.
  

       But to answer your question, yes, they could tell the difference.
21 Quest, Mar 08 2009
  

       Instead of dogs, perhaps you could use women who are in the early, olfactorily enhanced stages of being up the stick.
calum, Mar 09 2009
  

       {offers police dog an oddly doughnut-like croissant, in the hope that it won't bite} [+]
pertinax, Mar 09 2009
  

       //the dogs would be trained to exercise restraint in the case of juveniles//
How do you train a dog to distinguish belligerent dwarves?
AbsintheWithoutLeave, Mar 09 2009
  

       "It was that one with the plaited beard and the mattock, I'm almost certain."
pertinax, Mar 09 2009
  

       They get treated the same.
21 Quest, Mar 09 2009
  

       I read somewhere that some dogs can smell schizophrenia in an individual.
I'm not sure that helps any, just thought I'd share.
  

       //I read somewhere that some dogs can smell schizophrenia in an individual.//
  

       "Hold on a sec... just who's butt am I sniffing here!?"
21 Quest, Mar 09 2009
  

       Just two words.
  

       Dog shit.
  

       The actual phenomena, not the idea itself.
normzone, Mar 09 2009
  

       I think if you added in a GPS device in the vest that can help the police track the dogs' location and check on them throughout the day (for their own safety and people's safety), this will be a winner.
  

       I love the idea of them being able to hear faint/muffled screams that people can't, and checking in on the situation.
paix120, Mar 09 2009
  

       kudos for the sentiment. not so much kudos for the times when the kevlar-armed doggie's judgement leads him or someone else to getting injured.
k_sra, Mar 09 2009
  

       They'll have to wear diapers.
plasticspoon, Mar 09 2009
  

       They wouldn't have to wear diapers, and their droppings wouldn't be a problem. Just have large sandboxes placed throughout the city, fenced off and only accessible through a locked doggy door that can only be opened by RFID tag, which is worn on the dog's collar, and train them to poop in there.
  

       I added this to the post, along with paix120's GPS idea.
21 Quest, Mar 09 2009
  

       No way. Dogs are not capable of this. They're not even close. Having good ears and a good nose doesn't compensate for having almost no brain, a negligible ability to infer purpose from action, and still less ability to counter a bad purpose.
  

       Most people aren't even capable of doing this job well. Why do most of us have such respect for most cops? It's not because they hear well.
  

       However, I do think most dogs could out- doughnut most cops, on a pound-for-pound basis, so it's not like they're completely inadequate.
colorclocks, Mar 09 2009
  

       I can't help but wonder about the number of kids and dogs locked in cars that would be saved if something like this existed.   

       I'm guessing quite a lot, 2 fries.
  

       // having almost no brain//
  

       That's probably one of the most ignorant statements I've read, colorclocks. Just because you happen to be a cat lover and dogs eat cats (which is another incredibly ignorant statement) or you got bitten by a dog once doesn't mean they're unintelligent.
21 Quest, Mar 09 2009
  

       Yikes! I've attracted a "most ignorant statements" flame! My first. I'm touched. Tickled, even.
  

       I have a dog. A beagle. I rest my case.
  

       Ok, I don't actually rest my case. I was just pretending to rest my case. It was just like a little case nap, for dramatic effect.
  

       Try this: Point at something, and try to get a dog to look where you're pointing. At best, the dog looks at your finger. Even then you're wondering if it was just a lucky guess.
  

       Or try this: "Dude! You have to stop crapping on the floor!" We all know that language doesn't work on dogs, of course, but it goes further than that. Any person who had crapped on the floor would notice you bitching all the while you're cleaning up the crap, recall that it was at one time *their* crap, and infer that you'd like the floor crapping to cease. Dogs don't make this inference. I have proof of this.
colorclocks, Mar 09 2009
  

       Uh... my dog not not ony looks where I point, but when I tell her what I'm pointing at, she goes and gets it. The only time she continues to look at me is when I'm hiding her toy behind my back or in my pocket and trying to convince her that I really threw it, and I guarantee she's the one thinking I'm an idiot.
  

       And as far as crapping on the floor goes, why don't you try staying in a house all day with the bathroom locked, being fed tons of dry cereal, and holding it in until some dumbass human finally decides to give some thought as to why you're whining at the door instead of simply yelling at you to "shut the hell up I don't want to hear about every damn squirrel and stray cat that passes this house!"
  

       Sorry, but from what you've told me, every dog I've ever owned is smarter than you. Why don't you crack open a book on the subject and learn a thing or two about dogs before running your mouth about how your superior human intellect should make dogs telepathic and give them the magical ability to increase their bladder size and hold it until you decide it's been long enough.
  

       Why don't *you* try holding it while locked in a house all day with no toilet and the heat turned up to intolerable levels. Dogs crave your affection and live to please you, but in return you have to reward them when they do please you so they know what makes you happy, rather than simply punishing them for the things you don't like. You cannot simply tell a dog not to do something without giving them something they *can* do.
  

       If your dog whines at the door, it's a sign you should let him out or take him for a walk, no matter how inconvenient it may be to you. This is part of the responsibility you take on when you decide to be a pet owner. You seem more like the kind of pet owner who thinks a dog is like any other piece of equipment or property and that all the responsibility in the relationship is on the dog to please you unconditionally. It doesn't work like that. Raising and housebreaking a dog is very similar to raising and potty training a human child, except diapers won't stay on dogs so you have to let them out. If you've ever raised a human child, look at how many diapers they go through in a day. Then double it. That's how many times a puppy has to go in a day. If you don't let the puppy out, then the results will be the same as not putting a fresh diaper on a baby every time you remove a soiled one.
  

       And beagles are NOT house pets! I owned a beagle for 7 years, he was my first dog. They're cute, but they're not cuddly, and they have nothing in common with pomeranians or poodles. They're hunting dogs!
21 Quest, Mar 10 2009
  

       // ..every dog I've ever owned is smarter than you. Why don't you crack open a book...//
  

       I rest my case.
colorclocks, Mar 10 2009
  

       my that case looks well rested. :)
k_sra, Mar 10 2009
  

       Exceedingly well rested. My case spends most of its time on the couch, and only gets up occasionally to sniff some other case's butt, or if it hears footsteps in the kitchen.
colorclocks, Mar 10 2009
  

       What a horrible way to pronounce a needless sentiment.
daseva, Mar 10 2009
  

       Was the "ee"'s in needless pronounced short instead of long? That certainly would be disturbing.
normzone, Mar 10 2009
  

       although [21Quest] may keep the company of brilliant dogs to the exclusion of all others, i'm still gonna have to err on the side of caution with this one. i think this is a wonderful movie concept and a terrifying real-life proposal. too many primal instincts to justify the unattended patrol of the canine.
k_sra, Mar 10 2009
  

       Is that a pedantic stab at my word choice? Pronounce can refer to articulation in any form.
daseva, Mar 10 2009
  

       //perhaps you could use women who are in the early, olfactorily enhanced stages of being up the stick.//

And they say that romance is dead...
DrBob, Mar 10 2009
  
      
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