Criminals beware.
April 22, 2001 5:23 AM   Subscribe

Criminals beware. U.S. police dogs are being equipped with a new weapon in the fight against crime: titanium false teeth. Not just criminals are unhappy about this.
posted by Cuppatea (7 comments total)
Glad to see that they are only (so far) replacing teeth that are compromised already. I'd have been upset if they were just replacing teeth that were in good shape.

Hell, we do it to ourselves, why shouldn't the dogs get to have teeth that don't hurt and work correctly? I'd get Ti teeth, if I thought it wouldn't look silly (and kind of hurt when I'm drinking something really cold/hot - would they?).

As far as the thought that it makes them look more intimidating - good. Any time the dog doesn't have to actually engage a suspect, it's safer for the dog. If they never have to get close enough to be hit or kicked, I'm all in favor of it.

My parents have a big Lab (he's tall and goes ~100lbs), and when my mother answers the door with him, everyone takes a step back. This is a dog that I totally trust with children and strangers - he's really a gentle giant - but he's scary looking (to people who don't know dogs). Just the look of him keeps my parents and their house safe. I like that. He's *not* a "protection dog", but he does protect. Even with his original teeth.
posted by bobd at 6:57 AM on April 22, 2001

sounds like its a good thing for the dogs, i'm kinda jealous

posted by sawks at 8:34 AM on April 22, 2001

What is the ACLU worried about? The titanium doesn't make the dogs any more dangerous, it just makes them more comfortable and maybe scares people a little more. How does this "up the ante"? "Overkill"? Do we have some right to not be scared by police dogs?
posted by whatnotever at 9:29 AM on April 22, 2001

So will dogs be 'grilling' now? :D
posted by ewwgene at 9:55 AM on April 22, 2001

This isn't a new thing. They've been doing this for at least ten years that I know of. A point that they barely touch on in the article is the why of the tooth replacement.

Canine teeth are nearly identical to ours in structure. That means that when they have a cavity or break a tooth the nerve is exposed and causes them intense amounts of pain, not to mention leaving them wide open for infection. The primary reason those teeth are replaced (or, more commonly, capped) is to save them from pain and antibiotics.

Yes, they could replace them with ordinary "enamel," but where's the fun in that? It makes no difference to the dog, but looks darned impressive. Another point is that it's often cheaper to use a metal than dental enamel (as most of you with a dental history can probably testify).

I was a dog groomer/trainer for upwards of seventeen years. One of the things that's always driven me screaming up the wall is the number of dogs I had to see daily with broken teeth, rotting gums and tartar covering their teeth. These dogs are in agony. Imagine trying to eat (crunchy dog kibble) like that? Yet suggest to the owner that a trip to the veterinarian for a bit of dentistry might be in order, or worse yet, regular brushing (just like you and me) might be a Good Thing, or, even more horrific, throw out that damned, tooth-rotting canned food, and the standard responses will leave you blinking. I could set them to music. "That's expensive!" "He'd bite me!" "I couldn't do that. She likes it!" Uurrrrgh!

Okay. I'm done ranting now. I promise. *grin*
posted by NsJen at 11:23 AM on April 22, 2001 [1 favorite]

Watch out for S.W.A.T dogs. Acid urine can rip a hole right through a swagbag b4 you've got chance to say 'shoOo'
posted by Kino at 4:11 PM on April 22, 2001

I can imagine how scary this would be. I remember seeing Moonraker for the first time and being startled every time "Jaws" smiled.

Mix that with a growling German shepard, and--well--you can guess what would happen...
posted by fooljay at 11:12 AM on April 23, 2001

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