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Covering the GoPro HERO and other small Point-Of-View video cameras.


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Old February 23rd, 2012, 05:20 AM   #1
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Mounting a GoPro on a dog

I've got a documentary shoot coming up, on a security firm and their use of sniffer dogs.

One shot I want is 'dog cam' - mounting a gopro on the dogs harness somewhere, so you can get a dogs eye view as it runs about sniffing out contraban.

Anyone ever mounted a gopro or similar on a dog before? At the moment, I don't know what kind of harness the dog wears, but any ideas from anyone would be most welcome
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Old February 23rd, 2012, 07:06 AM   #2
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Re: Mounting a GoPro on a dog

I had success in mounting a GoPro-like camera on the dog's collar, so it was hanging under his chin -- but so much would depend on the way the camera balanced (this was a Crocolis), the nature of the dog's posture, the position of the collar ...

I wish I'd been equipped to mount it on top of the dogs head, and probably could have if I'd had in advance the muzzle the handler used -- I think the POV would have been preferred that way. But what I did get, with the tongue hanging into the shot, was usable ...

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Old February 23rd, 2012, 02:14 PM   #3
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Re: Mounting a GoPro on a dog

Peter, I make a variety of grips for different 'conditions' .. and a dog is a PITA.




I first tried a heavier camera .. the GoPro would qualify. I then built a proper harness rather than a loop off the collar .. switched the camera to a 2oz., #11 Keychain which gives 720/30.

The heavier cams hang like cojones on a bull (and waggle more on a smaller animal) ... and even this harness/keychain cam made you seasick because when my Gio walks - he looks like a duck-waddling on screen. ..and running around this dog park was crazy! (like filming inside a clothes dryer) I thought I had 'another great idea' .. flamed out tho'.

They make some inexpensive gimbals for RC aircraft, but I doubt most dogs would put up with it.
If you have an idea, tell me. I have the stuff to make one. Cheers.

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Old February 23rd, 2012, 07:22 PM   #4
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Re: Mounting a GoPro on a dog

Hey Peter, I saw this a while back: The S.U.G.A.R. Coat - The SUGAR Coat, designed to protect and conceal your retriever while waterfowl hunting.

Cheap and seems to work well for larger dogs. There are some videos on youtube as well: Sugar's GoPro duck hunt V1 - YouTube
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Old February 24th, 2012, 08:06 AM   #5
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Re: Mounting a GoPro on a dog

Nate... that's not bad. I was getting too much shoulder action beneath the head. I suspect swimming is also a lot smoother vs. running on tarmac. There was a lot of Up/Dn when my guy was playing.

Maybe Peter's sniffer dogs, like this Golden or Lab in the video, are also a lot more quiet doing their duties. For $29. - it's a throw-away test.

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Old March 17th, 2012, 10:39 AM   #6
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Re: Mounting a GoPro on a dog

We have a Jack Russell terrier, which is quite a small dog, but we managed to mount the Go Pro using her 'life jacket' which we bought for her for when she comes with us on our boat.

Unlike most dog coats the life jacket is very rigid, so it's possible to mount the Go Pro quite well so it doesn't flop around. (Although quite a bit of gaffer tape was involved!) And because the camera is only attatched to the jacket - not the dog - she doesn't mind wearing it.

You can find these dog life jackets at marine chandlery outlets and they're not expensive.
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Old March 28th, 2012, 10:46 AM   #7
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Re: Mounting a GoPro on a dog

I mounted it on a collar through the straps in the go pro underwater housing with the hinge and took it with my dogs to the beach called Crissey Field in San Francisco a couple of years ago during a hot day.

You do have to be careful with the aiming to make sure you get the proper ground to horizon ration and mounting lower is better or else you get a lot of the dog's jaw in the picture, though sometimes that's fun. Surprisingly good, here is a link to the video:

Dogcam Crissey Field - YouTube
If I were to do it 'pro' I would mount it on top of a dog harness, I think, rather than under but you really get a dog's eye view this way.
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Old March 29th, 2012, 08:06 AM   #8
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Re: Mounting a GoPro on a dog

If you'd like to see what a collar mount on a 170 pound Great Dane is like, watch the first 20 seconds.....if you dare.
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Old March 29th, 2012, 05:20 PM   #9
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Re: Mounting a GoPro on a dog

Great Danes are bigger than many people so I now know what a camera would look like mounted under my head! ;-)
also at about 49 seconds when the little Pug (I think it was a Pug) came walking by, the Dane was looking at the little one like it was a walking snack. MMMMMMM goooooood!

I know Danes are as gentle as babys so I'm just "funnin" with you. Theres a Dane in my neighborhood and the owner says he's a 170 pound couch potato but when he's out walking, he's bigger than some cars. Cute!
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Old April 30th, 2012, 07:13 PM   #10
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Re: Mounting a GoPro on a dog

I actually had reasonable success mounting a GP on a dog's head. It worked great, until eventually the high-energy scenario and some low branches kind of knocked it off, but it lasted much longer than I would have ever hoped and the video is pretty crazy. If someone can tell me how to embed a video from Vimeo, maybe I'll post it here.
I shot this while working on a wildlife conflict project in Montana, using our own dogs who were trained for wildlife (bear) conflict work. It can be done.
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Old April 30th, 2012, 07:48 PM   #11
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Re: Mounting a GoPro on a dog

Got any photos of the mounting rig? Did it involve Krazy Glue? (kidding, I have a largish dog who would make a great video platform.)

Just paste the Vimeo URL in here and it should work.
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Old April 30th, 2012, 07:51 PM   #12
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Re: Mounting a GoPro on a dog

I thought these guys got a good perspective . . . i picture it as a headstrap mount simply put around the dog's . . . er . . . waist? It shows half the back and all the head. Put's the dog in its environment.
I know my Huskies wouldn't allow it for a second; they'd chew that case up immediately.

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Old April 30th, 2012, 08:39 PM   #13
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Re: Mounting a GoPro on a dog

nevermind.... tried the embed, and it didn't work!
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Old April 30th, 2012, 08:58 PM   #14
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Re: Mounting a GoPro on a dog

I'll try this again.

I'll only leave this video up for a little while, so check it out while you can. It is password protected (the password is 'middlefork')

it's important for me to mention here that this bear is not being harmed. we were working on a contract with the state wildlife department to reduce human/bear conflict by utilizing a method called 'aversive conditioning' to modify a bears' behavior when it's become too habituated around humans. I won't go into the details here since people are more interested in how well the video worked, but suffice to say this was done in an effort to keep the bear around (rather than the alternative if we couldn't get him to behave and avoid people)

the setup on the dog was utilizing the head strap which came with the GP, only one of the straps cut to allow it to sit vertically on the dog's head with a strap running under his chin, and the remaining part of the other strap attached to his collar behind his ears for security. This proved to be a wise move, since the whole apparatus did indeed eventually get knocked off his head, and fell down around his neck rather than completely off and potentially lost. an elastic knee brace was used around his head with a small hole cut in the top for the camera to attach to the mount to keep it snug.... this also was not optimal, since when it came off and fell down around his neck the constriction of the elastic darn near strangled the dog! we immediately removed it when that happened. but the video worked well, perhaps with some modifications it could be made to work safely for the dog. you can see it on his head briefly just before the bear is released on the dog to the right side of the trap) he ran through a lot of brush and deadfalls before it finally came loose. I loved the perspective with his nose in the bottom of the frame, it really gave a good idea of spatial reference (and how close he got to the bear! the dogs are not intended to actually catch the bear, just give it chase and the impression that people and dogs are a bad thing to be around if you're a bear) our dog was a little quicker than we thought...... but we knew if things got too close for the bear, he'd go up a tree which is exactly what he did. after the bear goes up the tree, we took the GoPro off since it had mostly fallen around the dog's neck anyway, so the rest of the video is irrelevant to the mounting question.
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