If your canine companion is of the smaller, more vulnerable variety you may have wondered how you could safeguard against vicious attacks from larger animals. Rather than training Fido up to fend off the assailants himself, fitting the pet with a prickly protective vest that scares off predatory coyotes might be a more practical option.

The CoyoteVest was dreamt up by a Californian couple who experienced the heartbreak of a wild dog attack in 2014. Not long after their dog Buffy was captured in the jaws of a coyote and dragged away never to be seen again, Paul and Pam Mott began to explore ways they could help prevent similarly nasty attacks in the future.

The result is an armored vest designed to protect small animals in a few different ways. The spiked collar is intended to prevent neck bites and the deadly shaking that normally follows, while the vest itself is made from stab-resistant Kevlar, which should be enough to block even the sharpest of fangs. Some porcupine-like quills sprouting from the back add another layer of protection.

Lastly, and perhaps most ominously, an optional "CoyoteZapper" accessory neutralizes a threat through an electric shock delivered by two highly conductive strips that can be attached to the CoyoteVest along with a shock module. With a push of a button, this allows pet owners to deliver a zap and force an attacker to drop the dog from their jaws before they can make off with their catch.

The CoyoteVest probably won't win your dog any Best in Show awards, but will make snatching it up an entirely different proposition for would-be predators. The makers claim that it will not impair the dog's ability to run and play, and that the CoyoteZapper is harmless but just painful enough to force their release.

Starter Packs are available through the CoyoteVest website priced at US$109, which includes the vest, spikes and the quills. The optional CoyoteZapper is priced at $60.

Source: CoyoteVest