Dogs have been with United States soldiers during every major conflict, but they were not officially recognized until WWII.   The United States Army began training dogs on March 13, 1942 for their newly established K-9 Corps program.  Annually, on March 13, we pay tribute to these courageous dogs for their service and sacrifice to our country.  National K-9 Day celebrates not just military dogs, but also border patrol dogs, police dogs, and all canines serving our country!



5 FACTS ABOUT MILITARY WORKING DOGS
  1. There is a tradition of considering every Military Working Dog to be a noncommissioned Officer.  This means that the dog most often has a higher rank than its handler!
  2. These dogs are trained in tracking, bomb, weapon, and drug detection, and to attack the enemy.  Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, TX has been training sentry dogs since 1958. More than 1,000 dogs are trained at any given time by staff from all branches of the military.
  3. Belgian Malinois dogs are used by the Navy SEALS.  These dogs are compact making them optimal for parachuting and repelling missions.  They are extremely fast and their sense of smell is 40 times greater than a humans.  German Shepherds and Labradors are also used in combat because they can detect weapons, bombs, drugs, and gases more precisely than any military equipment. 
  4. Only half of all puppies being trained make it through the program.  These puppies need the perfect equilibrium of aggression and excitability, as well as having a highly reward based motivation and ability to handle stress.  
  5. 85% of Military Working Dogs come from Germany and the Netherlands.  The bloodlines of these dogs go back hundreds of years, making them pretty much born for the job.
According to retired Air Force K9 Handler, Louis Robinson, a fully trained bomb detection dog is likely worth over $150,000.  With an average of 98% accuracy in their detection skills, these dogs are priceless because the peace of mind they provide to the troops is immeasurable.