Five Fun Facts about Military Working Dogs
Did you know that according to the U.S. Department of Defense, there are over 2,000 active-duty military working dogs serving in the U.S. Armed Forces? Man’s best friend is deployed all around the world, including approximately 700 of them serving overseas. Most military working dogs (MWDs) retire after about ten years, and the American Humane Society estimates that each dog saves between 150-200 lives throughout their service. MWDs are heroes!
Those that have worked with military working dogs regard them as fellow soldiers. In fact, they deservedly receive the same status and respect as the humans they serve alongside. While we tend to think of MWDs as only males, female dogs excel in military work, and are often used for patrol and detection.
Military working dogs and their handlers get their start training at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas, the home to the Department of Defense Military Working Dog Program. The first MWDs were trained there in 1958. Since then, approximately 270 dogs are trained annually.
Here are 5 fun facts about our loyal canine best friends that actively serve in the military to protect our freedom.
1. Dogs have served with U.S. soldiers since the Revolutionary War.
Although dogs have served in every major American conflict, their service has only been officially recognized since World War II when MWDs first entered the service to serve in the Army’s K-9 Corps in 1942.
2. MWDs are trained in detection, tracking, and attacking the enemy.
The dutiful dogs that stand side-by-side our military servicemen and servicewomen are more than just loyal companions. They work to protect us and serve in U.S. combat operations in the following ways:
3. Dogs have earned their jump wings.
To solve the problem of providing assistance to downed airmen in isolated locations, in WWII, the Army trained dogs to jump from planes to bring supplies and help soldiers get to safety.
Since Robby’s Law passed in 2000, all military dogs are eligible for adoption after their term of service. Prior to this, it was common to euthanize military working dogs at the end of their service, since they weren’t regarded as having value beyond the military purpose for which they were trained. Fortunately, that mindset has changed dramatically, and about 90% of MWDs are now adopted by their current or former handlers.
5. There is a U.S. War Dogs Memorial.
In 2006, a memorial was dedicated at the New Jersey Vietnam Veterans’ Memorial in Holmdel, NJ. The U.S. War Dogs Memorial pays tribute to all MWDs, and honors their service, legacy, bravery, and loyalty.
While not all dogs have served in the military, they are all good boys and girls, and they each deserve one of HEAVENDROPt’s pet bandanas. Made by veterans and people with disabilities, your purchase helps support our mission of providing meaningful employment and job training to veterans and people with disabilities. Available in a variety of sizes and a collar or tie version, our pet bandanas represent just a few of our amazing and affordable products, all created from authentic military parachutes.
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