What do military working dogs do? – American Kennel Club

Dogs have fought alongside humans since ancient times. The Egyptians, Greeks, Persians, Romans and others used dogs as sentries and scouts and sometimes brought dogs into battle. Attila the Hun used ferocious Mastiff-like breeds that were sometimes armored and sent into battle.

In more modern times, Germany created military dog-training programs in the late 19th century, and European armies used dogs in World War I to find wounded soldiers, transport supplies, and as messengers. . Although dogs have worked alongside soldiers since the Civil War in the United States, it wasn’t until World War II that the first K-9 corps was created. They were officially recognized in the United States on March 13, 1942. Today, military working dogs are an integral part of the armed forces, both in the United States and around the world. But unlike in ancient times, these dogs are treated as valued and respected assets, four-legged soldiers.

The US military uses dogs in all branches of the service. The dogs are trained for specific tasks including tracking, explosives detection, patrol, search and rescue, and attack. Their work is invaluable and it’s no wonder these dogs are valuable resources.

In fact, they are in such high demand that there is currently a shortage of trained military working dogs (MWDs). According to Air Force statistics, the number of dogs is about 38% lower than at the height of the war in Afghanistan.

Caring for these dogs in the field is a major concern. As a general rule, the handler is entirely responsible for his own care, including veterinary first aid if the dog is injured in the field. Now the Department of Defense is taking action to ensure these canine heroes receive the care they need, both immediately in the field and beyond.

Unlike ancient times, when a dog was just a weapon, today military working dogs are seen by troops as companions in war, deserving the same quality of care and medical attention as their human counterparts. . Training doctors to treat injured working dogs in real-life situations ensures these canine heroes get the respect and care they so bravely earned.

Bette C. Alvarado