Dogs are known to be the faithful and loyal animal that is a man’s true best friend from ages. Their intelligence and loyalty has been put to use in the battlefield since revolutionary wars. Since ages they have been setting example of unsurpassed bravery and intelligence during wars. The bond between K9 military dogs and their veteran’s handlers is remarkable.
March 13 is a pet special day dedicated to K9 heroes; where we respect their determination and exceptional loyalty. With this blog we will come across some of the great dog warriors whose smartness and endurance shook the entire world. We will also go through the importance of this day and all about K9 Veterans what is special about these dogs and they are trained. Moreover we will also talk about things you can do to celebrate this special day.
What are K9 Veteran Dogs
The system of training dogs for military and police came around 1942 with an organization called Dogs for Defense. These dogs were known as K9 – canine. The USA has got numerous of K9 veteran superheroes that have set an example of extraordinary bravery for their country saving lives and people.
K9 Veterans go through exceptional training that make them sharperand independent thinkers. However, their courage and loyalty is what makes them the true hero.
German Shepherd has been a most suited dog for K9 police as well as Veterans, However there are many other dog breeds that are chosen for these service.
Some of the commonly k9 veteran accepted dogs include the following;
Best K9 Dog Breed
- German Shepherd
- Belegian Malinois
Facts To Know About K9 Veterans
- Not all K9 dogs are German Shepards. There are Belgian Mangolis, Bloodhounds, Akitas, and Belgian Sheephounds.
- Both male and female dogs are trained to be officers, K9’s can search for objects 4 times faster than humans.
- They can smell living things buried up to 12 feet in the ground.
- Most of the K9 dogs are from Europe and they undergo a 10 -12 weeks training.
- K9’s are used in detecting narcotics tracking people, bombs and public enforcement
How are K9 Dogs Trained?
Military dogs working along with the military servicemen and servicewomen are beyond a loyal friend. They are now a vital part of the military in all the services. They are involved in several services some of which includes the following:
- Detection of bomb, narcotics and weapons
- To search people and rescue
- Scout and Patrol
- Guard duty
Let’s understand how these dogs are trained to become the heroes on the grounds. Both Military police and K9 dogs go though different levels of training.
First the dog is given some time to bond with the handler, at the beginning it is all about the Obedience training. Obedience training helps handlers to control dog when they get aggressive. After they surpass the obedience test then it’s all focused on endurance training.
In/during Endurance training they are trained for various physical activities like jumping over the walls, climbing stairs, swimming and more. They are made familiar with loud noises and winds so they don’t get frightened during wars. Some dogs are also taken to helicopter to experience loud noise and heavy wind. The third phase of dog’s military involves special training, like explosion, gun sniffers, tracking people and attacking enemy.
K9 Heroes to Remember on This Day
There are numerous stories of K9 Veterans who have sacrificed their life on the battlefield and have protected their fellow veterans. Have a look at six heroic K9 from the history who had set an example of exceptional intelligence and bravery.
Smoky was a Yorkshire Terrier who was found by an American soldier in the jungles of New Guinea during World War II. She was taken in by Corporal William A. Wynne, who trained her to be a messenger dog. Smoky’s small size and agility allowed her to crawl through narrow pipes and other confined spaces, making her an effective messenger in combat situations. She also helped to lay communication wires and detect enemy booby traps. Smoky is credited with saving Wynne’s life by warning him of incoming shells during a bombing raid.
Cairo was a Belgian Malinois who served as part of the U.S. Navy SEALS. He gained international fame for his role in the mission to capture and kill Osama bin Laden in 2011. Cairo was tasked with sweeping the compound to ensure it was clear of explosives and other threats.
Lucca was a German Shepherd who served in the U.S. Marine Corps. She completed over 400 missions in Iraq and Afghanistan, and was credited with saving thousands of lives by detecting explosives. Lucca lost her leg while on duty in Afghanistan, but continued to serve until her retirement in 2012.
Rex was a German Shepherd who served as a military working dog with the U.S. Marine Corps. He was deployed to Iraq in 2004 and was credited with detecting numerous explosives and weapons caches. Rex was injured in the line of duty and was awarded the Purple Heart.
Conan is a Belgian Malinois who served as part of the U.S. Army’s Delta Force. He gained fame in 2019 for his role in the mission to kill ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. Conan was credited with chasing down al-Baghdadi after he fled into a tunnel and biting him, forcing him to detonate his suicide vest.
Nemo was a German Shepherd who served with the U.S. Air Force during the Vietnam War. He was credited with saving the life of his handler, Airman Robert Thorneburg, when they were attacked by Viet Cong fighters. Nemo was wounded multiple times but continued to defend Thorneburg until reinforcements arrived.
5 Ways to Celebrate K9 Veterans Day
If you are a dog lover and a K9 Veteran admirer, there are plenty of ways you can celebrate this special day.
Below are some interesting ways you can celebrate this special day along with your dog.
1. Raise Awareness on K9 Veterans Day
The best way to celebrate is to acknowledge their bravery and share stories to people. Thanks to social media it is now easier than ever to share any information. Talk about k9 heroes, share your favorite’s k9 hero’s story on your social media page and let your friends and family know about this special day.
2. Visit a K9 Memorial or Monument
There are many K9 veterans monument build to appreciated respect their exception contribution with veterans. Visit these monuments with your kids or friends. Seeing their memorials and reading their bravery story will surely melt your heart.
3. Volunteer With a Local Animal Shelter
Many animal shelters work with retired military and working dogs, so volunteering at a shelter can be a great way to support K9 veterans.
4. Adopt a Retired K9 Veteran
People and love and appreciate K9 Veterans however it’s sad that many are left behind in animals shelter because most of them get handicapped or old after their service. K9 Veterans can become an excellent pet, so why not consider adopting them!
5. Work on Your Dog Physical Strength, Health and Wellness
As we know from this blog that dog can be trained exceptionally well. They have a lot of endurance and good mobility, thus it’s important for you as a dog parent to keep their health in check this include nutritional and balanced diet, flea and tick treatment, additional supplements to get enough nutrients to their body.
[Also Read] 5 Cost-effective Ways to Save Money on Dog Training
Dog are the best animal companion humans can have and K9 are the optimal example of it. They don’t ask for much just some little care and love. It’s important to understand your pet’s needs and be with them when they are stressed and low, spend more time with them and see and happy they feel about it.