During the Great War, our military began to deploy dogs overseas. However, it wasn't until 1942 that the US launched an official canine program, called the K-9 Corps.
Here at The Gentle Pit, we believe that military dogs should also be recognized during this day of remembrance.
For over 60 years, these highly-intelligent dogs, who are typically either Belgian Malinois, German Shepherds, or Retrievers, have been trained at the Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas. According to Strut the Pup, “[m]ore than 1,000 dogs are in training at any given time by a staff of 125 from all branches of military service.” Only about half of those pups actually end up becoming fully-fledged military dogs.
The role of a military dog can vary. Some are best suited to be explosives detection dogs, while others are trained to be patrol dogs or casualty dogs. The US War Dog Association noted that our military’s casualty dogs “are trained to search for and report casualties lying in obscure places” and that “on cases of severe shock or hemorrhage, minutes saved in locating such casualties often mean the difference between life and death.”
One of the more well-known military dogs was actually an American Pit Bull Terrier, named Stubby. The pooch bravely served in WWI as part of the 102nd Infantry. The pup was beloved by his fellow soldiers, kept his infantry safe, and was eventually granted the title of Sergeant Stubby.
If you are looking for ways to give thanks to military dogs, consider donating by treats to Support Our Troops, 13791 N. Nebraska Ave. Tampa, FL 33613. The pups will surely appreciate the gesture!
Another really awesome thing you can do is make a retired military dog part of your family through organizations like Mission K9 Rescue.