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It’s officially Dog Veteran’s Day (March 13), a time to celebrate all of the dogs who have served our country. These dogs are the best and bravest of all and have been trained to support their combat handlers throughout times of war.
Here are a few facts about Military Working Dogs:
There are over 2,000 war dogs in service today. Almost half of them are serving overseas.
Military dogs are trained to follow the orders of their handlers to detect bombs, attack enemies, and some are even trained to jump from a plane alongside their human counterpart. The training process is just as difficult as it is for humans in the military, with only 50% of dogs completing their training.
Dogs have always fought alongside Americans since the Revolutionary War, but was made official during World War II.
Dogs have always been man’s best friend, so it makes sense for Americans to utilize them during times of war. Because they have superior abilities and can sniff bombs to find danger, dogs are an important part of the military.
The US Marine Corps mascot was an English Bulldog named Jiggs, who enlisted in 1922 and became a Sergeant Major in 1925.
Jiggs was a tough and smart dog that embodies the spirit of the USMC.
Most dogs are in service for 8-9 years.
They’re most often trained as puppies so that they can more easily be trained and utilized for a longer period of time.
Most retired veteran dogs are adopted by their former handlers.
This is probably our favorite fact on the list. When humans and dogs serve together they become as close and they can get, taking care of each other during stressful times. Dogs are not only incredible soldiers, but they can often be the best therapists for their handlers.
Military working dogs are officers.
Military dogs are officers, in tradition. Many people say that this was put in place so that dogs would rank higher than their handlers so that humans would have respect for their dogs and not mistreat them. Of course the dogs are non-commissioned officers, but their human handlers treat them as one of their own.
Celebrate Dog Veteran’s Day with your dog by honoring active and retired military dogs today!