Dogs are truly man’s best friend. They share intimate bonds with human beings, they can be easily domesticated, they can provide household protection, they will share their unconditional love, and they can aid in grave military operations such as the take down of the terrorist leader and American boogeyman: Osama Bin Laden.
Shortly after the confirmation of Bin Laden’s death, it was revealed that a trained American Working War Dog had helped in the take-down raid mission. The Department of Defense has yet to release the pup’s name or breed information because of confidentiality; however, most American War Dogs are German Shepherd so it may be safe to assume the doggie-dynamo was also a German Shepherd of some kind.
The Department of Defense has let some information out about the military canine units. As of early 2010, there were almost 2,800 active-duty war dogs deployed by the U.S. Army and 600 of those dogs were deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan to assist human soldiers in important tactical missions as well as aid security patrols. This is the largest canine contingent in the world.
The U.S. Army mostly utilizes the German Shepherd and less commonly, the Belgian Malinois. These dogs have an outstanding combination of keen sense of smell, agility, speed, endurance, intelligence, dynamic thought, courage, loyalty, and desire to perform.
War dogs have been trained to make high sky dive jumps with their trainers into hot zones, and they are capable of making short jumps from helicopter to water alongside fellow soldiers, outfitted with doggie floatation devices.
The Department of Defense has also geared up these dogs to make them more adapt for battlefield combat. “Doggles” are the code name for the camera device the canine units wear mounted on their heads allowing human soldiers to view what the dogs see, creating the possibility for greater squad synchronization and teamwork. They also are given ear pieces to allow for remote communication between master and beast. Commando masters can give orders to their war dogs such as “sit,” “attack,” “heel,” and so on.
And if a dog chips a precious tooth in combat, they get an oral upgrade. Military veterinarians will replace the tooth with titanium teeth capable of shearing enemy armors with ease. Remember, a German Shepherd’s bite can apply pressure between 400 and 700 pounds. If one of these dogs gets a hold of you, you can say good-bye to that limb; it now belongs to him/her.
Also, scientists at the Auburn University’s College of Veterinary Medicine have genetically bred certain dogs to be specialty breeds which can detect scents of explosives or dangerous material left behind in the air. If a human soldier is in danger, the dog will try to herd him out of the area in order to protect him. Because of all of their special skills and training, these dogs cost approximately $20,000 dollars.
These war pups retire just like human soldiers and are put up for adoption, so if you may be looking for a new best-friend, go take a look.