For Veterans’ Day, here are some interesting tidbits about the 4-legged soldier:
Strut The Pup salutes our veterans and wants to ensure we don’t forget the four-legged veterans and the roles they play in the service of our country. To that end, here are some interesting tidbits about the military service dogs.
Dogs have served with soldiers in the military in every major conflict
“Sergeant Stubby” of the 102nd Infantry went from mascot to hero during WWI after being smuggled into battle by Private Conway. Stubby detected enemy gas, barked out warnings when enemy troops were near and located wounded soldiers on the battlefield. By the start of WWII, 20 years later, the U.S military recognized the value of dogs in the service and began using them for recon missions.
Military dog training
Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, TX has been training dogs since 1958. More than 1,000 dogs are in training at any given time by a staff of 125 from all branches of military service. Belgian Malinois and German Shepherds are predominantly used because they are intense, intelligent, and known for their ability to work hard. Most puppies are bought from Europe for about $3,100 each, and once trained, they are worth much more. A highly trained bomb detection dog is estimated to be worth about $150,000!
Why dogs are so good at finding bombs
The number of smell receptors in a human’s nose ranges from 5 million to 15 million. In a dog, it can range from 125 million to 250 million. Now that’s a good smeller…
Moreover, the olfactory portion of a dog’s brain is four times larger than a human’s. The wet black noses are so sensitive they can detect minute odors. Researchers at Auburn University in Alabama found that dogs can pick up scents as little as 500 parts per trillion.
Not all dogs make it through training
Many try to become Navy Seals but don’t make it. Same is said of Rangers and Delta Force. Why would we expect any less of the elite dog soldier? Only 50% of dogs that enter the training program make it through to become soldier dogs.
Like their human counterparts, dog soldiers also die in combat
If a dog of war is lost in combat, he or she is honored by the entire unit. Bowls are symbolically placed upside down and a poem called ‘Guardians of the Night’ is read in their honor.
Guardians Of The Night – Author: Unknown
Trust in me my friend for I am your comrade. I will protect you with my last breath When all others have left you And the loneliness of the night closes in, I will be at your side.
Together we will conquer all obstacles, And search out those who might wish harm to others. All I ask of you is compassion, The caring touch of your hands. It is for you that I will unselfishly give my life And spend my nights unrested. Although our days together May be marked by the passing of the seasons Know that each day at your side is my reward.
My days are measured by The coming and going of your footsteps. I anticipate them at every opening of the door. You are the voice of caring when I am ill. The voice of authority when I’ve done wrong.
Do not chastise me unduly For I am your right arm, The sword at your side. I attempt to do only what you bid of me. I seek only to please you and remain in your favor.
Together you and I shall experience A bond only others like us will understand When outsiders see us together Their envy will be measured by their disdain.
I will quietly listen to you And pass no judgment, Nor will your spoken words be repeated I will remain ever silent, Ever vigilant, ever loyal. And when our time together is done And you move on in the world Remember me with kind thoughts and tales, For a time we were unbeatable, Nothing passed among us undetected.
If we should meet again on another street I will gladly take up your fight, I am a Police Working Dog and together We are guardians of the night.