On Veterans Day, we honor the men and women who have served in our armed forces. Let us also take a moment to consider the military working dogs who have served beside them—and the service dogs who have become part of veterans’ post-military lives. Dogs have served in the U.S. military since World War I, but by 2010 there were nearly 3,000 in service, many of them deployed in the Middle East and Afghanistan. Like their handlers and their fellow soldiers, these K9s work hard, contribute much, and suffer injury, trauma and sometimes death.
A military dog’s training extends beyond sit and heel. Only about 50 percent of military dogs make it through rigorous training. Canines are great for military services because of their sharp minds and abilities, which is why they’re able to serve our country alongside the men and women who fight for us.
While there isn’t a single breed that is used in the military, certain breeds, including German Shepherds, Belgian Malinois, and Pit Bulls, are best suited for the demanding jobs of a military dog. These K9s are used for:
Today, we recognize and salute all the efforts of the K9 Veterans who have served their country and their soldiers well. They have truly made a difference by protecting and serving our country.Dogs are by our side in war and in peace. As we remember our veterans on November 11th, let us not forget the canines who serve in combat zones—and those who help bring peace to veterans after the war is over.