A leading reporter offers a tour of military working dogs' extraordinary training, heroic accomplishments, and the lasting impacts they have on those who work with them.
People all over the world have been riveted by the story of Cairo, the Belgian Malinois who was a part of the Navy SEAL team that led the raid on Osama bin Laden's compound. A dog's natural intelligence, physical abilities, and pure loyalty contribute more to our military efforts than ever before. You don't have to be a dog lover to be fascinated by the idea that a dog-the cousin of that furry guy begging for scraps under your table-could be one of the heroes who helped execute the most vital and high-tech military mission of the new millennium.
Now Maria Goodavage, editor and featured writer for one of the world's most widely read dog blogs, tells heartwarming stories of modern soldier dogs and the amazing bonds that develop between them and their handlers. Beyond tales of training, operations, retirement, and adoption into the families of fallen soldiers, Goodavage talks to leading dog-cognition experts about why dogs like nothing more than to be on a mission with a handler they trust, no matter how deadly the IEDs they are sniffing, nor how far they must parachute or rappel from aircraft into enemy territory.
"Military working dogs live for love and praise from their handlers," says Ron Aiello, president of the United States War Dogs Association and a former marine scout dog handler. "The work is all a big game, and then they get that pet, that praise. They would do anything for their handler." This is an unprecedented window into the world of these adventurous, loving warriors.
When news leaked in 2011 that Cairo, a Belgian Malinois, was a member of SEAL Team Six the group credited with killing Osama bin Laden interest in "soldier dogs" soared. Though they've been used on and off by the American military since WWI, the role of dogs in warfare has typically been something that only servicemen and women were familiar with. In this detailed account, former USA Today reporter Goodavage (The Dog Lover's Companion to California) takes readers behind the scenes to learn how these courageous canines are identified, trained, and cared for in the field. Tales of dogs searching for and identifying IEDs and other explosives that litter Afghanistan make up the bulk of her story, but Goodavage also spends a considerable amount of the book describing the relationships soldiers form with their canine companions . Stories of spooked pups aboard battle-bound Hueys and dogs in the line of fire reveal surprisingly human-like response to war, and posit these military mutts as admirable and capable soldiers. Photos.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Incredible book heart wrenching a real tear jerker!
Soldier Dogs is an amazing book, I learned so much about handlers and their dogs. I can definitely say I will look at them with more admiration when I see them on base! Inhale already told me husband that as soon as he retires and we have a settle area we will be adopting a soldier dog there is no doubt in my mind. I recommend this book to everyone!
This book is fascinating, even if you are not a "dog person" or have a family member in the military. It's so amazing how important these soldier dogs are to our troops. This is an easy read, and I couldn't put it down. It's really inspiring, and I'm so glad the author brought this little known subject to a wider audience. This book did a great job of explaining every aspect of how the relationship between these dogs and their handlers develops, how the dogs are trained, and the jobs they do. I can't imaging anyone not enjoying this book. It reads so much like fiction, you almost forget that what you are reading about is going on right now.