Today we celebrate our four legged soldiers that have given so much to our nation. Dogs have been serving in the US military since the Revolutionary War. US Army dogs would go on to become an essential tool in warfare over the centuries, over 4000 dogs would serve in the Vietnam war, saving over 10,000 US lives in the field. During the Afghanistan and Iraq wars US Army dogs would become our most useful tool to detect IEDs in the field, once again saving thousand of US lives.
In Honor of our K9 Veterans, we decided to explore the breeds most used by the military and police departments.
Top Breeds for Police and Military Dogs
Around the world, there is much debate as to which dogs make the best ones for K9 service. Most lists tend to be regional and not global. In England, large terriers show up higher on the list, while in Europe they tend to lean toward the traditional dogs like Doberman Pinschers and German Shepherds. American lists tend to add Pit Bull terriers and while the Japanese add the Tosa Inu.
Boxer dogs are known for being fun loving, playful and energetic. Therefore, they may not seem like the ideal choice for a military dog. But, it is thought that the Boxer is a very good judge of character and is subsequently effective in warning an owner of a possible threat. When selecting a military dog, it is important that you choose a dog that is not too aggressive. In other words, breeds such as the Pit Bull Terrier, may not be the best choice. More importantly, however, is the way you train a prospective military dog. To avoid injury to innocent passers-by, potential lawsuits, it is vital that you are responsible in the way that you train a K9 Service Dog.
Rottweilers are incredibly muscular and strong dogs. They are intelligent and are known for being fast-learners. But, as with any potential military dog, the Rottweiler will need correct training in order to become an effective, but not aggressive watchdog. As far as a family pet, Rottweilers are affectionate and loyal. Furthermore, they are eager to please and love spending time with their human companions.
The Great Dane is not called great for nothing. Wither their massive frames, Great Danes are physically intimidating. But, their temperament tends to be very gentle. Good with children, the Great Dane makes a loving and patient family pet. However, if danger is detected, the loud bark of Great Dane will instantly raise the alarm. Often, an intruder will be frightened by a Dane’s deep bark and sheer size. Therefore, this breed is a wonderful deterrent.
One of the most commonly used military dogs, Doberman Pinscher can have an intimidating demeanor. The breed is strong and can move very quickly. Consequently, Dobermans are often used in military and police work. Like the German Shepherd, the Doberman is intelligent and incredibly loyal. Moreover, it is a lore that Dobermans are characteristically aggressive. As a matter of fact, aggression in most dog’s breed is something that is carried by irresponsible training.
The German Shepherd has rated consistently among the most popular breeds in the United States. Due to the high bravery and intelligence of this breed, it is frequently used in military and police work. However, contrary to the conviction of some, the German Shepherds are perfect family dogs that are loving, gentle and patient with children. It can protect the family if it senses danger. They have loud barks and can be intimidating towards someone who poses a threat to the family.