Dogs In The US Military

A german shepherd dog raised from a puppy.

When discussing the sacrifices that military personnel have made over the years, we would be remiss to not talk about our canine soldiers. The dog has been a part of the military since the early days because they bring to the table a few skills that humans just can not match.


A dog has 10 to 20 times more smell receptors in their nose than humans do. This is why dogs have been used in roles like bomb detection, tracking and security. They can smell an intruder far before anyone can see them which makes them quite useful in military operations.


Their speed and agility makes them perfect for use as messengers. They can speed through treacherous territory unharmed when a man would stand little chance.


Breeds like German Shepherds are fiercely loyal and disciplined. They will give up their life to fulfill their duty without question. This makes them ideal in situations where they are asked to do so to spare the lives of human soldiers.

Breeds Used

Overwhelmingly, the vast majority of military dogs are German Shepherds and are trained at Lackland AFB. They are fast, strong, aggressive, intelligent and very easy to train. This makes them almost the perfect military animal.

Having said that, over the years, other dogs have been used in military operations. Golden Retrievers, for example, are used for training to detect one single smell such as narcotics or an explosive material. Besides Goldens, many sporting breeds have been used over the years for single purpose missions. These include pointers and even the occasional poodle.

Military Dog Missions

Dogs are raised for a variety of military missions. A new puppy may serve in one of many important fields. Here are a few examples.

Explosives Detection

This is your classic military dog. They can be used to detect bombs and improvised devices. There use in this area has saved thousands of human lives.

Drug Detection

Training for drug detection is very similar to that of explosive detection. These dogs undergo months of rigorous training and then are used at airports and points of entry into the country.

Search & Rescue

Some dogs are trained to simply find wounded soldiers. They can lead rescue personnel to the site of those injured but unable to communicate. They can also be used to find cadavers.

Dual Purpose Missions

Primarily the realm of the German Shepherd dog, dual purpose missions will generally be used for many purposes including patrol and detection duties.

In Conclusion

As you can clearly see, the military dog has aided soldiers for years and provides services that can not be attained anywhere else. They have honorably served for years and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future.

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