Since we began our Rescue Roast partnership with Mission K9 Rescue, we have learned a lot about the amazing pups who serve our country. Some of what we learned is downright fascinating. So, to share our discoveries, here are 6 surprising facts about Military Working Dogs.
There are “Puppy Development Specialists”
Talk about a dream job. Lackland Air Force Base in Texas houses the Military Working Dog Breeding Program, where some lucky soldier must sniff out which puppies, as young as 8 weeks, will become suitable Military Working Dogs.
They have their own awards and medals
Animals who serve are not eligible for the same awards and medals that human soldiers can earn. But that wasn’t always the case. In the past, several dogs have been awarded medals meant for humans before the practice was discontinued. We even covered three of these decorated pups. These days, however, they have separate awards intended specifically for animals in the service, such as the K-9 Medal of Courage.
They are never trained to detect both explosives and narcotics
For the safety of all, dogs are specialized to detect either explosives or narcotics, never both. Handlers don’t want any uncertainty as to what a dog has found. There are very different protocols for dealing with found narcotics vs. found explosives.
About half of the dogs fail training
The requirements for these animals are rigorous, which leads to a high rate of wash outs. The young pups that do not complete the training are adopted out to highly screened applicants. Luckily, these washouts are in demand and there is a waitlist for adopting these pups.
Adopting a Military Working Dog can be costly.
Adopters are responsible for all costs for transporting the dogs from their place of retirement to their new homes. Covering these costs is one of the many ways our partners at Mission K9 Rescue are helping reunite handlers with their pups.