US War Dog Association | National Headquarters

Breeding Program Turns Puppies Into Troops

Posted by on Feb 12, 2012 in News, Press | 0 comments

Bernadine Green stands tall amid a group of young military recruits in training, assessing their behavior for signs of future excellence. In the coming months, some of these troops will “wash out” of training, while others will go on to serve their nation, saving lives and ensuring security in locations around the world. But for the moment, Green is content to just stand back and watch. These future troops are, after all, just a few weeks old and of a much different sort — or, to put it more accurately, breed — than their military training counterparts. While Lackland is known for its basic military training — a grueling eight-and-a-half week program that turns young men and women into airmen — it’s also home to the Defense Department’s Military Working Dog Breeding Program, which provides working dogs to every...

Read More

The Dogs of War: Training, deployment and the golden years

Posted by on Feb 6, 2012 in Press | 0 comments

Veterans returning from wars can often count on a reservoir of goodwill from the public to help them make the transition to civilian life. And there are programs to help them begin new, post-military careers. But sometimes, it gets complicated. Eric Falconer, for example, has spent months trying to match up some of the nation’s most steadfast and loyal retired warriors with local law enforcement agencies, but without much luck. That’s because the vets in question are of the four-legged variety, and their situations and needs are unique. Read...

Read More

Advocates lobby for military dogs

Posted by on Jan 16, 2012 in Press | 1 comment

They have four legs, cold wet noses and tails that often wag furiously. Yet the Defense Department classifies its working dogs as equipment. Advocates for the four-footed troops want this to change. “When you lose a military working dog, you can’t just take another one off the shelf,” said Debbie Kandoll, founder of Military Working Dog Adoptions. “They’re not that easy to replace.” Kandoll said she thinks the labeling of working dogs as equipment came by default. “There are two classifications: manpower and equipment,” she said. “They’re not manpower, so they’re equipment.” And once they retire, they’re classified as excess equipment. “They could create a separate category for them, but they’ve just never done that,” Kandoll said. The result, Kandoll said, is that retired military working dogs do not get the benefits they deserve, specifically transportation home, medical care...

Read More

When a dog isn’t a dog

Posted by on Jan 16, 2012 in Press | 0 comments

When an insurgent rocket attack badly injured Cpl. Dustin Lee while he was on patrol in Iraq, his shrapnel-impaled partner, Lex, picked himself up to lie over Lee – an effort to protect him. “He knew Dustin was injured,” said Lee’s mom, Rachel. Lex was his bomb-sniffing dog. Lee didn’t survive his injuries, but Lex did – and became a part of the Lee family when Rachel adopted him. “When Dustin was killed, one of the first things I asked about was Lex, because of their camaraderie. They depended on each other” Lex, a German shepherd, served in the Marines as a military working dog. There are about 2,700 dogs serving worldwide, according to the Defense Department. Roughly 600 of these dogs are deployed in designated war zones overseas, including Afghanistan, areas of Africa and Kuwait. These “war dogs”...

Read More

PTSD Diagnosed Among Military Dogs

Posted by on Jan 16, 2012 in Press | 0 comments

Now that military dogs are taking on a larger role in combat, they’re also taking on more of the risks that come with going to war, including developing post-traumatic stress disorder. The New York Times reports that more than 5 percent of the approximately 650 deployed military dogs are developing some form of canine PTSD. While the diagnosis is still being debated, some veterinarians are prescribing agressive treatment plans, which can include Xanax or other anti-anxiety drugs. Read...

Read More