K9 partners are an invaluable part of first responder teams. They have played a significant role in the military for many years, assisting with bomb detection and many other tasks.
History of War Dogs
Military dogs have been a part of the military since World War I. They started in an unofficial capacity, but on March 13, 1942, Dogs for Defense was created to add more dogs to the Military’s War Dog Program, K-9 Corps, from the public.
The U.S. Military also got dogs from the Doberman Pinscher Club of America. These dogs became aligned with the Marines and even had a rank, with all dogs starting as privates.
Initially, all dogs recruited into the program had to be fit, between 1-5 years old, and have watchdog qualities. However, to get enough dogs into the program, the requirements had to be adjusted.
Some of the breeds that became a part of the K-9 Corps were Airedale Terriers, Labrador Retrievers, German Shepherds, Boxers, and Saint Bernards. In total, dogs from around 30 breeds were included.
First War Dog
The very first war dog was Stubby, who became a part of the Army in World War I. He spent a lot of time on the front lines while in Europe. However, he started as a stray but became a well-trained member of the team.
It’s been said that Stuffy knew when rounds were coming in and would warn the soldiers. There is also a story of Stubby going after a German spy sneaking onto camp.
Stubby is known as Sgt. Stubby, however, his rank was most likely added posthumously. Stubby received many awards for his combat efforts, including a Purple Heart.
Seal Team 6 K-9
Even Seal Team Six can use some K-9 backup. Cairo, a Belgian Malinois, was trained as a guard dog and to let the team know if someone was approaching.
Cairo had many talents. He was also trained for crowd control, finding booby traps, and could sniff out bombs.
Cairo was actually a part of the mission to capture bin Laden. He was a member of the perimeter security in Pakistan. If the team could not locate bin Laden, Cairo would go in and assist.
Valuable Members of the Team
These pups are just a few of the many who lend a hand to our brave servicemen and women.