Did you know that Alpha Paw has its own channel on YouTube? Watch the latest episodes with host Bernie Zilio as she tackles your pet parent questions with our board of pet experts. In this episode, she celebrates the wonderful dogs who serve the military and keep us safe. You can watch the video and read the transcript below!
With Memorial Day right around the corner. We want to honor all of those who have served our country human and canine!
Welcome back to alpha PA, your destination for everything dog. I’m Bernie Zilio and I’m on a mission to answer every doggone question you have ever had about your fur babies. And today, we want to honor military dogs by highlighting some of the most famous combat canines and sharing a few little-known facts about these brave soldiers.
There have been a ton of famous military dogs throughout our nation’s history, dogs have stood alongside us soldiers for almost every major conflict. But it wasn’t until World War Two that they were officially recognized and Sergeant stubby was a big part of that recognition. Who was Sergeant stubby? You as us. Okay, maybe you didn’t ask but I’m going to tell you anyway, because any doggo with the name, Sergeant stubby deserves our full and undivided attention and acknowledged.
Sergeant stubby was actually smuggled into Europe by private J. Roberts Conway. He was the mascot of the 100 and second infantry, 26th Yankee Division in World War I. But after being injured twice in battle, he quickly went from mascot to full-on war hero. They woke up the men in the infantry before a gas attack, he would bark when rival troops were approaching, and he used his keen sense of smell to locate wounded soldiers out on the battlefield.
It wasn’t until he played a large role in capturing a German spy that stubby was promoted to sergeant becoming the first dog ever to be given the rank in the US military. Sergeant stubby paved the way for other military dogs to gain prestige in battle and become more than just pets. In fact, there are currently about 2500 dogs in active duty service and about 700 deployed overseas.
They play a big role in countermeasures against terrorists and explosives. Many of these amazing pups are trained in bomb weapons and drug detection. While some are trained in tracking and using their aggression to attack the enemy. Those little snoots aren’t just good for boops they’re also able to more accurately detect weapons, bombs, gases, and drugs more effectively than any available military equipment.
Now, that is something to bargain about. This level of skill is priceless on the battlefield. But if you were to put a price on these combat canines, they’re estimated to be worth about $150,000. A fully trained bomb detection dog averages 98% accuracy in bomb detection. So when the lives of their fellow soldiers are on the line, that seems like a steal, and they’re not all German Shepherds like you’ve seen in the movies, lots of different breeds of dog have served the red white, and blue.
German Shepherds are very common; Labrador Retrievers are also highly trainable and hold positions throughout the military as well as Belgian Malinois, which are a similar breed to German Shepherds. In fact, a Belgian Malinois named Cairo was instrumental in the seal’s raid on Osama Bin Ladin in 2013.
Equipped with a bulletproof vest, night vision, and infrared cameras, and the microphone, Cairo helped guard the parameter, detect explosives and find false walls. And for his bravery, he was welcomed by President Obama and received the honor of being Times ‘Animal of the Year in 2011.’ But not all military dog stories end so happily.
Sadly, many dogs are lost in combat, and those that aren’t can suffer from PTSD. Just like humans, the years of war and sometimes losing their handlers can take a big toll on these valiant pups, which is all the more reason that we want to honor these incredible dogs this memorial day.
They are true American heroes. And we here at alpha want to salute them for their sacrifice for our freedoms. And one of those ways is by offering you guys 20% off site-wide on alpha.com using the code Memorial 20 Get yourself all the best veterinarian-approved toys, supplements, dog food, etc, etc, etc. Trust me, take advantage of this deal.
If you liked this video, give us a thumbs up and share it with your friends. Again, I’m Bernie Zilio and this is Alpha Paw. Be sure to subscribe so you don’t miss a single dog on the episode and we’ll see you next time.