A leading dog-blogger offers a tour of military working dogs’ extraordinary training, heroic accomplishments, and the lasting impact they have on those who work with them.
People all over the world have been riveted by the story of Cairo, the Belgian Malinois who was a part of the Navy SEAL team that led the raid on Osama bin Laden’s compound. A dog’s natural intelligence, physical abilities, and pure loyalty contribute more to our military efforts than ever before. You don’t have to be a dog lover to be fascinated by the idea that a dog - the cousin of that furry guy begging for scraps under your table - could be one of the heroes who helped execute the most vital and high-tech military mission of the new millennium.
Now Maria Goodavage, editor and featured writer for one of the world’s most widely read dog blogs, tells heartwarming stories of modern soldier dogs and the amazing bonds that develop between them and their handlers. Beyond tales of training, operations, retirement, and adoption into the families of fallen soldiers, Goodavage talks to leading dog-cognition experts about why dogs like nothing more than to be on a mission with a handler they trust, no matter how deadly the IEDs they are sniffing out, nor how far they must parachute or rappel from aircraft into enemy territory.
"Military working dogs live for love and praise from their handlers," says Ron Aiello, president of the United States War Dogs Association and a former marine scout-dog handler. "The work is all a big game, and then they get that pet, that praise. They would do anything for their handler." This is an unprecedented window into the world of these adventurous, loving warriors.
Maria Goodavage, a former reporter for USA Today and the San Francisco Chronicle, is the editor and featured writer for one of the most widely read dog blogs in the world: For the Love of Dog. She is also the author of The Dog Lover’s Companion to California and The Dog Lover’s Companion to the San Francisco Bay Area. She co-produced and wrote an award-winning children's video about animals, starring the voice of Ed Asner.
Includes a bonus PDF with photographs.
©2012 Maria Goodavage (P)2012 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
"Maria has proven her passion for the subject of military dogs with many emotionally engaging stories about these dedicated canines and the people who share their lives. She is the perfect combination of news reporter and dog lover." (Tracie Hotchner, author of The Dog Bible)
"Soldier Dogs is a fascinating book about the valiant things that military dogs do as told through the words of the soldiers who fight beside them. It also shows you how military service dogs are created, told through the words of the trainers and scientists who know the process. It is written in an easy and entertaining style and will acquaint you with dozens of canine heroes ranging from Stubby, who fought in WWI, to Cairo, who was a member of the raiding party that took down Osama Bin Laden. It is a great read for anyone who appreciates dogs and heroes." (Stanley Coren, author of The Intelligence of Dogs)
This book covers everything for WW I up to the UBL raid. It has fantastic historical details as well as great characters. You can find yourself attaching yourself to your dogs, only to find their fates to not be so pleasant. If you don't mind shedding a tear every few chapters, you should find this to be a VERY enjoyable listen.
A dogs purpose.
Not bad, but nothing ground breaking.
A tear here and there.
Enjoyed the story and very well done. The MWD is a truely awesome program and these Warriors are 100% man's best friend.
Rex and Ingram because they had a special bond.
I would be honored to adopt a retire dog ANYTIME. Semper Fi
This is a great book that tells many stories of handlers and their best friends as they work through dangerous terrain in war zones across the world.
The story of the marine who was killed in action along with his dog. Very sad.
Thank a solider whenever you see them for their sacrifice. They are dying so we can be safe at home.
This wandered form the service the dogs provide to polotics. The polotics are important but could have beben added briefly at the end.
I enjoyed this audio book, although I am thinking that with all the acronyms used, it may be more conducive to read in print format. I liked that there were different sections, with different areas of focus. It was interesting to learn more about the Military Working Dog program, but I was also glad that there was a section devoted to the stories of the dogs and their handlers. This was an interesting book and will appeal to those interested in animals and the military working dog program; a huge thank you to those in the military (both 2 and 4 legged) who put their lives on the line to protect us.
It goes into great detail and description of what role soldier dogs have in warfare. It was very interesting to hear the background and development of the program and the evolution of where it is going now to best serve our military and to best serve the dogs.
They make you care about the dogs. The soldiers that work with them don't view them as equipment even if they are considered such per military regulations. You want to know what happens to the dogs and what the outcomes are. You pull for the soldiers that are doing their jobs overseas and at home but you also want to pull for the dogs and have them come home as well.
There are some emotional parts of the book, but it is a great "read". I would definitely recommend this book to a friend, and to someone who is interested in non-fiction like this, or learning more about our military history.
Dogs are just amazing, they can save our lives, our soldiers lives and help our country!
Even the ones that didn't quite, "make the grade", are in great demand and are still very useful. Police departments, fire departments, our dear handicapped friends. Thanks to the dogs and their trainers for all you have done to make these dogs, Soldier Dogs.
Story received 5 stars, because we have 3 GSDs and 1 golden retriever (who won't--retrieve, that is). We love all things "dog", so we bring our hearts along with our ears to this listen.
Accurate research went into Soldier Dogs, warm-hearted anecdotes, tragic endings, and every day successes/challenges are throughout the book.
Kudos to the author for refraining from anthropomorphizing these dogs...her respect for them shows with every word. We smiled in recognition at the dogs' behavior and we cried at their mistreatment and deaths. Over the years we've parented 10 GSDs, 3 Akitas, 1 Rotty, 1 Golden, and "Clyde" our English Mastiff grand dog who lived 13 wonderful years.
Appropriate breeds for soldiering include size, willingness, intelligence, sensitive nose, and courage---2 of those 5 traits are genetic attributes of the breed, the other three are variables and described in human terms....not scientific absolutes.
The journalistic accuracy of the author's objectivity detracted from the potential emotional access the reader wants from any non-scientific tract about "Man's Best Friend."
i.e. the importance of a "Kong" in their lives to motivate behavior. All of our GSDs enjoy this toy (and its history was interesting), however the temperament trials conducted @ approximately 7 weeks of the litters reveal far more than potential for Pavlovian conditioning in future training.
How do you measure the attachment a Soldier Dog has for his person? And when that person leaves his or her---how do you measure the grief?
As in our human combat veterans, our canine vets deserve TLC and special consideration to live out their natural lives in peace.
Yes I will. Very fascinating book with a lot to absorb.
Gunny. He has a great compassion for the dogs and is so instrumental in preparing these handler/dog teams for war. The dogs are trained motivationally instead of with compulsion and he has proven that motivation is - by far - the best method to train these high drive working dogs.
See above. Nicole Vilencia did a great job as the narrator.
And Don't Call Them "Equipment"
This book also touched on "The Robbie Law" which allows for our canine heros that have saved countless American lives, to come home and be offered for adoption at the end of their careers and live out their lives with the dignity and love that they so deserve.
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