Dogs play an important role in many people’s lives, regardless of whether they are loving best friends for life, assistance dogs, or military dogs. No matter what our dog’s roles are, we know they contribute so much to make our lives happier, healthier, and safer every day. This month, we recognize K9 Veterans Day to honor the service and sacrifice of American military and working dogs.
K9 Veterans History
Not only do men and women serve our country, but dogs started being called to duty in the U.S. after the first world war. March 13, 1942 marks the first day that the U.S. Army officially started using K9 Corps (K9 being a homophone for canine) and these Dogs of Defense proved to be fearless, dedicated, and well-trained.
Since then, more than 30,000 dogs have served in the military, with approximately 2,800 military dogs in active duty today according to the American Kennel Club. Military dog heroes span American history, with heroes including Sgt. Stubby, the original war dog, and Chips, who is said to be the most decorated dog in World War II.
Military Dog Training
A military dog’s training extends beyond sit and heel. Only about 50 percent of military dogs make it through the rigorous training. Canines are great for military services because of their sharp minds and abilities, which is why they’re able to serve our country alongside of the men and women who fight for us.
While there isn’t a single breed that is used in the military, certain breeds, including German Shepherds, Belgian Malinois, and Pit Bulls, are best suited for the demanding jobs of a military dog. These K9s are used for:
Logistics & Communication
Detection & Tracking
Sentries (Guard Dog)
Celebrate Your Dog Every Day
Today, we recognize all the efforts of the K9 Veterans who have served their country and their soldiers well. They have truly made a difference by protecting and serving our country. While K9 Veteran’s Day is not yet an official holiday, some states have recognized it, and there is a petition to make it a national holiday.
No matter if your dog is a veteran K9 or simply your best friend, every day is a good day to give your pooch a hug and show him just how much he means to you. Want more ways to show your appreciation? Join our Best Friends Club today. Each month, you’ll receive special training tips, informative articles, and members-only discounts on Bil-Jac products, so you can celebrate your dog every day.