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The Dogs of War: The Courage, Love, and Loyalty of Military Working Dogs Paperback – October 25, 2011

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The Dogs of War: The Courage, Love, and Loyalty of Military Working Dogs + Sergeant Rex: The Unbreakable Bond Between a Marine and His Military Working Dog + War Dogs: Tales of Canine Heroism, History, and Love
Price for all three: $41.35

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin (October 25, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1250009464
  • ISBN-13: 978-1250009463
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 0.8 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (51 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #557,203 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"Dogs jumping from airplanes, dogs sacrificing their lives to save their handlers, dogs patrolling dense tropical jungles — such heroics may seem the stuff of animation fantasy, but Lisa Rogak’s The Dogs of War documents the real-life valor of canine warriors. Rogak is to be commended for the book’s encyclopedic scope and rich historical detail."
--The Washington Post

“Lisa Rogak’s The Dogs of War sheds light on why the dog, more than any other animal, holds a special place in our history, and our hearts. The most comprehensive book I have ever read on the subject of military dogs, it exemplifies the indomitable spirit of the dog itself, ever selfless, loyal to a fault.”

--Steve Duno, author of Last Dog on the Hill

"A book that will fascinate dog lovers and lovers of the military. ... It's inspiring and beautifully written."
--The Examiner
"Canine heroism is eloquently celebrated in Lisa Rogak's The Dogs of War."
--Hudson Valley News
“Most of the accounts in this book will bring tears to your eyes.”


--The Macon Telegraph


About the Author

LISA ROGAK is the author of the Edgar- and Anthony-nominated Haunted Heart: The Life and Times of Stephen King and editor of the New York Times-bestselling Barack Obama in His Own Words. Her son serves in the United States Army, Delta Company of the 489th Civil Affairs Battalion.

More About the Author

I'm an independent journalist going on more than 30 years as a full-time writer, a fact that surprises even me! In that time, I've written about everything from high-tech and cats to food and travel.

Writing has provided me with a fascinating, adventurous life. I wake up each morning looking forward to discovering what new things I'll learn that day. After all this time, it never ceases to amaze me that I have been able to make my living by indulging my curiosity and asking total strangers really nosy questions...

My latest books include Dogs of Courage: The Heroism and Heart of Working Dogs Around the World, Dan Brown: The Unauthorized Biography, and Pope Francis in His Own Words.

After spending a year traveling around the world as a full-time vagabond, I now split my time between New Hampshire and South Carolina.

Customer Reviews

Dog Bless Our Handlers and Military Working Dogs!!
War Dog Lover
Very moving and sometimes heart-wrenching, but above all a testimony of the unconditional love and dedication of man's best friend.
Gerda Lemmens
I would highly recommend this book to dog lovers and those interested in the military.
Cate's Book Nut Hut

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Meg @ A Bookish Affair on November 7, 2011
Format: Paperback
We've relied on animals a lot to help us in our military endeavors. We've especially relied on dogs a lot. They can smell things we can't smell, they can hear things that we can't hear, they act as protectors and as helpers. They're pretty amazing. This book focuses mostly on military dog usage in the 20th and 21st century.

The book is organized by stories about some of the more well known military dogs (including Cairo, the Belgian Malinois) who was part of the team that went into to capture and kill Bin Laden earlier this year. The book also covers what the military looks for in dogs (did you know that female dogs used to not even be able to be used as military dogs?), training that both the trainer and the dog have to go through (way intense) and the deep relationships that are developed often times between the handlers and the dogs (there was one story in here that made me cry happy tears; for a book to actually make me cry is absolutely amazing. I had to read that part of the book to my husband so he could see what I was crying about.)

Animal lovers will really enjoy this book. I'm a big softie when it comes to animal stories. Even though these dogs are tough and therefore not all that cuddly, it still warmed my heart to read about such tight bonds and the amazing things that these dogs do for our military.

Bottom line: This book made me happy!
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16 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Timothy J. Bazzett on November 4, 2011
Format: Paperback
THE DOGS OF WAR proved only mildly interesting to me. Not quite a disappointment, but not particularly engaging either. Rogak did a more than adequate job of researching her subject - the use of dogs by the military in both peace and war - but the narrative had a rather herky-jerky feel, as she interspersed personal anecdotes and handler interviews with historical data and more official military definitions and training regimens for dogs and handlers. There have already been countless books written on the subject of dogs in war, and this one does not, in my estimation, add much of value. I had the feeling that writing this book was just a 'job' for Rogak. And sure enough, in the acknowledgements page, she thanks "Tom Dunne [the publisher] for coming up with the idea for THE DOGS OF WAR and entrusting the execution of the book to me." The book's prologue, which features the role of military working dog (MWD), Cairo, in the killing of Osama bin Laden, is perhaps the most interesting portion of the book. And then in the introduction, Rogak notes that "since the Cairo story hit, everyone wants to know more about these brave canines who venture into war zones with their human partners."

So yes, I got the sense that the book was rather hastily slapped together in a rather opportunistic fashion, hoping to cash in on the flurry of interest in the mission that took out bin Laden. It has a very appealing cover and will undoubtedly sell well. But if you're looking for a good "dog book," then this will be a disappointment. While the writing is workmanlike and professional, THE DOGS OF WAR reads too much like a term paper, and it's simply not very interesting. Maybe a C+ to a B-.

- Tim Bazzett, author of the Cold War memoir, SOLDIER BOY: AT PLAY IN THE ASA
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18 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Christina on January 16, 2012
Format: Paperback
I love dogs. I love books. Dogs in books; even better! Not really. The author elongates her writing by repetitive subject topics and statements; also, this is the first book I've ever read that has COPY AND PASTE! I believe the author could not find enough to write about, which I thought was unusual considering her topic of interest. I read a short story about one retired military dog that was more interesting, engaging, and inspiring than any paragraph even in this book. It was a complete disappointment! I will never read from this author again.
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20 of 25 people found the following review helpful By BrdrCllie on May 5, 2012
Format: Paperback
The author obviously knows nothing about dogs or dog training.

It is a good idea to write a book about dogs working in the military. Unfortunately the only reason the author even got interested in the subject was the fact that Navy Seals had a dog in the operation in Pakistan.

The book is full of mistakes and statements that show that the author is not interested either in the dogs or in the military.

- lack of knowledge of the military. The author uses the word "elite" about 7 times on 4 pages in relation to Navy Seals. Not to take any importance away from the Seals, but there is no "elite" in the military. Every Soldier is ready to give his/her life for the country. This makes them special, not being on any specific team.

- no understanding of relationship between the dog and the owner: the honest surprise about handlers' feeling that their dogs are their children is ridiculous. Any dog owner knows this feeling.

- a book about military work dogs is not a place to slam the Vietnam war. Too many chapters start and/or finish by comments on it.

- repetitive: the facts about the life of working dogs are great but there is no need to mention them multiple times throughout the book.

- some statements seem to be in the book only to reprimand the military. A book dedicated to the dogs serving in the military seems to be an odd place for such comments.

- style: the book seems to be a collection of newspaper articles rather than an actual book. There is too much rhetoric for a book.

- and the last thing that is just pure offensive. Whoever designed the cover: there was no call to put the author's name on the dog tags. You have to earn the right to see your name on the dog tags: join the military and be ready to die for your country.
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