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

4.4 out of 5 stars 73 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“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

“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.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin; First Paperback Edition, first printing edition (October 25, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1250009464
  • ISBN-13: 978-1250009463
  • Product Dimensions: 5.6 x 0.7 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 (73 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #371,260 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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Format: Paperback
Anyone interested in the real-life role of dogs in the modern military will find The Dogs of War to be a great way to get their curiosity satisfied.

Unlike may books that touch on military subject matters, The Dogs of War could be enjoyed by readers of both genders, and readers of almost any age. As some of the subject matter has to do with the realities of warfare, and the inevitable loss of loved ones (both human and canine) that go along with this, obviously the book is not meant for really young children, but aside from that, the author has done a great job of making the subject matter come to life in a very accessible (and at times, touching) manner.

Another reviewer has mentioned that there have been other previous books on the subject, but I suspect that the style of those books will not have the universal appeal of The Dogs of War. If you are wondering about dogs in the military, start here, and I doubt you will be disappointed.
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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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Format: Paperback
As a former USAF Dog Handler (1975-1981), I looked forward to reading about the past and present state of the MWD program in the US military.

Early in the book, the author stated that after the Viet Nam War, the Explosive Detector Dog program was put on hiatus until the 1990s.

This surprised me no end, since I was certified as an EDD handler in early 1976, and handled Bomb Sniffing Dogs throughout my USAF stint.

Sorry, if before page 30 you manage a massive factual error, I have difficulty taking anything else seriously.
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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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