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Soldier Dogs Hardcover – March 15, 2012
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"A moving portrait of the loyal, courageous, furry warriors who truly are an enlisted Man's Best Friend."
“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.”
“Inspiring personal stories of the many canine allies (and their handlers) who have dramatically enhanced military command units and examines how this indelible human-canine bond often transcends the atrocities of wartime violence.”
"Stories of spooked pups aboard battle-bound Hueys and dogs in the line of fire reveal surprisingly human-like response to war, and posit these military mutts as admirable—and capable—soldiers. "
"If the idea of dogs at war conjures up thoughts of harsh methods and unrelenting discipline, think again. Maria Goodavage's revealing and engaging books exposes the unexpected trust and affection that flows both ways between dog and handler. You may already care about dogs: This book will heighten your respect for them."
-John Bradshaw, author of Dog Sense
About the Author
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" at Dogster.com. She is the author of The Dog Lover's Companion to California and The Dog Lover's Companion to the San Francisco Bay Area. She coproduced and wrote an award-winning children's video about dogs and other animals, starring the voice of Ed Asner. She lives with her family in San Francisco, and the four-legged guy on their team is a Lab named Jake.
Top customer reviews
what I put behind my name, many of you will understand.
I have had K-9's
Worked with K-9's
I have had my life saved by K-9's, more than once.
I have worked with, and own SAR, Search and Rescue, dogs,
my current one is a Black Lab.
This book will take you into the World of the Military K-9, from
the selection and weeding out program, to the matching dog with handler
phase, to the actual training phase.
That last phase, teaches and trains both handler and K-9.
After that, you are taken to the battlefield, and read about what happens,
can happen out in combat, to both dog and handler.
You will also find out that, there are politicians that want to put and end to
the Military K-9 program, which would cost many lives, as these 4 legged
heroes, have allowed countless numbers of Service Members to come home.
I know, I would not be writing this, if it were not for them.
The book is divided into four sections pertinent to every aspect of a military working dog's life: Dog's in Harm's Way; Nature, Nurture and Training; The Dog Trainer and the Scientists; and, Dog's and Their Soldiers. Goodavage's writing style lends a "you are there" feeling and always with a sensitivity and beauty empathetic to these unsung canine heroes.
While the soldier dog accompanying the Navy Seal team that captured Bin Laden received renown, you will discover that more than 13,000 dogs are deployed. The author virtually has put herself in the shoes of the trainers and handlers so that the authenticity of her reporting permeates the book. The text provides a sense of the reality dogs face from puppy-hood to adulthood, fully trained and on the battlefield.
It is impossible not to admire the dedication of the soldiers and others who live and work with the dogs. And it is anathema not to respect and marvel at the devotion and trust of these canine soldiers who risk their lives to save ours. What do they seek in return? Not much. To please, receive a few kind words and play.
Soldier Dogs indeed is a book for those who have family members in the military, but it is also for anyone who is fascinated by dogs and animal training. It is a thoroughly-researched, heartwarming work that reads more like a novel than nonfiction. Selected photos mingled with the text and capture the essence of these beautiful animals.
Do yourself a favor and pick up a copy of Soldier Dogs. You may find yourself buying a few more for your friends, too.
This is not just a book for folks interested in military dogs and all their glory and sacrifice. There is significant takeaway for us civilian dog lovers too.
I was particularly struck by Maria's visit and talks with Gunny Knight USMC at the Yuma PG Pre-Dep center. Gunny Knight is special - he can read dogs, he can speak their language. Not something the casual reader may expect from a military trainer. I soaked in the ethos during this part of the book and put it to the test with my own 7 year old 130lb chocolate lab - MASON. I got home from work last week with Gunny in my head. I approached MASON for some new structured play time and prepared myself to better `read' my dog and have quality play time. I was learning; MASON was learning. Within 15 minutes MASON and I had established a new bond, a better positive reinforcement language, and non-food -based rewards. I saw his needs and fatigue differently; he rewarded me with attention to the task and better play. No fancy trainers, no long timeline. Just a no nonsense approach to canine behavior thanks to the US Military trainers. Gunny - Thank you! Maria - Thank you! The next years of MASON's life will be better for Soldier Dogs.
Also, if you buy this book and read it, please consider sending it overseas to deployed soldiers looking for a good read.
The book is several short stories about dogs, and the details of the whole military dog program. The interviews all took place in 2011. The stories come from Afghanistan and Iraq. The author takes you from the dog purchase all the way to their retirement. You will learn about how the military trains these wonderful animals. I think the techniques they use could help any dog lover. This information is frequently told through the eyes of handlers so you get the information from the trenches. You will become an expert in process after this book.
The stories of these dogs at work in the war zone will warm your heart. The book documents what every dog lover already knows. Dogs have a special bond with man. They do communicate with handlers. They read people almost as well as people read them. They take special risks for their humans. The stories of dogs that did not come home will for sure touch you emotionally. The stories about the bond between handler and dog will warm your heart. This story will make you want to hug your dog.
Most recent customer reviews
An absorbing and in depth telling about the training, lives, and work of the alphabet soup of military dogs and their handlers...Read more