In the past, we've brought you pictures of military dogs in action (see them here). Today, we bring you a video showing where and how some of those dogs are trained.
The Daily reporter Justin Rocket Silverman recently visited the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs to see how some of the nation's top military dogs are trained. He even donned a special suit and offered to be tackled by one of the military canines:
But wait, there's more.
Silverman also visited a private dog trainer (a former military guy) who installs titanium teeth in the dogs he trains in order to make them more bite than bark:
Watch Silverman's video report below:
As an interesting side bar to Silverman's video report, he notes in a web article that the dogs you see above -- German shepherds -- have become a hit since the recent Osama bin Laden SEAL raid where a dog named "Cairo" was used. The shepherds, which were already threatening to overtake the Labrador as the top dog in the country, now could have a legitimate shot, even though it's not been confirmed what type of dog aided in the raid (although shepherds are the most popular military dog):
Even before the bin Laden raid vaulted the military working dog’s most iconic breed to star status, German shepherds had been climbing the American Kennel Club rankings. Last year, it was the second most popular breed, up from fourth in 2005.
The gap between America’s top dog, Labrador retrievers, and the second-place German shepherds is closing fast. A few years ago there were three Labs registered for every shepherd. But recently that gap has closed to a mere 2 to 1.
Unseating the Lab will be no easy task, as the beloved family dog has been the nation’s most popular for two decades.
But the high profile of military working dogs — boosted further by Cairo’s exploits — is giving the shepherd market a shot in the paw.
Al Gill of Von der Haus Gill German Shepherds in Ohio can attest to the increased popularity. He's now selling more German shepherds than anytime since 2008.
“You’ll see a lot more people wanting a personal dog because of what the Navy did with that SEAL dog,” he told The Daily.