Tag: working dogs
Arnold has never been to Afghanistan. Or Iraq. But, under the auspices of the Department of Defense, he’s serving our country — in a manner you might envy, and with results most impressive.
Arnold, as you might guess from his full name — Arnold des Contes D’Hoffmann — is a stud.
Rather than getting deployed to war zones, the Belgian Malinois is sitting pretty at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, where, working with a harem of 16 females, he’s fathered 149 offspring destined to become military working dogs.
Arnold joined the Department of Defense in 2008, according to the Los Angeles Times.
His working skills were so impressive that it was decided he’d be of more use reproducing. Thus he has avoided getting sent to conflicts and settled into a life of making love, not war.
He’s one of only three male dogs at the base with that job description.
Officials say Arnold, who has five more pups on the way, is one of the more productive males in the breeding program at the military working-dog program at Lackland.
The program’s goal is to produce dogs — about 100 a year — that serve longer tours of duty with fewer medical problems than the dogs bought from outside vendors.
The Times reports:
“Dogs capable of sniffing out buried bombs, guarding far-flung bases or displaying aggression on command have been in great demand since the U.S.-led assault on Afghanistan’s Taliban regime in 2001 and the Iraq war in 2003. Arnold, in his own fashion, has done his part for national security.”
Arnold is 7 now, and, of his offspring, about half have been found suitable as working dogs, said Stewart Hilliard, manager of the breeding program.
When Arnold’s not performing, he usually is in a kennel.
“If he gets to chase a ball for several hours, he’s had a good day,” said Hilliard.
About 15 percent of the working dogs that graduate from Lackland each year are from the Belgian Malinois breeding program..
(Photo:Darren Abate / Los Angeles Times)
Posted by jwoestendiek January 24th, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: afghanistan, animals, arnold, Arnold des Contes D’Hoffmann, belgian malinois, breeding, dogs, iraq, lackland air force base, military dogs, military working dogs, pets, program, stud, working dogs
A 2.5-pound dog in New Jersey has been named by the Guinness Book of World Records as the ”world’s smallest working dog,” wresting the honor from the former title-holder, a 6.6-pound search and rescue dog in Japan.
Lucy, a 3-year-old mini Yorkshire terrier who works as a therapy dog, received the certificate — which is considerably larger than her – on Saturday.
Just 6 inches long, and 5.7 inches high, Lucy belongs to Sally Leone Montufar, of Absecon. “She gets a lot of attention already,” Montufar told the Camden Courier Post. “She stops traffic.”
Lucy, who was homeless two years ago, now works as a therapy dog through the Cherry Hill program Leashes of Love, visiting hospitals, nursing homes and schools.
“She had to be trained to sit for long periods, lay for long periods, not be flustered when there’s wheelchairs and walkers all around, and she has to be able to walk for me and be nonaggressive,” Montufar said.
Montufar used to run a pet boutique called Paw Dazzle, and one day a woman came in with several dogs — all headed for an animal shelter.
“She was so pitiful and lethargic, I couldn’t leave her,” Montufar said of Lucy. “I didn’t know if I could save her or not.”
Montufar, a former teacher, hopes Lucy will serve as an advocate for rescuing dogs.
“There’s a lot of people out there who are desperate for companionship,” she said.
Posted by jwoestendiek January 12th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: absecon, animals, book, certificate, cherry hill, dogs, guinness, homeless, leashes of love, lucy, mini yorkshire terrier, new jersey, pets, rescue, sally leone montufar, smallest, therapy dog, therapy dogs, title, working dogs, world records, world's smallest, yorkie, yorkshire, yorkshire terrier
The U.S. Postal Service is issuing four new stamps that honor working dogs.
The “Dogs at Work” series celebrates the enduring partnership between working dogs and the people who count on them.
The four dogs depicted in the 65-cent stamps are a guide dog assisting a woman who is blind, a tracking dog on the trail of a scent, a therapy dog visiting an elderly woman in her home, and a search and rescue dog standing in a field.
Artist John M. Thompson created original paintings for the stamps, which were designed by art director Howard E. Paine.
The “Dogs At Work” stamps will come out in January, 2012, and are being issued at the two-ounce rate.
Posted by jwoestendiek December 29th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: 65-cent, animals, artist, celebrate, detecting, dog, dogs, dogs at work, guide dog, honor, issuance, issue, john m. thompson, office, pets, post, postal, rate, rescue, search, series, sniffing, stamps, therapy dog, tracking, two ounce, working, working dogs
Renee Brady, who has relied on her six-year-old golden retriever, named Able, to be her eyes for the last five years, said she was taken aback when the manager of the restaurant in Winnepeg told her she had to eat her food outside because of the dog.
Brady said at first she thought the manager didn’t realize Able was a guide dog — but quickly learned she was mistaken.
“…He said ‘I know it’s a guide dog, but you’ll have to leave,’ ” she told the Winnepeg Free Press.
Officials from McDonald’s Canada said they have apologized to Brady.
“Our procedures for assisting customers with special needs were not followed and we have addressed the situation directly with the restaurant staff to ensure this does not happen again,” McDonald’s said in a statement.
But Brady says that’s not enough.
“I’m not looking for an apology — I want more. I want positive action. I want training of management and staff so this doesn’t happen again.”
Brady wrote to McDonald’s, asking the restaurant chain to put stickers on their doors letting people know while pets are not allowed to enter, service dogs are welcome.
Posted by jwoestendiek May 24th, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: able, animals, blind, blindness, canada, disability, dogs, guide dog, kicked out, mcdonald's, news, ohmidog!, pets, renee brady, restaurant, winnepeg, working dogs
Picture this: A police dog chases a suspect into a dead-end alley and has him cornered against a wall. It’s a standoff. And then the dog says, “Drop your weapon and lay down on the ground.”
It’s a scenario that could come true in the year ahead. A Canadian company plans to start marketing a bulletproof vest for dogs that comes equipped with a wireless camera, speakers and a microphone — allowing the dog’s handler to see what the dog sees and issues commands.
The vest is made by K9 Storm in Winnipeg, Canada, a company that sells $5 million of custom dog armor a year for canines in Army, Navy, Marines, police departments in 13 countries and security firms worldwide.
“This will change the way dogs are managed in emergencies,” Glori Slater, vice president and co-founder of K9 Storm, said of the new vest, called “K9 Storm Intruder.” The vest relays sound and images over a distance of up to 300 yards.
Slater and her husband, Jim, a former dog handler for the Winnipeg Police Department, spent 11 years perfecting the vest, according to CNNMoney.com.
The Slaters say they have dozens of preorders for the Intruder, prices for which start at $20,000.
Posted by jwoestendiek December 4th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: armor, army, audio, bulletproof, camera, canada, dog, dogs, intruder, k9, k9 storm, marines, microphone, military, navy, police, protection, vests, video, winnipeg, working dogs
With its selection as First Dog triggering the most publicity the Portuguese water dog has had since its introduction into the U.S. in the late 1960s, the Portuguese Water Dog Club has issued a press release urging the public to be cautious before jumping on any trend that might develop.
“While the PWD is a wonderful family pet, we want to use the increased interest in the breed as an opportunity to educate people about it,” said Stu Freeman, President of the Portuguese Water Dog Club of America (PWDCA). “We encourage those who may consider adding a Portuguese Water Dog to their lives to do the proper research to ensure that this breed fits their lifestyle.”
“PWDs are classified as working dogs. That means they enjoy being given jobs to do where they can display their intelligence, strength and stamina. Like all dogs, PWDs need positive training and socialization.”
“The best thing about the breed is its versatility,” said Jean Hassebroek, corresponding secretary of the PWDCA. “PWDs have been full-time sheep herders, R.E.A.D. therapy dogs and we even had a FEMA hero. But, they can also be champion couch potatoes, content to just hang out.”
Because PWDs form a strong bond with their families, they don’t do well when left alone for long periods or when boarded in kennels. PWDs enjoy participating in activities with their family such as youth soccer, baseball and basketball games, picnics, hiking, and especially any outing that involves water.
They do well in homes with children, the club warned, but it’s possible a PWD could mistake a small child for a littermate and play too hard. In general, small children should never be left unsupervised with a dog of any breed.
For more information on Portuguese Water Dogs, visit the PWDCA website.
(Photo: Drawing courtesy of Portuguese Water Dog Club)
Posted by jwoestendiek April 13th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: behavior, bo, breed, dogs, first dog, news, obama, obama dog, obamas dog, pets, portuguese water dog, portuguese water dog club of america, press release, publicity, pwd, pwdca, socialization, training, trend, water, working dogs
Timi came back from the war in with some serious “readjustment issues,” including nightmares characterized by violent kicking — but none were serious enough to prevent him from being returned for another tour of duty in Iraq.
Or at least that’s what his veterinarian said.
Dogs, like human soldiers, can carry the burden of war back home, but the damage isn’t likely to keep them from being sent right back to action. Just like thousands of soldiers, dogs — primarily highly trained German shepherds and Belgian Malinois — are being forced to deploy for two and three tours, according to a Washington Post article.
Since Sept. 11, 2001, the Defense Department has increased the number of military dogs — mostly bomb sniffers — from 1,320 to 2,025, and many have served multiple tours.
The Post article doesn’t delve into whether its right or wrong to be returning traumatized canines to duty, but considering the Pentagon has invested $15,000 to train each one, it’s likely the military strives to get its money’s worth.
In a way, they’re too valuable to be discharged. Dogs have saved countless lives by finding bombs, ammunition and hidden weapons, said Master Sgt. Robert Tremmel, manager of the working dogs program at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, where the dogs from different branches of the military are initially trained.
The U.S. War Dogs Association is trying to persuade the Pentagon to create a medal for dogs. Another group is pushing for a military working dog memorial in the Washington area. And the Humane Society, which criticized the Pentagon during the Vietnam War, when many dogs were left behind or euthanized, has credited the military with working to find retirement homes for them.
Posted by jwoestendiek March 31st, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: additional, air force base, belgian malinois, bomb, defense department, deploy, dogs, explosive, forced, german shepherds, lackland, military, nightmares, pentagon, readjustment, sniffing, soldiers, stress, timi, tour of duty, tours, training, trauma, traumatized, u.s. ward dogs association, vietnam, war, war dogs, working dogs
An American Legion honor guard in Fort Benton, Montana commemorated a little-known group of soldiers on Veterans Day – about 4,000 scout dogs, most of which were abandoned after protecting soldiers in Vietnam.
“In memory of the over 4,000 U.S. military working dogs that served in the Vietnam War,” the Military Working Dogs Memorial, unveiled Tuesday, reads. “When the war was over, these dogs were left behind in Vietnam, Thailand, Laos and Cambodia.”
The memorial came out of the collaboration of Adjutant Ron Saville, a former dog handler, and George F. Conklin, commander of American Legion Post 26, according to the Great Falls Tribune.
The dogs first in Vietnam served as sentries to guard American and South Vietnamese installations, but also served as scouts, guard dogs, trackers, messengers, and munitions and drug detectors. They also sniffed out mines, trip wires, booby traps or tunnels.
Dogs and their handlers are estimated to have saved more than 10,000 lives in Vietnam, including his own, Conklin said. He choked back tears as he read a citation in honor of the military dog, Echo, that saved his life.
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A new $15 million hospital for military dogs in training and dogs wounded in combat opened Tuesday at Lackland Air Force Base in Texas.
“We act as the Walter Reed of the veterinary world,” Army Col. Bob Vogelsang, hospital director, is quoted as saying in an Associated Press article.
Lackland is also a central point for training dogs for the military. Dogs working for all branches of the military and the Transportation Safety Administration are trained at the base to find explosive devices, drugs and land mines. About 2,500 dogs are working with military units.
About 750 dogs are now in training at Lackland — double the number of dogs there before the Sept. 11 attacks, Vogelsang said.
To treat the trainees and injured working dogs, the new hospital has operating rooms, digital radiography, CT scanning equipment, an intensive care unit and rehab rooms with an underwater treadmill and exercise balls, among other features. A behavioral specialist has an office near the lobby.
Before the center opened, veterinarians treated and rehabilitated dogs in a cramped building that opened in 1968, when the military trained dogs for work in Vietnam.
“This investment made sense … and somehow, we were able to convince others,” said retired Col. Larry Carpenter, who first heard complaints about the poor facilities in 1994 and later helped to launch the project.offering a long overdue facility that gives advanced medical treatment for combat-wounded dogs.
Dogs injured in Iraq or Afghanistan get emergency medical treatment on the battlefield and are flown to Germany. If more advanced treatment is necessary, they are shipped to Lackland.
Training a military working dog takes about four months. Working dogs usually enter training at 1 1/2- to 3-years-old, and most can work until they’re about 10, at which time the military tries to adopt them out.
Posted by jwoestendiek October 23rd, 2008 under Muttsblog.
Tags: air force base, combat, dogs, hospital, lackland, military, news, September 11, texas, training, veterinary, war, working dogs