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What is a Military K-9?

A Military K-9 is a highly trained and certified dog owned by the government or a kennel contracted by the government. Military K9s are not breed-specific, and any dog can be used in the military, although German Shepherds and Belgian Malinois are often employed. Military K-9s have natural gifts of focus and aggression. They are very courageous and loyal to their handlers.

What do Military K-9s Do?

Military K-9s are valuable to all branches of the United States Military. They have been used in combat throughout all wars in US history. Several types of Military K-9s are used in the armed forces today:

  • Sentry Dogs or border patrol dogs are trained to help guard sites such as military checkpoints, ammunition depots, and military compounds. They are skilled at working in the dark because they can detect enemies easily.

  • Scout or Patrol Dogs detect snipers and ambushes. They are trained to work in silence. The presence of these dogs often intimidates attackers and snipers.

  • Explosives Detection Dogs are valuable to the military because explosives can be hidden on a person, in a vehicle, or at a roadside. Explosives Detection dogs alert their handlers by smelling chemicals used in weapons. Labradors and German Shepherds are most often used for explosives detection. Their sense of smell is forty-five times greater than a human’s; they can detect explosives better than any military equipment designed for this purpose.

  • Casualty Dogs are trained to search for and report casualties in obscure places. These dogs have saved many lives throughout history.

Military K-9s have been known to mourn their handlers for a long time if they are killed in combat. Military K-9s have also been diagnosed with PTSD when they have been through highly stressful conditions. Often, these particular dogs are adopted by military veterans or families of fallen soldiers so that the dogs and humans can cope with their trauma and loss together.

How Do We Support Military K-9s?

Often, the Military K-9 and the handler are overseas for extended periods. The handler cannot purchase supplies that the canine may need and sometimes sacrifices his own needs to provide for his canine partner. We ship toys, treats, training and reward items, and beds and hygiene items to the Military K-9s in combat overseas. Watch for our 'Treats for Tails' boxes around the holidays.


You can purchase a gift from our general Wish List to give to the K-9 or their handler.
You can make a Financial Donation to our organization to help us to purchase specific items that individual Police K-9 handlers have requested.
You can purchase an item from our Amazon Wish List for us to give to the dog and their handler.
You can attend and share our events or even volunteer to help with the event set-up and tear-down.
You can share our Facebook Page Dogs on Duty MO with your friends and tell others about what we do.
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