3 Things You Didn’t Know about Navy K9 Handlers!
3 Things You Didn’t Know About Navy K9 Handlers- For most members of the military, warfighting equipment just needs to be maintained. For some, it needs to be trained and fed.
Being a Navy K9 handler is a difficult job. Military working dogs are tough and smart, but like any dog, they must be cared for and trained properly. In their communities, they’re trusted to detect drugs, enemies, bombs, and weapons more than any piece of machinery made by man. They’re fearless and loyal, always at their handler’s side watching his six. Here are three things you may never have known about these exclusive K-9 units:
They’re not all German Shepherds.
A common misconception about military working dogs is that they’re all German Shepherds. Certainly, German Shepherds are a common breed to be found in military kennels. For units such as the famed US Navy SEALs, however, Belgian Malinois are preferred. They’re a breed very similar to German Shepherds, but smaller and with shorter fur. This means they’re easier to transport (remember, SEALs jump out of planes with these dogs on their backs), and that there’s less for bad guys to grab onto if they’re being attacked by one of the dogs.
The dog is always one rank higher than its handler.
All dogs are Petty Officers in the US Navy. When the handler advances a rank, so does the dog, always one rank higher. The common reasoning for this is that the dog is to be respected by the handler at all times, so it should be a rank superior to the handler. It makes sense, the dog does all the work, right?
Military working dogs are respected within their communities the same as any human service member, with full honors given to the fallen and retirement perks (treats?) given when they’re done with their tour.
Over 90% of K9s are adopted by their handlers.
By congressional order, former military working dogs are adopted out with priority given first to civilian law enforcement, then their handlers, then the general public. Ordinarily, the adoption queue never makes it past the handler. The handlers raise these dogs themselves, attach to them, fight alongside them, and often find it difficult to imagine life without them. Thankfully, we’re past the era of euthanizing or abandoning our working dogs. These days, they come home right where they belong.
WATCH NOW: We are LIVE at a reunion between a U.S. Navy handler and his retired military dog at the San Antonio Airport.Posted by KABB FOX 29 News, San Antonio on Wednesday, October 23, 2019
If you’d like to adopt one of the 10% that remain, consider paying a visit to Mission K9 Rescue, where you can find a military dog that fits in with your family!
Show your support for these brave four-legged warriors with Navy Crow’s K9 Unit Products! We’re celebrating the 75th anniversary of K9 military units with hoodies and t-shirts with our popular K9 unit design. Sure to be a hit with any dog handler past or present, make sure and pick these up before they’re gone!
As original US Navy challenge coin creators we recognize military birthdays, special events and anniversaries. When the 75th anniversary for K9’s in the military arrived we could not hesitate to start designing. Our labor of love developed into the first of a breed of coin that recognized the war dog and its birth date of 1942. THe custom engraved K9 coin features an incredible German shepherd on one side and a reverse side with space to have 80 characters engraved onto its surface with your most important details, facts and information.