Animals have been used in warfare since humans first domesticated them. And dogs are no exception to the rule.
Since September 11, canines have taken on larger and more prominent roles throughout the US military, including within the Navy SEALs.
What’s special about canine units used in the Navy SEALs is theparticularity of their training.
All Navy SEAL dogs undergo an intensity of training that matches the difficulties of their human counterparts.
It’s no wonder that these dogs have become vital components of SEAL team units.
One of the first tests is training the dogs to be able to swim out past vision of the shore.
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Sound conditioning is another major hurdle the dogs must overcome. They must become fully comfortable working around the sound of gunfire. Here, a handler shoots off blanks to familiarize his dog to the sounds of war.
Dogs and their handlers will spend around 15 hours a week running the courses.
“Dogs have been domesticated and bred for so long that the type of dog that is willing to stand up to and fight a human — a human that is not frightened by that dog and physically capable of disabling that dog — is a very, very rare animal,” former Navy SEAL Mike Ritland told the New York Post.
Due to the extreme nature of Navy SEAL deployments, all dogs are familiarized with riding in, and jumping out of, aircraft.
Military dog jump off the ramp of a CH-47 Chinook helicopter
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Special harnesses allow canine units to parachute into deployment zones while strapped to their handler.
The harness has been specially designed by the company K9 Storm, Inc. Aside from allowing parachuting, the harness provides Kevlar body armor for the dog, along with a host of other benefits.