Soldier Dogs: The Untold Story of America's Canine Heroes

Soldier Dogs: The Untold Story of America's Canine Heroes

by Maria Goodavage


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Soldier Dogs: The Untold Story of America's Canine Heroes by Maria Goodavage

A leading dog-blogger offers a tour of military working dogs' extraordinary training, heroic accomplishments, and the lasting impacts they have on those who work with them.

People all over the world have been riveted by the story of Cairo, the Belgian Malinois who was a part of the Navy SEAL team that led the raid on Osama bin Laden's compound. A dog's natural intelligence, physical abilities, and pure loyalty contribute more to our military efforts than ever before. You don't have to be a dog lover to be fascinated by the idea that a dog-the cousin of that furry guy begging for scraps under your table-could be one of the heroes who helped execute the most vital and high-tech military mission of the new millennium.

Now Maria Goodavage, editor and featured writer for one of the world's most widely read dog blogs, tells heartwarming stories of modern soldier dogs and the amazing bonds that develop between them and their handlers. Beyond tales of training, operations, retirement, and adoption into the families of fallen soldiers, Goodavage talks to leading dog-cognition experts about why dogs like nothing more than to be on a mission with a handler they trust, no matter how deadly the IEDs they are sniffing, nor how far they must parachute or rappel from aircraft into enemy territory.

"Military working dogs live for love and praise from their handlers," says Ron Aiello, president of the United States War Dogs Association and a former marine scout dog handler. "The work is all a big game, and then they get that pet, that praise. They would do anything for their handler." This is an unprecedented window into the world of these adventurous, loving warriors.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780525952787
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 03/15/2012
Pages: 304
Product dimensions: 6.40(w) x 9.86(h) x 1.14(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Maria Goodavage, a former reporter for USA Today and the San Francisco Chronicle, is the editor and featured writer for one of the most widely read dog blogs in the world, "For the Love of Dog" at She is the author of The Dog Lover's Companion to California and The Dog Lover's Companion to the San Francisco Bay Area. She coproduced and wrote an award-winning children's video about dogs and other animals, starring the voice of Ed Asner. She lives with her family in San Francisco, and the four-legged guy on their team is a Lab named Jake.

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

"If the idea of dogs at war conjures up thoughts of harsh methods and unrelenting discipline, think again. Maria Goodavage's revealing and engaging books exposes the unexpected trust and affection that flows both ways between dog and handler. You may already care about dogs: This book will heighten your respect for them."
-John Bradshaw, author of Dog Sense

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Soldier Dogs: The Untold Story of America's Canine Heroes 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 32 reviews.
Griffin369 More than 1 year ago
My mother had mentioned that she had talked my father into reading this and he had stated it was pretty good, so I gave it a shot. This is definitely a subject more people should be aware of and show appreciation for the individuals and dogs involved. I can tell you that after losing my dog 1 1/2 years ago, just the memory of having to put him down due to bone cancer still tears my heart open. I've always been a dog person and truly enjoy them. If you are a dog lover like myself, do not watch Marley and Me and then read this book. Tears will follow. The book is not a sad read, it's inspirational and a great resource for information and some history regarding military dogs. However, there are some sad stories involved. I think Maria did an excellent job with one exception. The book tends to bounce around a little bit and doesn't really flow well. I still enjoyed it and would recommend it to anyone who likes dogs and/or wants to know some more about military dogs.
Dashj More than 1 year ago
Fascinating book. It really shows how military working dogs are selected, trained for duty, what their service actually entails, and how important these dogs are in saving lives. The bond between dog and soldier is incredibly heart warming.
OldArmy More than 1 year ago
Bought this after seeing Goodavage's interview on the "John Stewart Show". Incredible reading. A wonderful explanation of what dogs know and understand. I was expecting a more military book but this was much better than that. The dedication and skill of the trainers and handlers is matched by the stunning performance and loyalty of the dogs. If you are looking for an adventure novel this ain't it but if you want information this is the place.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I don't have a lot of time to read, but like reading books based on facts.  I am also an animal (dog) lover.   This book was easy to read, easy to pick up and read when I had a few minutes.  The hardest part was to keep track of the dogs  who are mentioned at different times in the book - especially since I drew out the time it took to read it.  Makes you want to hug a  handler and adopt a military dog after reading it.  When I feel alone, my dogs really help ease that, so I can only imagine what kind of a bond a handler and a soldier dog would have.  Really loved this book!  Sharing it with my fellow dog lovers.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
They are trying to pass a law that takes military dogs that are now classified as military equipment...and insure they come bak and get care and training if needed to adjust and get a permanent home Google it. And send an email to your federal representatives. (Line 3 first word should read: back, not bak.)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great book! I learned so much and having been telling others about this book nonstop!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A very good read. All dog lovers should read this one.
Officiator More than 1 year ago
VERY informative and interesting for someone who has or plans to own a dog. The book is not highly structured as it just tells stories about dogs, their handlers, and the people who run the military programs, but it is very evident that the author did a great deal of research and knows her subject. A lot of very short chapters make it just right for those us us who read right before sleep.
Anonymous 5 months ago
I have read all of her dog books and this was the best. I have had hunting dogs all my life so I understand and appreciate the very special bond between dogs and handlers. My hunting dogs weren't EQUIPMENT and neither are these hero dogs. It is inconceivable that the DOD is not recognizing these heros.
Tangen More than 1 year ago
dogs, military, training, value An absorbing and in depth telling about the training, lives, and work of the alphabet soup of military dogs and their handlers (primarily the US branches) by a trained observer, a journalist. The process of choosing dogs with the needed inclinations, temperament, and appropriate physical characteristics, the training of dogs and handlers makes good reading. Then there are tidbits like the use of Jack Russell terriers by the USN on submarines! The writing style is easy while informative, and seems nicely organized.
chalkdust423 More than 1 year ago
This was a new field of interest for me and I learned a lot about military working dogs. I knew handlers and MWD had a close bond, but Maria Goodavage's ability to share the stories of the men/women and dogs, the physiology of the dogs, life changing events each dog team underwent while deployed made me appreciate what both handler and dog go through while on assignment. This is a MUST read and this from a cat person!
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My k-9 MP daughters picture with her mwd Block Is In the book
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