May 4, 2011

"Little is known about what may be the nation’s most courageous dog."

"Even its breed is the subject of intense interest, although it was likely a German shepherd or a Belgian Malinois, according to military sources. But its use in the crucial raid reflects the military’s growing dependence on dogs in wars in which improvised explosive devices have caused two-thirds of all casualties. Dogs have proven far better than people or machines at quickly finding bombs."
...Last year, the Seals bought four waterproof tactical vests for their dogs that featured infrared and night-vision cameras so that handlers — holding a three-inch monitor from as far as a 1,000 yards away — could immediately see what the dogs were seeing. The vests, which come in coyote tan and camouflage, allow handlers to communicate with the dogs with a speaker, and the four together cost more than $86,000. Navy Seal teams have trained to parachute from great heights and deploy out of helicopters with dogs.

58 comments:

rhhardin said...

Wm. Koehler (The Koehler Method of Dog Training) was a K-9 trainer in WWII.

You can see from the book how you can train a dog to be good at anything, by giving him serious responsibility.

David said...

If Obama spiked the football, that dog would bring it right back to him. Good doggie.

rhhardin said...

Does not work with cats.

Palladian said...

So we mauled Osama with dogs? Haram! The Muslim street will soon erupt in rage!

MadisonMan said...

What if the compound was full of squirrels?

madawaskan said...

Who's writing that?

It's-

SEALs.

The United States Navy SEa, Air and Land (SEAL)

It's also an acronym not to be confused wit an abbreviation.

That's how you get the "E".

Palladian said...

"What if the compound was full of squirrels?"

It had at least one big squirrel, one with a beard and turban.

The economy continues to spiral down the drain, along with your approval rating, Mr President and....

Look, over there, SQUIRREL!!!

BLAM! BLAM!

madawaskan said...

Oh that just figures-


it's the Nytimers...

MadisonMan said...

Maybe the dog was a Rare Clumber.

madawaskan said...

Oh ya talk about spikin' things-

How much do you want to bet he gets the shortest spike in "popularity" considering the accomplishment due to the "fumbling" afterwards?

edutcher said...

How could they?

Dogs are unclean in Islam.

PS To our resident vets, the article says there were 80 SEALs in the op. If there were only 4 UH-60s, each of which only carries about 11 people, was it either a little crowded or is the Gray Lady making up stuff again?

PPS I've heard everything from about 40 (3 platoons) to 24.

RuyDiaz said...

Finally, dogs can be used to pacify an unruly group of people — particularly in the Middle East. "There is a cultural aversion to dogs in some of these countries, where few of them are used as pets," Major Roberts said. "Dogs can be very intimidating in that situation."

It is not a 'cultural aversion'; it is a religious aversion: if Islamic scripture is to be believed, Muhammad himself prohibited the keeping of pet dogs, and had a special aversion towards black dogs. Before Islam, dogs were as loved in the Middle East as anywhere else on earth.

Why must we never, ever, get the story right when it comes to Islam? Jesus.

Quayle said...

I'm waiting until Friday to comment to make sure that they really were dogs.

Like every other "fact" surrounding this raid, I fully expect the administration to clarify that the SEALS took aardvarks, not dogs.

KenK said...

That's an awful lot of money. I don't begrudge the soldiers getting what they need to do the tasks we give them but that's still a lot of money. I know it sounds corny and all but that saying about "it will be a great day when the schools have all the money they need and the Air Force has to have bake sales" has been my secret dream.

MadisonMan said...

I have to say, though, all kidding aside, that I love dogs, and this makes me love them even more.

I could never be a soldier charged with taking care of the dog, though. Talk about putting your own kid in harm's way. I would be a complete wreck. The soldier who is able do that, though, has my great respect.

When I get home tonight, I'm gonna give my dog some extra ear skritchies.

KenK said...

I kinda wonder about this spike too. GWB and his father had ratings in the 80's too, for all the good it did them. All glory is fleeting, esp. the military kind. Buying milk, bread and gasoline keeps you focused assuming you're "reality based" to begin with.

PaulV said...

Dogs are worth every dollar spent.

WV serscent Dogs can scent ser

Irene said...

MadisonMan said, "I love dogs, and this makes me love them even more."

Me too!!!

KenK said...

@Madison Man
How do you think the NCO's and officers feel about sending their soldiers in harms way? No worse feeling for any human being who has one iota of human empathy.

RuyDiaz said...

When I get home tonight, I'm gonna give my dog some extra ear skritchies.

I would hug my little bitch*, but she just drank her warm milk, curled herself on her bed, and wants nothing to do with me right now.

* "But that's what they are called, bitches." (Bart Simpson)

hombre said...

NYT anthropomorphism.

Milwaukee said...

Dogs are wonderful companions. Cats have been known to nibble on their dead masters, dogs rarely if ever. Dogs will die for their owners.

Back when we first took Iraq, and the bad guys were building "improvised explosive devices" with whatever materials they had on hand, they were indeed "improvised". Now that Muslim insurgents in Afghanistan and Iraq are getting mines and bombs from Iran, those devices aren't quite so "improvised" any more. When are we going to start calling them "mines" and "bombs" and "booby traps"?

Milwaukee said...

There isn't a man so low and going lower that he can't find a dog and a woman to go with him.

Titus said...

When I was back on the East Coast there were tons of Muzzies.

Whenever I walked my rare clumbers the Muzzied would go to the other side of the street.

I always wondered...was it me or the dogs...or both?

Major hate combo-dogs and a fag.

Titus said...

But when I walked by Koreans I saw them licking their chops while looking at my dogs.

cryptical said...

PS To our resident vets, the article says there were 80 SEALs in the op. If there were only 4 UH-60s, each of which only carries about 11 people, was it either a little crowded or is the Gray Lady making up stuff again?

So there were 4 choppers and we lost one, and they were still able to exfil everyone plus a body and a dufflebag or two full of intel. That argues for 24 rather than 40, maybe there were 40 total including aircrew. It's an interesting question that we'll probably never know the true answer.

RuyDiaz said...

But when I walked by Koreans I saw them licking their chops while looking at my dogs.

You should know better than to walk fragrant meat in a Korean neighborhood.

EDH said...

"Yes you are.

You're a good dog of war.

Yes you are!"

Quayle said...

You should know better than to walk fragrant meat in a Korean neighborhood.

OK, really! Most Koreans don't eat much dog.

(But my missionary companion did, and he urged me to try it.)

(Like a very dry and tough pork roast.)

traditionalguy said...

At last a new category at the Westminster Dog Show...Battle Dogs of the seals.

Carol_Herman said...

And, the dogs scare the pants off of the muslems!

Also, the vests can't be penetrated with a knife! So, the dogs can get real close to the cowering people inside the "villa."

The front door, by the way, opened onto a brick wall!

And, given that two helicopters could land inside the oompound, it's possible they were there to take OBL in and out? Weren't the Pakistanis (and everybody else) convinced Obama would never make such a move?

The muslems have no idea how to deal with the dogs.

And, yes. Israel's been using them! So, it's not new as a tactic. But, according to Rumsfeld, the Army had no interest in Special OPS! That's why you're seeing the Navy.

We don't have to do old fashioned wars anymore.

Ralph L said...

I always wondered...was it me or the dogs...or both?

Major hate combo-dogs and a fag
It was your "I [heart] Hog" T shirt.

Carol_Herman said...

Here's an "update" on "Pakistan has da' bomb." Through Kahn. OLD, OLD technology.

How bad is it? Well, the first nuclear plant Japan built on her own (which is #4). Is the one that's close to Chernobyl in terms of disaster.

Now, add to this that nuclear technology for America and Israel has improved. (And, yes, too, in Japan.) But Pakistan still has the old stuff.

And, I guess you've heard of STUXNET?

Any-hoo. The plant in Iran isn't operational. What fuel was there has been removed by the russians. (Not put in anew.)

And, just because you haven't seen the new stuff in action, doesn't mean Israel isn't loaded for bear. Should the muslems be stupid enough to think they'd win the next war.

Now, the problem for the GOP is they still have nothing worth standing for November 2012. If we could only leave all the religious zealots in Pakistan!

exhelodrvr1 said...

edutcher,
There was at least 1 Chinook.

Abdul Abulbul Amir said...

SEALs not Seals.

rhhardin said...

If you wanted real airport security, there would just be bomb dogs patrolling at liberty everywhere in airports.

Also you'd have something to pet while waiting for airplanes.

Offended Muslims would self-select away from air travel.

The Grand Inquisitor said...

"

And, yes. Israel's been using them! So, it's not new as a tactic. But, according to Rumsfeld, the Army had no interest in Special OPS! That's why you're seeing the Navy."

This is your brain on drugs, kids.

LawGirl said...

Great. Sigh. Now that the German Shepherd breed has been named, it's probably going to be twice as hard to find a good puppy for a reasonable price because it will suddenly become uber popular (we started looking several weeks ago; it has no relationship to this).

Sally said...

How strange. Before last night, I'd never heard of a Belgian Malinois. Evidently, they are an incredible dog. One survived a local fire, showing his remarkable intelligence.
http://www.wyff4.com/news/27715827/detail.html

Aridog said...

"What if the compound was full of squirrels?"

Heh heh. All working dogs, whether Military K9, Civilian K9, Civilian Schutzhund trials, are initially tested for temperament, which includes the ability to ignore spurious distractions. I've owned dogs that would even call off a running deer.

"... it's probably going to be twice as hard to find a good puppy for a reasonable price ..."

"Price" is a very subjective topic just as what constitutes a "good dog" depending upon the intended purposes you have in mind .... from working trials dog to personal companion dog. It does make a differrence. Last time I was shopping, circa 2005, prices ran from $500 to $2500 for "good puppies."

LawGirl ... Wisconsin is full of good German Shepherd and/or Malinois breeders. Your best bet is to contact a well credentialed one, one that is active in the Schutzhund Club of America and/or the American Working Dog Federation, and adheres to German SV rules pertaining to breeding. Once found, tell said breeder what your purposes are for the dog and let them advise you. If you seek a good companion dog, a top K9 trials or Military dog candidate isn't likely your best choice. Depends upon you and what you want.

A good breeder to talk to, if you don't mind Ohio location, would be Wilmothhaus or, closer to home (Wisconsin)Leerburg and/or Miller.

The dog in my avatar is a "Wisconsin" bred dog.

Fred4Pres said...

I want one.

jerryofva said...

Lawgirl:

Hounds actually make the best explosive detecting dogs but they probably wouldn't be good as combat dogs because it's hard to train them to attack something other than a four footed warm blooded creatures. I have two coonhouds (an English, better known as a "red tick" and a Plott Hound. Both breeds can detect a scent at long distance and they can be fearless as hunting dogs. Plotts are bread to hund wild boar and bear as well as coon. (except for my particular Plott who is a pussy) They should be used in airports to look for explosives or weapons instead porn machines and gropers.

Megaera said...

Sally: Belgian Shepherds come in at least three (maybe four) versions -- the Malinois, the Groendahl, the Tervueren (sp?) and another which I've forgotten, actually never seen in the US. They're great dogs, not quite so big as German Shepherds, usually (note that most of the big, muscle-y GSDs used for military and police work tend to be European bloodlines, not American) but just as clever, beautiful, brave and full of heart. I've owned several GSDs and one Belgian mix -- they're all wonderful dogs. They do take a lot of care and handling, though -- both tend to be dominant and assertive, and if you aren't up to being dominant and assertive right back it can lead to problems. But there's no better dog. Equals, sure, but none better. Sorry, Titus.

Aridog said...

Megaera ... that 4th Belgian version you mentioned is the "Laekenois" ... the curly haired one of the bunch, something like an Airedale.

The AKC doesn't recognize all the Belgian versions of shepherd. No matter to me as I could care less about AKC. I prefer the more rigorous breeding rules of the European clubs, such as the German SV ... and there is at least one GSD organization in the USA, and Canada, that adhere to "SV" rules ... in particular to breeding.

Megaera said...

Aridog: thanks, I wasn't exactly clear about the Laekenois -- it wasn't that they aren't seen in the US, just that I'd never seen one ...
I do love all dogs, but my first affections always go with GSDs and Belgians. They've been a mixed bag for the last 25-odd years since I went with picking up adult shelter dogs, usually rejected by their owners because of dominance/attitude issues, and more often than not big and black, (the hardest dogs for shelters to place) but it's been worth it, and I've loved them all.
WV: shomi -- shomi a Shepherd, I'll shou a life companion.

Kurt said...

I was unfamiliar with Belgian Shepherds of any variety until a few years ago when I took a "which breed are you" type personality test online a few years ago and that was the answer I got. One of the interesting tidbits I learned from the description on the quiz was that Belgian Shepherds were also used as couriers during World War I.

jerryofva said...

Aridog:

The AKC is not sole arbiter of dogs in the US. There is also the United Kennel Club which emphasizes skill. It is primarily a hunters and working dog owners group. If you compare the top ten breeds in two clubs there is big difference in composition. You won't find any fru-fru dogs in the UKC top ten.

Sixty Grit said...
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Karla said...

You can adopt the retired military dogs. It apparently requires persistence and paperwork, but wouldn't it be great to give one of the war vets a home?

Aridog said...

jerryofva said...

The AKC is not sole arbiter of dogs in the US. There is also the United Kennel Club which emphasizes skill.

Thanks. I knew the UKC existed, but didn't realize their emphasis on skill and performance ... e.g., the ability of a dog to actually do what it was bred to do. I need to pay better attention, I'd say.

I've always favored working dogs, of any breed, hunting or K9 types. Even if advising a friend on a pound puppy (which I encourage if one prefers it ... and doesn't want the hassle of breeding analysis etc.), I usually help them with temperament evaluation, a precursor to whatever it is they ultimately want from the dog.

AKC may not be the sole arbiter, but in the world of FCI recognition, AKC is the primary registry of record in the USA, for working, hunting, companion or just "Fru Fru". That is a political and financial perk they defend vigorously. Given the lax, almost non-existent, AKC rules on breeding propriety, I think that's a travesty.

I'll shut up now ... already used too much space up on a topic not normally vetted here. The topic can draw rather nasty trolls, unfortunately.

Aridog said...

Sixty Grit ... visit rural ranching area Montana and you'll be delighted ... Border Collie domain if there ever was one, both for sheep and cattle. Few pick up trucks without one or two riding in back or shot gun. Really cool dogs, bred to work and with the energy to carry on long past a human or a horse.

jerryofva said...

Airdog:

Border Collies and Australian Shepherds are acknowledged to be the most intelligence of the domestic breeds (Coyotes are the most intelligence canines)

The Coonhound group, which includes Plotts, is thought to be next in line (and not just because I own two). They are very coyote like in their hunting tactics.

Sixty Grit: I knew that the Plott is the NC's State dog. Any dog will bite but it is not the general trait of a Plott to be a biter. . I wouldn't want to be involved with his teeth. He has the biggest set of canines I have ever seen in a dog. They are very even tempered and make good family dogs if you treat them well. Coonhounds are often treated as outside dogs because of the myth that they won't hunt if they are pampered, well fed indoor dogs. It's an old wives tale. Hunting is bred into them. My girl red tick is a spoiled indoor princess and is also killer when she is on the hunt. My Plott is a failure as a hunting dog. The basic instincts are there but at best he will follow along after the other dogs bellowing his heart out. I think he was a being trained for show.

Sixty Grit said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Megaera said...

Sixty Grit: a couple years ago on a long AT day-hike one of the group brought along his Border Collie mix, a city dog with not a lot of outdoor experience, but instinct surely triumphed. I was hiking sweep, and realized after I saw him the third time, circling me, then standing off and giving me the total stank eye, that he was doing his damndest to herd us all. About broke his heart, too, trying to get what clearly struck him as his own personal Awkward Squad -- we were strung out up and down that trail for about a quarter mile -- formed up into something like a neat little group, but he by God did it by mid-afternoon. He'd closed us up into the nearest he could get to a tidy packet on that narrow trail, and he saw to it we damned well stayed that way. Wore him out, too. But he had peace of mind -- he'd done the Right Thing.

Sixty Grit said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Aridog said...

jerryofva ....

I could on and on about "Australian Shepherds" because they're most popular with the horse people around Michigan (along with Australian Cattle Dogs). They're not only smart, they're downright tricky devils ... who can outsmart the toughest mares when it's time to bring them in from pasture.

When I first started periodic visits to Paradise Valley, and environs north of there, in Montana, I couldn't tell the Aussies apart from the Border Collies, since both have myriad coats and markings, some nearly "marbled." Most of the cowboys I've talked to all seem to call their dogs "Border Collies."

My favorite of all time mixed breed was a dog in Tennessee that was an accidental half and half Blue Tick and Airedale. Tough, aloof, and dominant to the nth degree...but also social as hell if you gave him a chance. His owner named him "Ugly" but he was beautiful to me, and just sitting on the porch with him near Jamestown was the best part of my days down there.

Megaera ....

The dog in my avatar is a consummate herding dog, one I'd have trialled in German form herding competition if I had the time (and money ... SV Herding is rigorous and can utilize up to 200 sheep at a time ... not many folks will "lend" you 50 sheep, let alone a hundred or more) ... when he was younger. As it is, he is constantly herding "his people" anywhere you go with him, the more the merrier. If you resist he can go land shark on you with the bumping.

He does know "play" from "business" and it's best if you do too when with him ... his herding is "play", but get in to "protection" work, or just exercises, and he's got a one track mind. Even just a jute bite tube will flip that switch and you have to pay attention.

His obedience is superb, or I'd not dither with the other activities. He can track like he's on rails, but does better yet with both ground and air scenting ... problem is tracking bores me (my flaw) and the hours (always oh dark thirty to start) are teh suck.

Sixty Grit said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kurt said...

Sixty Grit (et al): Before I adopted my Border Collie, I heard about someone who got a bowling ball for her Border Collie to herd. Apparently it kept the dog very busy all day long. So after I adopted mine, I invested in a Jolly Ball, thinking he might enjoy playing with it. Well, it turns out that he has very little herding instinct (and possibly none), and relatively low energy for his breed, which probably explains how it is that he ended up in a shelter in California ranching country in the first place. Needless to say, I've never managed to get him interested in playing with the ball. The closest he comes to herding is charging at my retriever mix from up the hill as a way to start a game of chase, or jumping on her to stop barking at the dogs next door.