The story today was about how dogs have been trained to help in military, civilian use, in search and rescue among other things. He urges the audience to support and appreciate the military, the EMT, police and Fire department on this special occasion of 4th July; basically, anyone that steps up and steps out to put their lives on the line for the sake of others.

He then goes on to give a tip. As temperatures rise, here is a tip. Hot pavement: If you are not sure whether the pavement is too hot for your dog, place your hand on the pavement for 15 seconds. If it’s uncomfortable for you, your dog should not be on it. He then shares 9 ways to help your dog cope with fireworks.

          1. Wear them out. Get your dogs to exercise just before the festivities.
          2. Stay calm. Your dog will follow your body language and feelings. He tells a story of how one time he had been asked to take care of some pit bulls. On stepping out the door, a loose pit bull ran in since he had smelled the dog food inside the house from outside. One pit bull was in the house and came running to check the other one that had just come in.
          3. Everything was fine and calm until the person visiting with him saw 2 pit bulls; one who did not know the other together and got scared. Her fear caused both dogs to get into a fight. As long as there was no fear from a human, those two were fine. So stay calm. Your emotional level and body language will help your dog stay calm.
          4. Leave the TV or radio on for your dog. Anything you can do to dampen the sound of the fireworks.
          5. Distract them. Give them something to do such as their favorite toy to keep them busy.
          6. Play canine friendly tunes. These tunes work best in cases of pet anxiety. He recommends “Weightless.”
          7. Keep their parlors on. This will make it easier in case you need to grab the dog when fear strikes.
          8. Close the doors and the windows.
          9. Close the shades as well to keep the fireworks out of sight.
          10. If you have, strap on a calming vest. These vests are a little tight on the dog and it gives the dog a calming feeling.

He reads a story to extract some information from it. During the revolution, the colonists were not the only ones with dogs. The red coats had dogs and they used English bulldogs, which chased cannon balls into the American trenches and went after humans too. Back then, the English bull dogs were more like the American bulldogs.

George Washington loved dogs and owned dozens of them of various breeds that had interesting names such as Captain, Juno, Pilot, Searcher, Sweet Lips and True Love among others. Sweet Lips was a particular favorite of Washington and he created one of the dog breeds we have today; the American foxhound.

Washington received a gift of several French foxhound and Grand Bleu de Gascogne from the Marquis de Lafeyette. A cross breeding of these breeds gave rise to the American foxhound. The breed was recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1886 and is the official state dog of Virginia.

In 1789, the Marquis de Lafayette introduced the briards. Lafayette imported Basset hounds to the new world. He presented a pair of them as a gift to George Washington. They were bred to be an outstanding hunting companion with their keen sense of smell and short stature. Adams had a dog named Satan and no one knows how he got the name.

Next he shares on how dogs have been trained to serve our country and ourselves this day being the 4th of July. Dogs have been engaged in military and civilian use for ages. The Molossian dog was the strongest dog known to the Romans and was specifically trained for them.

War dogs were used by Egyptians, Greeks, Persians, Britons, and Romans among others. Frederick the great used dogs as messengers during his 7 year war with Russia. Napoleon used dogs during his campaigns. They were used up to 1770 to guard his naval installations and friends. The first official use of dogs for military purposes in the United States was during the Seminole wars.

Additionally, hounds were used during the civil war to send messages and post a guard to prisoners. We have been using dogs to protect our countries and civilians from the mid 7th century BC up to date. At the battle of Pelusium, Cambyses II used the psychological tactic against the Egyptians putting dogs and some other animals in the front line to take advantage of the Egyptians’ religious reverence for the animals causing them to hold back and not attack as hard.

In the 1500s, Mastiffs were used extensively by the Spaniard conquistadors against the Native Americans. 1940-1980; dogs were trained and used by international forces to deliver vital messages. Sergeant Stubby was the most decorated war dog of World War I. He was the only dog to be nominated for a rank and then was promoted to sergeant.

In 1941 and 1945, the Soviet Union deployed dogs strapped with explosives against invading German tanks. In 1943 and 1945, the Doberman pinscher became the official dog of the U.S. embassy United States Marine Corps although all breeds would be trained as war dogs in the pacific.

Of the 549 dogs that returned from the war, only 4 could not be returned to civilian life. We used approximately 5,000 trained dogs in the Vietnam War. Canine Malamutes are estimated to have saved over 10,000 human lives. Currently, military working dogs are often sent out wearing body armor and are undergoing escalation of force training in Afghanistan. The Soviet Union used dogs for anti tank purposes.

The Belgian army in 1914 used dogs to pull their maxim guards on wheeled carriages and carry supplies and even the wounded in carts. The Soviet red army also used dogs to drag wounded men to aid stations during World War II. A famous Yorkshire terrier named Smoky was used to run a telegraph wire through a 4-8 inch diameter 70 foot pipe to ensure communication without moving troops into the line of fight.

Some dogs are able to identify the opposing threat within 1,000 yards of the area they are working in. In modern uses, the U.S. military is working on using dogs to search rubble and trash for people. 600 U.S. military dogs are actively participating in Iraq and Afghanistan right now.

Traditionally, the most common breed for police and military operations has been the German shepherd. However, there has been a shift to smaller dogs and more resilient breeds such as the Belgian malinois and the Dutch/Belgian shepherd for patrolling and law enforcement. Dogs are often given canine tactical vests fitted with cameras and microphones and this allows the dogs to relay audio and visual information to their handlers.

Military war dogs can smell traces of nearly any substance even if it is in a sealed container. They are normally used in ports, airports, checkpoints and areas where there is need for high security and a 98% success rate in bomb detection has been realized through the use of dogs. The Vietnam War is the only American war in which U.S. war dogs never came home.

Retired working dogs are often adopted as pets or as therapy dogs. Search and rescue dogs work in wilderness and rescue and recovery operations. Disaster dogs are used to locate victims of catastrophic or mass casualty events. These dogs use air scenting, tracking and trailing. Both search and rescue and disaster dogs should be able to work 48 hours without distraction from anything including wildlife.

Avalanche dogs are meant to locate those trapped under snow and some avalanche dogs can smell people that are under 15 feet of snow. Wilderness and search and rescue dogs can be deployed to high probability areas whereas extracting and trailing dogs are deployed from the subject’s last known point or site of the discovered clue.

Air scenting dogs do not discriminate when it comes to scent and they work perpendicular to the wind. Their typical search area could be 40-160 acres. The commonly used breeds for this are Belgian and German shepherds. All dogs are capable of tracking and trailing.


  1. My name is Tracy. I would like to know what I could do to teach my (2) 2 1/2 year old dog’s that they need to stay in the yard (not fenced) and not on a leash. I don’t remember how I did that with the mama dog. I would also like to train them well on there siting. They are using improvement in that department. Thank you.