The AKC Honors a Different Breed of Veteran

The AKC’s Meet the Breeds event celebrates the breeds most commonly used to defend and protect the United States.

The event, which will take place in New York Nov 19-20 is the world’s largest showcase of dogs and cats. In honor of Veteran’s day, which is Nov. 11, the event will place a special focus on the dog breeds used in the military.

“The AKC salutes the contributions dogs have made in protecting our nation this Veterans Day,” says AKC Meet the Breeds spokesperson Gina DiNardo.  “From detecting bombs to search and rescue these breeds show courage and dedication as they work alongside their human counterparts.”

An estimated 600 dogs currently serve the U.S. military in Afghanistan and Iraq alongside our dedicated service men and women. While German Shepherd Dogs are often used, many notable breeds have been essential to military strategies. Some of the most popular include:

Airedale Terrier
The undisputed “King of Terriers,” Airedales have been used in several wars as messengers because of their ability to fearlessly deliver information even after becoming injured.

Belgian Malinois
An intelligent breed that is happiest with regular activity and a job to do, they excel as police and military working dogs.  When properly outfitted with flotation vests, this breed and others serving in the military can make short jumps from helicopters into the water. A Belgian Malinois is reported to have assisted Seal Team 6 in taking down Osama Bin Laden. 

Doberman Pinscher
The breed is in high demand as a police and military dog due to its intelligence and ability to absorb and retain training. During the 1940’s 25 Marine War Dogs, mostly Doberman Pinschers, gave their lives liberating Guam.  

German Shepherd Dog
Their intelligence, high trainability and loyalty have made them a popular choice for police and military work. German Shepherds, like other military breeds, are used for their strong sense of smell, which is estimated to be 40 times greater than that of a human.

Siberian Husky
Bred in Northeast Asia as a sled dog, the Siberian Husky is known for its amazing endurance and willingness to work. The breed served in the Army’s Arctic Search and Rescue Unit during World War II.  

For more information on AKC Meet the Breeds, click here.

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