Special operations military working dogs
Military working dogs provide Special Operations Command (SOCOMD) with specialist sensory, detection and protection capabilities to counter numerous threats across a range of environments, both domestically and overseas. This is achieved through highly trained military working dog and handler teams.
Dogs provide a sense of smell and hearing far superior to that of a human, are obedient and responsive when well trained, and can operate effectively for extended periods.
The special operations military working dogs (SOMWD) are a variety of breeds and ages, and are sourced directly from breeders or animal rescue organisations. Mixed breeds have proved to be just as effective as explosive detection dogs as pure-bred dogs. All dogs selected for Special Operations Command are fit for purpose and suitable for employment in special operations environments.
When selecting military working dogs for special operations duties, experienced dog trainers select certain traits and tendencies that will ensure the dogs are optimised for particular roles, rather than selection based on particular breeds, age or sex.
Selected dogs are then trialled for various roles within Special Operations Command and, if successful, are posted into Special Operations Command units for training and employment.
Special operations military working dogs form a very close relationship with their designated handler and, indeed, with all personnel within the units they are posted to, and are regarded as an integral component of their respective units.
Special operations military working dogs perform several roles:
- Detection – explosive detection
- Tracking – primarily of adversary movements in an area of operations
- Early warning – of adversary positions
- Personnel protection – the psychological effects of dogs on adversaries.