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Warrior Pups: How America Creates the Best Four-Legged Anti-Terrorists in the World

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Warrior Pups takes the reader behind-the-scenes at Lackland Air Force Base's US Military Working Dog program. It is estimated that each dog trained in this program saves the lives of 150 American and coalition soldiers during its working career. At any given moment, there are roughly 850 young dogs in various stages of training at the base. They are Belgian Malinois puppie Warrior Pups takes the reader behind-the-scenes at Lackland Air Force Base's US Military Working Dog program. It is estimated that each dog trained in this program saves the lives of 150 American and coalition soldiers during its working career. At any given moment, there are roughly 850 young dogs in various stages of training at the base. They are Belgian Malinois puppies bred specifically for the program led by Doc Hilliard, an animal behaviorist. This program relies on superb trainers to build the dogs' boldness, focus and intensify their attacking skills, and hone their innate ability to find hidden explosives and detect ambushes. It costs the American taxpayer an estimated $28,000 to train each Military Working Dog, but when done right, they are one of the best military investments the United States makes. The dog/handler team goes first into battle ahead of the troops, sniffing out hidden IEDs, booby traps and ambushes. It requires enormous courage to walk behind a dog into the


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Warrior Pups takes the reader behind-the-scenes at Lackland Air Force Base's US Military Working Dog program. It is estimated that each dog trained in this program saves the lives of 150 American and coalition soldiers during its working career. At any given moment, there are roughly 850 young dogs in various stages of training at the base. They are Belgian Malinois puppie Warrior Pups takes the reader behind-the-scenes at Lackland Air Force Base's US Military Working Dog program. It is estimated that each dog trained in this program saves the lives of 150 American and coalition soldiers during its working career. At any given moment, there are roughly 850 young dogs in various stages of training at the base. They are Belgian Malinois puppies bred specifically for the program led by Doc Hilliard, an animal behaviorist. This program relies on superb trainers to build the dogs' boldness, focus and intensify their attacking skills, and hone their innate ability to find hidden explosives and detect ambushes. It costs the American taxpayer an estimated $28,000 to train each Military Working Dog, but when done right, they are one of the best military investments the United States makes. The dog/handler team goes first into battle ahead of the troops, sniffing out hidden IEDs, booby traps and ambushes. It requires enormous courage to walk behind a dog into the

48 review for Warrior Pups: How America Creates the Best Four-Legged Anti-Terrorists in the World

  1. 4 out of 5

    Nancy

    In the six years that we have been fostering MWD (Military Working Dog) puppies for the BP (Breeding Program) at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, I have read a number of excellent books about the working dogs, their handlers, their trainers, and the invaluable service they all provide our country. These books have been accurate and inspiring. And yet this one, Warrior Pups: True Stories of America’s K9 Heroes, best captures the true spirit of the MWD Program, the dogs, and all of the many In the six years that we have been fostering MWD (Military Working Dog) puppies for the BP (Breeding Program) at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, I have read a number of excellent books about the working dogs, their handlers, their trainers, and the invaluable service they all provide our country. These books have been accurate and inspiring. And yet this one, Warrior Pups: True Stories of America’s K9 Heroes, best captures the true spirit of the MWD Program, the dogs, and all of the many dedicated people involved in it. Jeff Kamen, with his wife Leslie Stone-Kamen and photographer, Janet Deltuva, have successfully combined descriptive text with remarkable photos, This book comprehensively depicts a complex subject while capturing the spirit of the dogs themselves, and all who love them so deeply. Warrior Pups is intensely personal as well as informative. It begins with the newborn puppies themselves and the whelping staff who devote so much time and care, bringing them into the world and keeping them safe for the first six weeks of their lives. The next step takes these small, still-fragile creatures to the volunteer foster families who will raise them with attention and boundless devotion. The stories of several fosters are shared here, but these serve as representatives for all of the many foster families who give such a significant part of their daily lives to each of these puppies. They do this, knowing from the first day that when the young dogs reach 7 months, they must be returned to Lackland for military training. It sounds a lot easier in theory than it turns out to be when that reality arrives. (You can trust me on that.) While this book depicts the pain and sacrifice of that “turn-in” moment, it also describes the pride these fosters experience by knowing they have raised a confident, healthy potential working dog for our military men and women. It’s not all fuzzy, warm fun and games with these puppies. They are being raised as future warriors, not as pets. This is serious business; lives will depend upon these dogs. The authors explain through words and pictures how a vital partnership develops between the fosters and the BP staff. It is a demanding, carefully-crafted, skilled process led by Dr. Stewart Hilliard and his team of trainers and foster consultants. This group is given its due in this book—not with a paragraph or two, but with whole chapters containing extraordinary photos. The reader is shown, not simply told how this unfolds. Once the puppies return to Lackland, they work for several months with specially chosen “puppy trainers” who adjust their methods to the developmental stages of these adolescent dogs. At about one year of age, the dogs that demonstrate potential for a working career are handed off to DTS (Dog Training School) where they will be carefully trained and finally certified in the basic skills they will need for more advanced training. This narrative progresses to the careers of several successful MWDs in chapters featuring the stories of specific adult dogs with their handlers in the field as these human/canine teams do their vital work. The bond between an MWD and its handler is profound, and evident in the photos and quotes of the men and women who intimately share and trust their lives with these remarkable dogs. It is estimated that each MWD will be responsible for saving an average of 150 lives. I’ve read that many times before, in other books, but in this one it becomes far more powerful and “real.” MWDs receive amazing care throughout their service from fosters, handlers, trainers, veterinarians, vet techs, and especially from the animal care specialists who see to their daily and hourly needs at Lackland, 24/7, every single day. In the end, when retired, these special animals are frequently adopted by their handlers or former fosters to live out the rest of their lives in comfort and safety, doted on and respected for their years of service. This book makes it all tangible, personal, and impactful in a way that none of the previous books on this subject have. It clearly and respectfully depicts the many, many pieces that come together to make this program so special—something that all Americans can cherish and be proud to support. While out in public, socializing and acclimating our foster puppies to new environments, I tell the many people who admire them that these beautiful, wonderful dogs belong to every one of us. They are American—born and bred in the U.S.A. Thank you, Jeff Kamen and all who participated in this project, for giving us such a stunningly beautiful verbal and pictorial tour of the MWD Program. This book is clearly an act of devotion; it captures the spirit of the dogs and all of those involved with them, at every step of their journey.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Jordan Larsen

    In the sacred halls of the United States military, there are a myriad of dedicated institutions whose sole mission is training young men and women for the national defense of democracy and freedom here at home and abroad. Yet, many of these schools of valor and service are closed off from the prying eyes of the American public. However, there is one unique training facility that breeds and trains one of the most effective warriors on the planet. Enter Lackland Air Force Base and the renowned Do In the sacred halls of the United States military, there are a myriad of dedicated institutions whose sole mission is training young men and women for the national defense of democracy and freedom here at home and abroad. Yet, many of these schools of valor and service are closed off from the prying eyes of the American public. However, there is one unique training facility that breeds and trains one of the most effective warriors on the planet. Enter Lackland Air Force Base and the renowned Dog Training School (DTS) which is responsible for the critical training and care of Uncle Sam’s Military Working Dogs (MWDs). It is here that thousands of four-legged patriots earn their stripes becoming Military Police Officers trained in handler protection and the detection of narcotics/explosives. There is an elite few transformed into Special Operations warriors tasked for clandestine missions around the world, even behind enemy lines. Now, husband and wife writing team Jeff and Leslie Kamen get rare behind the scenes access into this quintessential West Point Academy for the dogs of war. Through candid interviews with Puppy Foster Program members, to veteran instructors and handlers on the home front and out in the field, the shadowy world of the military working dog is brought into sharp focus. The reader will witness the tender love and care that goes into raising rambunctious Belgian Malinois puppies, to the rigorous training of the four month training course at Lackland that certifies dogs and handlers from all branches of the armed forces to operate as competent dog teams on base and outside the wire. “Warrior Pups” sheds light on what occurs beyond the headlines of the global “War on Terror” and puts a very human face to the unbreakable bond between dog and handler forged on the home front and on the battlefield. Filled with amazing photographs, informative facts about military working dogs and personal backstories from the handlers and foster families themselves, this book takes the reader on a literary journey that explores the patriotic commitment and the sacrifice to transform man’s best friend into a hero.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Helen

    This is a wonderful book. I'd highly recommend this for kids, either to read or to be read to them. I read it in one day. If you're a highly emotional person like I am, keep tissue handy. The stories cover the gamut of emotions, from joy to sadness. I especially loved Ffalcor, the "Big Daddy." By the way, that's not a typo. You'll learn more on their naming protocol when you read the book. This is a wonderful book. I'd highly recommend this for kids, either to read or to be read to them. I read it in one day. If you're a highly emotional person like I am, keep tissue handy. The stories cover the gamut of emotions, from joy to sadness. I especially loved Ffalcor, the "Big Daddy." By the way, that's not a typo. You'll learn more on their naming protocol when you read the book.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Barry Ryan

  5. 5 out of 5

    Carol

  6. 4 out of 5

    Sabrina

  7. 4 out of 5

    Kelly Flynn

  8. 5 out of 5

    Theresa Floyd

  9. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer

  10. 4 out of 5

    Mia

  11. 4 out of 5

    Jackie Morris

  12. 5 out of 5

    Ann

  13. 4 out of 5

    Sam

  14. 5 out of 5

    Lissa

  15. 5 out of 5

    Aralynn

  16. 5 out of 5

    Barbara

  17. 4 out of 5

    Donna Roye

  18. 5 out of 5

    Clayton Jarutowicz

  19. 4 out of 5

    Zoe

  20. 5 out of 5

    Jill Elizabeth

  21. 4 out of 5

    Cathryne

  22. 4 out of 5

    Tima

  23. 4 out of 5

    Tima

  24. 5 out of 5

    Caroline

  25. 4 out of 5

    Lynn

  26. 5 out of 5

    Frederick Rotzien

  27. 4 out of 5

    Brittany Yogerst

  28. 4 out of 5

    Micielle

  29. 5 out of 5

    amy

  30. 4 out of 5

    Blake

  31. 5 out of 5

    Charissa Rate

  32. 5 out of 5

    Cheryl Bradley

  33. 5 out of 5

    Amy Rogers

  34. 5 out of 5

    Rhiannon

  35. 4 out of 5

    Quetta Inabinet

  36. 5 out of 5

    V

  37. 5 out of 5

    Joann

  38. 5 out of 5

    F

  39. 5 out of 5

    Mountain Laurel

  40. 5 out of 5

    Gordon Bingham

  41. 5 out of 5

    Kevin Buxton

  42. 5 out of 5

    Stacia Chappell

  43. 4 out of 5

    Vincent

  44. 4 out of 5

    Kimberly

  45. 4 out of 5

    Laurie

  46. 4 out of 5

    Lee Zirkle

  47. 4 out of 5

    Eileen

  48. 5 out of 5

    Wanda C

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