The canine units of Special Operations Forces predominantly select dogs from a single breed, which is the Belgian Malinois.
Just 1% of dogs that are candidates successfully qualify for training.
One of the initial examinations involves teaching the canines to swim beyond the point where the shore is visible.
The dogs face a significant challenge with adjusting to the sound environment. They need to reach a point where they feel completely at ease working in an environment where the sound of gunshots is present. In this scenario, a trainer fires blank rounds to acclimate his canine companion to the noises typically associated with warfare.
All dogs being considered must also undergo a series of challenging physical tests, similar to their handlers, in order to guarantee their overall fitness and welfare.
The fundamental part of training involves the construction of hurdles and obstacle courses that closely resemble a combat environment.
The dogs and their trainers will dedicate approximately 15 hours per week to completing the courses.
According to former Navy SEAL Mike Ritland, dogs have been domesticated and selectively bred for such a long period of time that it is extremely uncommon to find a dog that is both willing to confront and engage in a physical confrontation with a human who is not intimidated by the dog and possesses the ability to overpower it. Ritland shared this observation with the New York Post.
During the training process, a succession of exercises is implemented to enhance the dogs’ preparedness for combat duties. Additionally, these exercises contribute to fostering a sturdy bond between the handler and their canine partner. Handlers commonly identify themselves as the dogs’ ‘fathers.’
Before being deployed, the dogs participate in simulated missions to establish strong connections with their teams.
Combat dogs are extremely valuable in the field. In this scenario, a dog takes the lead and searches for explosives in advance.
Detecting potential explosive threats, canine units remain superior to both humans and machines in terms of accuracy.
Because Navy SEAL deployments are highly intense, dogs are trained to become comfortable with the act of traveling in aircrafts and leaping out from them.
Special harnesses enable the handlers to parachute along with their canine units, securing them in deployment zones.
K9 Storm, Inc. has created the harness with unique features. Besides permitting parachute jumps, the harness equips the dog with Kevlar body armor, along with a multitude of other advantages.
During periods when they are not deployed, dogs and their teams consistently engage in training to ensure preparedness for any unforeseen situations.