Military Dogs Breeding Program Turns Puppies into Troops

Bernadine Green, deputy director for the Defense Department's Military Working Dog Breeding Program, cuddles with a puppy. DOD photo by Linda Hosek

Nothing warms a heart quicker than a cuddly puppy. At Lackland Air Force Base, those cute bundles of fur are being trained to become the military working dogs of the future.

Armed Forces Press Service reporter Elaine Sanchez has a full story on the program. You’ll also find several adorable photos of the puppies and dogs in training.

The Defense Department’s Military Working Dog Breeding Program breeds, trains and raises Belgian Malinois to serve alongside other military working dogs. The program has three  stages: whelping, foster family care and then adolescent training. At 12 months old, the dogs are evaluated for entry into the military working dog program.

Trainers look for characteristics such as an inquisitive nature, eagerness to play and socialize, not afraid of noises and not overly aggressive.

Army Sgt. 1st Class Russell Minta, senior non-commissioned officer for the Defense Department's Military Working Dog Breeding Program on Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, plays with a puppy. The program provides working dogs to every service branch and numbers among the largest military breeding programs in the world. DOD photo by Linda Hosek

A non-profit organization, K-9s for Veterans, is based in Tampa, Florida and recently received a remodeling thanks to The Mission Continues and Home Depot.

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