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Class Act: Dogs in the War Zone

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Sometimes, behind a good soldier in the heat of battle, is a trustworthy, well-trained dog.

In this week's Class Act, we talk to Veteran Mike Dowling about the importance of dogs in the war zone.  U.S. Marine Veteran Mike Dowling says the bond between a handler and a dog in combat has been a valuable part of the U.S. Military over its history.

Dowling says, "The most critical parts is one, building rapport with the dog meaning, getting the dog to trust you the dog wants to trust you. It wants to be part of your pack and so developing that from the very beginning and just constantly developing that and making it stronger as time goes on is critical."

Dowling says there is a variety of programs in which military dogs are trained.  He says no matter which branch of training they endure, they all turn out to be highly-skilled assets.

Dowling says, "The majority are dual certified meaning they are certified in patrol work, which is bite work.  So if we need them to apprehend a suspect or something like that, and if they're certified in detection work.  They can detect explosives or narcotics and obviously the majority of what we need the dogs for is explosive detection work."

A big part of Dowling's experience with dogs in the war zone was his own dog, Sergeant Rex.  After a lengthy, fruitful career in military service, Rex passed away this past Christmas season.  Dowling says Rex was an extremely dependent, reliable dog with a high sense of drive.

Dowling says, "He was just a wonderful, wonderful detection dog.  He never missed, never false responded, which means responding just so he could get the reward.  Any time that he responded, there was always something there or it was the residual effect of something that was there before.  So basically he was extremely dependable."

It’s the skill, determination, and reliability that make’s Sergeant Rex and the dogs in the U.S. Military a Class Act.  Dowling's talk will be tonight at 7:00 pm in Carroll College's Simperman Hall.  The lecture is free to the public.


Story by Charlie Misra, Beartooth NBC.
Sponsored by Sylvan Learning Center of Helena.
Copyright ©2013 Beartooth Communications Company. All Rights Reserved.

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Class Act, Charlie Misra, Dogs in the War Zone, Mike Dowling, Sergeant Rex, US Military, reliable dog with a high sense of drive

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