Working Dog Teams

Never has there been a time when we needed working dogs more than we have this decade. Everywhere you go there seems to be heightened security-airports, landmarks, public venues, and much more. The demand for working dogs has skyrocketed not just on our homeland but overseas as well. Dogs have become pivotal components on the front lines in Afghanistan, Iraq, and other areas around the world.

 What is a working dog? A working dog is a dog that has been trained to use it’s natural abilities to provide human beings a service that can make our lives easier, more efficient, and/or safe. Simply put, they are dogs that work for us. Services they can provide include:

  • wardogs
  • mine detection
  • psychological deterrents
  • therapy dogs
  • police dogs
  • assistant/service dogs
  • rescue dogs
  • search dogs
  • herding dogs
  • sled dogs
  • hunting dogs
  • guard/watch dogs
  • tracking dogs
  • cadaver dogs
  • detection dogs
  • and many more…

But just as important to to the dog is the handler who guides and operates the dog. A great working dog can only truly be great if handled/trained by a great handler. Great handlers are like parents to their dogs. They help develop a dog’s habits, instill confidence in the dog, do routine health checks, and keep them groomed and sharp at all times. Like humans, dogs have personalities that are very unique and specific. Like a parent knows their child, a handler knows his dog so well that he can notice things that no one else could see. In time, you can often notice a dog’s personality resemble the handler’s. When a great dog and great handler are teamed together it is pure enjoyment to watch them work as a team.

During my time as a Marine Corps military working dog handler, I had the honor and privilege to not just work with some of the finest dogs I have ever come across, but work with world class dog teams. Working dog handlers share a bond that is unique and very special. We understand all the frustrations, patience, and persistence it takes to develop ourselves and our dogs from an uncoordinated, laughable handler and dog to a competent and ready team. When we feel like we have become one with the dog it is one of the greatest satisfactions we have and our pride in our K9’s becomes immeasurable.

Semper Fi

The Working Dog
Author – Unknown

My eyes are your eyes,
to watch and protect you and yours.

My ears are your ears,
to hear and detect evil minds in the dark.

My nose is your nose,
to scent the invader of your domain.

And so you may live,
my life is also yours



5 Responses to “Working Dog Teams”

  1. Amazing job on this, a great tribute to a true hero and one of the best marines I ever met. Adam would love this you did a great job! I don’t think you could have done any better of a job describing what an amazing person he was. We all were truely blessed to know him. I know I will never be able to forget all of the good times we all had!

  2. Adam was a outstanding Marine and a great dog handler. We will all miss him and off the wall humor. Excellent job on this tribute to him. He will always live on in our hearts and through our training. Semper Fi!

  3. He is your friend,
    Your partner,
    Your defender,
    Your dog.
    You are is his life,
    his love,
    his leader.
    He will be yours,
    faithful and true,
    to the last beat of his heart.
    You owe it to him to be worthy of such devotion

  4. GySgt Greg Massey Says:

    Adam you were one of my best in all respects and will never be forgotten. Keep patroling in heaven and save me some beer. Semper Fi.

    you did an outstanding job on this site which not only honors Adam but all handlers past and present. Take care and Semper Fi.

  5. thomas luna Says:

    Sgt.Adam, I own a three year old female Akita, physically powerful and very athletic. 95lbs. and 25 inches at the shoulder. A true working dog, she is a registered, certified hospital therapy dog. Thank you for the above info. re. relationship between dog/handler. If possible email articles etc., re. this “special bond” between k9’s and handlers.

    Thanks, Tom Luna

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