Magazine article Army

Soldier Dogs: The Untold Story of America's Canine Heroes

Magazine article Army

Soldier Dogs: The Untold Story of America's Canine Heroes

Article excerpt

Soldier Dogs: The Untold Story of America's Canine Heroes. Maria Goodavage. New American Library. 293 pages; color photographs; notes; $16. Publisher's website: www.us.penguingroup.com.

Maria Goodavage's Soldier Dogs offers a unique window into the world of military working dogs and their handlers, with whom they train, work and live. She explains the process through which the military acquires its working dogs, the different degrees of training to which the dogs are exposed, and how they use their training when they are called upon to serve.

Goodavage, a news editor and featured writer at Dogster.com, formerly served as a correspondent for USA Today and the San Francisco Chronicle. She conducted a number of interviews with various men and women responsible for handling military working dogs - not only stateside in training facilities, but also overseas in theater. Goodavage also relies on veterinarians and trainers to provide medical and psychological contexts, respectively. A significant portion of the book provides a historical context for military working dogs, which have been used in military operations since World War I. Her endnotes reflect extensive research on this subject.

Perhaps the most notable aspect of this book is the number of misconceptions and little-known facts it brings to light. For example, "war dogs" come in all shapes and sizes, from the stereotypical German shepherd to the diminutive Jack Russell terrier. …

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