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The Dogs of War

4.04  ·  Rating details ·  513 Ratings  ·  88 Reviews
Military working dogs gained widespread attention after Cairo participated in the SEAL Team 6 mission that led to Osama bin Laden's death. Before that, few civilians realized that dogs served in combat, let alone that they could parachute from thirty thousand feet up.

The Dogs of War reveals the amazing range of jobs that our four-legged soldiers now perform, examines the d
Paperback, 258 pages
Published October 25th 2011 by St. Martin's Griffin
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Autumn (Writer of A Writer's Corner)
The following review is based off my own opinions, thoughts and reactions. So in other words brace yourself. *There may be inappropriate words such as curse words.* You have been advised in advance.*

Such a disappointment...

As someone who has grown up around family members, friends and neighbors, even my own husband being a part of the military it was greatly disappointing the way this book turned out. It had so much potential to talk about specific dogs in the military who have done incredible t
Naomi Blackburn
Aug 13, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This book is about two things that I love! One, the US Military and two, dogs, in particular, military dogs! This book did a phenomenal job at "looking at the lives of military dogs and "putting a human face on them" Also, I thought it gave a fascinating picture of what goes into the acquisition/training of military dogs.

There was one part of the book that really bothered me and has stood out the whole time and that was a statement being made by the military that it is a crime to abuse a milita
Nov 14, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
This was very informative on how dogs are used by the military. The lengths the military and the dog handlers go to to keep them well cared for was great. It amazes what a dog can be trained to do. These dogs are all heroes as far as I'm concerned.

This book didn't really contain personal stories of the dogs and their heroic lives. It basically covered the roles that dogs have played in the various wars.
Christopher Rex
Jul 20, 2012 rated it did not like it
Ugh. How do you take what could be an exciting and emotional book and turn it into an Oprah-esque heap of crap? Ask Lisa Rogak. This book blows.

Well, it's not horrible in the sense that it would be a great book to give to HS english or history student to show how to write. That is to say, Rogak's writing is very competent HS-level writing. But, very little more.

First and foremost, all Rogak seemingly did was interview or email every Dog Handler in the military should could find and compile their
Oct 08, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I received "The Dogs of War" by Lisa Rogak as a Goodreads Giveaway and couldn't be happier with my win. The novel is a fantastic read for anyone interested in expanding their knowledge of the way the military utilizes dogs in war or simply to become better acquainted with the profession. Much like myself, I never truly knew the extent to which these dogs were used and how vital a role they play overseas. Many people probably became more aware of the military's use of dogs after hearing how one h ...more
Feb 29, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: any one who likes dogs and war
Recommended to Jason014 by: no one
Shelves: 3rd-trimester
The Dogs of War

This book is AWESOME. With the different jobs of war dogs this book fits together. A reason I liked this book was.First of all, I like how it shows what some dogs did in the wars. I also like how the book tells what war the dogs were in and what the dogs did in the book. Second, I like that the book was non fiction. I like that there were things that told only about one specific dog. In this book it told about what some dogs did, who their handler was. People probably think tha
Oct 29, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: dogs, modern-military
Actually, I'm giving this a 3.5. I was expecting more personal stories about dogs of war and their handlers, the unique relationship that exists between them. Instead, it was more of a discussion on the history and evolution of the use of war dogs in our military with some dog/handler cases sprinkled throughout. So, definitely not off topic but I was hoping for more gritty details on the dogs/handlers themselves, not as much information (although interesting). I learned a good deal about these d ...more
Eva Leger
Sep 18, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: military-war
This is a splendid, splendid book. I never dreamed I'd learn so much from this book when I first found it on a GR FirstReads giveaway. I don't think I've ever been so happy to win a specific book. Ever since I found and read Always Faithful: A Memoir of the Marine Dogs of WWII by William W. Putney (who is quoted in this book by the way) I've been intent on learning more about war dogs.
I find it absolutely horrendous that our government treated these dogs in the manner they did in the past. Deplo
Lammart Poels
Oct 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
The Dogs Of War is a fun and educational book by Lisa Rogak. It talks about the dogs of war that served it Iraq, Europe during World War 1 and World War 2, and Vietnam. I learned that the Dogs of War is one rank higher than their handlers to prevent animal abuse, since soldiers are not allowed to hurt (mentally or physically) other soldiers that are higher ranked than themselves, or they will go to military court. I would recommend this book to other people.
Charley Duschen
Oct 28, 2017 rated it liked it
When reading about service dogs, I'm always amazed the level of intelligence of these dogs and their trainers. How does one train a dog to distinguish one smell from another? Also the level of caring that most dog handlers have is somewhat expected but often stronger than expected. All in all agood read.
Aug 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
If you have any interest in military dogs of war, how they are chosen, trained and used, their history and future, this is the book for you. Lots of hard information, and well-chosen true stories about the MWD and their handlers.
Oct 26, 2012 rated it it was amazing
If you are picking this up expecting a book full of personal stories about military working dogs and the unique relationship that exists between them and their handlers, you may be disappointed as this book is written more along the lines of a history of the military working dog from how they came about to their current purpose in today’s military.

It is immediately apparent when reading this book that the Author has done their research as they cover, in fine detail, the selection process for a p
Luis Rivera
Dec 14, 2015 rated it really liked it
The Dogs of War
By: Lisa Rogak

My experience with this book was exciting and gratifying. I have always been interested in dogs who are in the military and in the many ways they help our armed forces. This book showed me in depth how much they really help. The book was also very relatable since it talked about how owners have a bond with their dog and how that bond leads the pair to do great things together due to their trust in each other; as I have my own dog, a year old grey pitbull, I understan
Mar 24, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: anthrozoology
SEAL Team Six's mission to kill Osama bin Laden has sparked a number of books. This is one of at least two I've read that used that mission as a jumping-off point to talk about working dogs in the military, the other being Soldier Dogs by Maria Goodavage.

Rogak seems to be a respected writer (at least she's written biographies on two big names, President Obama and Stephen King), and she's competent at what she does. The subject matter of her book means that it is never dull, always interesting,
Janelle K
Jan 18, 2015 rated it really liked it
Dogs working in the military has become one of the most profound and important aspects of war. Throughout the book, The Dogs of War by Lisa Rogak, the bravery and allegiance of military working dogs is constant. Dogs play a very critical role in the service, from assisting their human counterparts on the front lines, to helping the soldiers cope with the stresses of war. A dog must possess the right specifications to take part in military training, “ Male German Shepherds, Belgian Malinoi and D ...more
Paul Pessolano
Oct 20, 2011 rated it really liked it
“The Dogs of War” by Lisa Rogak, published by Thomas Dunne Books.

Category – Dogs/Military History

This is a wonderful book that can be enjoyed by both dog lovers and those that are interested in the military.

There has been an upsurge of interest in military dogs since Seal Team Six brought down Osama bin Laden with the help of the military dog, Cairo.

Lisa Rogak gives a history of dogs that participated in wars beginning with the Egyptians in 4000 B.C., the Middle Ages, and every war since then.
Sep 11, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: early-readers
An excellently written, thoroughly researched (with footnotes!) nonfiction book on "MWDs" (military working dogs). Illustrated with many color photographs of military dogs in action and at play, and containing a bibliography and appendices listing nationwide war dog memorials and organizations that place retired MWDs with new adoptive owners. I was somewhat familiar with this topic, as I love to read about dogs and I own Marilyn Sequin's Dogs of war And Stories of Other Beasts of Battle in the C ...more
Dec 30, 2011 rated it really liked it
Females can serve in the military—provided they are spayed. Of course, Lisa Rogak is addressing the U.S. military eligibility of canines and not humans. This thought is one of many insights and descriptions the author has presented in this well-documented exposé on MWDs.

And, don’t be looking for a Christopher Walken-type Hollywood warrior searching for weapons of mass destruction. This book reveals the history, selection, training, and maintenance of military working dogs (“MWDs”)—the nearly 3,
Patrick Johnson
Sep 11, 2015 rated it liked it
Over this past summer I read the book Dogs Of War by Lisa Rogak. This is a non fiction book based on military working dogs. This book has many chapters and unlike regular books each chapter talks about something different. Every chapter leads to the next, but one chapter could be about training and the next could be about the breeding process of these special dogs. I found it interesting that I learned so many things while reading this book. In the beginning of the book, the first chapter is ver ...more
Meg - A Bookish Affair
Sep 30, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, animals, 2011
We've relied on animals a lot to help us in our military endeavors. We've especially relied on dogs a lot. They can smell things we can't smell, they can hear things that we can't hear, they act as protectors and as helpers. They're pretty amazing. This book focuses mostly on military dog usage in the 20th and 21st century.

The book is organized by stories about some of the more well known military dogs (including Cairo, the Belgian Malinois) who was part of the team that went into to capture an
Mar 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing


This book its about a war dog named Cali. He could sniff out lots of thing like bombs, people, even people who have been covered in debris. He helped the soldiers be safe. In the book there was a very dangerous situation because they were walking and the dog stopped and here was a bomb hidden behind a wooden crate and the dog took a long walk around the bomb and they were safe.My favorite character in this book was Cali cause she would save the soldiers from getting
Jul 16, 2013 rated it liked it
The book was definitely well-researched, as made obvious by the numerous citations found throughout the book. It was a good read; very informative.

Perhaps a little too informative at times. I was expecting the chapters to focus solely on stories of particular dogs, but it read more like a brochure than a fictional passage.

One gripe that I have (however unreasonable it may be) is the length of everyone's titles and names of the bases. Not even half way through the book, I just started skimming th
Sep 22, 2014 rated it really liked it
first time they started using doges in war was in war world one. These dogs were mainly used for first aid and searching purposes. When the military started realizing that dogs were life savers was in Afghanistan. The only major diffrents from dogs of war world one and today. That dogs today have the latest Gear. Both dogs were very hard workers just like there trainers and always motivated. They both have to complete difficult task. WW1 and today dogs have both save and made a shoilders life ea ...more
Aug 17, 2011 rated it really liked it
The Dogs of War by Lisa Rogak @lisarogak

Thanks netGalley and Macmillan for the opportunity to read and review this book prior to its lease date

Great book about perhaps the lesser known and certainly less appreciated soldier, the military dog. Kogak provides us a myriad of personal insights into the lives of the dogs and their trainers. These incredible dogs have been serving alongside our service members for decades. Our soldiers rely upon them heavily to seek out dangers we as humans couldn’t p
Elizabeth B
Aug 12, 2011 rated it really liked it
This is a well rounded, accurate depiction of working military dogs. Although it includes several specific dog bios, it is not a fictionalized narrative of stories about dogs and their handlers which is the impression many blurbs are giving it. Instead, it is more a historical essay on the ins and outs of how dogs are utilized in the service. It was an enlightening read and, as someone involved in dog assisted search and rescues, I found the title extremely engrossing. While it probably doesn’t ...more
Jackie Jacobs
Oct 25, 2011 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book. I'm a dog lover and always have been. I've had dogs all my life and I understand to some extent the relationship these soldiers have with their dogs. I am so attached to my dog. I couldn't imagine my life without him. I also have a huge place in my heart for soldiers as well. My dad served in Vietnam and my boyfriend served in Iraq. This book took two pieces of my life that I love dearly and told the story of how they came together to better our military. I'm amazed a ...more
Mar 27, 2014 rated it it was ok
After leaving the military in 2002, I worked as a contractor within a unit that had IED detection dogs. I learned a lot about their history and training at that time. Not even the base I worked at, much less our unit were mentioned in this book and I found that a little disappointing but not a deal breaker. This book had a lot of information about the military's policies regarding the dogs and handlers as well as how they have been utilized from WWI to the present. There were occasional mentions ...more
Paul Lunger
Nov 06, 2015 rated it really liked it
In "The Dogs of War", Lisa Rogak takes we the reader through the complete history of military working dogs throughout world history & explains the process of selecting them as well as the various steps in their lives. Each chapter examines the various stages that occur in the life of these animals as well as the difficulties that veterinarians have in sometimes taking care of them as well as the process of adoption after the dog's service has ended. Interspersed through the book are stories ...more
Oct 30, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
Even before finishing the book, I already knew it was one of my favorites. I have laughed out loud, teared up and learned things I would probably never have known. Extremely well researched and presented. Any one on the fence about treatment of dogs in the military, this one statement (in the introduction) should allay their concerns: "...the primary reason why the dogs are not only awarded a rank... just like enlisted soldiers, but that rank is always one level higher than the handler's. After ...more
Michele  Olsen
May 31, 2014 rated it really liked it
Truly amazing what these wonderful dogs and their handlers go through to support the troops. Dogs are given a rank higher than that of their handlers, receive veterinary care and retire with full benefit - I wonder if we treat the dogs better than their human counterparts…. Sadly, these dogs are considered "equipment" and are left behind when troops are pulled out. Fortunately civilians and military groups are working to change this and return these dogs to civilian life. This is a great read if ...more
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All About Animals: The Dogs of War by Lisa Rogak 1 4 Sep 28, 2012 06:20AM  
  • Sergeant Rex: The Unbreakable Bond Between a Marine and His Military Working Dog
  • No Buddy Left Behind: Bringing U.S. Troops' Dogs and Cats Safely Home from the Combat Zone
  • Soldier Dogs
  • The Perfect Kill: 21 Laws for Assassins
  • The Puppy That Came for Christmas: How a Dog Brought One Family the Gift of Joy
  • First SEALs: The Untold Story of the Forging of America's Most Elite Unit
  • Going Home: Finding Peace When Pets Die
  • Prelude to Reveille:  A Vietnam Awakening
  • Saving Cinnamon: The Amazing True Story of a Missing Military Puppy and the Desperate Mission to Bring Her Home
  • The Phantom Major
  • From Baghdad to America: Life Lessons from a Dog Named Lava
  • Dog Heroes of September 11th: A Tribute to America's Search and Rescue Dogs
  • Show Dog: The Charmed Life and Trying Times of a Near-Perfect Purebred
  • Battle Ready: Memoir of a SEAL Warrior Medic
  • Dogs I Have Met: And The People They Found
  • One Dog at a Time: Saving the Strays of Helmand - An Inspiring True Story
  • Tales from a Dog Catcher
  • Always Faithful: A Memoir of the Marine Dogs of WWII
Lisa Rogak is the New York Times bestselling author of over 40 books on a wide variety of topics, from writers and their cats to sabbaticals to cemeteries in New England.
Through the years, in addition to writing books on an almost-schizophrenic range of topics, she has published newsletters and books, started a greeting card company for dogs and cats, bought and sold vintage funeral equipment, and
More about Lisa Rogak...

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