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Dogs on Duty: Soldiers' Best Friends on the Battlefield and Beyond
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Dogs on Duty: Soldiers' Best Friends on the Battlefield and Beyond

4.04  ·  Rating details ·  467 Ratings  ·  111 Reviews
When the news of the raid on Osama Bin Laden's compound broke, the SEAL team member that stole the show was a highly trained canine companion. Throughout history, dogs have been key contributors to military units. Dorothy Hinshaw Patent follows man's best friend onto the battlefield, showing readers why dogs are uniquely qualified for the job at hand, how they are trained, ...more
Hardcover, 48 pages
Published September 4th 2012 by Walker Childrens
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Dec 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Excellent nonfiction book, easy reading, very interesting, about dogs as part of our military. I certainly didn't know that dogs can be trained to parachute jump, that they stand guard when a soldier is sleeping, that they carry real time cameras to transmit information, that they can detect underground tunnels--in addition to detecting land mines and drugs and carrying out the search and rescue functions we've all heard about. We also learn about the history of dogs in military situations. I es ...more
Mar 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
And now I'm crying. Good doggos.
Teresa Scherping Moulton
If you're a dog lover, you already know what amazing companions dogs can be. But did you know that they can be a vital part of wartime and security? Dogs have been a part of military operations since ancient times, but more recently they have been specially trained to make full use of their special abilities. Today there are dogs working in many areas of the US military - from sniffing out drugs and explosives to patrolling for safety to capturing fleeing suspects. Military Working Dogs (MWDs) c ...more
Ms. Yingling
Oct 16, 2012 rated it really liked it
This short (48 page) book is as complete a coverage of Military Working Dogs (MWDs) as I have seen. It goes back as far as WWI in its history of military dogs, talking about how families donated their dogs during WWII and does address how dogs during Vietnam were considered "equipment" and were left behind or euthanized. Noteworthy dogs from many eras are highlighted, and the book is well illustrated with photographs throughout. For the modern era, the training that dogs receive from puppyhood o ...more
Nov 26, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This is a great book about the history of service dogs with a focus on dogs in the military. Covering a timeline from as far back as the first military dog, to the dog used when Navy SEALs conducted the raid on Osama bin Laden, it is very through in information even though the book is fairly short. The book also covers where service dogs come from, their training, and where they go when they are taken out of service. This is a great book to spark interest in future military dog handlers and very ...more
May 29, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book! Informative, with great pictures and a solid list of additional resources in the back. Dogs are awesome.
Cole Bearrow
Sep 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-3090-11-20


A fun story written about dogs that have served in the army! This story features dogs from different breeds, service branches and countries!


Very entertaining, will keep students focused on their reading. Short, concise sentences.

Teaching Ideas

This could be used to teach students about the military and that we sometimes use animals to protect our nation.
Jun 16, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nonfiction
1. Fiction Twin Text: Title: Me & Jack, Author: Danette Haworth, Copyright: 2011
2. Rationale: Both of these stories involve dogs that have military ties or military family background. The book Dogs on Duty is all about how dogs are trained to work and help in the military from early war until now. Me & Jack is about a boy whose father is in the military and he finds friendship and solace in his adopted dog Jack. His dad is a recruiter for the Air Force when the Vietnam War breaks out. I
Oak Lawn Public Library - Youth Services
Lexile Level: NC1190L

Length: 48 pgs

Summary: Dogs in the military have been considered more like equipment than fellow soldiers since they started utilizing their services many years ago. This book briefly discuses the history and current uses of dogs. It also touches on why are they are so important to the troops and what happens after service.

Recommendations or Comments: This book was nominated for the Caudill & Bluestem Awards. The lexile level for this book makes you think its an older y
Mar 18, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Everyone knows I'm a sucker for a dog book, but that doesn't make me a softy when it comes to reviews. But this was really a notch above most kids books. It certainly isn't for small children, it deals factually with the realities of war and the many reasons why military dogs are so helpful. But that's also what's so good about it. It's one of the most informative books for children that I've read. And I really like that it doesn't talk down to them. It uses language and ideas that are appropria ...more
Allison James
Nonfiction text: "Dogs on Duty: Soldiers' Best Friends on the Battlefield and Beyond", 0802728464 copyright 2012. Throughout American History, dogs have been an active part of the military. From Stubby, World War One veteran, to the canines who work in our modern military, "Dogs on Duty" details how dogs complete complex tasks, aid human military members, and even how they might retire. This book is an interesting read that could expand the child's knowledge of military jargon as well as their v ...more
Randy Daugherty
Nov 24, 2012 rated it it was amazing
When Osama Bin Laden was taken down by Seal Team Six one of their members was a Belgian Malinois, and so we are introduced into the world of the MWD and their history with the armed forces.
First used in World War one, they were not used by the allied forces as much as the aggressors, but in WW2 they expanded greatly.
Vietnam seen a wide and expanded use of MWWD as they patroled bases, search out demolitions and even went on patrol, ferretting out the hidden tunnels and even the thin wires that le
Jessica Schuerman
May 11, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children-s-lit
(2015 Blue Stem)
If your looking for information about war/heroic dogs this is the book to look at. This book talks about different breeds of dogs that have trained to protect and detect hiding explosives. It also talks about how the trained the dogs to jump out of air planes, to keep guard, and many more. In the book it also talks about how a dog had stronger senses than a human does. Not only do they have strong senses, but they are used as messengers. They can relay messages back and forth to
Carolynn Wells
Mar 22, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 3-5-literature
Informational Text

This book was very informational on the topic of Military Working Dogs. It was very interesting reading about how dogs can be trained to do special missions that would help ensure the safety of soldiers. Dogs were used during wars such as the Vietnam war as well as the Afghanistan War. Dogs can be trained to jump out of boats and into the water as well as guarding their soldiers to allow them a chance to rest during war. This book can be used in grades 3-5 in multiple differen
Abby Johnson
Did you know that thousands of dogs have served in the Unites States military? Dogs on Duty explains some of the duties and missions dogs are assigned, how they are raised and trained, and what happens to them after they retire. This is a straightforward nonfiction text that will appeal to both dog-lovers and military enthusiasts, a great choice for reluctant readers interested in those topics, and likely to appeal to guy readers. Plenty of photos illustrate the text, giving readers a picture of ...more
A picture book sized book that is loaded -- appropriately enough -- with dozens of photos of actual Military Working Dogs (MWDs) from World War to the present. The book discusses how dogs were used in WWI as messengers and Red Cross dogs to aid the wounded, recruited in WWII to be sentries or scouts, and used on patrols during the Vietnam War to uncover the Vietcong's elaborate tunnels and booby traps. The book also discusses how MWDs are trained today to overcome obstacles, search for firearms ...more
Apr 13, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Starting with a dramatic of a soldier and his dog jumping from an aircraft into the Gulf of Mexico and the story of Cario, the Belgian Malinos dog who was a member of the Navy SEAL Team that attacked Osama Bin Laden hideout in May 2011, Patent briefly tells the history of dogs in warfare by allied forces from the first World War through Vietnam, including canine heroes from these wars. She then goes into depth about the training of Military War Dogs (MWDs) and their handlers at Lackland Air Forc ...more
Jim Erekson
Apr 23, 2013 rated it liked it
What is interesting is that there is enough information on dogs in the military to be interesting! A highly focused topic, but sustained by many pictures and a pseudo-story arc that leads from basic information about working dogs and their training to specific cases of MWD (military working dogs) in recent conflicts in Afghanistan.

Red white and blue graphic design by Regina Roff is mixed with a slightly annoying yellow for a breakout story on almost every double page spread. While the color is
Nonfiction/Twin Text Entry #4
Genre: Informational
Target audience: Intermediate
This book depicts dogs as both soldiers and companions and informs the reader on how dogs are trained in the military. It features many photographs and stories about heroic dogs throughout history.
I paired this book with Because of Winn-Dixie by Kate DiCamillo. Although this story takes place nowhere near a battlefield and features a less-than-obedient dog, the storyline shares the element of friendship from a dog tha
Jan 24, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This is a beautiful book! It is written for children but I have it displayed in a prominent place in our home. The photos are wonderful and the brief explanations are clear, concise, and accurate.

We foster Military Working Dog puppies from Lackland afb in San Antonio, and really enjoyed how this book explained the importance of these dogs and how they help our soldiers. It is impressive to see for ourselves at Lackland how respectfully these dogs are treated and how much they are loved by the s
Kathryn Mockerman
Appeal: Intermediate readers

I chose this book because most children love dogs. This should be a great option for any child who needs an introductory book to nonfiction on a subject that they love. I liked that the text wasn't just set in huge blocks, but separated into easy to read chunks. There are also beautiful pictures. The book should be a great nonfiction option for military kids.

Twin text: Digger: The Dog Who Went to War by Mark Wilson

I chose this book as the twin text because it covers
Mrs. Trekas
Apr 30, 2014 rated it really liked it
So a few months ago I was listening to NPR and they were talking about this exact topic. I think it's so interesting and something that never gets addressed in history classes. I think it's remarkable that families would volunteer a dog into active duty. Dogs are family members. On the radio they interviewed some families who volunteered dogs into WWII. The interviews were so emotional and heartfelt. I wish this book spent a little more time talking about the dogs from WWI and WWII, but overall ...more
Joanne Zienty
Jun 27, 2014 rated it really liked it
This book is currently on both the ISLMA 2015 Bluestem Award list AND the Rebecca Caudill list. 'Nuff said? It's a well-written, solidly researched look at WMDs - Military Working Dogs. It takes the reader through a brief history of the roles dogs have played in aiding soldiers, examines the selection and training processes, and life after war for these canine heroes. The author includes brief vignettes about individual "hero" dogs and their achievements, beginning with "Stubby" in World War I. ...more
How many of you have dogs at home? How many of you would trust your dog with your life if you were in trouble?

Well, if you were ever curious about what kind of role dogs play on the battlefield and in the military in general, this is the book for you. For many years, dogs have been vital to the work and safety of our men and women serving in all branches of the military. So, while you’ll learn all about how dogs train for service, you’ll also hear incredible stories of friendship, heroism and br
Oct 26, 2014 rated it really liked it
Reading Level: Intermediate
Genre: Informational
Review: This book is all about MWDs, or military working dogs. I liked this book due to the subject matter, the excellent use of photographs, and the scope, as this book covered MWDs throughout history. I think the content could have been broken down a bit more, as it was presented in primarily paragraph format. My biggest criticism was the color of paper—dark blue with black lettering! This made it very difficult to read, at times. The end of the b
Dec 05, 2012 rated it really liked it
Dogs on Duty chronicles the history of Military Working Dogs (MWDs) with straightforward detail and anecdotes. The author does not shy away from the grim consequences of war, and yet, the essential question as to whether it is moral to use dogs to fight manmade conflicts is unexplored. Perhaps this is best left to the critical reader. For older readers, this pairs well with This American Life's story narrated by Susan Orleans:
Most civilians do not realize the tremendous work and sacrifice dogs have given to our Armed Forces...from their uncanny ability to sniff out explosives and arms, to giving comfort and companionship to their fellow military men and women, these dogs provide an invaluable service to our country.

Dogs on Duty: Soldiers' Best Friends on the Battlefield and Beyond is a brief look at the training, assistance, and military duty these companions go through to become a most valued member of the troop.

Jul 08, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I'm brave enough to admit that I teared up a few times while reading this book. There's just something about a soldier and his dog. Essentially the book goes through the history of service dogs (WWI, WWII, Vietnam and the current wars), then goes into detail on how the dogs are trained. There are little vignetted stories of individual dogs and their owners (insert crying here). The book also includes photographs of dogs in training and actual photos of combat situations and downtime with the dog ...more
Jessica Anthony
Oct 11, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ch-2-ala-notable
This book enlightens children to the inner duties of dogs who help out our troops of soldiers each and every day. This book helps to enlighten children on how dogs can be trained and help law enforcement fulfill their duties while at war. This author went deep into the duties of the military to find a kid friendly subject that is a bright side to some of the uglier parts of war. Also the author included a bit of history to each pager showing dogs that have made a difference in history. A fun boo ...more
Feb 26, 2013 rated it it was amazing
The wonderful photographs in this book drew my attention immediatly. I believe this book could be used for a wide variety audience from young children using visual reading strategies with the great pictures to teens/tweens interested in animals/working dogs or the military. I would make this book available especially during times such as Veteren's Day and other patriotic holidays to help my audience become familiar with the aspect of miliutary working dogs and what they mean to their handlers.
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As a child, my favorite activity was exploring nature, especially finding animals like frogs, toads, and lizards. I kept tropical fish, had a dog, and loved riding horses. My love of animals led to a Ph.D. degree from U.C. Berkley in Zoology. In grad school I met and married fellow student Greg Patent. Our two sons, David and Jason, were born before we finished school. I wanted to use my training ...more
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