Are you excited for National K9 Veterans Day this March 13, or are we barking up the wrong tree? Our little furry friends are already awesome as it is. But dogs who have been trained to serve our country are even more heroic. Plus, they look so cute and serious in their little uniforms. K9 dogs have been around ever since 1942, when an organization called Dogs for Defense was founded to train dogs to be sentries for supply depots. The program was approved by the U.S. Army in March 1942, the U.S. Army K9 Corps was founded on March 13, 1942, and the rest is history (literally). Get ready to celebrate America’s patriotic puppers!
Why We Love K9 Dogs (and National K9 Veterans Day)
A. They’re here to protect us
Dogs already bring us such joy by being lovable and loyal. However, they bring us even more joy when they’re working toward justice. From the first sentry dogs in Dogs of Defense to dogs that are trained to sniff out contraband or follow criminals, K9 dogs can do it all. And they have. Historically, K9 dogs have comprised Search and Rescue teams at Ground Zero, served as Security Dogs, and more. We thank them for their service!
B. They’re adorable as anything
You know the expression “there’s nothing cuter than a man in uniform?” We’d like to adapt that, because whoever coined it was clearly talking about dogs. We have two points to back up this argument. Firstly, there’s something so precious about how serious K9 dogs gets when they’re doing their jobs. Secondly, they get tiny little police vests. Case closed.
C. They’re incredibly well-trained
In a time where some parents can’t even get their own children to regularly take out the trash, K9 dogs are impeccably trained. Don’t believe us? Some K9s are trained to bite down on the arms of criminals to keep them in place upon command. However, the dogs are not allowed to draw blood. So they know exactly how hard to bite down to hold without being violent. That’s incredible! K9 dogs, we salute you.
How to Celebrate National K9 Veterans Day
1. Adopt a retired K9 dog
K9 dogs are loved and appreciated, but unfortunately, there are some that are left without homes after their service ends. If you’re ready for a new pooch, adopt one of these dogs instead of buying one from a breeder! One organization that helps you find these dogs is linked here.
2. Give your own pooch a treat
While we’d love to give every retired K9 dog some TLC this holiday, sometimes you can’t locate one for the purposes of treat-giving. If that’s the case, show your own furry friend how much you love him! He’ll appreciate it, and you’ll be honoring the spirit of the holiday. It’s a win-win!
3. Teach your dog a new trick
Old dogs can’t learn new tricks — but your dog can! Celebrate the incredible training of a K9 dog by training your own dog a bit. You’ll have an excuse to spend time with your dog, and you’ll feel great when you finally get him to perform the trick. Try starting out with getting your dog to roll over or shake your hand.
Favorite K9 Veteran Resources
Recognizing our K9 Veterans — American Kennel Club
Learn some history from the people who founded the K9 Corps!
K9 Dogs On Their First Day of Work — Buzzfeed
Have some pictures of adorable dogs — you’re welcome.
The Bravest Military Dogs — Barkpost
Read the definitive list of history’s bravest puppers!