Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.
Where to Start?
Cry Havoc: The History of War Dogs by
Publication Date: 2011
This book begins with a history of military working dogs, including breeds used. It also contains a list of memorials commemorating military working dogs. The book then discusses the use of military working dogs by geographic region. Also included: photographs of handlers and military working dogs around the world.
Dogs and National Defense by
Publication Date: 1958
This book is a history of the use of dogs by the Office of the Quartermaster General. It provides numbers of dogs used, types of dogs used, procurement of dogs, and training. Also included: a list of members of the board of trustees for Dogs for Defense, Inc., a list of regional directors for Dogs for Defense, Inc., and a short bibliography.
The Dogs of War by
Publication Date: 2011-10-25
This book is an excellent place to start military working dog research. It contains stories of specific dogs interspersed with chapters that discuss topics, including: the history of military working dogs, the roles they play, training, gear used, veterinary care, life in combat zones, and post-military life. Also included: photographs of MWDs and their handlers.
The Quiet Americans: a History of Military Working Dogs by
Publication Date: 2014-04-20
This short book provides a summary of the use of military working dogs in the United States. Also included: photographs, ads for military working dogs, and the image of the 341st military working dog training squadron.
Soldier Dogs by
Publication Date: 2012-03-15
The author begins by discussing stories of dogs and their handlers. She also discusses the tattoing process, special ops dogs, shopping for dogs in Europe, training, jobs of military working dog, their sense of smell, and the post-duty life of military working dogs. Also included: photographs of mwds and handlers.
War Dogs by
Publication Date: 1996-01-01
This is a well-written history of American military working dogs. Also included: photographs.
War Dogs: A history of loyalty and heroism by
Publication Date: 2008
This detailed book focuses on military working dogs in World War II, Korea, and Vietnam. It is an excellent place to begin research in this area. The author served as the official historian for the Vietnam Dog Handlers Association. Also included: photographs, a copy of an after-action report, and a sample World War II Canine Discharge Certificate.
Training Military Working Dogs
Navy Seal Dogs: My Tale of Training Canines for Combat by
Publication Date: 2013
The author focuses on his work training dogs for special operations forces teams in the military. He discusses the stories of several handlers and their canine partners. Also included: photographs of military working dogs and their handlers.
U. S. Military Working Dog Training Handbook by
Publication Date: 2012-10-30
This book by the Department of Defense contains thorough information on training military working dogs, including: behavior modification, legal aspects in detector dog use, kennel facilities, safety, and even administrative record keeping. Chapter 7 is "The Military Working Dog Program."
The War Animals by
Publication Date: 1977
This book is written from a scientific standpoint. It discusses the manner in which animals were trained to aid in military operations. Chapters discuss the use of dogs to stalk intruders, detect mines and tunnels, detect drugs, and for body recovery.
World War II
Always Faithful: A memoir of the marine dogs of WWII by
Publication Date: 2001
The author of this book was the Commanding Officer of the 3rd War Dog Platoon. He became the chief veterinarian of the War Dog Training School in Camp Lejeune. This book discusses the journey of marine dogs from training to the Battle of Guam and back to the U.S. It also discusses the creation of a detraining program for all marine war dogs, so they could return to civilian life. Also included: photographs, a copy of a clipping of an article from the author’s hometown paper, and copies of documents from the war dog training school.
Diary of a War Dog Platoon by
Publication Date: 1997
This book was authored by the Commander of the 45th Infantry Scout Dog Platoon. He used the daily reports of members of his platoon as primary source material for the book. Also included: a map of Okinawa, copies of orders, the text of newspaper articles, a copy of the instrument of surrender by Japan, a Fort Robinson chronology, and many photographs.
Dogs At War by
Publication Date: 1944
This book, written during World War II, provides a history of how dogs became involved in the war, how they were trained, and stories about specific dogs. Note that this book contains derogatory terms towards enemy soldiers. Also included: photographs of soldiers and military working dogs.
Dogs for Defense: American Dogs in the Second World War 1941-1945 by
Publication Date: 1955
This book was written by the organization that initiated the war dog program in the United States. It includes a history of Dogs for Defense, a list of breeds accepted into the program, the training process, stories of specific dogs, and a discussion of dogs used for convalescing soldiers. Also included: photographs, Certificate of Incorporation, Constitution, and Bylaws of Dogs for Defense, Inc., a bibliography, lists of officers, board of trustees, regional directors, and volunteers, copies of relevant letters, specifications for sentry dogs, enlistment application, a training pamphlet, cartoons, and copies of news articles.
Dogs for Democracy: The story of America’s canine heroes in the global war by
Publication Date: 1944
This slim volume provides a brief history and description of the dogs used in World War II. It reads like a recruitment brochure. Also included: photographs and a copy of a certificate from the War Department given to owners of dogs accepted for the armed services.
A Soldier's Best Friend by
Publication Date: 2003-02-10
In this book, the author discusses his service and observations as a dog handler in Vietnam. Also included: photographs, a glossary, a discussion of Staff Sergeant Robert W. Hartsock, the only war dog handler to receive the Congressional Medal of Honor during Vietnam, a list of war dogs and war dog handlers killed in action.
Air Base Defense in the Republic of Vietnam 1961-1973 by
Publication Date: 1979
Only a small portion of this book (pages 100-104) discuss the use of sentry dogs. There are two photographs included in this section.
Dog Tags of Courage by
Publication Date: 2000-01-01
In this book, the author discusses his service and observations as a dog handler in Vietnam. Also included: a map of the primary areas where the author was stationed, photographs, a discussion of Staff Sergeant Robert W. Hartsock, the only war dog handler to receive the Congressional Medal of Honor during Vietnam, a list of war dogs and war dog handlers killed in action, and a glossary.
Forever Forward by
Publication Date: 2010-02-18
This book discusses the use of dog teams in Vietnam. In the final chapter, there is an excellent discussion of the events taking place after the war ended, including the formation of the Vietnam Dog Handler Association, memorial projects, and the laws discussing the disposition of military working dogs. Also included: photographs, a map, a list of handlers killed in action, and a list of dogs killed in action.
The History of the United States Army Veterinary Corps in Vietnam 1962-1973 by
Publication Date: 1991
A very detailed account of the U.S. Army Veterinary Corps assistance in Vietnam. Also included: photographs, maps, statistics, names of veterinary service unit commanders & senior staff officers, and veterinary corps officers serving in Vietnam
K-9 Soldiers by
Publication Date: 2004-01-01
The author discusses his interaction with dogs throughout his working life-from military training to post-military life. Also included: photographs.
War Dogs: America's Forgotten Heroes by
Publication Date: 1999
This 70 minute VHS video includes many interviews with Vietnam dog handlers. They discuss the bond they had with their dogs and the tragedy of having to leave their dogs behind.
Specific Military Working Dogs
Beyond the Call of Duty: Heart-warming stories of canine devotion and wartime bravery by
Publication Date: 2010
This book discusses five dogs. Two of those dogs accompanied American soldiers: Smoky and Sergeant Stubby. Also included: a short bibliography and photographs.
From Stray Dog to World War I Hero by
Publication Date: 2015-11-01
This book discusses Rags, a military mascot from World War I. Also included: photographs and a bibliography.
Rags: The Story of a dog who went to war by
Publication Date: 1930
This book tells the story of Rags from his discovery by an American soldier in Paris to his work as a messenger during the war to his post-war life. Also included: photographs.
Rin Tin Tin: The life and the legend by
Publication Date: 2011
Most of this book focuses on Rin Tin Tin’s movie career, but the chapter “Foundlings” discusses his birth on a battlefield in France and other dogs in WWI. Also included: photographs and a selected list of sources.
Sergeant Rex: The Unbreakable Bond Between a Marine and His Military Working Dog by
Publication Date: 2011
This autobiography details the author's experience as a military working dog handler in Iraq with his dog, Rex. As a result, there are many details about the use of military working dogs in combat. Also included: photographs and a list of marine corps MWD handlers and their dogs that were deployed to Iraq between March and September 2004.
Sergeant Stubby: How a stray dog and his best friend helped win World War I and stole the heart of a nation by
Publication Date: 2014
This is the story of Stubby and his human friend, James Robert Conroy, in WWI. The author takes readers through Stubby’s life from the athletic fields of Yale to mascot in the 102nd Infantry, 26th Division to his preservation in the Smithsonian. Also included: photographs, an annotated list of medals and decorations on Stubby’s uniform, a timeline, and a bibliography.
Top Dog by
Publication Date: 2014-10-23
This book discusses Lucca, the military working dog, and her handlers. Their deployments include Iraq and Afghanistan. Also included are photographs.
Dogs of War by
Publication Date: 1946
This book contains extended quotes from soldiers discussing their experiences and observations of war dogs. There is also a brief section on training. The majority of the book, however, is comprised of photographs of war dogs and soldiers.
Trident K9 Warriors by
Publication Date: 2013
This book discusses military working dogs, their handlers, training, and missions. There is also a brief section on the history of dogs in the military. Author Ritland is a former member of SEAL Team 3, a trainer of working and protection dogs, and the founder of the Warrior Dog Foundation. Also included: photographs of the author, military working dogs, soldiers, and training.
War Dog Reception and Training Centers
Fort Robinson and the American Century: 1900-1948 by
Publication Date: 2002
Chapter 5 of this book is a detailed history of war dog training in Fort Robinson, Nebraska. Fort Robinson was one of the two War Dog Reception and Training Centers in the United States in the early 1940’s. Also included: lists of monthly dog strength and dogs received, issued, and returned to owners.