were most used throughout the Vietnam
"From housepets to heroes.
These dogs could detect people and objects both in and out of water. They could repel from helicopters and obey every command they recieve. But, they would only obey the soldier that trained them.
When a dog sensed something amiss, they would alert. If you've ever seen a dog perk up and focus when it sees another animal, then you know what an alert is.
"He latched onto my hand. He gave me a friendly nip on the hand and looked at me. Wolf absolutely would not let me go by him. I knew something was very wrong... begins to cry... I looked straight ahead and not more than two feet was a tripwire. And I would have died right there with him if he wouldn't have found that wire." - Charlie Cargo, Vietnam war dog handler
"If we hadn't had a dog... we probably would have lost 12 or 13 guys to that sniper." Vietnam Veteran named Dobbins. His dog was named Toro.
In one account, a dog handler was shot. His dog dragged him out of the hot zone into safety, even after being shot twice.
One day, recooperating in the field hospital: "I didn't even see him coming... and... he creeped over and crawled up to my bed... and put his head on my shoulder... ... I was so happy to see him..."
"Without Toro, there's no way I'd have made it back to the United States. I wouldn't have made it probably three months without Toro." - Carl Dobbins, Vietnam dog handler.
Vietnam war dogs, commonly German Shepherds and their handlers almost always walked point. That is, at the head of the squad.
"I'm only 19... I was scared to death."
It is said over 10,000 men were saved by war dogs. But the army wasn't impressed. Of the 4,000+ dogs involved in the war. Only 1 in 10 returned home.
The VietCom were so afraid of the dogs, that they would give rewards for the ear of a dog or squad patch of the handler.
In fact, one account states that the V.C. actually attacked a dog kennel one day. "Someone flicked the light on and we saw the mass of blood draining out of the kennel walls." During the battle, the handlers even tried to run to the kennel to release their dog, even in the midst of mortar and gunfire.
"Each day, dog handlers were in danger of losing their life... or the life of their best friend."
"So I left him there, and he just looked at me like I'd be coming back"
"The hardest thing I ever did in my entire life", was leave his dog. In fact, hundreds of dogs were turned over to the South Vietnamese armies. The head of the Veterinarian program for war dogs, Greg Blackwell, was forced to do this very thing. "I was told that the world Health Org. just pass this law... 'No animals could come out of Vietnam'... There was no law... We found out later... But that's what they told us." "Those dogs knew... It was a death sentence." He had no choice.
Recently, a War Dog Memorial is being funded and constructed.
Only 200+ war dogs went home from Vietnam.