Army Dogs have been a constitutive part of the Armed Forces since ancient times but their silent service to the nation always goes unnoticed. There is more to a military dog than to just detect explosives and alert about enemy insurgency.
Below are some lesser known facts about military service dogs in India:
1. Like the soldiers, they too undergo thorough training of their level and only some of them make it through while others are turned down.
2. Army has almost around 1,000 trained dogs in its ranks. The task to sustain the strength is assigned to RVC (Remount Veterinary Corps).
3. The army dogs are an essential part of search and rescue operations where they have to aid in recovering explosives. Without them, the search operations would be on a freeze mode.
4. They are taught to respond to military-specific hand gestures and even verbal orders by their trainers.
5. While undergoing extensive military training, the dogs are trained in commands that require them to contain their barks in situations of combat, in order not to disclose their position to the enemy.
6. The most preferred army dogs are the German Shepherd and Labradors because of their aptitude to adapt to any training schedule. They are easy to train and are ingenious to perform the tasks required by the army.
7. Their diligent service lasts anywhere from 8-10 years.
8. As soon as they retire from service, they are left to be annihilated. The army finds it expensive to bear their post military care. Risk also lies in the knowledge they possess on sensitive locations that may be revealed to the enemies.
Let us all take a moment and appreciate the contributions of their speechless service to the nation. Bow-wow!
Many dog units have stood out in a large number of operational missions, receiving awards like Shaurya Chakras, Sena Medals and Chief of the Army Staff’s commendation cards in recognition. It is a pity that some of these praiseworthy acts of bravery have never been publicised or written about. Let’s try and do justice:
Born in 1993 at RVC Centre & School Meerut, this golden Labrador named Rex was posted to 14 Army Dog Unit under Delta Force specially to aid troops in trailing and tracking militants.
In the late 1990s, another furry Labrador named Rock, after tracking a 4-km stretch over a strenuous, snow-bound and mountainous terrain, helped authorities seize four foreign militants.
Rudali was a naughty, great sniffer Labrador. He was an explosive or mine detective dog that helped road opening parties by providing safe passage to troops and civilian convoys.
Rocket was a witty golden Labrador that recovered one universal machine gun, three AK-47s, two AK-56s and one sniper rifle, two 9 mm pistols, seven radio sets, 11 IEDs, 26 hand grenades, 37 electric detonators and over 1500 rounds of ammunition, an unforgettable record haul!
Alex, an intuitive golden Labrador picked up the would-be assassin’s scent from a grenade lever, and ran miles across a forested hill, eventually led to the capture of him in a temple. As a return of kindness, the king of Bhutanese, Jigme Dorji Wangchuck in Paroawarded him Rs 1,000, his own gold ring and a certificate.