Seal dogs

By  | March 20, 2018 | Filed under: News

The moon is hid behind the clouds, as a group of individuals make their way to a residence that Intel says a High Value Target is staying.  As the individuals form a line to the side of the front door, the Breacher calmly places a charge that will take the door off the hinges.  As the order is given, the Charge explodes, blasting the door completely off its hinges.  The individuals make entry into the residence, weapons up, scanning the interior. 


U.S. Navy K-9 stands by with his Handler

  The order is given and an important member of this Team goes into action.  In the ear mics of the individuals, they hear the clattering of toe nails as well as panting as this member of the Team begin to search the residence.  Shortly thereafter, barks and growls are heard along with screaming.  The individuals quickly surround the High Value Target that they have been tasked to find.  As this men watch, the HVT tries to shake off the fur and teeth that has clamped on his arm. 

    The command is given, and the K-9 member of this SEAL Team releases the HVT and sits, still growling as the HVT is cuffed and escorted from the room.  As the Team walks the HVT out, the K-9s handler give the dog, his favorite toy and ruffle his fur.  A Helicopter soon lands and the Team and the HVT leaves the area of operation.   


Is the above a chapter from an adventure novel or an action movie?   No, it could be an actual mission for the organization called the United States Navy SEALS.    Yes, the Navy SEALS are using dogs are part of operations.  This includes assaults, recoveries, reconnaissance, rescues, etc.

From the Business Insider Website:

Animals have been used in warfare since humans first domesticated them. And dogs are no exception to the rule.


Since September 11, canines have taken on larger and more prominent roles throughout the US military, including within the Navy SEALs.

What’s special about canine units used in the Navy SEALs is the particularity of their training.

All Navy SEAL dogs undergo an intensity of training that matches the difficulties of their human counterparts.

It’s no wonder that these dogs have become vital components of SEAL team units.

   This the training being mentioned above, these K-9s have to learn to be comfortable around gunfire, learn to parachute with their handlers as well as plunge into the ocean with this handler.   Not all dogs make the cut to become a Navy SEAL K-9.  It is rigorous training for the K-9 but also for its handler.   The Handler and his dog form a bond that is in separable.

United States Navy SEAL K-9s were in the most famous raid in history, the raid on bin Laden’s Palace.



From the Website:

   When U.S. President Barack Obama went to Fort Campbell, Kentucky earlier for a highly publicized, but very private meeting with the commando team that killed Osama bin Laden, only one of the 81 members of the super-secret SEAL DevGru unit was identified by name: Cairo, the war dog. Cairo, like most canine members of the elite U.S. Navy SEALs, is a Belgian Malinois. The Malinois breed is similar to German shepherds but smaller and more compact, with an adult male weighing in the 30-kilo range.

The dogs, equipped with video cameras, also enter certain danger zones first, allowing their handlers to see what’s ahead before humans follow. As I mentioned before, SEAL dogs are even trained parachutists, jumping either in tandem with their handlers or solo, if the jump is into water. Last year canine parachute instructor Mike Forsythe and his dog Cara set the world record for highest man-dog parachute deployment, jumping from more than 30,100 feet up – the altitude transoceanic passenger jets fly at. Both Forsythe and Cara were wearing oxygen masks and skin protectors for the jump. Here’s a photo from that jump, taken by Andy Anderson for K9 Storm Inc. (more about those folks shortly).

As well, the dogs are faithful, fearless and ferocious – incredibly frightening and efficient attackers. When the SEAL DevGru team (usually known by its old designation, Team 6) hit bin Laden’s Pakistan compound on May 2, Cairo ‘s feet would have been four of the first on the ground. And like the human SEALs, Cairo was wearing super-strong, flexible body Armour and outfitted with high-tech equipment that included “doggles” – specially designed and fitted dog goggles with night-vision and infrared capability that would even allow Cairo to see human heat forms through concrete walls.

Now where on earth would anyone get that kind of incredibly niche hi-tech doggie gear? From Winnipeg, of all places. Jim and Glori Slater’s Manitoba hi-tech mom-and-pop business, K9 Storm Inc., has a deserved worldwide reputation for designing and manufacturing probably the best body Armour available for police and military dogs. Working dogs in 15 countries around the world are currently protected by their K9 Storm body Armour.

The harness has been specially designed by the company K9 Storm, Inc. Aside from allowing parachuting, the harness provides Kevlar body armor for the dog, along with a host of other benefits

Air Assault Dogs


From the Global Animal Website:

Air Assault Dogs


This was President Obama’s response upon hearing, in a private ceremony honoring Seal Team Six who killed Osama Bin Laden that a Belgian Malinois named Cairo was on the raid, according to an article in the New Yorker magazine. The President was told that Cairo was in an adjoining room, muzzled, at the request of the Secret Service.


…And so ends the mystery about what breed of dog had gone on the raid to take down the world’s most notorious terrorist.

The New Yorker article details the raid, including Cairo’s role. Inside the two helicopters on the raid were twenty-three Navy SEALs from Team Six, which is officially known as the Naval Special Warfare Development Group, or DEVGRU. A Pakistani-American translator, and Cairo—a Belgian Malinois–a highly intelligent and fearless breed increasingly used by the military.

The two Black Hawks, each of which had two pilots and a crewman from the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment, or the Night Stalkers, had been modified to mask heat, noise, and movement; the copters’ exteriors had sharp, flat angles and were covered with radar-dampening “skin.”

Due to the extreme nature of Navy SEAL deployments, all dogs are familiarized with riding in, and jumping out of, aircraft.


Twelve SEALs, including Mark, boarded Helo one. Eleven SEALs, Ahmed, and Cairo boarded Helo two.

Cairo’s role was to help clear the buildings, sniff for bombs and booby-traps, search for false walls or hidden doors where Bin Laden could be hiding, or help keep curious neighbors at bay.




Cairo is a Belgian Malinois, like this handsome fellow pictured here.

As it turned out, after one of the helicopters crashed outside the compound’s walls.  Cairo, a translator named Ahmed, and four SEALs were responsible for closing off the perimeter of the house while six otherSEALs—the contingent that was supposed to have dropped onto the roof—moved inside. For the team patrolling the perimeter, the first fifteen minutes passed without incident. Neighbors undoubtedly heard the low-flying helicopters, the sound of one crashing, and the sporadic explosions and gunfire that ensued, but nobody came outside.

Eventually, a few curious Pakistanis approached to inquire about the commotion on the other side of the wall. “Go back to your houses,” Ahmed said in Pashto, as Cairo and his Seal Team stood watch. “There is a security operation under way.” The locals went home, none of them suspecting that they had talked to an American.

When the squadron commander, spoke at the ceremony honoring Cairo and the Seal Team Six team, he started by citing all the forward operating bases in eastern Afghanistan that had been named for SEALs killed in combat.

“Everything we have done for the last ten years prepared us for this,” he told Obama. The President was “in awe of these guys,” Ben Rhodes, the deputy national-security adviser, who travelled with Obama, said. “It was an extraordinary base visit,” he added. “They knew he had staked his Presidency on this. He knew they staked their lives on it.”

And Cairo, the brave Belgian Malinois, trained to slide down a rope or jump 5,000 feet to help protect our troops and country, was there.



    So, what happens to these K-9s when it is time to retire  or cannot work anymore.  There are Organizations being developed to help these K-9’s to find a home with deserving people.


From the Wide Open Pets Website:


Navy Dog Retires with Family of Fallen Officer


He’s a hero on four paws.


    When working dog Jet Li needed a retirement home after serving the Navy and then the Indianapolis Police Department, Project K-9 Hero found him one — with the family of his fallen namesake. Although the Dutch Shepherd was known as “Knikker” during his two tours in Iraq, he was dubbed Jet Li when he started his second career with the Indy PD, in honor of the late John “Jet Li” Douangdara, lead dog handler for the Elite Seal Team Six.


   “My first thought was to call his family immediately and give them an opportunity to adopt the dog,” explains Jason Johnson, the CEO and founder of Project K-9 Hero.

    Johnson’s organization exists to give retired military and police dogs like Jet Li the care and financial support they deserve when their careers end.

“We protect those heroes who protected us,” he says. “Unfortunately, in the police world and in the military world, when these dogs retire they lose their funding.”

    Project K-9 Hero steps in to ease the financial burden a retired dog’s care and medical expenses placed on adopters (who are often the dog’s former handlers).

Usually, the dogs Johnson helps are either former Military Working Dogs (MWDs), or police K9s. Jet Li’s experience as both is as unique as it is impressive, says Johnson.


During his two tours as a Naval Special Warfare MWD, Jet Li aided in apprehending targets and with countless narcotics finds. After retiring from the military at five years old, he went on to help with more than 100 criminal apprehensions as an Indy PD K9 before retiring for good at 10 years old.

     Even with his amazing record as an American hero, Jet Li had no home to go to when his age finally caught up to him. That’s when Johnson got the call from a fellow trainer, and learned the details of how and why Jet Li got his second career and second name.

     It turns out that while John Douangdara didn’t directly handle Knikker during the dog’s military career, some of his friends did, and the two Jet Lis definitely knew each other. The police officers the dog would eventually work with knew Douangdara too, as he trained Indianapolis police K9 handlers before he was killed in the line of duty. That’s why the police officers renamed their Naval canine recruit.

    “It was out of respect for Johnny — his call sign was Jet Li when he was on the field teams as a handler.” explains Johnson, who has known Douangdara’s family for years, having worked with the hero’s older siblings to preserve his legacy.

     Johnny — as Johnson calls him — has been memorialized in university text books, and a statue of the K9 handler and his MWD, Bart (who died along with Douangdara and 37 other people when a Chinook helicopter was shot down in Afghanistan in August 2011) stands at the John Douangdara Memorial War Dog Park in Sioux City, Nebraska.

For Douangdara’s older brother, Pan, adopting the dog named after his late sibling has been another way to honor his memory.

     “It’s crazy, the story and how it all kind of went full circle,” he says. “A dog that kind of passed by my brother, in his unit and where he worked — and I know  that he graced the presence of my brother — wound up back with me.”

     The elder Douangdara had actually tried to adopt another retiring MWD before hearing about Jet Li, but that fell through when the canine hero was placed in another home. Pan remembers getting the call from Johnson and feeling ecstatic to not only be getting a dog, but also a renewed connection to Johnny.

    “I was super excited,” he explains. “Knowing what these dogs do and what they sacrifice for us, I feel like it’s something we all should do: Give back to them after they retire.”

    Jet Li’s new human describes his senior dog as an energetic bundle of joy who makes every day feel different.

    “There’s probably the assumption that these dogs are nothing but business and that they’re only trained to [work], but all he wants to do is play with his ball,” he says.

    “He’s awesome, he’s fun.”

     It’s clear Jet Li found the perfect home thanks to Project K-9 Hero, and Johnson says the organization will continue to do everything it can for retiring dogs.

“We make sure the heroes like Jet Li do not go without, and we are committed to taking care of them for life,” Johnson vows.

Navy SEAL Dogs are even getting their fame on television.    I was recently watching the CBS show “SEAL Team” which features a dog in the story lines.  The Dog’s name is Dita and she is a fully trained Police K-9.  Below are some photos of her on the set of “SEAL Team”.

Dita taking a break during the filming of the CBS TV Show “SEAL Team”

Dita geared up and ready to perform on the set of “SEAL Team”

  In closing, remember that it is just not our Service Men and

Dita geared up and ready to perform on the set of “SEAL Team”

Women putting their lives on the line each day.  There are specially trained K-9s out there that work and give their lives to help keep us safe and our Freedoms intact.  IF one of them passes away or is killed in the Line of Duty, this Country has lost a Hero.  So to end this story, we give a Salute to Fallen Comrades and K-9’s.




  Bobby Inman is retired from Law Enforcement after 21 years of Service.  He is a Consultant for Southern Heritage Gun & Pawn in Tuscumbia.   He has articles published in Law & Order Magazine, Police Marksman Magazine, Guns & Weapons for Law Enforcement Magazine as well as several published ebooks on Amazon, Kobo Writing, as well as Nook (Barnes & Noble).  He is owner of Poopiedog, an Animal Rescue Dachshund, who is his constant companion.   He is a Senior Investigative Reporter for the Quad Cities Daily

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Tire Giant P&K Western Wear Hooey Coldwater Inn Team Defender Andy Brown Visionary Aquatic Designs Dynamic Staffing