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1st national monument for war dogs honors four-legged pup soldiers of World War II and beyond

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The Military Working Dog Teams National Monument (Dogs For Defense Save Lives)

Fox News:

LOS ANGELES – The act of Congress is in the books, the bills are paid, the sculptures are being cast, and one of the biggest parades in the world will start a glory tour and countdown to dedication.

The first national monument to pay tribute to military dogs will be unveiled in California in just two months. The U.S. Working Dog Teams National Monument will honor every dog that has served in combat since World War II.

Some cities, cemeteries and military bases across the country already have such memorials. But none has been elevated to national monument level, where it will be in the company of the Statue of Liberty, Yosemite National Park and Mount Rushmore National Memorial.

In 2000, John Burnam, a 65-year-old veteran military dog handler, wrote a book called "Dog Tags of Courage." A year later, he got an email from a reader wondering why there were no national monuments to the dogs of war.

In "Dog Tags" and a 2008 book, "A Soldier’s Best Friend," Burnam wrote about his time with the Army’s 44th Scout Dog Platoon when he was in Vietnam in 1967 and 1968.

His first dog, Timber, was injured in an ambush a few months after they teamed up, so he spent most of his tour with a German shepherd named Clipper.

"He saved my life and saved the lives of others by alerting on ambushes, snipers and booby traps. I wanted to give something back to these animals that have done so much and asked for so little, except for food and water and the love of their handlers," said Burnam, who received the Legion of Merit, Bronze Star and Purple Heart.

Back then, handlers were not able to adopt their dogs when they were retired.

"I always worried about them but I know they died over there and they died as heroes," he said.

In 2004, Burnam and two other dog handler veterans pursued the idea in earnest, forming the John Burnam Monument Foundation Inc. But it took two more years, until he met Rep. Walter B. Jones, R-N.C., that the monument project started to take shape.

In 2007, Jones introduced legislation authorizing establishment of the monument. Passed unanimously by Congress, it was signed the next year by President George W. Bush, then amended and signed by President Barack Obama.

Burnam designed the monument, which depicts the modern military handler and four dogs — a Doberman, German shepherd, Labrador retriever and Belgian Malinois, all breeds used in wars.

The silicon bronze handler stands more than 9 feet tall and weighs 1,500 pounds. Each dog is about 5 feet tall and weighs 550 pounds. Burnam called them "hero-sized."

The figures will stand on a pedestal, in front of a large granite wall. One side of the wall will have photos etched in black marble veneer showing dog teams in combat from the different wars. The other side will have an inscription written by Burnam.

The sculptor, Paula Slater, said it was the largest and most complex monument she had ever done. She worked for thousands of hours, saying that finishing a project of that size "is like giving birth to a baby — five of them."

The money for the monument came slowly. Burnam made one of many fundraising pitches on the reality TV show "Who Let the Dogs Out," featuring Tillman, the skateboarding, surfing and snowboarding bulldog. The president of Natural Balance Pet Foods Inc., the company that Tillman represents, attended the show taping and volunteered to pitch in more than $1 million.

"Don’t do a thing. Natural Balance and Petco (Animal Supplies Inc.) will take care of it," Joey Herrick said. To raise funds for the monument and its maintenance, Natural Balance created a jerky bark treat sold by Petco. Maddie’s Fund, a family-funded pet rescue foundation, also signed on as a corporate sponsor.

The public will get a sneak peak of the monument at the Tournament of Roses parade in Pasadena on Jan. 1, when a floral replica will be used as Natural Balance’s float. Burnam, dogs and handlers from every military service branch will ride on it.

When the float goes on display afterward at Victory Park, the real bronze monument will make its public debut next to it, Herrick said. Then the bronze monument will go on tour as it heads to Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio. The location was chosen as the site for the monument because that’s where most of the nation’s military’s dogs are trained.

Meanwhile, Tillman, the dog that helped get Burnam the monument funding, is also getting personal recognition for his military service. For his work entertaining troops at bases and for going through a mini Marine boot camp, the athletic bulldog has been made an honorary private 1st class.

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November 12, 2012 Posted by | animal behavior, Animal or Pet Related Stories, animals, Dogs, Dogs, Holidays With Pets, If Animlas Could Talk..., Just One More Pet, Man's Best Friend, NO KILL NATION, Pet and Animal Training, Political Change, Service and Military Animals, Toughen Animal Abuse Laws and Sentences, We Are All God's Creatures, Working and Military Dogs and Related | , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

This is the Russian Black Terrier

"‘Stalin’s Dogs’ Join Russian Army"

Red Star kennels mixing a bunch of different breeds to produce the Russian black terrier, now in training for duty with the Russian Army, again a UNIQUE ANIMAL NOT SEEN IN WESTERN DOG-LOVING CIRCLES! For a time even the very existence of this dog was a state secret unknown to the "west"?

"The black Russian terrier, which was produced from a mix of about 20 breeds such as the Giant Schnauzer, the Rottweiler, the Newfoundland and the Caucasian Ovcharka. The breed has been available to Russian pet lovers since the 1950s, though it remains rare outside the country."

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That giant Alsatian dog, the German shepherd always thought to be the ideal war dog able to perform military service in the most desirable manner no longer seen as so perfect?

That malinois breed for instance used by French and now American military units that incorporate dogs into the TO&E.

A major consideration being a canine that if necessary can be picked up and carried by one man, the handler!

This too a consideration with the Russian black terrier?

The Russian and prior to that the Soviet military NEVER slavishly copying or imitating the western model but rather devising their OWN solutions, according to their estimate of the situation and criteria they deem as important.

This is Roy!
Military Analysis:
Here from the Red Star Kennel web site the full and complete [?] story of the Black Russian terrier.
The war dog of choice for first the Soviet and now the Russian military.
The product of Red Star Kennels very selective breeding program.
[Red Star at one time providing prodigious numbers of guard dogs for the GULAG? This might be so. Dogs chosen and bred for viciousness and needed in enormous numbers during the time of Stalin!]
The Black Russian terrier a mix of various breeds carefully chosen for specific traits and characteristics that would make for a good war dog.
NOT necessarily a KILLER but a war dog able to perform a variety of functions vital to a military effort. But NOT a vicious killer, that is clear.
That original Giant schnauzer stud dog Roy mixed with with a rottweiler.
The final mix of Black Russian terrier resembling the schnauzer, rottweiler, airedale.
A dog large in size, about 100-120 pounds, a minimum of fifty Kilograms, NOT a dog easily carried as is the Malinois.
That Black Russian terrier guard dog, a sentry dog, a mine detecting dog, and perhaps an attack dog able to KILL on command [?].
Appear to be a shaggy hairy dog that is not suited for hot climates? That is what the appearance is to me.
A dog definitely requiring:
* A strong alpha master. You must dominate this dog and not the other way around.
* Lots of grooming.
* Lots of exercise.
[Dogs of all creatures so studied when at a pace, running, the only animal becoming stronger the further and further it runs.
Man and horses not able to compete over such a long distance as the dog. Dogs not having sweat glands and panting to dissipate heat but able to pursue a prey as not other animal can!!]
Puppies now available in the U.S. but I would have to think for for persons ONLY that know to handle and care for a dog.

The Russian military will begin employing a breed of dog created in the Red Army kennels in the mid-20th century and known in English as “Stalin’s dogs,” a military spokesman said on Thursday.

Some 20 black Russian terriers were among the batch of dogs that entered training at a kennel in the Moscow region, the spokesman said. Some 450 dogs are in training at the center, he said.

The dogs will be trained for guard, rescue and even mine detection duties, the spokesman said.

The Red Star Kennel, which is at the heart of the training center, was established in 1924 and has produced thousands of service dogs, many of which were used in World War II.

It has also bred more than 10 new breeds, including the black Russian terrier, which was produced from a mix of about 20 breeds such as the Giant Schnauzer, the Rottweiler, the Newfoundland and the Caucasian Ovcharka. The breed has been available to Russian pet lovers since the 1950s, though it remains rare outside the country.

July 24, 2012 Posted by | animal behavior, Animal or Pet Related Stories, Dogs, Dogs, Just One More Pet, Man's Best Friend, Pets, responsible pet ownership, Service and Military Animals, Working and Military Dogs and Related | , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment