Soldier Dogs by Maria Goodavage is a look at some of the more unconventional heroes of war, the dogs. Man’s best friend has an important role in wars. The attachment between these war dogs and soldiers is especially deep. But these type of dogs aren’t just your average house pet. This book takes you through their intense training process that happens along the way to becoming heroes.
The book starts out with a gripping story about a recent incident of a dog in action during the Afghanistan war. While this story is clearly meant to draw you into the book, it is one of the several that showcases the supporting roles of dogs.
But this book goes a little further than just telling war stories, it also gives you a look at dog boot camp. The main difference between the house pet and war dog is the training. One of the key trainers is U.S. Marine Gunnery Sergeant Kristopher Knight. It is his understanding of dogs that makes the military training program one of the best. You also might find a few tips on how to communicate better with your own dog.
There is also a little bit of history about the role dogs have played in previous wars. It touches a little on World War I and World War II where many of the heroic dog stories originate from. But most of the stories showcased here are about the trained dogs in Afghanistan.
This book contains a little bit of everything. It has history, heroic stories, and an extensive look at the training process and selection of special war dogs. That is probably my biggest criticism. It tries to do too much without truly focusing on one specific aspect. Thus, the number of stories provided is a little disappointing and you miss some of the more comprehensive details that go along with training. I also wish the history part had been a little more in-depth. But it was adequate for a basic overview.
Soldier Dogs will definitely appeal to dog lovers who already know how smart their dogs are. However, it won’t appeal to those who have a revulsion to war. Borrow this from the library or the electronic library. Even though it is a good book, the price just isn’t that accommodating for your library shelves.