Training Dogs For War

By Christina Hager, WBZ-TV

COLORADO (CBS) — In a sandy valley near a southern Colorado mountain range, a former Marine is training German Shepherds for war.

This is where dogs like the one Seal Team 6 took into Osama Bin Laden’s compound learn how to support the military.

“They can swim, do parachute jumps. They have to be stable. They have to be quiet,” says Alex Dunbar, who runs Close Quarter Battle K-9 School.

WBZ-TV’s Christina Hager reports.

He explains the dogs are outfitted with armor to protect them from shrapnel. They also have cameras mounted on their heads streaming live video to human supervisors in other positions.

Some of the dogs even have titanium teeth implanted.

“The dogs are the first ones in there,” says Dunbar. “If there’s somebody in there they can identify possibly really quickly and they can move in faster, but what they’re doing is saving lives… they seek out and make sure there are no IED’s or booby traps.”

Dunbar assures the dogs under his care are treated and fed well, and given a lot of love and attention, which is why they end up so loyal to their handlers.

More from Christina Hager
  • Mike Lemish

    Nice story except what is left out. Dogs trained at this facility are used by private contractors not the armed services. The military has their own working dog program. “Special teeth” are not being implanted in dogs as a routine procedure. Titanium is often used for the replacement of broken teeth. ARF!

  • Ellen

    Fine and dandy but what happens to these dogs of war when they come home. I hope they get a family that loves them instead of being put out to pasture with no hope of a good life.

    • Mike Lemish

      Not sure about these private contractor dogs, but military working dogs are now retired either to the handler or to civilians like myself, when they can no longer perform at their peak. For more info check out

  • Ron Aiello

    Mike Lemish has it right when he talks about Titanium teeth for Military Working dogs. This proceedure is only done when a dog breaks their upper or lower K9 teeth. The tooth is caped just like a human would go and have a route canal and then a crown inserted. The dog gets a route canal and then the tooth is caped with titanium, which by the way is not as stronger as the original tooth.

  • Ron Aiello

    Military Working Dogs have a retirement and adoption program which was authorized by Congress in November 2000. The Military Working Dog handler has first option to adopt his or her dog. If they are not able to adopt their dog then it goes out to civilians. There is about a year and a half waiting list for these wonder Military Dogs.

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