Indian Army Dogs
As per the official statement of the Minister of State for Defence given in 2019, the Army had 25 full dog units and 2 half units. Currently, there are approximately 1,200 trained dogs in the Indian Army.
After getting professional training, these dogs perform various functions which include guard duty, patrolling and detecting explosives including Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs), mine detection, sniffing contraband items including drugs and attacking potential targets. They also play a significant role in search operations to help in finding criminals and terrorists.
Every Army dog is assigned an individual dog handler who has the responsibility of taking care of the dog and guiding them in various military operations.
Remount and Veterinary Corps Centre and School located in Meerut was established in 1960 as a centre to provide training to dogs. They are taught particular skills on the basis of the breed they belong to and the quality they possess and after that they join the service for around 8 years and then they get retirement.
Earlier Dogs were given euthanasia after the completion of the tenure of their service but now this practice has been discontinued as the policy was amended.
List of Exceptionally Skilled Indian Army Dogs Breeds
1. Great Swiss Mountain
- One of the oldest breeds in Switzerland.
- Result of indigenous dogs mating with larger mastiff dogs who were brought to Switzerland by outsiders.
- Weight is around 100 pounds and they can be as high as 28.5 inches.
- and weighing as much as a midsize human, a Greater Swiss might be greater than you.
- They are incredibly strong while still maintaining high agility.
- These are sociable and friendly and good with families.
2. German Shepherd
- Belong to Germany.
- large and muscular with a signature square muzzle, bushy tail, and a black mask.
- the German Shepherd is a medium to large-sized dog.
- German Shepherds are usually herding dogs, developed originally to herd sheep.
- They are intelligent and fast learners, they are now preferred for a number of jobs around the world,
- They are known for performing various operations including assisting the disabled, search and rescue, and police and military roles.
- One of the most lovable and famous dog breeds in the world,
- They weigh up to 80 lbs and are around 25 inches in height.
- They reach 12 to 14 years of age.
- The Labrador or the Labrador retriever is a breed from the UK.
- They are considered sturdy and tough dogs, as well as they, are very social and friendly in nature.
- They are especially popular for disability assistance and work well to aid the blind and even the autistic.
- This breed is known to be very social and friendly and they are smart and quite easy to train
4. Mudhol Hound
- They are from India only and that’s why they are considered best for Indian Weather.
- They have been given many names like Maratha Hound, the Kathewar Dog, and the Pashmi Hound
- They weigh around 22-28 Kg
- Their height is around 26-28 Inches
- They are very loyal to their owners.
- They are generally good guards and watchdogs.
- In 2005, it was one of the four Indian dog breeds to make it to the set of postage stamps released by the Indian Ministry of Communications and Information Technology.
- They perform various operations under the Indian Army like border surveillance and security and detecting Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs).
- They belong to Himalayan mountains specifically from Ladakh region of India.
- Height: 24-30 inches and Weight: 85-130 lbs
- They are also called the Gaddi Kutta, the Tibetan Mastiff, mostly found in border areas.
- Native dogs of Ladakh are being locally trained by the Bakharwal and Gujjar tribes.
- They are also helpful as work dogs to facilitate travel and transport of supplies.
- They are also employed as sled dogs at the icy heights of Ladakh for casualty evacuation
- They assist the Indian army in various operational roles.
6. Belgian Malinois
- They are natives of Belgium.
- Height ranges from 22-26 inches and weight ranges from 40-80 pounds
- Medium to large herding dog breed with a short coat and a square, well-balanced build with the high head carriage.
- They are sharp-minded, faithful, and laborious.
- Perfect as a working dog to conduct various police and military related operations
- They also provide disability assistance and are good for companionship, guarding, detecting and guiding.
- Malinois assisted in the search and killing of Osama Bin Laden.
- They assist Indian Army, especially in fatal funnel openings where soldiers are not able to see the other side.
7. Cocker Spaniel
- This US breed is one of the most famous breeds worldwide.
- Cocker spaniels are sweet, friendly-natured, and sociable.
- They are known for their active attitude.
- They weigh Male: 24-28 lbs and their height is around 15 inches.
- Once this breed was mentioned by PM Modi in Mann Ki Baat, a radio programme. He mentioned Sophie, a Cocker Spaniel as she was awarded the Chief of Army Staff ‘Commendation Cards’ on the occasion of 74th independence day.
- Sophie is an explosive detection dog who assisted the army by detecting an initiator that is used for making an IED.
Indian Army Dogs: FAQs
Q1. Are Indian army dogs killed after retirement?
Ans. Since 2015, the army has stopped the euthanasia (mercy-killing) of animals.
Q2. Does the Indian army dog get a salary?
Ans. Dogs don’t get a salary but they are given specific ranks in the army.
Q3. Can anyone adopt army dogs in India?
Ans. Yes, but after submitting an affidavit.