BALTIMORE (WJZ)— When Navy SEALs landed in Pakistan to capture and kill Osama bin Laden, one member of the raiding party had four legs.
The type of dog remains a secret, but Suzanne Collins explains which breed is used most.
The Belgian Malinois is a dog breed known for following commands, working hard and for as long as a decade once trained.
In Northeast Baltimore, a K-9 officer and his Belgian Malinois are also on call as first responders if Maryland has a terrorist crisis. The breed often serves in military war zones.
“Primarily, they’d be bomb detecting. Secondarily, they’d be suspect apprehension,” said Harvey Betts, K-9 officer.
In this week’s raid on bin Laden’s compound, a military dog participated in the raid–most likely a Belgian Malinois or German Shepherd.
Officer Betts’ wife runs a Malinois dog rescue.
“The breed loves to work,” said Mary Frances Betts, Malinois rescuer. “They have to be mentally and physically stimulated. The military using them is no surprise. They fit into spaces German Shepherds can’t go.”
The Betts say the Malinois is not the best one to have as a pet because they require constant stimulation, not just two walks a day. But they do make perfect soldiers.
The Belgian Malinois is not as prone to hip dysplasia as German Shepherds. They fit into smaller places, and they can work longer.
The number of dogs used by the military is growing. Right now 600 are at work in Iraq and Afghanistan. They can run up to 35 miles an hour, and a terrorist or any man would have a hard time getting away.
Betts says kudos to the handler and dog that took out bin Laden.
Some of the Navy SEALs dogs have vests with cameras and speakers. The handlers can command from afar and see what the dog sees.
Navy SEAL teams are trained to parachute out of helicopters, even with trained dogs.