Fun with Attack Dogs

Military Hound(Kind of looks like a big Viesa, huh?)


Hey hey, what’s up, everybody? As you might have guessed, this is the Pilot. How’re you all doing? I’m subbing in for the wife who’s all kinds of busy today. The past couple weeks have been kind of slow, so when she asked me to blog, I honestly couldn’t think of a fun topic. Then we got some visitors.

Big Viesa (Faces cropped for operational security)


The squadron did some favors for the security forces that train the K-9s, so they stopped by with a few friends. The dogs perform a variety of roles including the attack function you might see watching “Cops.” I’ve had the privilege of watching them from the targeting pod and it’s pretty darn impressive.  The handlers develop a very strong bond with their hounds; growing attached to them as they work missions together. In the field, the dogs wear Kevlar vests designed especially for them that helps protect their vital organs just like any other soldier. However, unlike your typical soldier, they don’t carry rifles…because, well, they don’t need to.

Dog and handler


So, here’s the kicker. These dogs are in training and they need lots of practice to build confidence…practice running down people.

And they needed volunteers…

What did I get myself into

(That’s my “what the worst that could happen?” face)


Just between you and me, when I came out and saw the dogs training, all I could think about was walking up and giving the hounds a good scratchin’ cause I really miss having being around animals. Well, direct physical contact with a military working dog would probably have been a poor decision so I went for the next best thing. It turns out that the line for volunteers was pretty short…

Is this a good idea

So, I dawned my protective gear and looked into the eyes of a dog that recognized my outfit. The intensity and energy looking back at me was quite a reality check. He sat in eager anticipation next to the handler; at all times displaying the discipline inherent in the training and generations of working side-by-side with man. The handler gave the signal and I did my best walk like a terrorist strut away from them.

So, any interest in seeing the dog go after me? Then check in with the Fitnessista later on today when Gina posts the youtube video! Side note: even while the dog has his teeth in the suit trying to tear away at it, I looked down and saw that pup there and it made me smile.

Can’t wait to come home…



The Pilot

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  1. The Pilot on March 10, 2011 at 12:33 pm

    Oops, I meant “names” cropped for opsec. Enjoy!!

  2. Katie on March 10, 2011 at 12:39 pm

    hi Pilot!!!! Hope you are doing great! Can I just say that Gina rocks, I loved hanging out with her and SO wished we lived closer, her and I hit it off, she’s awesome!

    I have seen this on tv before where they had police dog training, it looked so scary!!! I was afraid the dogs would really hurt someone somehow even though they are wearing protective gear! I am anxious to see your video! Glad you survived!!! have a great day! Thanks for sharing this!!!

  3. Leanne on March 10, 2011 at 12:48 pm

    Hi Pilot! Love when you guest post!

    I cant imagine being in a place without animals… so used to have little furballs all around, it would be hard!

    Can’t wait to see the video 🙂

  4. Holly @ Couch Potato Athlete on March 10, 2011 at 12:53 pm

    Great post Pilot!

    I used to work at a police station and I remember watching some of the K-9 officers train with their dogs. I never volunteered to be a part of things though!

  5. Missy on March 10, 2011 at 12:57 pm

    Great post!! My husband is a K9 trainer for the AF and claims it’s the best job to have….well, besides flying ;). Needless to say, I’ve been in that ‘black marshmellow’ suit a few times.

    • Missy on March 10, 2011 at 1:01 pm

      *marshmallow 🙂

    • The Pilot on March 10, 2011 at 7:34 pm

      That’s def what I would do if I wasn’t doing this!

  6. Colleen @ The Lunchbox Diaries on March 10, 2011 at 1:01 pm

    Great post, Pilot! I don’t know if I’d have the nerve to let those dogs attack me – they look huge!

  7. Mindy on March 10, 2011 at 1:02 pm

    Hi Pilot! Thanks for your posts – they are always a fun read.

    Gina – Thank you so much for the Sun Warrior promo – I just ordered my first one! Looking forward to trying it as soon as I get it!!! It’s also my first time getting vanilla – I always get chocolate protein powders.

  8. Katie @ Nourishing Flourishing on March 10, 2011 at 1:12 pm

    Wow! Different day job over there! : )

  9. Laura on March 10, 2011 at 1:15 pm

    I used to work in a federal building with pretty fierce security and I would want to pet the dogs sooo badly every morning as I came through security! I always figured that’d be a bad call. 😉 Looking forward to the video! It’s amazing how they have these dogs trained.

  10. jenna on March 10, 2011 at 1:17 pm

    What an interesting time!? No, wonder why your wife worries like crazy about you over there….volunteering to get attacked?

  11. Ashley on March 10, 2011 at 1:25 pm

    awww, precious! Can’t wait for the video!

  12. Allison @ Food For Healing on March 10, 2011 at 1:27 pm

    that would be quite the experience having a dog come at you and not scream and run away. I was attacked by a dog once, and i wasnt protected by a big suit.
    Can definitely see that you miss home, it will be great once you do get back home! safe returns.

  13. Kara on March 10, 2011 at 1:39 pm

    This is the best post ever 🙂 I love the Belgian Malinois breed and I love to see them work. I’m looking forward to the video and you earned some serious street cred in my eyes by volunteering to put on that attack suit!

    • The Pilot on March 10, 2011 at 7:40 pm

      Thanks. It was the highlight of my day. I’d love to own one

  14. Jason @ Shutter&Saute on March 10, 2011 at 1:48 pm

    The breeder I got my GSD from is also the k9 trainer for the local police force. When I first went to visit their kennel he asked if I wanted to put a bite suit on and let one of his work dogs get some practice, I excitedly agreed!

    Boy it is a weird feeling having a dog 4 feet away from you going absolutely nuts and wanting to kill you.

    I couldn’t believe the force in his bite, even with a bite jacket on he still lightly punctured my skin and left a bruise. Needless to say that was the last time I put on a bite suit!

  15. jen @ taste life on March 10, 2011 at 1:51 pm

    That’s so neat! I think I probably would have just wanted to hug the dogs, but I guess that’s not allowed, either 🙂

    Can’t wait to see the video!

  16. Shanna @ Shanna LIke Banana on March 10, 2011 at 1:52 pm

    Is it weird that I’d volunteer for this too, if only to get some animal lovin’?

  17. Jessica @ Jessica Balances on March 10, 2011 at 1:53 pm

    You must really love animals! 🙂 I’m interested to see what your “walk like a terrorist” strut looks like!

  18. Linda B on March 10, 2011 at 2:03 pm

    Thanks for the interesting post….and more importantly, the job you’re doing over there.

    The first dog has booties on his front paws. Is that standard gear for the rocky soil there? The other dogs don’t appear to be wearing them. Just curious. I’m glad they get Kevlar.

    • The Pilot on March 10, 2011 at 7:42 pm

      That’s funny you mention that. I didn’t notice the front shoes until I looked at the pics to make the blog post. I have no idea why that’s the pup to be sportin’ kicks. Maybe he gets a little aggressive with scratching? I’m not sure. Anybody else have any ideas??

  19. Errign on March 10, 2011 at 2:10 pm

    Hi Pilot! I can’t believe you smiled as a large dog attacked you! Crazy. Glad to see you’re safe & smiling. Thanks again for everything you & all there with you do, including the puppers!

  20. Laura @ prettylittlewords on March 10, 2011 at 2:12 pm

    Hi pilot! *waves* Good to hear from you!

  21. Ann on March 10, 2011 at 2:13 pm

    What a fun post! You clearly need some puppy time if attack dogs seem like snuggling to you! There’s a commercial I hear on the radio sometimes about K9 dogs and raising money to give them Kevlar vests. It makes me cry every time! I hope you keep up your guest spots even when you’re back home 🙂

  22. Annette @ EnjoyYourHealthyLife on March 10, 2011 at 2:24 pm

    Fun post- it made me laugh 🙂 When do you get to come home to Gina???

    • Fitnessista on March 10, 2011 at 4:40 pm

      SOON! 🙂

  23. Jessica @ Dairy Free Betty on March 10, 2011 at 2:48 pm

    Hey Pilot,
    I’ll be watching, with my hands over my eyes!! EEK!!

  24. Averie (LoveVeggiesAndYoga) on March 10, 2011 at 2:54 pm

    I just posted the other day about how in San Diego, people go everywhere with their 5 lb “purse dogs”. Looks like these doggies are a little bigger than 5 pounds 🙂

    Can’t wait for the youtube video!

  25. nysoonergirl on March 10, 2011 at 3:16 pm

    I love your guest posts! I know police officers who have been bit by a confused dog – and they still have the scars! Props to you for volunteering, those dogs need the practice to make sure they stay safe and keep you guys safe too. We’re all thinking of you!

  26. Mary (What's Cookin' with Mary) on March 10, 2011 at 3:26 pm

    Loving the pilot post and looking forward to seeing the video!

  27. njgirlie on March 10, 2011 at 3:29 pm

    Hey Pilot:
    Your a darn good writer, if I do say so. You may have a second career going…

  28. Joy on March 10, 2011 at 3:36 pm

    you’re awesome 🙂
    My nephew just came home on a 10 day leave (family emergency) and his 2nd stop (first to get his boys out of school) was to see his dog! The kids were scared (they are 2 and 4 and he’s been gone ~9 months) but diesel was all up in his biznas (just as I’m sure bella’s gonna do for you)
    Stay safe and hurry home!

  29. Laury @TheFitnessDish on March 10, 2011 at 4:11 pm

    Hey Pilot! Hope you are well. Those dogs are cute, despite their attacking nature. I was just watching one of the morning shows last week how military men and women become close to stray animals over seas and got reunited with them through this non for profit org. It was so sweet. Not the same as what you’re posting about, but it reminded me of it.

    Take care!

    • The Pilot on March 10, 2011 at 7:47 pm

      We actually “aquired” a dog last deployment that wasn’t quite hacking the bomb sniffing gig. She was frightened by just about everything. They were going to put here down so she found her way to us where we may or may not have kept her out of sight until it was time to go home. One of the pilots took care of her back to Georgia where she stayed until the Army guy that worked with us picked her and adopted her. I’ll post a pic of Daisy sometime 🙂

  30. Erin @ Smile Girl You're Beautiful on March 10, 2011 at 5:00 pm

    Thanks for sharing some of your day with us Pilot! I hope you and the rest of your unit are safe and sound over there and can come home soon! I can imagine how much you miss your puppies, I miss my little fluffballs when I go out for a few hours to run errands.

  31. Ky G on March 10, 2011 at 5:14 pm

    Always fun to hear from The Pilot!! Can’t wait to see the vid!

  32. Tina on March 10, 2011 at 5:21 pm

    why are they wearing front shoes?

  33. Mary @ Bites and Bliss on March 10, 2011 at 5:43 pm

    This is so weird. I was just thinking how cool it’d be to work with attack dogs!

  34. Claire @ Un Bello Aperitivo on March 10, 2011 at 6:46 pm

    Wow, that looks really intense…I don’t think I’d be able to volunteer for that!

  35. Cara Craves... on March 10, 2011 at 6:51 pm

    Attack of the dogs!
    I don’t think I would be as clam as you!

  36. Katelyn @ Chef Katelyn on March 10, 2011 at 7:09 pm

    Holy guac! Boyyyy you have courage like I have never seen! I would not be able to do that, I would be shaking in my boots and most likely crying for help. I can’t wait to hear more fun stories and see the vid!

  37. Beth@Give a girl the right shoes on March 10, 2011 at 10:18 pm

    Great post! I can’t wait to see the video!!

  38. Lisa on March 10, 2011 at 10:26 pm

    What kinds of dogs are they? I work in the court system so I’ve been around some k-9’s; some retired & some not. They are really special. I’ve seen some of the MAFB dogs in action! Can’t wait to see the video. Hope you get home soon safe & sound.

  39. Christin@purplebirdblog on March 10, 2011 at 11:56 pm

    Those dogs are GORGEOUS, even if they are trained killing machines! 😀

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