Canines have fought alongside humans for centuries. But, it wasn't until the year 2000 that the U.S. gave military working dogs (MWDs) the "oppawtunity" to come home after completing their service to their country. Thanks to Robby's Law, these pups not only have the chance to return home, but they're "offured" to their handler's family for adoption.
As a result, hundreds of MWDs have returned home over the past two decades and are looking for "pawsitive" activities to fill their schedules. Right now, there are around 1,600 pups in the US military who one day will come home to loving families.
If you have an MWD, you know that they deserve to live a full life outside of the military. So it's crucial to find engaging activities to keep your military mutt's tail wagging during their retirement.
Therapy dogs brighten up the lives of hospital patients and nursing home residents by offering support both emotionally and physically. Typically, a therapy dog can register with a facility, like a hospital, and schedule regular visits once certified.
Therapy dogs will need to register with an organization, like usserviceanimals.org, and pass a series of tests. Before registering, the American Kennel Club (AKC) recommends all dogs pass the Canine Good Citizen (CGC) test. Once you know the requirements for therapy dogs at your local hospitals, you and your MWD can lend a helping paw to those in need.
MWDs are clever canines that require lots of mental stimulation to lead a fulfilling life. Luckily, there are tons of fun and easy games you can play with your military mutt to keep them on their paws. MWDs are used to activities like sniffing out explosives, so plan a game that plays to their past experiences. The muffin tin game is super simple — all you need is a bag of treats, some tennis balls, and a muffin tin.
Military working dogs spend their formative years receiving vigorous training to prepare them for complex tasks. It's important that you continue to provide your pooch with mental and physical stimulation through regular obedience training.
Your pup has likely learned all the basics, so try to push the boundaries of what your hound can learn. MWDs are among the smartest dogs around and should be able to master complex tricks with a bit of perseverance. Playing obedience games is a "grrreat" daily activity that can take as little as 15 minutes or as long as an hour.
Give your MWD a chance to let loose and
play by visiting your local dog park. All military dogs receive and are tested on their socialization training, and a trip to the dog park is a "furrific" way to put that training into practice!
After spending countless days and nights in extreme temperatures and uncomfortable situations, it would be nice to pamper and comfort your MWD. That’s why treating your pooch to an at-home spa day is an excellent way to meet their needs. Grab the necessities from your local pet shop, set the mood with relaxing music, and enjoy pampering your pooch with a manicure, pedicure, and bath.
MWDs spend most of their lives working tirelessly with humans to protect folks back home. They perform heroic hounds return home, they live their best lives. No MWD deserves to lead a boring life devoid of any real excitement after they retire.
From becoming therapy dogs to playing games to enjoying spa days, there are tons of ways your MWD can make the most of life back on US soil. These brave barking buds performed their duties for their country, so now it's our duty to give them a meaningful life back home!