Do Navy SEALs have dog handlers? What to Know

Multi-purpose Canines

Like the Navy SEALs, Combat Assault Dogs are highly trained, highly skilled, and highly motivated Special Ops experts, able to perform extraordinary military missions by Sea, Air and Land. The highly versatile canines contribute to saving the lives of SEALs every day. Their intensive training allows them to locate explosives, track and detain individuals, and clear buildings.

In addition to the tactical abilities they bring to the force, multipurpose canines create strong bonds with their human teammates, helping to boost morale. Intensive training together builds trust between handler and canine. These dogs are regularly deployed with SEALs to serve as invaluable armament.

Bullet is the Navy SEAL Museum’s multipurpose canine. While he has never served in active duty, Bullet serves as both an asset to the facility and an educational tool for guests visiting the Museum.

A: The wrong motivations would be to promote yourself and be a cool guy at a bar telling stories, boosting your status and ego. The right motives are several: knowing what you are getting out of putting in all the work to be good at the job. You have to love being around dogs. You have to want to save lives. That’s what we do.

It is one of the biggest lessons I’ve learned. I incorporate that in my life these days as well, with family and co-workers.

A: An essential mental requirement for handling a dog is patience. I’ve learned a lot as a handler. An adage in the dog training world is your emotions run up and down a leash. If the handler is in a lousy mood, the training will suffer.

Strike Source sat down with medically retired Navy SEAL Will Chesney. Chesney served as an operator and dog handler at the Special Missions Unit for several years. In 2011, he was in Pakistan as one of the Dog Handlers on the raid that killed Osama Bin Laden. Chesney has written a book about his experiences called No Ordinary Dog: My partner from the SEAL Teams to the Bin Laden Raid.

As a dog handler and a SEAL, you’re going into situations where you have to handle a 60, 70lb Malinois – lift him, hoist him. You’re going to have to repel with the dog, fast rope, so you need to be in good physical shape.

The dog is always one rank higher than its handler.

All dogs are Petty Officers in the US Navy. When the handler advances a rank, so does the dog, always one rank higher. The common reasoning for this is that the dog is to be respected by the handler at all times, so it should be a rank superior to the handler. It makes sense, the dog does all the work, right?

Military working dogs are respected within their communities the same as any human service member, with full honors given to the fallen and retirement perks (treats?) given when they’re done with their tour.

No Ordinary Dog: How “Cairo” TOOK DOWN Osama Bin Laden | Navy SEAL Will Chesney | Huckabee