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Ritland tells of his early life and interest in canines. He joined the NAVY at age 17 and eventually became a SEAL and then a dog handler, then MWD (Military Working Dog) trainer. I like that Ritland warns that the breeds of dogs, he trains in the Navy SEALs are not a breed for the average city bound civilian.
Ritland goes into depth about how dogs are chosen; the temperament needed for the Special Operation Forces dogs. He discusses the enormous amount of training that goes into each dog and handler team. Except when deployed into a war zone, the book takes place at his dog training facility in San Diego, California.
This book is not for everyone as it goes into great detail about the training and the importance of the K-9 teams in combat rather than an entertaining story. I understand there is a children’s version of the book.
The book is well written, the author does a good job telling about his time training and handling MWDs. Some of the stories are sad, but some have humor, but all reveal the bond between the dog and the handler. Ritland is now retired from the Navy and has his own MWD training facility. He is also working with the Warrior Dog Foundation. The Foundation’s goal is to make certain that retired MWDs are able to live out the remainder of their lives in a positive environment. If you are interested in canines and the military, this book should interest you.
The book is a little over 6 hours long. Michael Kramer does a great job narrating the book. Kramer is an actor and an award-winning audiobook narrator.
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