National Guard K9: 12 Cool Facts

As time goes on, it seems the Army has been adding more K9 units. These amazing dogs are used in many different formats.

With the correct training, and a good handler, dogs can, and have been used in many different formats. It is this writer’s opinion that we may see more and more K9 usage in the military as time passes. After all, the cost is minimal…a K9 sure doesn’t cost as much as a human being, plus they don’t create issues that some humans can create.

In today’s post, I performed some research and will provide you with 12 cool facts about National Guard K9. One piece of information that I could not find is exactly how many K9 National Guard Units there are in the United States. If anyone does know that information, please share it with us in the comment section under this article.

1: Military Police

For those who long to be a National Guard K9 Handler, the first step is to attend and pass Military Police school. I believe the Military Police school is at a location that I am quite familiar with, Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri. At one time I lived in nearby Lebanon, Missouri.

The majority of military K9 handlers are Military Police, so having that training will enliven your opportunity to become a National Guard K9 Handler.

2: K9 Handler Training

If you are chosen to attend training for K9 handling, you will be taught in 2 phases. The 1st phase teaches police techniques for dog handling. The 2nd phase will instruct the member in such things as:

  • Obedience

  • Daily care of your K9

  • Controlled aggression

  • Scouting and detection

  • First aid

  • Building searches

3: 928th

As part of the Connecticut National Guard, the 928th Military Working Dog Detachment is a full-time unit. They have 4 K9s and 4 dog handlers that are always training in preparation for being called to service at any time. Whether it is sniffing for bombs or drugs, this National Guard K9 Unit is prepared.


Some National Guard K9 units are trained in PEDD. PEDD stands for Patrol Explosives Detection Dogs. Instead of using heavy machinery that could detonate explosives, these dogs can find them with their nose. Bomb diffusing teams can then be sent in, or robots.


The Army National Guard, along with many law enforcement agencies use K9 units that are trained in PDDD. PDDD stands for Patrol Drug Detection Dogs. The United States has had a war on drugs since President Reagan was in office. It is with these K9 units that we can win this war.


A very important training is done with K9 units which makes the TEDD units. TEDD stands for Tactical Explosives Detection Dogs. These dogs are able to search out possible explosives laid in tactical places such as transportation, restaurants, hotels and Government buildings. It is through the abilities of TEDD K9s that we can keep terrorists at bay.

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7: 947th

Another K9 unit that is always prepared is the 947th Military Police Detachment. They are attached to the 289th Military Police Company who is under command of the Old Guard (4th Battalion, 3rd United States Infantry Regiment.

This unit has 24 K9 units with some trained in PEDD, PDDD, TEDD and also Specialized Search Dogs (SSD).

Both the 947th and the 928th have completed important missions which I will talk about further on.

8: K9 Missions

When we take a look at missions the 928th Working Dog Detachment and the 947th Military Police Detachment have performed, we see that they have important responsibilities. They have been on Presidential missions, at the Pope’s visit in 2008, and will be at the Pope’s visit in 2015. They sniffed for bombs at the Boston Marathon. Some of these dogs have been deployed overseas to help protect against terrorist activities. These K9 units can, and do help immensely with defending the United States of America.

9: Blackhawk K9s

Now we have K9s training for missions from UH-60 Blackhawk helicopters. From rescue missions to attacking enemies, having K9 units who can be dropped is a wise move for the Army. The Rhode Island National Guard has instituted a K9 Blackhawk training program. See the following video:

10: Future Business Opportunities For K9 Handlers

Courtney Graham-Robbins is a world class dog trainer. As the head of Global K9 Protection Services, she has shown how being a dog handler for the United States Army can lead to a fantastic business opportunity. She can train your dog to be a first class companion and protector. What Courtney does in her business, she also did as a K9 Handler for the National Guard. She gained mastery of K9 training in the Army and utilized it to lead in a highly successful business.

Army Jobs For Dog Handlers

While it was often understood that a soldier had to be with the Military Police to become a dog handler, times are changing in the Army. These are 2 jobs that the Army and Army National Guard have opened up:

11: MOS 31K

Those soldiers who had MOS 31B with the skill identifier Z6 Military Working Dog Handler have been reclassified into a separate MOS. The new MOS will be 31K Military Working Dog Handler. This will change how a person can attain the working dog handler position. They will not necessarily have to be an MP for 2 years as it was before.

12: MOS 12B

Another MOS that has opened up to having K9 Handlers is MOS 12B Combat Engineer. Those who hold this MOS and have the skill identifier K9 Combat Engineer Mine Detection Dog Handler, will use their K9s to detect mines and bombs that could endanger other troops. With their keen sense of smell, these dogs can find mines and save lives.

Final Thoughts

As I stated earlier, I believe we will find more positions opening which will utilize the services of “man’s best friend.”

We would love to hear your comments. Have you worked as a military dog handler? Were there dogs in your unit? Tell us more, and if you have any questions we may be able to answer, feel free to ask.

If you love dogs, maybe being a military dog handler would be a great choice for you.

chuck holmes

Chuck Holmes
Former Army Major (resigned)

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5 thoughts on “National Guard K9: 12 Cool Facts”

  1. Hello, I really want to be a Dog handler. I was reading and I want to do the one where the k9 and I search for mines. Can I join and go straight to dog handling or do I have to do other stuff before I can be a Dog handler?

  2. Im thinking of going in the national guard for army, I have a few questions. Can you pick your positions in national guard, for example- special forces? Do you have a k9 unit in special forces? If not what do you have it in? And how long would it take or how high up would you have to be to be in k9 unit? Thank you

    1. John, to a certain extent you can pick your job, but you must have ASVAB scores and other requirements to meet the prerequisites. I suggest you read all throughout our website for answers to your questions. You may want to subscribe if you haven’t already.

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