The use of dogs in the military goes far back into history. Military dogs have historically been used as attack animals or guards. More recently, their uses have broadened to include detection and tracking and using their nose to find various targets from bombs to lost individuals.
Military working dogs can have many jobs!
Many military dogs are used to sniff out and find bombs. A dog’s very sensitive sense of smell allows them to find the chemicals that are used in bombs.
These dogs are trained to find bombs and alert their handlers once they have located one. This is clearly a very dangerous job, as it puts the dogs at great risk, but with good training and some luck, neither dog nor their handler is harmed.
Search and rescue
As mentioned above, dogs have a far better sense of smell then human. Because of this superior sense, they are able to find people that have been become trapped in natural disasters or who got lost somehow. There are many breeds that can make good search and rescue dogs, but they tend to be labrador retrievers, golden retrievers, or shepherds of some kind (either German or Belgium).
Dogs are also frequently better able to get into tight spots to access people that are trapped. It’t another dangerous job, but thankfully most search and rescue dogs do well and survive to help again.
The military also uses dogs to track and find people. If someone is trying to evade law enforcement, and there’s a way to give the dog the correct scent to follow, handlers are able to use the dog to locate a person fleeing from them.
The dog can run much faster than the average person, so they can close the distance between an escaping “person of interest” and the officer pursuing him. Some dogs are trained just to locate people, while others are trained to locate and “detain,” meaning the bite and hold.