Navy SEAL Dogs: My Tale of Training Canines for Combat

Michael Ritland, Author, Gary Brozek, Author, Thea Feldman, Author
Mike Ritland. St. Martin’s Griffin, $17.99 (208p) ISBN 978-1-250-04182-1
Reviewed on: 09/23/2013
Release date: 10/29/2013
This engrossing if sometimes discursive YA adaptation of Ritland’s Trident K9 Warriors draws from his multiple deployments as a Navy SEAL, as well as his training of dogs for military service. The former inspired the latter, and the book’s most gripping passages are Ritland’s reports of canine feats in high-tension situations in Iraq and Afghanistan. Though most descriptions are secondhand and involve Ritland’s Navy SEAL peers, he successfully conveys a you-are-there sense of immediacy and urgency. Extensive quotations from participants in these military operations provide behind-the-scenes perspective and underscore the dogs’ personalities and skills. Chapters detailing the training of military dogs and their handlers will be of greatest interest to dog lovers. Back matter includes a glossary of military terms and acronyms, as well as a capsule history of the roles dogs have played in various wars. Ages 13–up. (Oct.)