Dog Paratroopers

Wow – this is something that I never imagined happening:

(1) I wonder what the training consists of?
(2) I wonder if the dogs are ever not terrified during the jump? Hard to imagine a dog being able to overcome such an instinctual fear.

There was an article in Parachutist magazine years ago about the US Army K9 guys and what it’s like for them to jump with their dogs. At that time they seemed to be doing all static-line jumps and the dog’s harness is connected to their soldier’s harness with a short strap. One soldier said “The first time you pretty much have to throw the dog out the door but the second time if you don’t go fast the dog will drag you out” - in other words, the dogs really like it.

I’ve seen several photos from the sport skydiving world showing dogs in freefall with their owners. I met one guy at the World Freefall Convention years ago who had a little pooch named “Pud” who jumped with him all the time.

Dogs do seem to like being at drop zones and they don’t seem to be too scared of loud prop planes - my buddy had a dog who spent much time at the DZ from puppyhood on and she had to be held back when he boarded the plane to go up, otherwise she’d run after him. The DZ owners also had a very stupid dog who ran over to greet a pilot and ran right through the prop. Dog lived although had to be shaved and displayed some amazing scars for a while. The dog’s name was changed to “Runway”.