49th Infantry Platoon Scout Dog (IPSD)
Frequently leading the element of an infantry unit, the German Shepherds of the scout dog platoons in Vietnam proved that they can save lives and become the soldiers' best friend when the going got tough.
The men and dogs of the Brigade's 49th Infantry Platoon Scout Dog were no exception. In 1968 alone, the 49th IPSD pulled over 1500 missions and throughout its stay in Vietnam, the 49th had teams out with the infantry battalions operating in the field constantly.
"The dogs provided silent and early warning systems and were put through extensive training to detect ambush sites, snipers, enemy holdouts, or stay-behind groups." The dogs could also detect caches of enemy weapons, food, and ammunition, along with assisting in village search and sweet operations.
"When a scout dog senses the enemy, he usually pricks up his ears and points his head in the enemy's direction. You can then look between the dogs ears and spot the enemy."
The dog and handler were usually matched up together when they arrived at the Bien Hoa Scout Dog School where they would spend approximately two weeks getting acquainted with each other. They would then receive an additional week of training at BMB before going out on their first mission, which usually lasted a week.
Handler Henry Sisneros and Scout dog King on patrol.
49th Infantry Platoon Scout Dog personnel, late 1968.