Smallest Military Dog Makes Big Impact on Largest Naval Base
Military working dogs come in all sizes. Just look at Puskos, a 15-pound powerhouse who patrols for drugs at Naval Station Norfolk, the world’s largest naval base.
Military working dogs are typically German Shepherds or Belgian Malinois, and weigh anywhere between 55-105 pounds. They are big, lean fighting and sniffing machines.
Most of the time.
Meet Puskos, a 15-pound Jagdterrier/Belgian Malinois mix. Jagdterriers are also called German Hunt Terriers, and typically weigh about 20 pounds or so. Puskos is a bit on the small side, even for the Jagdterrier in him, but he doesn’t let that stop him from being an amazing military working dog with an incredible work ethic.
Puskos’ handler, Petty Officer 2nd Class Jordyn Japec said that when he first met Puskos, he was a bit taken back. He was told that Puskos was a ‘tiny little narcotics dog’ but Japec wasn’t really prepared for just how tiny Pusko was. Japec says that Puskos size doesn’t stop him from doing anything, though.
According to Japec, Puskos is always going, and going fast. Like crazy fast. Japec says he lives to work, and working with this pooch is sort of like working with a high-energy toddler who runs around all the time.
Puskos is the only small-breed military working dog on the world’s largest naval base, and his diminutive size actually works in his favor for many aspects of his job. Japec says that because he’s so small, he can easily get on ships and submarines. On those vessels, the ladders go straight down, and getting bigger working dogs up and down the stair wells is a huge challenge.
Puskos can easily be carried up and down the stairs to do his job, and his small size allows him easier access to tight berthing spaces where larger dogs simply couldn’t fit. As a narcotics seeking dog, it’s important to access those sleeping/living spaces.
Japec says that people often do double-takes when they see him and Puskos working together, as most don’t even believe that Puskos is a real military working dog. He says that most are shocked that a dog that small could be in such a position.
And still, Puskos is, with the commitment and dedication of the biggest dogs. Puskos, we salute you!