Marines Retire IED Working Dogs

In response to an urgent need in 2004, the Marine Corps developed a program to train some military working dogs to be IED Detection Dogs(IDDs), and now that the need is passed, officials are looking for homes for all of these dogs.

At its peak the Marines had about 650 IDDs either in training or deployed overseas, and now there are fewer than 130. Of those, almost 50 are awaiting adoption by either a federal or state agency, police department, or a private individual. Bill Childress, head of the Marines’ MWD program, expects all the IDDs to be out of the Marine Corps by early 2015.

IDDs were mostly trained at the U.S. Army’s Yuma Proving Ground in Yuma, Arizona, for 5 weeks. Unlike other military working dogs, the IDDs were trained to deploy with infantrymen and other combat-related MOSs, instead of Military Police. With the closing down of the Marine IDD program, it is also unclear what may happen to the dog training facility in Yuma.