Book Review: Franklin: The Man Behind the United States Commando Dogs

copyright Matthew Duffy

Editor’s Note: Franklin: The Man Behind the United States Commandos, by Matthew Duffy, ISBN: 13:9780692062708, paperback.

National K9 Veterans Day is March 13. You ask, “Why is there a National K9 Veterans Day?” Here is a book that will clearly answer that question. The military services have relied on our canine companions for assistance during times of war and military interventions for several decades. In this book you will meet someone who is responsible for teaching the wonderful canines how to perform their jobs. In the fall of 2012,  Jeff Franklin was asked by the U.S. government to over see the selection of canine soldiers as well as instructing them to become one half of a symbiotic working team where both dog and handler depend on each other to full fill their missions. An exciting excerpt from the book awaits you below …..Carol

Jeff Franklin’s memoir, written by Matthew Duffy, Franklin: The Man Behind the United States Commando Dogs, tells Franklin’s story of how Franklin rose from a United States Marine and police officer to become one of the most influential canine trainers in the world. Franklin, with no template to guide him, single-handedly turns men and dogs into the world’s foremost K9-combat teams who meet the “high-octane” demands of Task Forces worldwide.

Franklin trains dogs for police, SWAT, Military units, personal protection and drug detection. He has been directly responsible for serving the needs of several large programs including DOS, Pentagon, U.S. Customs, U.S. Military, Guatemala, Ecuador, El Salvador, Paraguay, Algeria, and numerous police departments. But that’s not all- he also helps families with their pets (more about that in his bio below).

Jeff Franklin on why he does what he does: “My passion for working with dogs began when I was just a boy, but my expertise has been in years of hands on work by listening and reading our four-legged companions,” says Franklin. “I do this work because I enjoy it, but also because I have seen how I can make a difference in the lives and safety of people across the globe and here at home.”

About Jeff Franklin: He is a canine authority and  the owner and operator of Cobra Canine, a full service dog training center and kennel providing the world’s very best canine training for dog obedience, and detection and security services. Franklin has over 28 years of experience and has worked with over 10,000 pet dogs and families. He goes beyond typical avoidance training such as teaching commands like “sit,” and instead focuses on teaching dogs how to live in a human world. By instructing owners how to take the confusion out of things for the animal, and teaching dogs manners and lifestyle skills, Franklin transforms the lives of families and turns pets into assets.

As the pioneer behind Elite Working dogs trained for the United States Military—and a veteran himself—Franklin also trains dogs for police, SWAT, Military units, personal protection and drug detection. He has been directly responsible for serving the needs of several large programs including DOS, Pentagon, U.S. Customs, U.S. Military, Guatemala, Ecuador, El Salvador, Paraguay, Algeria, and numerous police departments. Additionally, Franklin has over ten years of real world experience as a police canine handler and trainer, and has seen first-hand the results of his efforts. His memoir by Matthew Duffy, Franklin: The Man Behind the United States Commando Dogs, offers an exhilarating look into his fascinating career and is available on Amazon. Connect with Jeff Franklin on Facebook @CobraCanine, Twitter @CobraCanine, Instagram @cobracaninellcand visit

EXCERPT:Franklin: The Man Behind the United States Commando Dogs

Gunfire was closing in quickly on Jeff’s location, the clamor of soldiers in battle seemed to be just on the other side of a thin green veil. Giving up precious time, Jeff lowered himself to the ground and crawled through the mud and debris to get a look at the voice without exposing himself. Separating some vines Jeff saw a figure rushing towards him. About ten yards out, the outline of a man stepped around the bole of a giant tree. Jeff saw instantly it was Mingo. Holding true to his duty, he had returned to the pickup to protect his charge. Upon seeing his bodyguard, Jeff jumped up and waved Mingo over. Mingo stood fast however. In a gravelly voice befitting his rough countenance he shouted above the encroaching gunshots and screams, “Apura, vamos!” Jeff understood what Mingo was saying, but he wasn’t about to leave Bosco behind for the F.A.R.C. to kill or torture. Jeff turned back for the truck and hollered out, “I’m going to get the dog!” The men were virtually out of eva- sion time, and it showed in Mingo’s furious response, “No perro! Vamos, ahora!”

As desperate and frightening as that situation was, the decision to go back for Bosco was an easy one for the Marine-turned-dog-trainer. Jeff could clearly hear the call to charge to the aid of a fellow warrior from his Sergeant in the opening moments of Desert Storm nearly two decades prior. The warrior not being human didn’t really factor into Jeff’s decision. Jeff’s mantra is, “No living teammate left behind.” In Mingo’s defense, being the hard, stoic, non-dog-man that he was, Jeff had no expectations of him understanding those feelings. He fully expected, without blame, for his bodyguard to exit the scene in self-preservation mode, and leave survival up to each individual. The opportunity to fall back and regroup was gone by the time Jeff reached the Hilux. Live rounds were cutting through the trees only feet from him and Bosco. No more than five feet nine inches tall, Jeff is a medium framed man, but he’s powerful. A lifetime of athletics cultivated extraordinary strength for a man of his size. Reaching over the truck bed, Jeff grabbed the mid- connecting flange of Bosco’s crate, and with a Herculean grunt pulled the giant dog (crate and all) over the side of the pick-up. The crate crashed to the ground as the truck’s windshield blew out from machine gun fire. With his boots against the bottom edge of the toppled crate, Jeff put ten fingers through the grated gate and pulled with enough force to pop it open. Bosco burst from confinement looking to eradicate the source of the incoming bullets! He had been contained for a long while, patiently waiting for this opportunity to make things right!

A world away from the average family pet, working canines come from long breeding lines of dogs specifically selected for their solid nerves, unnatural courage, and unstoppable determination. Under the skillful, and meticulous direction of a master trainer, an animal possessing this superior genetic make-up can be shaped into a warrior like Bosco; a fearless dog who is turned on by gunfire, and the roar of helicopters; a canine soldier, who through careful rearing, and training has never met his match! When a dog like Bosco comes face to face with the enemy, he doesn’t experience trepidation. He’s not intimidated by the size of his opponent, or a thirty-round magazine extending from a submachinegun. When the eyes of a combat dog lock onto the adversary, there is only one thought rolling through his mind, “Destroy!”


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