Alpha Dogs: True American Heroes

Nat Geo WILD’s new series Alpha Dogs sheds light on the true “underdogs” of America’s armed forces and law enforcement agencies – the working dog. These highly skilled canines go through rigorous training programs to learn how to sniff out illicit drugs and hidden IEDs, take down armed assailants in a single bound, and even rappel from helicopters!  As you’ll see tonight, the elite trainers at Vohne Lick Kennels work around the clock to prepare these Alpha Dogs for high-pressure professions where a single mistake could costs lives.

In the premiere episode of Alpha Dogs, the pressure is on Bobby to make sure the Special Forces troops are ready to graduate from VLK’s dog handling program. Will these pups make the cut?  Tune in tonight, Friday, February 8th at 9 PM ET to find out!

Interested in learning more about working dogs that serve in the military and on police forces across the country?  Check out the sites below:

US War Dogs - Logo

United States War Dog Association

After military working dog teams complete their training at Vohne Liche Kennels and are deployed to Afghanistan, the United States War Dogs Association steps-in to provide critical and comfort care items to canine units overseas. Through programs like, “Operation Military Care K-9” the USWDA helps to ensure that handlers and their military dogs have the best training possible and all the resources they need during deployment.



Save-A-Vet strives to rescue military working dogs, K-9’s, and other service animals that don’t quality for regular adoption because of their special needs, and also to provide housing and relief for disabled veterans who help take care of them. Their goal is to build combined rescue shelter/veteran’s housing facilities — where these human and canine companions can live and heal together as long as they need.


  1. kk
    February 8, 2013, 9:42 pm

    Love the show. I wish my german shepherds were trained like that. Beautiful dogs. I have my TV set for next friday.

  2. Kay Hopkins
    Springfield IL
    February 9, 2013, 1:14 am

    Recorded from 7-10 tonight Feb 8, and all I got was King Tut and Diggers. What the heck? Have been waiting to see Apha Dogs. What happened ?

    • Meghan Gleason
      February 11, 2013, 10:26 am

      Hi Kay, this airs on our other network, Nat Geo WILD.

  3. Josh
    Scott AFB
    February 9, 2013, 12:08 pm

    How come Alpha Dogs did not come on last night. As a dog handler I was really looking forward to the show but king tut was on.

    • Meghan Gleason
      February 11, 2013, 10:24 am

      Hi Josh, this airs on the Nat Geo WILD network.

  4. shari duval
    Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida 32082
    February 9, 2013, 2:10 pm

    I am President of K9s For Warriors a non-profit that trains and provides service canines to wounded warriors suffering from Post traumatic stress disorder as a result of the wars since 9/11. We are the largest organization providing these dogs to our wounded warriors. There is no charge for our service. Currently we have provided 58 teams with 95% success rate. Additionally, all of our dogs are rescue/shelter dogs. We would love to talk to someone in your team regarding our organization, what we provide, and the benefit of service canines for PTSD. Thank you, Shari Duval, President, K9s For Warriors.

  5. Mike Parish
    United States
    February 10, 2013, 3:19 am

    I can’t tell you how refreshing it is to sit down with the family and watch a show about dogs while having to explain to my children why Nat Geo doesn’t “bleep out” a GOD DAMNED word. I mean, not simply because “GOD DAMN” is blasphemous and offensive to Christians. Why doesn’t anyone say, “Allah Damn” or “Budda Damn”? I’m simply confused as to why an editor can seemingly edit out every other curse word but this is somehow acceptable. Shame on you Nat Geo!

  6. Brandi Curry
    Woodbury, Georgia
    February 11, 2013, 4:08 pm

    What is the name of the song used in the commercial advertisement for Combat Rescue?

    • Meghan Gleason
      February 11, 2013, 4:26 pm

      The song is Radioactive by Imagine Dragons.

  7. maureen machi
    February 11, 2013, 5:03 pm

    Loved the program but getting the god damn bomb in the middle of watching with my 10 yr old son who loves God was a shock from your program. I would hope that these guys would have some censor respect knowing that there show is not at 1am in the morning on VH1 But prime time NATGEO. Can only continue watching if you censor language. I speak for many family and friends who love and respect the work being done with and through these amazing trainers and dogs. hope we can continue to watch. Blessings

  8. Don Kunkle
    Peru, IN
    February 11, 2013, 5:49 pm

    Enjoyed the show. But, I too was disgusted with the failure to not bleep GD. I want to watch the show, as these are my neighbors, but will not if the swearing is allowed to be heard. Meghan, I noticed you responded to questions, but not a word to Mike Parish. Very disappointing.

  9. CHRIS
    February 12, 2013, 9:41 am


  10. Dave Van Baalen
    Peru Indiana
    February 12, 2013, 11:15 am

    Love this show and all the people in it. We see these hero’s on a regular basis here in Peru and some forget what amazing work they do. Thanks for this awesome show and for showing the world how special VLK is.

  11. Why?
    The South
    February 13, 2013, 1:19 pm

    What a joke! Sad to see the respected National Geographic begin to air relaity TV. Heavily scripted and acted it is not much more than a commerical for VLK. I guess gone are the respected like Jim Stanfield.

  12. Labowski
    February 13, 2013, 11:05 pm

    Ive watched one episode and Im now convinced its a joke. For any “man” to call 911 an hour after tearing his bicep is absolute BS. Hey nancy, you call 911 when you are in fear of losing your life.

  13. Buck
    February 15, 2013, 10:19 am

    Great Show. I’m involved in K-9 SAR and I love seeing working dogs doing their thing. Best wishes to the folks at VLK and the staff and crew bringing this show to us.

  14. Steve
    February 15, 2013, 11:38 pm

    What a joke. Who is Rodney Lee Malott? They had to explain synthetic odor or searching process to him. This guy isn’t a contractor, probably someone’s relative on the show. Very disappointing.

  15. Casey
    West Coast
    February 17, 2013, 10:40 am

    Saw a preview commercial for the episode set to air 2/22/13. When the potential police dog won’t go into water one of the comments made by the VLK trainer is “…it’s do or die for him.”
    What the hell??? Are you serious? Is that what happens to the dogs that don’t pass the training qualifications? Don’t think I’ll be watching and sounds like PETA needs to make a visit to this facility!

  16. Bombdoc
    February 17, 2013, 11:35 am

    Great show….it really shows the personalities and interaction between the dogs and their handlers. I enjoy and look fprward to it each week!. Great Job Nat Geo

  17. JD
    February 17, 2013, 6:50 pm

    I like what the show is trying to do and will watch a few more episodes to see how it goes. These guys appear to know alot more about training working dogs than most. I hope people don’t see these dogs and go get a Malinois. They are not for everyone.

  18. Kathleen Croghan
    splendora, texas
    February 21, 2013, 2:58 pm

    So proud that you have this show,,,,,,one thing I disagree with is your commercial….instead of the trainer saying ” go to Petco” ir should say “go to local SPCA” come on the adoptive animals are more important than a mutlcommerical company…thank you reading

  19. Aaron
    Asheboro nc
    February 22, 2013, 9:15 pm

    I wish they would come and train my new litter of pit bulls to be like the German sheppards

  20. Michele
    March 2, 2013, 11:26 am

    I would like to see NatGeoWild do a program about how these dogs are selected and trained…from being identified as potential working dogs as puppies to actual working dogs. As a former breeder, I can tell you that not every puppy in a German Shepherd litter or a Rottweiler litter has the intelligence or temperament to be able to work in rescue or protection. In response to the do or die comment that another poster commented on, I remember an episode when a veteran Malinois was going to be given to a new handler. But she showed symptoms of PTSD from her service in Afghanistan. They actually said that she would be returned to Lackland for further evaluation where she could work without the combat involvement and barring that she would be placed in a good home. The problem with this show is that it is only 1/2 hour long. I think an hour would answer a lot of questions. I think the owner of VLK was reticent to have an hour show because he was afraid of divulging sensitive information or trade secrets. But I believe he could do an hour without any problems. As far as language is concerned, yes the guys could do better. But remember that they are not actors and their world is not filled with kids. Hopefully with a bit more time, NatGeo will not rush to production and will edit offensive language more carefully. The show seems rushed to me and I would like to know where they get some of their dogs because they said that the dogs are only with them for short period of time. So my question is where do the dogs come from and how were they raised to the point that they would be eligible for training at VLK? As far as PETA is concerned, they need to mind their own business. If these dogs were abused in any way, they wouldn’t work. And if they were put down after months or years of service, someone would have blown the whistle by now much like they did with the greyhound racers. I think it’s interesting that people will nit pick a show without truly thinking about what makes sense.

  21. Sandi Dent
    New Mexico
    March 2, 2013, 11:54 am

    I have watched the show only a few time’s, and set to record new episodes .. it is great to see home Indian.
    We are proud owners of an Airedale she is full of energy and still only 7 months old. She is our primary line of defense. Loves the seak game. She will top out at 70-80 lbs her dad is 110 lbs. They are usually smarter than their people and learn fast, the are top in hunting, agility, and obedience training. Will take down deer mountain lions. And bears. I wish you guys would consider training this breed as well. After all they are used for police work in Germany and like water. Just a thought…

  22. Kim P.
    Pittsburgh, PA
    March 2, 2013, 10:35 pm

    Love the show!! Takes a ton of hard work and long hours to get the results we see. Great job for training the dogs and handlers to work as a team to do the job they gotta do.

  23. Laura
    March 9, 2013, 1:00 pm

    I LOVE THE SHOW WITH A CAPITAL “L”!!!! As a former military and Department of Homeland K-9 handler, i think it is great to have a show that shows you the immense training that each handler and K-9 go through. I am a 42 year old female that enjoyed my training experiences with the military, at Lackland, and with CBP. I can honestly say that these dogs are well taken care of and handled with love and care. If these dogs don’t make the cut they are adopted out. I loved my days as a K-9 handler and made wonderful life long friends. The only issue i have with this show is that they don’t show enough female trainers. I know there are not enough females that would want to do this a job, thus the reasoning to show the few there are. In my early career as a handler, there were not enough women that wanted these positions so you form your bonds with your male counterparts. So, you learn, you grow and you adapt. NATGEO and VLK thank you for all the work you do and keep it up!!! You have a fan for life!!!

  24. Sue
    Riverhead, NY
    March 11, 2013, 7:43 pm

    My dogs are SAR dogs and we love watching the show. If you ever want to film SAR dogs let me know!

  25. Charles Gedde
    March 12, 2013, 5:24 am

    I really like this show because of the respect that it gives are soldiers and it just might be that dog that saves our soldiers or that soldier that saves that dog thanks alpha dogs

  26. Bill G
    United States
    March 17, 2013, 6:06 pm

    Show is amazing and we look forward to a season 2! I feel bad for the people who put this show down because of “God damn”. There’s 500 channels, pick a new one and don’t ruin the show for the people who love and appreciate it.

  27. Mike c
    Atlanta, ga
    March 18, 2013, 2:44 pm

    I discovered the show today. My Belgian Malinois (Roxy) watched for hours!

  28. Sue G
    Mohawk Valley, NY
    March 19, 2013, 6:22 pm

    We had the perfect example of an Alpha Dog in Herkimer last week…”APE” gave his life in the line of duty…saving a number of FBI agents and Police…they should have a show in his honor and memory…R.I.P. Ape…you did a great job…and I will never forget you…I am sure you are at Rainbow Bridge.

  29. YOURS
    Your house
    March 22, 2013, 2:11 pm

    What a bunch of tools. Looks like your hair styles are more important then the dogs. Suck some more cop Man. Later u can get down to chasin people that don’t look like you. Yeah haw…Tools

  30. Danni
    March 22, 2013, 10:24 pm

    I would like to see and hear more about what happens with the dogs and their handlers. Are the dogs lives being sacrificed ? I know we need to. Keep our armed forces and police etc safe but is it at the dogs cost? The show doesn’t focus on the dogs but about the owner and his need to make as much money so he can treat his spoiled brat son to more gadgets. Thought it was going to be a really cool show about suprr cool dogs but not so much. Shame

  31. Heather
    Tampa, FL
    March 26, 2013, 1:19 pm

    If your doing a show on dogs why do they run a commercial over & over where the last line said is “If you want a pet then go to PetCo” Please do not tell the public to go to PetCo for a dog. You have a chance to tell everyone on you channel If you want a pet go to the shelter.

  32. Joey Reed
    London, England
    June 18, 2013, 3:48 pm

    What is the theme tune used for the title sequence of alpha dogs?

  33. John
    July 2, 2013, 8:35 pm

    Not every personality is fit for television. Really how much smoke can they blow up their own asses. Also its a joke, not every man fears a dogs. I certainly don’t. An alfa male would charge the dog and end it.

  34. Robert
    November 8, 2013, 9:01 pm

    Haha john is a tough guy!