A Belgian Malinois, one of the breeds favored by Navy SEALs, stands guard on a tank, with all his own teeth.
Arthur Jeon, Global Animal
Funny thing, the web. Rumors start swirling and pretty soon a tornado sweeps up logic and the truth.
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For those who believe the Military Working Dogs used by the Navy SEALs have been installed with titanium teeth after having their regular, bin Laden-biting teeth ripped out, well, here’s a gritty photo essay about the military’s unsung feline fighters:  Cats of War.
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Thankfully, the Navy SEALS and other enforcement agencies do not rip out a dog’s teeth in order to give him a terrifying ‘grill’ or superdog biting ability. The web rumor that titanium teeth were preferable to the real thing is false. Fact is, they’re more like a dental crown, and used when a soldier dog cracks a tooth in the line of duty.
More powerful than titanium teeth – a cat on the SWAT team?   (Photo illustration by Holly Allen, photo by ALI YUSSEF)
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Military Working Dogs (MWD) are all trained to bite, and sometimes those bites can lead to broken teeth. Replacing injured teeth with titanium (at a cost of up to $2,000 a tooth) is akin to a two-footed soldier having a bullet wound patched up to continue service. So, even the dogs of Seal Team Six only have a titanium tooth, or tooth made of another compound, if something has already gone wrong.
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According to the American Veterinary Dental Society, the most common crown is cast metal, titanium, or stainless steel. Titanium is the crown material of choice when strength is more important than aesthetics.
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A dog’s four ‘fang’ teeth, aptly called canines, are the most commonly injured teeth that are replaced so the animal can again grip and tear without self-injury.
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Cast metal alloy, full coverage crowns in a Schutzhund dog placed to prevent wear from bite sleeve training.
Cast metal alloy, full coverage crowns in a Schutzhund dog placed to prevent wear from bite sleeve training.
However, according to canine training specialists, nothing beats the real tooth for stability and strength, since titanium fangs are more likely to come out during a biting. Just like the regular caps on granny’s teeth.
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Still, it does have a certain Mike Tyson, ear-ripping, fear factor going for it!
From Cats of War, a brilliant parody of animals in the military: The Band of Whiskers – Paratroopers and cats, who do not need parachutes since they always land on their feet, perform training exercises over the California desert. (Photo illustration by Holly Allen, photograph by Giuseppe Cacace/AFP/Getty Images.)

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  1. […] Tooth Fairytales: Navy SEAL Dogs Don’t Have Titanium Teeth – The web rumor that titanium teeth were preferable to the real thing is false. Fact is, they’re more like a dental crown, and used when a soldier dog cracks a tooth in the line of duty. Military Working Dogs (MWD) are all trained to bite, and sometimes … […]

  2. […] Tooth Fairytales: Navy SEAL Dogs Don’t Have Titanium Teeth – … a dental crown, and used when a soldier dog cracks a tooth in the line of duty. Military Working Dogs (MWD) are all trained to bite, and sometimes those bites can lead to broken teeth. Replacing injured teeth with titanium (at a cost of up to $2,000 a … […]

  3. […] Tooth Fairytales: Navy SEAL Dogs Don’t Have Titanium Teeth – For those who believe the Military Working Dogs used by the Navy SEALs have been installed with titanium teeth … Veterinary Dental Society, the most common crown is cast metal, titanium, or stainless steel. Titanium is the crown material of choice … […]

  4. […] Tooth Fairytales: Navy SEAL Dogs Don’t Have Titanium Teeth – The web rumor that titanium teeth were … re more like a dental crown, and used when a soldier dog cracks a tooth in the line of duty. Military Working Dogs (MWD) are all trained to bite, and sometimes those bites can lead to broken teeth. […]

  5. […] Tooth Fairytales: Navy SEAL Dogs Don’t Have Titanium Teeth – For those who believe the Military Working Dogs used by the Navy SEALs have been installed with titanium teeth after having their … x According to the American Veterinary Dental Society, the most common crown is cast metal, titanium, or stainless … […]

  6. […] Tooth Fairytales: Navy SEAL Dogs Don’t Have Titanium Teeth – The web rumor that titanium teeth were preferable to the real thing is false. Fact is, they’re more like a dental crown, and used when a soldier dog cracks a tooth in the line of duty. Military Working Dogs (MWD) are all trained to bite, and sometimes … […]