Dog News

Tiny Dog, Big Job: Pusko’s On Patrol at the World’s Largest Naval Base

by Amy Drew

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Many people are surprised to learn that compact Pusko, a perky mix of Belgian malinois and jagdterrier, is a Military Working Dog (MWD), but Master at Arms, 2nd Class Jordyn Japec doesn’t blink.

He, too, was taken aback the first time he met his partner at Naval Station Norfolk.

“At first it was a little shocking,” he shared with CBS affiliate WTKR. “When I got here they were like, ‘Hey, you’re getting Pusko. He’s like, this little, tiny narcotics dog.'”

Pusko, 2, is a 16-pound dynamo, and less than a quarter the size of traditional MWDs. But rest assured, he is just as eager to work as his canine colleagues in the field.

“Anytime he’s out and about he’s just going, going, going fast. Jumping on everything. He just loves to work. That’s him, every day. It’s just like a little toddler running around going crazy all the time,” handler MA2 Japec told News 3.

Pusko is the only small-breed MWD at Naval Station Norfolk. And his size gives him distinct advantages.For instance, boarding ships and submarines. Where larger breeds have difficulty getting up and down ladders, Pusko can simply be carried down under one arm quite safely!

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Pusko’s size is an asset for his line of work: narcotics detection. Photo: WTKR


Once onboard a vessel, Pusko also has as easier time getting into small, confined spaces where larger dogs can’t fit. And as they patrol the base, Pusko still turns a lot of heads.

“They always ask if he is actually a Military Working Dog. Really people are just amazed. They have never seen a dog that small that is actually a MWD. People are mostly shocked when I tell them he is a Military Working Dog.”

Of course, with big energy, drive and personality, Pusko has already proved himself as just another member of the team.