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Updated: Jan 18, 2023

indian army dogs in kashmir

A Company Commander is the appointment which is directly involved with the troops in command and all higher ups have an overall idea and have much more of a big picture task. A Company Commander has to micro manage the troops to get the tasks done. As a Company Commander, prioritization of task with effective resources and risk management is important, be it Operational or Administrative. Correct visualisation, description and direct priorities through clear and concise communication enable leaders to allocate time, equipment and personnel to accomplish the objective efficiently.

Since team building is the most important part, Company Commander builds his teams through a range of activities. Being a Company Commander, I have to ensure that my team should be strong and perfect in every aspects. Our team has experienced soldiers along with a trained dog for operational requirement.

Dogs are sometimes referred to as man’s best friend because they are kept as domestic pets. They are usually loyal and like being around humans. The Canine Squad of the Indian army is the first responder in any anti-terror operation in Jammu and Kashmir. The loyalty and combat skills of dogs are incomparable, hence the pooches are specially trained and then inducted into the forces.

Tyson is such a canine who, with all these attributes and much more, played an important role in the security and Early-Warning aspect of Bajjar Post.

Tyson is almost 5 years old now. A well-built and masculine canine with reddish brown mixed with white fur. He has a dominant trait about him that allows him to control and guide all the other dogs at the post. Even the other dogs seem to have accepted his authority and accepted him as their uncrowned leader. Any person in Bajjar will vouch for the fact that even while sitting down, he faces the opposite post (Pakistan Bajjar) in look-out for any intruders. He walks around the Bajjar Post, with puffed-up chest and an unchallenged attitude. Tyson always likes to be the centre of attention, whether be it standing with puffed-up chest near the Company Commander while speaking with the enemy post commander (while giving the enemy post a murderous stare), or be it always sleeping outside Company Commander's hut (other dogs do not have the same privileges).

At first sight, Tyson is a normal, gorgeous fur ball like any other dog. A closer look at him would reveal scars on his face, nose and beneath the eyes, given to him by his own aggression over the years. The prominent one given to him by a bear when he pounced on it which was once roaming in the vicinity of Bajjar Post. To say the least, not all his exploits have been a relief to the post, like one instance where he was the catalyst for a Cease-Fire Violation.

On 15 Feb 2021, a normal day out for Tyson turned into chaos when he decided to have some fun at the enemy post of Pak Bajjar. Tyson’s intrusion was obviously not welcomed by the dogs at the enemy post (Hereafter termed to as “enemy dogs”). They targeted him as a pack. As if he was taunting them for it, Tyson grabbed one of them by its neck and threw him around like a rag doll. An enemy sentry almost got his leg bitten off by Tyson while breaking up the five-on-one handicap match with a cane. Not able to watch their dog being tore apart, they opened fire towards him; coincidentally the bullets flew by our own post, which started a stand-off between our own post and the enemy for the next two days. The mischievous fur ball named Tyson leapt into a trench to taker cover after hearing the rounds fired, leaving the bloody corpse of the enemy dog beneath a tree between the two posts.

In February 2022, this was not the only instance that Tyson decided to take a stroll behind the enemy lines. Whenever he has decided to do so, fights have erupted and Tyson has always returned unscathed. Those who have been to Bajjar may have seen a small tribe that is ready to act upon Tyson’s bidding. This tribe includes the fat-white fur ball Rocket, the lazy one named Gabbar, and bitches-at-arms Santhi and Sweety. The All-Out battle erupted in February 2022 when Tyson snuck into the enemy post asking for trouble. As expected he handicapped an enemy dog, caught another one by its neck, and dragged him to our side. The enemy soldiers shouted and threw stones at him but to no effect. When the enemy dogs sprinted to their mate’s rescue, the “tribe” pounced, and a battle broke out. Even the lazy Gabbar seemed to have a piece of attention. The enemy dogs retreated and the “tribe” brought back the mangled enemy dog’s body as a souvenir.

Tyson always makes it an endeavour to be present and accompany the troops in any movement outside the post, be it ambush parties, patrols or water links. He is the first to move out and the last one to come in, whenever the party moves out. It is a satisfying experience for one to watch him go ahead of the party, sniffing all the way and see his ears standing up on even the slightest sound. Even the “tribe” follows his lead in all these. Many a times it seems as if he is eager to have some action or encounter enemies on his outings.

military dog

Tyson stands aside from other dogs of the post in matters of discipline. Most of the times he sleeps on top of bunker facing the enemy, on the lookout. In matters of food, he has certain choices over which he would rather prefer to stay hungry rather than breaking these habits. His favourite choices of food includes guts (be it chicken or goat) and Good Day biscuits. When other dogs jump around people for attention, Tyson has his own way of expressing welcome. He stands in front, have a sniff and give a slight “nod of approval”.

No doubt Tyson roaming around the post is an added boost to the security and early warning aspect of the post, but it is also secretly pleasing to know that even the enemy soldiers admire him and are slightly scared of him taking another “walk in the park”. Tyson still has much more to do like standing with the sentries, keeping a watchful eye for enemies and planning his next adventure.

There is no special praise required for Tyson, as once even the Pak Bajjar Post Commander had revealed his wish to have a dog like him.

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