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In honor of
combat assault dog duco 
5 JULY 2021

War HOGG Tactical and Combat Assault Dog Duco Operation Enduring Freedom


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K9 Handlers Needed For Documentary 
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I am putting together a K9 documentary with Panteao Productions and we are looking for any WWII, Korea or Vietnam K9 handlers to share they stories about these amazing K9s that have saved so many lives!

Send us a DM or email at

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the In honor of duco project

In Honor of Duco 

The Mission is two-fold...

The program honors these elite dogs who served our country while raising funds for the very specialized care they may need after their military service.     

We have partnered with Scott's Wish 

Scott's Wish is an all-volunteer 501(c)(3) organization (a publicly supported charity) helping people and pets since 2008. Unlike many other nonprofit organizations, Scott’s Wish does not rely on any funding from government grants. Support comes entirely from private individuals, associations, foundations, and businesses who entrust Scott’s Wish with resources so that we can fulfill our charitable mission.​


We're very proud of having received GuideStar's highest level of transparency, the Platinum Level.


With Scott's Wish having no paid employees/consultants or a physical office requiring rent/overhead, we're in a unique position to be able to return almost every dollar we receive back into the community we serve.


Rest assured whether you’re making an in-kind donation, or donating funds to further our mission, your tax-deductible gift is helping us make a difference in the lives of people and pets in our community.


How are donations handled?

Unless we are specifically soliciting donations for a particular individual in need of assistance, where we specify that 100% of the donations will go to the individual and Scott’s Wish absorbs any banking or donor fees, or a specific fund such as "In Honor of Duco", your donation will be used wherever it’s needed most in carrying out our mission.

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In Honor of Duco Bourbon 


$20 from every sale goes to a K9 Charity

Selection: Taconic Distillery Double Barrel Maple Bourbon 90 proof

Two bottles per order

Selected by: Rick Hogg ­ War Hogg Tactical


Tasting notes:

The heady smell of the barrel¹s wood comes through along with the pleasing maple aroma.  The initial encounter is definitely the maple and this sweetness lingers pleasantly on the lips. However, the sweetness is not overpowering and the earthiness of the barrel wood balances it out nicely…even if it does make you want pancakes!


Tastes like Freedom 

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Combat Assault Dog Duco was a Dutch born, KMPV titled Dutch Shepherd. KNPV is short for Koninklijke Nederlandse Politiehond Vereniging, which is Dutch for 'Royal Dutch Police Dog Association'. The system began in the early 1900s in Holland in order to bring dog trainers together to establish good quality working dog standards.

Duco was a duel purpose US Army Special Operations Forces (SOF) K9 that served honorably from 2012-2017 and deployed in support of combat operations for Operation Enduring Freedom. 


The selection for a Combat Assault Dog (CAD) results in a 90% plus wash-out rate among some of the world's most elite canines. These CADs learn to detect human odors specific to enemy combatants, numerous explosive compounds, and clear a structure searching out Military Aged Males while bypassing children. These K9s can jump tandem with their handlers from aircraft, be fast-roped out of a helicopter, and lead the way during infils to detect ambushes and IEDs.  SOF K9s have learned to switch from assault mode to detection during combat operations.


In 2012, while part of a helicopter assault force conducting a nighttime raid on an enemy compound in Afghanistan, Duco and I fell from our helicopter approximately 30 feet while infilling on the objective. I was knocked unconscious but Duco seemed to be fine. I had him checked out and nothing seemed to be wrong with Duco. Years later, I started to notice some changes in Duco’s physical abilities I believe stemmed from that fall and he was retired from active duty. 


Since separating from active duty Duco has very much enjoyed the retired life with his family. He even has his own social media accounts Instagram @wardoggduco

and a Facebook account K9 Duco


He has also been a part of some amazing events to include working with 5.11 Tactical, Trigger Time TV, Far Cry 5 and supporting his Dad during the SOF K9 Memorial Service and the reading of “How I Became a K9 Commando”


Duco’s 5.11 Tactical video


Rick Speaking at 2018 SOF K9 Memorial Service


Duco was part of the reading of “How I Became a K9 Commando” at the Airborne and Special Operations Museum. 


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Trigger Time TV - We did a complete season on training a MWD


Duco was also part of training actors for Far Cry 5


Retirement has not come with out its struggles. 

In November 2020 Duco was diagnosed with osteosarcoma in his right rear leg. We made the decision to add longevity and quality of life to Duco and we had his leg amputated. 

Unfortunately Combat Assault Dog Duco lost his battle with cancer on 5 July 2021


Our new mission is to educate handlers/owners on osteosarcoma and what to look for in your canine. We want to tell Duco’s story and keep his memory alive and his story of the amputation and chemo treatments. I have become a huge proponent of CBD in K9s and believe the benefits would greatly enhance our MWDs. 


I have worked numerous SOF K9s over my career and I can tell you by far Duco is the best one, combat proven and absolutely phenomenal. If I could clone him I would, he is that impressive. 

articles about duco


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As U.S. Forces Leave Afghanistan, Special Forces Operators Reflect on Their K9 Partners

5.11 Tactical asked 29 year US Army Special Operations combat veteran Rick Hogg to show us how he trained his SOF K9 Combat Assault Dog Duco to recreate the rifle-fetch seen in the game FAR CRY 5. Learn how to train a dog to fetch anything, even a rifle.

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At home, Hogg continued to work with Duco, keeping him active and sharp. Little did he know that his wife was offering this specialized combat assault dog a few cushy pet perks. 


She introduced him to goldfish crackers and table scraps. He quickly developed a reputation as “the heater,” because his hot breath was always on the family’s legs in newfound anticipation of tasty handouts.


Hogg’s wife bought Duco toys, which he loved, particularly his highly prized squeaky moose. He also spent a good bit of time on the couch. He even slept in the couple’s bed, if he wanted. The dog fully embraced home life. As Hogg explained, “He earned it.” 


In November of 2020, Duco was diagnosed with osteosarcoma, an aggressive form of bone cancer, in his rear right leg. Veterinarians felt they might be able to prolong and improve his quality of life by amputating the leg and administering chemotherapy. Hogg and his wife made the difficult decision to proceed with amputation and chemo, hoping for the best. 


This bought the family over half a precious year together with their beloved dog.


Sadly, seven months after his surgery, Duco’s cancer returned, and this legendary, heroic and brave dog succumbed to the disease on July 5, 2021. 


Rick believes that Duco is the gold standard upon which all other combat assault dogs are judged. In Rick’s words, he would have a “fleet of Ducos” if he could. 


This K-9 and his handler have built a legacy together, and Hogg wants to ensure that Duco’s service to our country will never be forgotten. When asked if he believes Duco is in a better place, Hogg replies emphatically, “100 percent, dogs go to heaven!” 


We think he’s right, and we are grateful that he was willing to share the life and accomplishments of his awesome dog with the world. 


To learn more about Duco and Rick Hogg, check out and visit their Instagram page


ATP COO comment: I cannot even express the gratitude that I have for the war dogs that fought by my side and protected us. Many of us are walking around today because they gave the ultimate sacrifice.

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Super Scout and Regan’s K-9 Hero of the Week: Combat Assault Dog Duco


This week, we want to memorialize an outstanding K-9 that worked as a Combat Assault Dog for U.S. Army Special Operations Forces. 


Dutch Shepherd Duco served with handler Rick Hogg, supporting Operation Enduring Freedom from 2012-2017.


After losing his Belgian Malinois, Marco, in 2012, Hogg was given the unit’s spare or “float” dog, Duco. Hogg’s first thought after losing Marco was that he didn’t want this other dog. Anyone well-familiar with both breeds will appreciate their personality differences. But Duco quickly grew on him. 


Before long, handler and dog were completely bonded. Duco’s ability to switch gears from laid back, chilling out in the kennel, to “game on,” made him uniquely effective. As Hogg explains, “His drive sold me.” 


“He was an absolute beast on the battlefield,” he said. It was a perfect pairing. “Duco was an extension of me.” 


Just six months after they were paired up, during a nighttime raid in Afghanistan, Duco and Hogg fell approximately 30 feet from a helicopter. Hogg was knocked unconscious, but Duco seemed to survive unscathed. 


The handler/K-9 relationship is hard to define. Handlers know all too well the risks these remarkable dogs take when they head out into harm’s way. Coming to terms with that reality is never easy. Hogg drew on his faith every time Duco was tasked to venture into dangerous territory. He said a simple prayer:


“God, bring him back to me.” 


And He always did. 


As a dual-purpose K-9, Duco was trained to detect and to bite. He had a knack for finding bad guys where human eyes failed. He knew how to detect explosives long before the men he worked with could. This dog quickly became the one everyone hoped to have working with them. He was revered as a force-multiplying K-9 security blanket. 


It is because of Duco and dogs like him that many soldiers are alive today. Hogg speaks with emotion and reverence about Duco’s heroic contributions to the fight: 


“I’m here on this planet because of that dog.” 


Years after the helicopter incident, Rick assessed that Duco may be suffering from some long-term injuries he sustained in the fall. He made the decision to retire Duco, allowing him to live out his days in the comfort of his own home. 


In a serendipitous coincidence, Hogg was scheduled to retire at the same time that Duco was wrapping up his military career.  


Prior to 2000, most military K-9s were euthanized when taken out of service. Thanks to a bill passed by Congress, these heroic dogs were given a second chance at living out their twilight years in a comfortable home environment. 


Fortunately, Duco was well-suited for family life and made an excellent transition. Not all war dogs are able to do this, but Duco was special. 


Both Hogg and Duco were able to retire together.


Working Dog Radio
Episode 142 In Honor of Duco with Rick Hogg

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SOF K9 Memorial Service 2018 - Guest Speaker Special Operations Forces (SOF) K9 Handler Rick Hogg.


Over the last two decades, Special Operations Forces have lost SOF K9s - now known as Multi-Purpose Canines (MPCs) and Combat Assault Dogs (CADs). In Fayetteville, NC at the Airborne and Special Operations Museum is a memorial to honor these K9s killed in action.


CONSTANT VIGILANCE - The bond between a SOF handler & his K9 is eternal, trusting each other in a nameless language. Here we honor our SOF K9’s that have paid the ultimate sacrifice.


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