CIA K9 HALL of FAME: Bonja the German Shepherd

Photo credit: CIA

While 4leggers has grown into a site that offers fact sheets, helpful tips, and feature stories about all four-legged mammals from household cats to mountain lions, bears, elephants and even mice, the foundation of 4leggers is our love of dogs.

To help educate the public about how important canines are to our everyday life, even though we often don’t know it, 4leggers is launching a series of stories about some of the most courageous dogs in the world. To kick off the series, we’re focusing on the best of the best: the retired working dogs of the K9 Corps of the Central Intelligence Agency who have been enshrined in the CIA’s K9 Hall of Fame.

If you know of any courageous dogs – whether working dogs or just a neighbor’s dog who saved a life or did something courageous – please contact us and we’ll follow up about doing a story: change [at] sherpamultimedia [dot] com.


NAME: Bonja

BREED: German Shepherd

SPECIALTY: explosive detection



Hi, my name is Bonja. I am a female German shepherd. I was born in Germany on Jan. 11, 2001. I came to the United States to become an Explosive Detection K-9.

When I first started working with Officer Jason, I didn’t understand why I had to find explosives to get my toy. I was very upset because I used to play with my toys all the time. After a few weeks of training, I learned that I needed to find an explosive smell to get my toy. It was like playing a game. When I’m working and I sit, Officer Jason knows I found an explosive. After I sit, I give him “the look.” After a long day, I go home with Officer Jason where we relax.

At home, I like to play with my sister Reilly, who is a Beagle. We love to play together. I also like to roam around the house and gather up all my toys and put them in a pile. I love to play ball and tug-of-war. I also have a neighbor dog, Ranger, who I like to play with. When I go outside to play, Ranger and I like to race near the fence to see who is faster.

Officer Jason is married and has two children, who I love to protect. When we eat dinner, I like to eat the crumbs that the kids drop on the floor. My mother is very nice. Sometimes she lets me test what the kids are having for dinner (but don’t tell Officer Jason because I am on a strict diet).  When it’s bedtime, I like to sleep at the top of the stairs where I can keep one eye on the front door to make sure my family is safe.

Source: CIA


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