Secret Service Dogs

The Heroes Who Protect the President of the United States
Maria Goodavage

ISBN: 978-1-101984734

Maria Goodavage

Maria Goodavage

Photo by Laura Altair Hanson

Audio interview Audio Interview With the Author

 Audio Length: 15 minutes

They have a job where a single wrong move could change the history of the world.

In her newest book, SECRET SERVICE DOGS: The Heroes Who Protect the President of the United States (Dutton; October 25, 2016), author and former journalist Maria Goodavage profiles her canine subjects and their handlers as the heroes that they are.

Dogs are an integral part of the Secret Service’s protection for the Commander in Chief and the vice president, as well as for members of the First Family, the vice president’s family, and often visiting heads of state from other countries. And they’re completely non-partisan, protecting Republicans and Democrats with equal gusto. But the Secret Service keeps their world confidential, as any release of information could mean a gap in safety.

After in-depth interviews and extensive research, Goodavage offers the full and vibrant story (while still protecting any details involving national security) of the courageous and devoted canine teams that safeguard the White House and the country’s leaders. The book is a first-hand, intimate look at the Secret Service’s most unforgettable canine heroes. These inspiring stories of bravery and devotion demonstrate the unbreakable bonds between dog and human, on which the life of the president of the United States may depend. 

And it’s a particularly relevant narrative in an election season, when all eyes are focused on the White House and who the country’s next president. 

In this Authorlink AUDIO interview, Maria Goodavage shares an inside view of the jobs the dogs and handlers perform, who they protect,  what motivated her to write about them. 

Essentially embedded in the Secret Service canine program around the Washington, D.C. area, she has many riveting stories to tell.

Secret Service dogs range tremendously in size, breed, personality, and job. For example, Hurricane is a beautiful, badass, black Belgian Malinois with four titanium teeth; Roadee is  a scruffy, small terrier mix with a very big attitude, 

The lives of the world’s top leaders depend on the dogs and handlers being able to read each other better than most long-married spouses. Goodavage witnessed first-hand how these bonds are forged and shares heartrending stories about death breaking the bond.

The dogs of the Secret Service protect Republicans and Democrats with equal vigor, simply for their handlers’ heartfelt praise. In the current tumultuous presidential campaign, these nonpartisan dogs don’t care if they’re working to safeguard Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump.

Praise for Secret Service Dogs and Maria Goodavage

“A wonderful account and history of these unsung heroes that work every day to make the world safer. An important addition to the works that show how dogs really are man’s best friend.” Library Journal

“Goodavage compels readers with stories of the bonds between Secret Service dogs and their handlers. A must-read for the dog lover.” Booklist

“It is a heartwarming and compelling read that offers an inside look at the incredible bond between these dogs and their handlers—a uniquely American story of bravery, loyalty, and love.” —Kate Andersen Brower, #1 New York Times bestselling author of First Women and The Residence

“It has been said that the best nonfiction books are those that reveal a hidden world to the reader: A place they wouldn’t otherwise be able to experience. Maria Goodavage’s Secret Service Dogs is that kind of book—a well-researched and compelling read not only for dog lovers but anyone interested in seeing high-level White House security operations from an insider’s perspective.” —Gerald Petievich, former U.S. Secret Service special agent, author of To Live and Die in LA,The Sentinel, and other Secret Service novels


Former USA Todayjournalist Maria Goodavage is considered one of the foremost experts on the training and service of military working dogs after the publications of her two critically-acclaimed New York Timesbestselling books Soldier Dogs and Top Dog,the latter which features Lucca, the Marine canine who recently received the Dickin Medal for bravery. Shelives in San Francisco with her family and yellow Labrador, Gus.


The Heroes Who Protect the President of the United States

by Maria Goodavage

On-Sale: October 25, 2016


Dutton | $28.00

@MariaGoodavage |  

Instagram: mariagoodavage


Dutton is the U.S. member of the internationally renowned Penguin Group (USA). Dutton is home to many bestselling authors such as Harlan Coben, Ken Follett, Lisa Gardner, Elizabeth George, Tami Hoag, Linda Fairstein, Tracy Chevalier, Jennifer Chiaverini, Julie Garwood, Timothy Keller, Mark Owen, Dan Savage, Eckhart Tolle, and Jonathan Tropper.  Penguin Group (USA) LLC is one of the leading U.S. adult and children’s trade book publishers, owning a wide range of imprints and trademarks, including Viking, G. P. Putnam’s Sons, The Penguin Press, Riverhead Books, Dutton, Penguin Books, Berkley Books, Gotham Books, Portfolio, New American Library, Plume, Tarcher, Philomel, Grosset & Dunlap, Puffin, and Frederick Warne, among others. The Penguin Group ( is a Penguin Random House company.