India’s prime minister has praised two canines serving as sniffer dogs in the national armed forces and called on his fellow citizens to favor domestic breeds of dogs when adopting them as pets.

Narendra Modi delved into the strong and loyal natures of the oldest animal domesticated by humanity during Sunday’s episode of his radio program, Mann Ki Baat. In particular he praised Sophie and Vida, two canine officers who were given decorations for their service during India’s Independence Day earlier this month.

Indian breeds of dogs are majestic!Also highlighted the exemplary roles played by dogs in our security forces, police forces and during times of disasters.

Vida, a labrador serving in the Army, was honored for discovering five landmines and a grenade. Sophie, a cocker spaniel, is a member of a bomb unit of the Special Frontier Force (SFF), a special ops branch of the Indian military intelligence. She helped discover materials that could be used to make improvised explosive devices.

Meet Sophie & Vida, the 2 Army IED/mine sniffer dogs that received Army chief commendation badges this month & found mention on #ManKiBaat today.

“Our armed forces and security forces have many such brave dogs who not only live for the country but also sacrifice themselves for the country,” Modi told listeners, before urging all Indians considering adopting a dog to choose domestic breeds.

“Next time when you think of keeping a dog then you must bring one of the Indian-breed dogs home. When self-reliant India is becoming the mantra of the masses then no area should be left behind,” he said.

Modi’s government pursues nationalistic policies and seeks to develop domestic production of all products that India may need, be it weapons, medicine or, apparently, animal companionship. In the same broadcast, the prime minister said Indian software developers should use their skills to develop video games and take over a greater share of the global entertainment market.

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