Our dogs are there for us no matter what happens; in good times or bad times, happy or sad. They're waiting for us when we get home after a long day at work and they wake us up with a smile and tail wag each and every morning.
Dogs are our best friends, our constant companions. But dogs are more than just our family members. They are extremely intelligent animals that provide many important services that benefit our communities and our country. Also known as "police dogs" or "K-9", Military Working Dogs have a long history in the United States dating back to World War II.
Many people think of dogs just as pets. If you're a dog owner, you already know that your dog is more than just a "pet". Still, we don't always think about Military Working Dogs and how they spend most of their lives performing valuable services to keep us safe. These dogs are canine heroes.
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Brave, loyal, fearless and dependable, these are but a few of the attributes used to describe our canine counterparts. Is it any wonder then that these animals have accompanied men into the heat of battle throughout history? War dogs were commonly used by many of the early civilizations such as the Greeks, Egyptians and Romans.
Canis Molossus, an extinct breed of dog named after the Molassians who inhabited the Epirus region of Greece, is commonly thought to be the ancestor of today's Mastiff breeds of dogs. For this reason Mastiff types of dogs are sometimes referred to as Molossers.
The Molassians were known for the viciousness of their hounds yet they were no match for the Mastiff of Britannia. The Romans sent many of this particular breed of Mastiff to Rome and then out to the known world. The Romans often employed attack formations made entirely of dogs. In another example of using dogs in this manner, the Lydian's had a separate battalion of fighting dogs around 628 BC. Atilla the Hun used large Molosser dogs in his battles.
The Spaniards used dogs in armor that had been trained to kill and disembowel when they invaded. Irish Wolfhounds were used to attack Norman knights when they invaded Ireland. Napoleon used a great many dogs in front of his reserves. These are but a few examples of how dogs have been used in war throughout history.
Not all dogs were fighting dogs however, some were used as messengers, and some were used as sentries or simply as mascots to help raise morale. Dogs were first used for military operations in the United States during the Seminole Wars. During the American Civil War The American Pit Bull Terrier was employed to carry messages and for protection.
This breed of dog was also used as a mascot and for recruiting posters during the 1st World War. The Marine Corps became interested in using dogs in 1935 after observing Central American guerrilla soldiers using them as sentries to alert the soldiers. Camp LeJuene was the location of the war dog-training program for the Marine Corp.
Each dog started out with the rank of private and it was possible for a dog to outrank his handler. A total of seven war dog platoons were trained at Camp LeJuene. Shortly after the attack on Pearl Harbor the American Kennel Club and group known as "Dogs for Defense" began to encourage the public to donate their dogs to the Armies Quartermaster Corps.
The first dog was inducted into the Army on March 13, 1942. In July of that same year the Remount Branch of the Quartermaster Corps took over the War Dog Program. Initially over thirty different breeds of dogs were accepted but in time the list was limited to German Shepards, Belgian Sheep Dogs, Farm Collies, Doberman Pinschers, and Giant Schnauzers.
The training program was considered experimental in the beginning because, with the exception of sled dogs and pack dogs, training these animals for war was entirely new. The Quartermaster corps trained both dogs and dog handlers. Most of the dog handlers were Quartermaster soldiers.
The training period for the dogs themselves was 12 weeks in which time they were trained to follow basic commands. They also had to become accustomed to such things as riding in military vehicles, gas masks and gunfire. After this "basic training" they moved on to more specialized training depending on the job they were chosen to fulfill. Over time as methods of fighting in wars changed so did the roles of the war dog. Let's briefly look at some of the jobs these animals are performing now.
One of the earliest military related uses of dogs was as sentries. Sentry dogs are trained to patrol with a human sentry and to raise alerts by growling or barking letting his handler know of something strange or unfamiliar on his post. Sentry dogs are especially valuable for working in the dark or when possible attack from behind or from cover is possible.
On July 1 1965 the Vietcong launched a successful attack on the Da Nang Air Base. Two days later a test program using sentry dogs was started. Forty dog teams were sent to Vietnam. These dog teams were stationed on the perimeter in front of machine gun towers and bunkers.
The early detection of intruders by the dog teams allowed for the timely deployment of reinforcements. With this outstanding success the Air Force wasted no time in deploying similar dog teams to all of the bases in Vietnam and Thailand. Today, the sentry dog is still a valuable asset.
The Scout Dog is used in reconnaissance and has proven invaluable in the saving of the lives of soldiers. Scout dogs are trained to detect the presence of enemy forces or hidden booby traps. With their keen sense of smell a scout dog can detect enemy personnel up to 500 yards away or underwater with reed breathing straws. They are also trained to find explosives and weapons caches as well as hidden trip wires. Messenger dogs proved vital during the 2nd World War.
They were used whenever the need for a runner was indicated. The messenger dog is faster; more sure footed and is capable of finding his way day or night, under any type of weather condition, and over any type of terrain. He makes a tough target because of his size and speed and has a natural instinct for using the available cover. They are capable of running between two fixed positions, a fixed and moving position, or two moving positions.
They were also used to string wire over short distances. There were many times during the 2nd World War when the only communication between a patrol and their base was a messenger dog. With the advances in technologies such as satellite communications the use of messenger dogs has fallen to the wayside. The casualty dog aids the Medics in finding those wounded in battle or other circumstances.
We have seen these dogs in action on many occasions perhaps the most prominent in many peoples mind being the World Trade Center site after the attacks when these dogs were employed to find the wounded among the rubble. Although their roles have changed over the centuries one thing that has not changed about the war dog is his unwavering loyalty, his selfless sacrifice for his human partner, his unquestionable bravery, or his fierce fighting spirit.
He has served with dignity and honor. Unfortunately it cannot be said that his service was always rewarded. After the 2nd world war dogs donated by their owners were to be returned. They were to be retrained to be companion animals once more. However, if they could not be "de-militarized" they were killed. During the Vietnam War about 5000 war dogs served in Southeast Asia.
During this time 73 U.S. Servicemen working as dog handlers and 43 Military Working Dogs were killed in action. The dogs that served in Vietnam have been credited with saving 10,000 lives. As their reward for a job well done 200 of these dogs returned home with their handlers, the rest were euthanized or left behind. While there are many memorials in honor of the War Dogs many of those who served with these animals feel that more needs to be done to honor their contributions.
An effort was launched to have a national memorial erected, this effort was rejected on the basis that "the dogs role in the Vietnam War was incidental". Within the National Cemetery System there are no K-9 burials or even tributes allowed. Arlington National Cemetery will not even allow a tree to be planted because to honor these animals would sully this hallowed ground. It is most likely safe to say that the men who served with those valiant Dogs Of War would have a different opinion.
After the attack on Pearl Harbor during World War II, a movement began encouraging dog owners to donate their dogs to assist the Army. Thus began the training of the "K-9 Corps." Basic training was 8-12 weeks and the dogs were trained to carry out commands (sit, stay, come, etc.), ride in military vehicles, become accustomed to the noises of war, etc.
After the initial training was complete, each dog went on to specialized training tailored to each individual dogs' strengths: - Messengers: These dogs were trained to be very loyal to two people, as they needed to be able to silently and quickly travel between the two and deliver messages. - Scouts: Using the dogs' keen sense of smell and hearing, Scouts were trained to silently locate booby traps, snipers, hidden weapons, etc. - Sentries: Sentry dogs defended camps and other important areas.
They gave a signal to warn their human guard counterpart that someone (or something) was approaching. - Mine Detection: Mine dogs were trained to find trip wires, booby traps, metallic and non-metallic mines. Today: Today's Military Working Dogs have varied roles but are rarely used on the front lines unlike their ancestors.
Currently there is only one facility in the United States that trains dogs for military use. Although they are still used as sentries, scouts, and mascots, modern Military Working Dogs also perform the following services: Law Enforcement: Many dogs are esteemed partners and even officers in local police forces.
They can chase, track, and guard suspects as well as react when their police officer is being attacked. Drugs & Explosives: Detection dogs are able to sniff out a mass array of illegal substances, even in airtight, sealed containers. These dogs are also able to detect explosives and are very helpful in airports, entry and exit checkpoints, and secure areas. Search & Rescue: Dogs are also an integral part of Search and Rescue efforts.
These dogs are skilled in tracking and detecting human scents and are trained to help find people who may have gotten lost in the woods, trapped under an avalanche, etc. Common Breeds Used: The most common breed for law enforcement operations has been the German Shepherd but in recent years smaller dogs with keener senses of smell have been used for detection work.
The Belgian Malinois and Dutch Shepherd have also proven to be very helpful for patrolling. Other Military Working Dog breeds include Boxers, Argentine Dogos, Labrador Retrievers, Doberman Pinschers, Springer Spaniels, Bloodhounds, Beagles, Rottweilers, and Giant Schnauzers. Handlers: Each and every Military Working Dog is cared for by one person, known as a handler.
The handler is paired with a dog after after the dog has completed training. Although each handler may not have the same dog for the entire length of his or her career, the handler works with a dog for at least a year, if not many more. Adoption: Military Working Dogs work extremely hard and put in many years of loyal service using their skills and training.
Once these dogs retire from their work life, there are many programs out there to place these dogs in loving homes so they can spend their retirement in comfort and relaxation while providing another person or family with the joy of having a dog.
If one loves animals, then seeing an ad on television depicting animal cruelty can tug at the heart and make the anger boil. However, these ads are on television for one purpose; to make people more aware of the plight of animals and perhaps to convince more people to become active in organizations that are against animal cruelty. Organizations for animal rights are all over this world, and if one really wants to help, then they should try to find the best group and contribute whatever they can, either time or money, for the animals abused by neglect or violence.
One organization that is known all over the world for its fight against animal cruelty is PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals). They have helped bring the plight of defenceless animals to the forefront more than almost any other group. They improve the life of animals by taking on long term projects that most would consider pointless.
However, they are the ones that brought the inhumane treatment of monkeys in labs to the forefront, and they continue to keep fighting to keep animals safe from human harm. Another organization that has come into its own is the ASPCA (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals). This is one group that has a nation wide advertising campaign that focuses on the abuse and neglect of companion animals.
The neat thing about this organization is that it was founded in 1866 as the first humane organization in the Western Hemisphere. Since then, this wonderful group has been helping animals in America get away from cruel owners and live a better life.
Their mission is the same as it was in 1866; to alleviate the injustices that animals face everyday. Both PETA and the ASPCA are well known groups that help in the fight against animal cruelty. However, they are other organizations that help provide a better life for our animal friends. such as the RSPCA UK Almost every community has a local humane shelter that helps the animals that have been neglected, abandoned or hurt. If a person wants to contribute to one of these great organizations, then either a phone or a computer can help get them started.
A war dog (or wardog) is a dog trained for war. Dogs have been used in wars since ancient times. Their jobs have varied over the years, from being trained to track with their acute sense of smell, to bringing down infantry or even horses by biting into the hamstrings of their targets. The history of war dogs is long and detailed, stretching up to conflicts ongoing today. In ancient times, they disrupted battle lines and frightened soldiers.
Their use was much lessened as the ages drew on, however. Stubby, a war dog of World War I, was promoted to the rank of sergeant. Chips, a German Shepherd mix, and Smoky, a Yorkshire Terrier, were honored for service in World War II. Gifts of wardog breeding stock between European royalty were seen as suitable tokens for exchange throughout the Middle Ages. Wardogs were used by England against the Gaels in Ireland and by many European forces, such as Spanish Conquistadors, in the New World.
The British, Commonwealth and Allied forces enlisted many millions of animals to serve and often die alongside their armies. These animals were chosen for a variety of their natural instincts and vast numbers were killed, often suffering agonising deaths from wounds, starvation, thirst, exhaustion, disease and exposure.
Eight million horses and countless mules and donkeys died in the First World War. They were used to transport ammunition and supplies to the front and many died, not only from the horrors of shellfire but also in terrible weather and appalling conditions.
Mules were found to have tremendous stamina in extreme climates and over the most difficult terrain, serving courageously in the freezing mud on the Western Front and later at Monte Cassino in World War II.
Equally they toiled unflinchingly in the oppressive heat of Burma, Eritrea and Tunisia. There are many inspiring and often tragic stories of the great devotion and loyalty shown between horses, mules and donkeys and their masters during some of the bloodiest conflicts of the 20th century, as can be read in Jilly Cooper's moving book Animals in War, published by Corgi.
The dog's innate qualities of intelligence and devotion were valued and used by the forces in conflicts throughout the century.
Among their many duties, these faithful animals ran messages, laid telegraph wires, detected mines, dug out bomb victims and acted as guard or patrol dogs. Many battled on despite horrific wounds and in terrifying circumstances to the limit of their endurance, showing indomitable courage and supreme loyalty to their handlers.
More than 100,000 pigeons served Britain in the First World War and 200,000 in World War II. They performed heroically and saved thousands of lives by carrying vital messages, sometimes over long distances, when other methods of communication were impossible.
Flying at the rate of a mile a minute from the front line, from behind enemy lines or from ships or aeroplanes, these gallant birds would struggle on through all weathers, even when severely wounded and exhausted, in order to carry their vital messages home.
Elephants, camels, oxen, bullocks, cats, canaries, even glow worms — all these creatures, great and small, contributed their strength, their energy and their lives in times of war and conflict to the British, Commonwealth and Allied forces during the 20th century.
The Schnauzer, as one might expect from the name, is definitely of German origin. The German word "schnauzer" means "muzzle". In Germany today there are three recognized Schnauzers, the Giant, the Standard and the Miniature. Among the characteristics that the three Schnauzers have in common is the distinctive look of the head, which has a beard and mustache and heavy brows of hair over the eyes.
The body structure is quite square in appearance. coat is "wire-haired" and harsh, a typical terrier type of coat which is stripped since it will not shed naturally. The colors of salt and pepper or black are most common. The purposes of all three dogs are quite different. Paintings depict the Standard Schnauzer as early as 1842. The Standard is considered the "foundation stock" of both the Miniature and the Giant.
It is believed that the Giant Schnauzer was bred from the Standard Schnauzer by crossbreeding the Standard with some of the larger breeds of the day such as the Great Dane and perhaps the Bouvier des Flandres, a drover's dog. The Giant schnauzer was meant to serve the function of a drovers dog and a draft dog. The breed served a useful purpose in the farmer's market guarding produce carts besides pulling the carts to the market. The dogs were also used as livestock guardians. The height of the male is 25 to 27 inches and of the female, 23 to 25 inches.
The American Kennel Club standard remarks that dogs that are too large "lack the agility and manoeuvrability " of a working dog and can not perform the work for which they were intended. The Giant Schnauzer must posses a certain strength and power, what is often called "drive" from the rear quarters in order to pull a cart and so there is good angulation in the rear, with strong straight forelegs and a "well laid back" shoulder, with nearly a right angle at the shoulder, also a necessity for length of stride and powerful pulling.
The Giant Schnauzer is a large dog that is still in use today as a general livestock guardian on many German farms, besides being a much loved family guardian and pet. The breed gained popularity after World War I. The dog was used as a military dog during the war, where it's strong working abilities were much admired. During the war the dog often served as a messenger dog, often braving the enemy fire to travel to its destination carrying the orders of the day.
It is still used in the world today in some places as a military dog, bomb sniffer and search and rescue dog. The typical personality of this large dog is one of friendliness and willingness to work for people. This is a breed that does not accept harsh punishment. A Giant Schnauzer will do anything for its master, with an extreme sense of loyalty and protection. Positive training will reap great rewards with a Giant Schnauzer.
Sentry dogs were used to defend camps or other priority areas at night and rarely during the day. They would bark or growl to alert civilian or military guards of a stranger's presence. During the cold war, American military used sentry dog teams outside of nuclear weapons storage areas. A test program was conducted in Viet Nam to test Sentry Dogs.
It was launched two days after a successful Viet Cong attack (July 1, 1965) on Da Nang Air Base. Forty dog teams were deployed to Viet Nam for a four month test period. Dog teams were placed on the perimeter in front of machine gun towers/bunkers.
The detection of intruders resulted in a rapid deployment of reinforcements. The test was successful. Handlers returned to the US and dogs were reassigned to new handlers. The Air Force immediately started to ship dog teams to all the bases in Viet Nam and Thailand.
The buildup of American forces in Viet Nam created large dog sections at USAF Southeast Asia (SEA) bases. Four hundred and sixty seven (467) dogs were eventually assigned to Bien Hoa, Bien Thuy, Cam Ranh Bay, Da Nang, Nha Trang, Tuy Hoa, Phu Cat, Phan Rang, Tan Son Nhut, and Pleiku Air Bases.
Within a year of deployment, attacks on several bases had been stopped when the enemy forces were detected by dog teams. Captured Viet Cong told of the fear and respect that they had for the dogs. The Viet Cong even placed a bounty on lives of handlers and dogs.
The success of sentry dogs was determined by the lack of successful penetrations of bases in Viet Nam and Thailand. Sentry Dogs were also used by the Army, Navy, and Marines to protect the perimeter of large bases.
During the Second World War, the United States came up with the idea of a Bat bomb using the Mexican Free-tailed Bat as a delivery system for incendiaries which the Americans would use on Japan. It was hoped that after dropping this bomb, the bats would be released to fly into attics and other dark places in the Japanese cities.
After a set period of time the incendiaries would go off and burn down whatever buildings the bats had roosted in. The program was halted because of the first atomic bomb test. They never saw operational service. according to Pr. Shi Bo, in "Trente-six Stratagèmes Chinois", monkeys were used, in the beginning of the Southern Song Dynasty, in a battle between rebels of the Yanzhou province and the Chinese Imperial Army, led by Zhao Yu.
The monkeys were used as live incendiary devices. The animals were clothed with straw, dipped in oil and set on fire. They were set loose into the enemy's camp, thereby setting the tents on fire, and driving the whole camp into chaos. In World War II, the Soviets attempted to use anti-tank dogs. In World War II, the USA attempted to use pigeons to guide missiles.
Anti-tank dogs, also known as dog mines, were starving dogs with explosives harnessed to their back and trained to seek food under enemy tanks and armoured vehicles. By doing so, a small wooden lever would be tripped, detonating the explosives.
The dogs were employed by the Soviet Union during World War II, to be used against German tanks. The dogs would be starved, then trained to find food under a tank. The dogs quickly learned that being released from their pens meant to run out to where a tank was parked and find some victuals.
Once trained, the dogs would be fitted with an explosive charge and set loose into a field of oncoming German tanks. When the dog went underneath the tank where there was less armour the charge would detonate and gut the enemy vehicle.
Realization of that plan was less successful. The Hundeminen, as they were called by the Germans, had been trained using Soviet tanks, and would sometimes be loosed into a battle only to turn round and attack the Soviets' own forces. Other times the dogs would spook at the rumble of a vehicle's engine and run away.
During World War II, the Soviet Union trained anti-tank dogs. These dogs were taught to find food under tanks. They were then starved until a battle occurred, during which they would be released to seek food. The dogs wore a pouched canvas overcoat in which high explosives were placed. When they ducked under a tank in search of food, the explosives were actuated by means of a tilt fuse on the dog's back, which when bent or broken set off the explosives in the dog's overcoat, with the hope of destroying the tank.
Obviously, a cruel by-product of this practice was the brutal death of the unsuspecting wardog. These dogs were apparently successful at damaging many German tanks, reportedly disabling eleven armoured fighting vehicles in a single battle. They were considered dangerous enough by the Germans that Panzer grenadiers were ordered to shoot all dogs on sight. However, the dogs were unable to distinguish allied from enemy tanks, and were also easily scared away from battle, and from moving tanks, despite their hunger. The project was eventually abandoned.
The horse has been the most widely-used animal throughout the recorded history of warfare. Early mounts could be used to pull the chariot or to carry lightly armored skirmishing forces. With the appearance of heavier mounts and the invention of the stirrup, the horse-mounted cavalry became the most prestigious military arm in Europe for several centuries.
The combination of the horse-mounted warrior armed with a bow made the Mongol army the most powerful military force in Asian history.
Dogs were often used as unit mascots for military units. The dog in question might be an officer's dog, an animal that the unit chose to adopt, or one of their canines employed in another role as a working dog.
Some units also chose to employ a particular breed of dog as their standard mascot, with new dogs replacing the old when it died or was retired. The presence of a mascot was designed to uplift morale, and many were used to this effect in the trenches of World War I.
Not much is written about the heroics of early war dogs. Even today's modern canine soldier is practically invisible to all but those who work with them side by side in the trenches. But war dogs have a colourful and courageous history stretching all the way back to ancient Egypt.
Dogs were deployed for service by ancient Britannia, France, Spain, Normandy, Russia and some Asian societies. But it was the Roman legions who are best known for utilizing the full force of their canine soldiers. Breeds Early Egyptians used a Molassian dog.
Romans were fond of the mastiff and a breed called the Talbot, an ancestor of today's bloodhound. Attila the Hun used a giant Molosser dogs in his campaign. The Irish used Irish Wolfhounds to strip the enemy soldiers off their horses and kill them. In more recent times, the German Shepherd, Lab, Doberman Pincher and Bouvier de Flandres are chosen for their size, intelligence and strength.
Modern armies also used mixed breed dogs. Often war dogs would be fitted with spiked collars to protect their necks from attacks by enemy war dogs. The Romans designed special armor for their legions of war dogs. Some of the armor was more advanced than even the human foot soldiers' armor.
Today's war dogs don't perform "hand-to-paw" combat like the war dogs of ancient times. So there is less need for body armor. Ancient History In ancient times, war dogs performed their duties skillfully. In combat, dogs were armored and sent in for direct close-quarters battle.
They were specifically trained to bite extremely hard, exerting as much as 1,500 pounds of pressure per square inch: enough to pulverize human bones. Canine soldiers were also trained to cut off reinforcements, to track and kill retreating soldiers, and to fight other dogs. In fact, in 1476, a regiment of Swiss battle dogs annihilated an entire formation of canine soldiers from Burgundy.
As sentries, dogs were trained to guard troops, supplies, livestock, and prisoners. Some were trained so well that a prisoner was not bound or held by any means: if he made an attempt to escape, he was ferociously put down by his canine guard. Ancient war dogs were also trained to track and scout. These specialized dogs were actually able to track and report on enemy positions and concentrations.
They also hunted retreating enemies and soldiers that had deserted. Modern Day Soldiers Today's war dog is used more to aid allied soldiers than to engage and attack the enemy. This change is primarily due to the change in warfare tactics. Long range missiles have replace swords and arrows. Delivering messages is a vital role for modern war dogs.
Modern dogs of war have saved thousands of lives by serving as messengers. In the Vietnam war alone, it is estimated that the 4,000 dogs that served saved as many as 10,000 American lives. These dogs delivered messages to reserve troops, mortar batteries, and battle headquarters through heavy enemy fire.
One U.S. canine soldier was reportedly shot nine times during a mission, but nevertheless still delivered his message, collapsing into death immediately after his job was done. As medics, strong dogs are trained to bring medicine and comfort to wounded and dying soldiers in the field.
Some of these dogs are even provided with "suicide" medication for soldiers who are badly wounded and will likely die or be captured. Others are trained to do nothing more than sit by the side of a dying soldier. Exceptional dogs are trained to pull wounded soldiers to safety.
Some of the larger, stronger breeds are trained as draught dogs. Mastiffs, Rottweilers, Irish Wolfhounds, and other very large breeds have been used to haul machine guns, litters, mortars, and other supplies. Sadly, some modern war dogs are trained to execute kamikaze missions. In WWII, Russians strapped dogs with explosives and sent them out to explode underneath German tanks.
Today, Israeli forces have been known to outfit Rottweilers with explosives and send them into enemy positions to detonate. With their heightened sense of smell, today's most advanced military dogs are specially trained to detect mines, traps, IED's, and other types of explosives. They also are used to detect and uncover weapons caches.
Though they gladly give their lives in defense and protection of their human counterparts, there is, as yet, no permanent memorial to these amazing war dogs. They have become so integrated into our military that they have been given officer rank, been knighted, and awarded medals. Their courage and loyalty should never be forgotten. Geoffrey A. English.
Many dogs were used to locate mines. They did not prove to be very effective under combat conditions. Marine mine detecting dogs were trained using bare electric wires beneath the ground surface. The wires shocked the dogs, teaching them that danger lurked under the dirt. Once the dog's focus was properly directed, dummy mines were planted and the dogs were trained to signal their presence. While the dogs effectively found the mines, the task proved so stressful for the dogs they were only able to work between 20 and 30 minutes at a time.
The mine detecting war dogs anticipated random shocks from the heretofore friendly earth, making them extremely nervous. The useful service life of the dogs was not long. Experiments with lab rats show that this trend can be very extreme, in some tests rats even huddled in the corner to the point of starvation to avoid electric shock. Dogs have historically also been used in many cases to track fugitives and enemy troops, overlapping partly into the duties of a scout dog, but use their olfactory skill in tracking a scent, rather than warning a handler at the initial presentation of a scent.
Pliny the Elder wrote about the use of war pigs against elephants. As he relates it, elephants became scared by the squeal of a pig and would panic, bringing disaster to any soldiers who stood in their path of flight. It is unsubstantiated that rhinoceros were used for war functions. Analyzing Albrecht Dürer's famous 1515 woodcut, it is possible that the liberties taken with the rhino's design were in fact designs for a suit of armour created for the rhinoceros's fight against an elephant in Portugal.
However, rhinos' apparent "thick" or "plated" skin is actually very sensitive and the animals have poor eyesight, limiting their ability to run in any particular direction. Their tendency to charge anything within 10 feet would make them impractical for domestication. It is said that War Elephants were used by some African and Eastern nations in combat, such as Carthage and India.
America's first war dog, Stubby, served 18 months 'over there' and participated in eighteen battles on the Western Front. He saved his regiment from surprise mustard gas attacks, found and comforted the wounded, and even once caught a German spy by the seat of his pants. Back home his exploits were front page news of every major newspaper.
Stubby's breed was unknown, as no one ever discovered where he hailed from originally. One day he appeared at Yale Field in New Haven, Connecticut; while a group of soldiers were training, stopping to make friends with soldiers as they drilled. One soldier, Corporal Robert Conroy, developed a fondness for the dog. When it became time for the outfit to ship out, Conroy hid Stubby on board the troop ship. Stubby served with the 102nd Infantry, 26th (Yankee) Division in the trenches in France for 18 months and participated in four offensives and 18 battles.
He entered combat on February 5, 1918 at Chemin des Dames, north of Soissons, and was under constant fire, day and night for over a month. In April 1918, during a raid to take Schieprey, Stubby was wounded in the foreleg by the retreating Germans throwing hand grenades.
He was sent to the rear for convalescence, and as he had done on the front was able to improve morale. When he recovered from his wounds, Stubby returned to the trenches. After being gassed himself, Stubby learned to warn his unit of poison gas attacks, located wounded soldiers in no man's land, and — since he could hear the whine of incoming artillery shells before humans could — became very adept at letting his unit know when to duck for cover.
He was solely responsible for capturing a German spy in the Argonne. Following the retaking of Château-Thierry by the US, the thankful women of the town made Stubby a chamois coat on which were pinned his many medals. There is also a legend that while in Paris with Corporal Conroy, Stubby saved a young girl from being hit by a car. At the end of the war, Conroy smuggled Stubby home.
Chips the dog was the most decorated war dog from World War II. Chips was a German Shepherd-Collie-Husky mix owned by Edward J. Wren of Pleasantville, NY. During the war, private citizens like Wren donated their dogs for duty. Chips shipped out to the War Dog Training Center, Front Royal, Virginia, in 1942 for training as a sentry dog. He served with the 3rd Infantry Division in North Africa, Sicily, Italy, France and Germany.
His handler was Pvt. John P. Rowell. Chips served as a sentry dog for the Roosevelt-Churchill conference in 1943. Later that year, during the invasion of Sicily, Chips and his handler were pinned down on the beach by an Italian machine-gun team. Chips broke from his handler and jumped into the pillbox, attacking the gunners.
The four crewmen were forced to leave the pillbox and surrendered to US troops. In the fight he sustained a scalp wound and powder burns. Later that day, he helped take 10 Italians prisoner. For his actions during the war, he was awarded the Silver Star and Purple Heart; however these awards were later revoked. His unit unofficially awarded him a Theater Ribbon with an Arrowhead for an assault landing, and Battlestars for each of his eight campaigns. Chips was discharged in December 1945 and returned to the Wren family.
A Soldier's Kiss by Henry Chappell
Only a dying horse! pull off the gear, And slip the needless bit from frothing jaws, Drag it aside there, leaving the road way clear, The battery thunders on with scarce a pause.
Prone by the shell-swept highway there it lies With quivering limbs, as fast the life-tide fails, Dark films are closing o’er the faithful eyes That mutely plead for aid where none avails.
Onward the battery rolls, but one there speeds Needlessly of comrades voice or bursting shell, Back to the wounded friend who lonely bleeds Beside the stony highway where he fell.
Only a dying horse! he swiftly kneels, Lifts the limp head and hears the shivering sigh Kisses his friend, while down his cheek there steals Sweet pity’s tear, "Goodbye old man, Goodbye".
No honours wait him, medal, badge or star, Though scarce could war a kindlier deed unfold; He bears within his breast, more precious far Beyond the gift of kings, a heart of gold.
After the attack at Pearl Harbour, in 1942, the U.S. Military joined with the American Kennel Club to establish Dogs for Defense. The American Kennel Club recruited dog owners to donate quality canines to the military. The Quartermasters Corps was responsible for supplies, food service and materials management. On March 13, 1942, the Quartermaster Corps of the army took charge of turning these pets into soldiers. The U.S. Marines also trained handlers and canines to be soldiers in the Pacific during World War II.
At first there were over 300 breeds of dogs accepted into the program, but eventually the list was narrowed down to German Shepherd Dogs, Belgian Sheepdogs, Doberman Pinschers, Farm Collies and Giant Schnauzers.
Of the 19,000 dogs screened for the program between 1942 and 1945, 45% were rejected. In the beginning, civilian volunteers trained the recruits, but after the first training center opened in Front Royal, Virginia, the training was done by the Quartermasters Corps soldiers for the Army and the Marines trained their own canines.
The training took 12 weeks. It started with basic obedience and progressed to training with gas masks, muzzles, military vehicles and gunfire. After the basic training was complete, the dogs were moved on to training in specific duties. Sentry dogs: Walked on short leashes and warned their handlers by growling and barking. They were always on patrol with their handlers.
Scout or Patrol dogs: These dogs did the duties of the sentry dog but they were trained to work silently. They detected snipers or ambushes from the enemy. These canine soldiers saved the lives of many of their handlers.
These dogs required extreme loyalty because they were used to silently carry messages back and forth between their two handlers. Mine dogs: These canines were trained to find trip wires and mines.
There were 140 dogs trained as mine dogs during World War II, but it was determined that the dogs had trouble finding mines during combat. The majority of the dogs were trained as sentries. Of the 9,300 dogs that were trained, 3,174 were used by the Coast Guard.
These dogs were used to guard the coastline, harbor defense and protecting industrial plants and airfields. In 1944, the military started using canines for combat. The sentry dogs in combat could detect enemy soldiers up to 1,000 yards away. In order to alert their handler without giving away their positions, the dogs would stiffen, and the hair on the dog's back would stand up.
Over the years, military working canines have been used in not only World War II, but Korea, Vietnam, Desert Storm, Afghanistan, and they are currently deployed in Iraq. It is noted that in Vietnam, canine war dogs saved as many as 10,000 lives.
One of the first war memorials was erected on Asan beach in Guam in 1944. It was moved to the United States Naval Base on the island in 1994. This particular memorial is dedicated to the Dobermans that served with the Marines during World War II. The inscription on the memorial statue reads..."always faithful".
Dog Soldiers: They have barrelled into the fiercest battles of history. They have risked their lives for fallen comrades. They have remained loyal until death guarding, encouraging, fighting until all, but their spirit, was lost. Dogs have certainly proved effective in battles throughout history. As weapons of wars they have been ferocious, courageous and intelligent.
But it is their spirit, that undying and ever-faithful spirit that has inspired men in arms and rallied them during history's bloodiest battles. When their effectiveness as weapons of war past they continued contributing to the fight guarding the men, inspiring them, helping them to communicate.
With the appearance of modern ranged weapons and motorised vehicles, the use of the horse for military purposes fell into decline. However the horse was still used extensively by the German Army during World War II for transporting supplies and equipment, including artillery.
The U.S. Army also used pack horses during the war. While elephants are considered domesticable, they can be trained to serve as mounts, or for moving heavy loads. Sanskrit hymns record their use for military purposes as early as 1,100 B.C. A group of elephants was notably employed by Hannibal during the Punic Wars.
They were employed as recently as World War II by both the Japanese and Allies. Elephants could perform the work of machines in locations where vehicles could not penetrate, so they found considerable use in the Burma theater.
Perhaps it is their pack nature or willingness to please their human counterparts that have made them so essential in battle, but since the dawn of warfare they have plunged head first into the fight. The Romans were not the first, but may very well have used war dogs the most effectively. The Roman Army had whole companies composed entirely of dogs.
They wore spiked collars around their neck and ankles, made more dangerous by the large curved knives protruding from its ring. Sometimes they were starved before battle, then unleashed on an unsuspecting enemy.
Their dog of choice was the great Molossian dogs of Epirus, specifically trained for battle. These dogs, halved starved and ferocious, helped spread the Roman Empire across the ancient world. They dominated battles until they meet their match in the Britain, where powerful Mastiffs called Pugnaces Britanniae had been born and breed.
Camels have typically seen use as mounts in arid regions. They are better able to traverse sandy deserts than horses, and require far less water. Camels were employed in both world wars. Camels are used by the Indian Army & Border Security Force for patrolling in the desert regions of Rajasthan. Mules were used by the U.S. Army during World War II to carry supplies and equipment over difficult terrain.
Pack animals that are innately patient, cautious, and hardy, mules could carry heavy loads of supplies where Jeeps and even pack horses could not travel. Mules were used in North Africa, Burma, the Philippines, and in Italy. They are also used for transporting supplies in mountainous regions. Oxen have been used widely in war as beasts of burden, especially to transport heavy or siege artillery through heavy terrain.
Homing pigeons have seen use since the time of the French revolution for carrying messages. They were employed for a similar purpose during the world war I. In WWII, experiments were performed in the use of the pigeon for guiding missiles, known as project pigeon. The pigeon was placed inside so that they could see out through a window.
They were trained to peck at controls to the left or right, depending on the location of a target shape. Dogs were used by the ancient Greeks for war purposes, and they were undoubtedly used much earlier in history. During their conquest of Latin America, conquistadores used mastiffs to kill warriors in the Caribbean, Mexico and Peru.
Mastiffs, as well as great Danes, were used in England during the middle ages, where their large size was used to scare horses to throw off their riders or to pounce on knights on horseback, disabling them until their master delivered the final blow.
More recently, canines with explosives strapped to their backs saw use during world war ii in the soviet army as anti-tank weapons. In other armies, they were used for detecting mines. They were trained to spot trip wires, as well as mines and other booby traps.
They were also employed for sentry duty, and to spot snipers or hidden enemy forces. Some dogs also saw use as messengers. Beginning in the cold war era, research has been done into the uses of many species of marine mammals for military purposes.
The u.s. Navy marine mammal program uses military dolphins and sea lions for underwater sentry duty, mine clearance, and object recovery. On land, the Gambian giant pouched rat has been used with considerable success in de-mining, as its keen sense of smell helps in the identification of explosives and its small size prevents it from triggering mines. Cats were used in the royal navy to control vermin on board ships. Able sea cat simon of HMS amethyst received the Dickin medal.
Simon the cat was born probably in the latter part of 1947, on Stonecutters Island, Hong Kong, a busy naval dockyard at the time. (A resident of Stonecutter's Island later tried to research Simon's parentage, but without success.) A few months later, early in 1948, the Royal Navy's HMS Amethyst called there for supplies; she was based in Hong Kong, but had been on operations in Malaya.
One day Simon was found in the dockyard looking in need of a good meal by Ordinary Seaman George Hickinbottom from the ship; he was a 17-year-old at the time and had joined in the previous November.
The cats of Stonecutters Island were well known for becoming ships' cats and George decided to smuggle the waif aboard. To avoid the man on watch, he concealed the cat under his tunic and took him to his tiny space hardly a cabin that served as his accommodation. George had been appointed 'captain of the fo'c'sle', meaning that he had to ensure that everything there was kept shipshape and in good order. As such, he was quartered close to the captain's cabin.
The K9 Corps was born just over 68 years ago. On March 13, 1942, Secretary of War Robert P. Patterson signed a historic document. The letter officially allowed dogs in the military. At the time, the US military did not have their own K9s.
Many dog owners donated their animals for the war effort. After the attacks on Pearl Harbor, the American Kennel Association and Dogs for Defense encouraged even more private citizens to do the same. Initially, around 30 dog breeds were accepted in the K9 Corps. This list was later narrowed down to 5, one of which is the German Shepherd. The military initially relied on donated dogs and then acquired their own for breeding as military K9s.
The first War Dog Reception & Training Center was opened in Front Royal, Virginia. Other locations were added, as the demand for war dogs grew. Basic Military K9 training lasted from eight to twelve weeks. After learning the fundamentals of basic dog obedience, the dogs were then trained for their military experience.
This included exposing them to gas masks, gunfire, muzzles and riding in military vehicles. After graduation, the dogs were evaluated and selected for one of four specialized training tracks: * Sentry dogs were taught to give an alert when strangers came near a protected area. * Patrol dogs, also known as Scout dogs worked in silence, and commonly served as point on combat patrols. * Messenger dogs worked with two handlers to discreetly deliver messages hidden inside their collars. * Mine Detector Dogs, or Mine Dogs were trained to find booby traps and trip wires.
Dogs in the K9 Corps not only served to boost morale for war weary troops, they also saved countless lives. Due to their superior senses, they can detect danger that humans are unable to discern. An effort is under way to establish March 13 as Military K9 Veterans Day. Let us honour these four legged heroes who put themselves in harms way to save our soldiers from countless ambushes and surprise attacks.
Mine dogs These dogs were used to locate mines. They did not prove to be very effective under combat conditions. According to Lt. William Putney DVM, USMC War Dog Platoon, GUAM, WW2, mine detecting dogs were trained using bare electric wires beneath the ground surface. The wires shocked the dogs, teaching them that danger lurked under the dirt. Once the dog's focus was properly directed, dummy mines were planted and the dogs were trained to signal their presence.
Dr. Putney related that while the dogs effectively found the mines, the task proved so stressful for the dogs they were only able to work between 20 and 30 minutes at a time. The mine detecting war dogs anticipated random shocks from the heretofore friendly earth, making them extremely nervous.
The useful service life of the dogs was not long. Experiments with lab rats show that this trend can be very extreme, in some tests rats even huddled in the corner to the point of starvation to avoid electric shock. Dogs have been used in war for a very long time.
Some ancient civilizations that used war dogs included the Egyptians, the Greeks, the Ancient Britons and the Romans. The Molossian 'Canis Molossus' dog of Epirus was the strongest known to the Romans, and were specifically trained for battle by the military.
About the time World War I broke out, many Europeans used dogs to pull small carts. Many European armies adapted the process for military use. The Belgian Army used dogs to pull their Maxim Guns and other supplies or wounded in their carts. The French had 250 dogs at the start of World War I. The Dutch army copied the idea and had hundreds of dogs trained and ready by the end of World War I (the Netherlands remained neutral).
The Soviet army also used dogs to drag wounded men to aid stations during WWII. The dogs were well-suited to transporting loads over snow and through craters.
Dogs were often used to carry messages in battle. They would be turned loose to move silently to a second handler. This required a dog which was very loyal to two masters, otherwise the dog would not deliver the message on time, or at all. Some messenger dogs also performed other communication jobs, such as pulling telephone lines from one location to another.
The Alsatian, commonly known as the German Shepherd Dog, is a working dog breed that often acts as military dogs, guard dogs, police dogs, or search and rescue dogs. They are used because they can be trained in protection and obedience easily and they like to please their owners. German Shepherd Dogs are large, strong dogs that have coats with either long or short hair.
Their coats' colours vary, but are mostly seen in tan and brown. However, there are some German Shepherds who are completely black or white. German Shepherds' ears stand up erect and they also have long tails. There are several lines of German Shepherd, all of which have different looks, behavior and skills. The international working line of German Shepherds are bred as working dogs. They are quite tough but their appearance varies.
The North American show line of German Shepherds are bred for their appearance, which is unique to them. Their backs are more angled than a typical German Shepherd's and unfortunately this can be bad for their backs.
They are also believed to not have the working dog traits of the other lines. The international show line of German Shepherd Dog also is bred more so on appearance, so they typically look the same. German Shepherds tend to develop great loyalty and are very obedient towards their owners. Due to their strong teeth and jaws, they can be trained to attack.
Unfortunately, they can also become too aggressive or become fearful if not bred properly. Many of these types of dogs, who are either poorly bred or have owners who don't train them properly, end up in puppy mills. Since German Shepherds are frequently used as attack and police dogs, they have received an image of being quite dangerous. However, most German Shepherds make great pets for families and are not aggressive. German Shepherds are very emotional dogs and are quite loyal.
They are sometimes used as guide dogs, but that is on the decline as they can get separation anxiety and trauma. As stated earlier, different lines of German Shepherds vary in temperament. Working dogs have more energy and are more obedient.
They are intelligent and become upset if they do not get enough exercise. They like to have a job to do, which is why they are often used as rescue dogs. North American lines of German Shepherd Dogs are more fitted for the role of companions. Due their large size, German Shepherds can suffer from elbow problems and hip dysplasia. They may have skin allergies or have von Willebrand's disease.
The average life span of a German Shepherd is twelve years. German Shepherd Dogs were discovered in the late 1800s by Captain Max von Stephanitz and were meant to be a diverse working dog. American and British soldiers of World War I then brought German Shepherds to their homes and they became popular dogs.
They were used as family pets and as working dogs. German Shepherds are very versatile in the type of things they can do. They are highly intelligent and like to please and protect their owners. For this reason, they can become great guard dogs, rescue dogs, or police dogs and also make good pets for families.
Many dogs were reported to perform acts of heroism on the battlefields of World War I when the concept of pet memorials gained acceptance. By the end of the War there were more than 2,000 graves at Hartsdale, where pets are buried in pet urns, and pet caskets with pet memorial markers. More pets were buried at Hartsdale Pet Cemetery and Crematory, America's oldest and most prestigious pet burial grounds, than during the previous two decades. Today, cities all across America have pet memorials, and new websites are popping up online that commemorate pets.
According to one such company's founder, "People find much peace in putting their family pets to rest," said Colleen Mihelich, Peternity.com. It was in 1896 when Dr. Samuel Johnson, a prominent New York City veterinarian, offered his apple orchard as a burial plot for his friend's canine companion. Now, there are more than 70,000 pets buried at Hartsdale and many have custom pet memorial stones.
The cemetery maintains a state of the art crematory on the grounds along with a separate office and offers a complete range of services such as cremation, pet memorials, pet cremation urns and caskets. The Cemetary donated a big piece of land to have a memorial monument built by Walter A. Buttendorf. Sculpted by designer and builder Robert Caterson, who had worked on Grand Central Station in New York City, the monument cost $2,500 at the time.
The townspeople said it would be a heroic monument that was supposed to be a "Rustic Boulder executed in 'Rock of Ages' Barre Vermont Granite, surmounted by a heroic statue of a War Dog, Canteen and Helmet in bronze." It was a ten foot tall majestic monument with ten tons of granite from a Vermont quarry, topped with a bronze statue of a handsome German shepherd wearing a Red Cross blanket. At his feet is a bronze helmet, plus a canteen, and the American flag above.
The War Dog Memorial's unveiling was attended by representatives from every nation that foughten during World War I. This was the final resting place for many heroic war dogs including Chips, the only American war dog to receive military decorations including the Purple Heart and the Silver Star.
He served in World War II, and during an invasion of Sicily, Chips stormed an enemy machine gun pillbox. He cornered four soldiers and helped capture 10 men. Also buried at this cemetery is Boots, a German Shepherd who starred in "Boots and Saddles," a film glorifying this dog. He helped raise over nine million dollars in war bonds.
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