The United States War Dogs Association, Inc. - is
a nonprofit organization of Former and Current US
Military Dog Handlers and supporting members
committed to promoting the long history of the
Military Service Dogs, establishing permanent War
Dog Memorials, and educating the public about the
invaluable service of these canines to our country.
Our background in military War Dog service and our
dedication to honoring the memory of the service
and sacrifice of the US Military Working Dogs gives
us a unique perspective that we can use to educate
the public on the history of Military War Dogs.
War Dogs - U.S Army's use of dogs 1942-Present
- The Army Quartermaster Corps began the U.S.
Armed Forces first war dog training during WWII.
By 1945 they had trained almost 10,000 war dogs
for the Army, Navy, Marine Corps and Coast
Guard. Fifteen War Dog platoons served overseas
in World War II. Seven saw service in Europe and
eight in the Pacific. In 1951 the responsibility for
training military dogs was given to the Military Police
Corps. Dogs continued to serve the armed forces
with distinction in Korea, Vietnam, Desert Storm,
Afghanistan and Iraq and many recent contingency
K-9 HISTORY: THE DOGS OF WAR! - From
Before Biblical Times To The Present - When we
go to war, they go to war.
- Throughout the histories of warfare, from the
days of the Egyptians, the Greeks and the Persians
and the conquests of the Roman Empire.
- To the United Nation's Police Action in Korea, the
war in Vietnam, the Gulf War, and more recently
during the war in Bosnia-Herzegovina and Kosovo.
- Dogs have undergone active service at the sides
of their masters, they have played the role of hero,
by showing bravery under fire, saving lives (often
by sacrificing their own), and bringing comfort to
the injured and infirm.
- Atilla the Hun, used giant Molossian dogs,
precursors of the mastiff, and Talbots, ancestors of
the bloodhound, in his campaigns.
- During the Middle Ages, war dogs were outfited
with armor and frequently were used to defend
- And in the Seven Years War, Russian dogs were
used as messengers by the army of Frederick the
- Napoleon had dogs posted as sentries at the
gates of Alexandria, in Egypt, to warn his troops of
- Two centuries earlier, on this side of the Atlantic,
they helped the Spaniards conquer the indians of
Mexico and Peru.
- Then later on, it was the native North American
Indians who were to develop the use of dogs for
pack and draft work, as well as for sentry duty.
- In the early part of the 14th Century, the French
Navy started to use attack dogs in St. Malo, France,
to guard naval dock installations. These were used
up to 1770, when they were abolished after a
young naval officer was unfortunately killed by one
of the dogs.
- The first recorded American Canine Corp was
during the Seminole War of 1835, and again in
1842, in Florida and Louisana, where Cuban-bred
bloodhounds were used by the army to track the
indians and runaway slaves in the swamps!
- And during the bleakest time in the history of the
United States, the Civil War, dogs were used as
messengers, guards and as mascots.
- In 1884, the German Army established the first
organize Military School for training war dogs at
Lechernich, near Berlin; and in 1885 wrote the very
first training manual for MWD.
- In 1898, during the Spanish-American War, dogs
were used by Teddy's Roughriders, as scouts in the
jungles of Cuba.
- By the early part of the twentieth century most
European countries were utilizing dogs in their
armies and for police work.
- In 1904, Imperial Russia used ambulance dogs
during the Russo-Japanese War; trained by a
British dog fancier, who later went on to establish
the first Army Dog School in England, at the start
of The Great War.
- The Bulgarians and Italians employed dogs as
sentries during the war in the Balkans and in Tripoli,
as did the British on the Abor Expedition in the
- Dogs were used in sizable numbers in both World
War I and II, particularly by the Germans, French,
Belgians; and proved to be of considerable value!
- In 1988, the Israeli Special Forces sent bomb
carrying Rottweilers on a suicide mission, code
named "Blue and Brown," against enemy bunkers in
Lebanon. But more about that later!
- And when the Berlin Wall came down, Nov. 9,
1989, the East German communist government was
using 5,000 dogs just to patrol the wall and
another 2,500 watch dogs plus 2,700 so called
horse dogs to patrol their borders.
- During the Gulf War, at least 1,177 highly trained
German Shepherds were use by the French forces
to guard and protect their troops, supplies and
aircraft. The USA used 88 teams.
- But it was initially during the days of the Roman
Empire, that entire formations of attack dogs,
frequently equipped with armour or spiked collars
were sent into battle against the enemy as a
recognized and effective instruments of offensive
- However, recently with the development of
modern long range warfare and the consequential
change in military tactics, the value of dogs as
combat soldiers has steadily diminished.
- But at the same time their usefulness in other
military activities has increased.
This is their story and in some ways, mans as well!
Dogs of War - Eleven of the most popular
contributors to the Australian war effort in Vietnam
could not return home when their tour of duty
ended. They were the black labrador tracker dogs
used by the Australian Task Force.
|During the Civil War, Confederate regiments
unleashed bloodhounds against negro
|Wood engraved illustration from Frank Leslie's Illustrated
Newspaper, March 5, 1864
Dogs were first domesticated somewhere between
15,000 to 20,000 years ago and were initially used
for hunting, hauling, and guarding camps and
settlements. At some point, imperialistic and
class-based societies began to exploit dogs'
aggressive potential for both offensive purposes
(military dogs) and for internal social control,
particularly to control slaves and to guard
Military Working Dog Foundation, Inc. - The
Mission of the Military Working Dog Foundation is to
assist the Department of Defense Military Working
Dog Center in finding suitable homes for military
working dogs that become available for adoption
because they are no longer capable of performing
their military duties.
Because on occasion, dogs are available for
distribution to police departments and other law
enforcement agencies, the Foundation's mission is
also to help this process involving law enforcement
K-9 units. In most cases, the dogs made available
to law enforcement would make excellent working
dogs, but due to time restraints, the military is
unable to continue training them.
The dogs available for private adoption are not your
ordinary house pets. They are anything but
ordinary. They have served in protecting our
country or have been to military K-9 'boot camp"
and are very special animals. Our goal is to aid the
MWD Center in finding appropriate homes for the
working dogs available for private adoption to the
public, former handlers and other persons capable
of properly caring for these dogs as well as law
enforcement agencies having a special requirement
for a trained K-9.
War Dogs: Canines in Combat - America's war
dogs prevented over 10,000 casualties in Vietnam
alone and bravely served our country in Operation
Desert Storm as well as World War II. Yet, many of
these K-9 Soldiers were declared "surplus
armaments" and were unceremoniously euthanised
or left to unknown fates in Vietnam. America's war
dogs were trained to recognize booby traps, mines
tunnels and weapons caches. They were trained for
parachutte landings. They warned troops about
ambushes. They saved lives by dragging wounded
soldiers to safety. These canine heroes lived,
bonded and fought side-by-side with our veterans.
After World War II, surviving war dogs were sent
home to their families with honorable discharges.
But at the end of the Vietnam War, military officials
abandoned almost all the American war dogs. None
of the dogs of the Vietnam War have ever been
honored for their bravery and service until now.....in
the documentary War Dogs, America's Forgotten
|Copyright 2020 © Barry M. Baker
War Dog - During World War I the Germans used
dogs in the military. The experience in Germany with
military dogs during World War I led the
government to establish an organization that would
be involved in breeding and training military and
police dogs. The organization also bought dogs
from private breeders. It is estimated that by the
time the U.S. got involved in World War II that the
Germans had trained 200,000 military and police
dogs. The Germans provided 25,000 trained military
dogs to their ally, Japan, that were used in the war
The Russians also trained and used dogs in their
military. White Samoyeds were used to pull
white-clad marksmen on sleds close to enemy lines.
In one sector of the front, a team of sled dogs
carried 1,239 wounded men from the battlefield and
hauled 327 tons of ammunition within a five week
period. Dog teams were used to pull guns, men,
and supplies. One Russian correspondent stated
that "dogs have saved thousands upon thousands
of lives on the Russian front."
Americans have always been great dog lovers and
owners, but before World War II there was no
formal training for military dogs. There was also
very little use of dogs by the police. The use of
dogs of any breed by the police and military really
did not exist until World War II. In Europe, dogs
bred to herd sheep and cows were trained in police
and military work. In the U.S., herding dogs did little
"real" work as there weren't many sheep and men
on horse back, cowboys, did the cattle herding.
In a great many ways, not just military dogs, the
U.S. was unprepared for war when World War II
came to the country on a Sunday, December 7,
1941. The real miracle of World War II was how an
unprepared nation could achieve victory in four