The Dogs of War

It is always nice to take a moment to appreciate The Dogs of War.

National War Dog Cemetary

Some notable milestones in the use dogs at war include:

1776: Newfoundland dogs served as messengers during the Revolutionary War

1865: During the Civil War, dogs were used as messengers, guards, and mascots

1884: The German Army established the first organized Military School for training war dogs at Lechernich, near Berlin

Part of a great selection of pictures of military dogs at

1898: Dogs served as scouts in the jungles of Cuba in the Spanish-American War

1914: Dogs served as messengers between trenches in World War I

1965: Some 3-4,000 scout and sentry dogs served in Vietnam

1991: During the Gulf War, the U.S. used 88 teams of dogs to guard and protect their troops, supplies and aircraft.

2009: Some 2,000 dogs serve GIs in the Middle East, mostly sniffing for explosives.


U.S. Air Force dog atop an M2A3 Bradley in Iraq, 2007

Dogs have also been used to help veterans returning from wars, to cope with PTSD.

For more information, see The United States War Dogs Association, the excellent “History of Military Working Dogs,” online here and this “Short History of Canines in Combat” from the Military History site.

Cario the dog was involved in the operation that killed bin Laden.

You can also read this heart-warming story about a soldier, Ken Wyrsch, who was forced to leave behind a street dog he rescued in Iraq and named Ollie. One month later, SPCA International helped Ollie reunite with Ken in California.

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