Every soldier who has played a role in preserving the freedom and honor of their nation deserve our heartfelt gratitude. And dogs have been just as brave, selfless, and invaluable in their service to the nation. They have received medals and have saved many lives on the battlefield with their bravery and keen senses. Dogs service nation
And the contribution is not limited to any one breed. We list below some of the dogs who have made the cut.
They are respected as service dogs and have been at the forefront of many wars. They are the top pick for the Combat Tracker Teams. Their highly developed sense of smell makes them ideal to track missing, wounded, and downed servicemen and also to detect enemy patrols.
With the Combat Stress Control Unit, they serve as canine therapists to control and prevent stress levels of soldiers who are stationed in combat zones. They are also experts at detecting mines and IEDs. The best military equipment is no match to the Retriever’s exceptional sense of smell. Treo, a black Labrador, sniffed out devices in Afghanistan and Northern Ireland. He was awarded the animal equivalent to the Victoria Cross.
Bloodhounds are large scent hounds used to track and trail human scent, even those that are days old. Their long ears and wrinkled faces make them instantly recognizable. They are equally adept at picking up narcotics and weapon caches. It is estimated that they have a 1000 times stronger sense of smell than a human.
3. Yorkshire Terriers
This spunky breed has gone from being a rat-catching dog to a world war hero. This pint-sized breed gained fame through Smoky who accompanied Corporal Wynne throughout the war in the Pacific. Time and again she saved Wynne’s life. She also is considered the first therapy dog as she kept the smile on the face of countless soldiers during the two years she served in the Pacific.
Rottweilers are extremely intelligent and served with honor in the military. They love to be both mentally and physically active. These Mastiff-type intelligent and rugged animals were integrated into the armies of the Roman Empire. They are extremely vital in search-and-rescue missions.
They were used as messengers during WWII. The German military approved it as the first breed well-suited for military work way back in the early 1900s. Sgt. Stubby was the most decorated Boxer to serve in WWI. He saved his regiment from mustard gas attacks, traced and comforted the wounded, and even caught a German spy once.
The ancestors of the Mastiff were highly prized as war dogs by the Greek, Romans, Huns, and the Mongols. Armored to kill, the large dogs were used in charges against the ranks of the enemy and also used as dispatch carriers.
7. German Shepherds
When we think of military dogs the German Shepherds come to mind. They are known for their intelligence, dedication, and loyalty which make them the perfect choice for the military. First used by the Germans in WWI, they were used also by the United States by WWII. They were initially used as messenger dogs and then as guard dogs and rescue dogs. They were deployed extensively in Iraq and Afghanistan. Extremely loyal and easy-going, they do not like to be left alone.
Dogs have been at the side of soldiers since the beginning of mankind. Soldiers who interacted with them considered their lives as precious as their comrades’ fighting shoulder to shoulder.
It was only after 2010 that those dogs who provided their service to the nation and laid down their lives in the process were given their due love and respect.