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Seven Dog Breeds That Served in First World War (WWI)

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I like to share information about wildlife, animals, and pets—dogs in particular.

The war dogs that served in WWI

The war dogs that served in WWI

The dogs played an important military role during World War I (July 28, 1914 – November 11, 1918), serving in a variety of tasks. According to an estimate, more than 60,000 dogs were used for military purposes in World War I. The German military had employed 30,000 dogs and Allied forces (USA, Britain, France and Belgian) forces used over 26,000 dogs, and the USSR had used thousands also.

They were used to perform the specialized operations, carry messages, locate wounded soldiers, detecting explosives and land mines, and finding wounded soldiers. Mainly these seven breeds of dogs were used by different forces in WWI,

Airedale Terrier

Airedale Terrier

1. Airedale Terrier

The Airedale Terrier, is medium to large sized dog of Terrier category of dogs, native to England. Also known as also Bingley Terrier and Waterside Terrier, its largest sized dog breed of terrier category and also known as "King of Terriers". The Airedale Terrier is an intelligent, active, loyal and affectionate dog that has strong jaws, hard, dense, and wiry coat.

Origin and Physical standards

  • Origin : Yorkshire, England
  • Height : 21 to 23 Inches
  • Weight : 50 to 70 Pounds
  • Life Expectancy : 12 to 14 Years
Airedale Terrier, in WW I

Airedale Terrier, in WW I

Airedale Terrier in WWI

Served for, British Army

The Airedale Terrier, is an intelligent, strong and agile dog, but often stubborn and headstrong. They were originally developed as a hunting companion, to find and retrieve birds latter used as police dogs and family pet. Airedale Terriers were first used by the British Army, during World War, by the Red Cross as a sniffer dog to sniff out wounded soldiers. But after WWI, there has been a lot of decline in their fame.

Border Collie

Border Collie

2. Border Collie

The Border Collie is a medium-sized, working and herding dog breed, native to Australia. They were developed to herd livestock, specifically sheep in hilly border country between Scotland and England. The Border Collie is a highly intelligent, extremely energetic, and athletic dog breed that is considered, one among the smartest dog breed.

Origin and Physical Standards

  • Origin : Anglo-Scottish border region
  • Height : 46 to 56 cm.
  • Weight : 12 to 20 Kg
  • Life Expectancy : 11 to 17 years
Border Collie

Border Collie

The Border Collie in WWI

Served for, British Army

Border Collies are highly intelligent, alert, agile dogs that were used by the British Army, during WWI to carry messages, tracking the enemy, locates wounded soldiers, detecting explosives, and finding wounded soldiers on the battlefield.

Boston Terrier

Boston Terrier

3. Boston Terrier

The Boston Terrier is a small to medium sized dog from non-sporting breed, native to the United States of America. This is calm, friendly and gentle dog, also known as "American Gentleman". The Boston Terrier is an intelligent and sturdy dog that has a square-looking head, erect ears and arched neck.

Origin and Physical Standards

  • Origin : United States of America
  • Height : 9 to15 inch (23 to 38 cm)
  • Weight : 6 to 25 lb (3 to 11 kg)
  • Life Expectancy : 11–13 years
Boston Terrier

Boston Terrier

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The Boston Terrier in WWI

Served for, US Military

Boston Terrier is basically a small companion dog that were used by US troops in WWI, to locate wounded soldiers, capture of a German spy, and detect the land mines. The dog named Sergeant Stubby (1916 – March 16, 1926), served 18 months for 26th (Yankee) Division of 102nd Infantry Regiment (United States) during World War I.

Doberman Pinschers

Doberman Pinschers

4. Doberman Pinschers

Doberman Pinscher dogs are powerful, fearless and intelligent. They're one of the most respected breeds for police and military work. They are very loyal and obedient companions that make good family pets, and their dedication to their owners is unmatched. These qualities make them one of the most in-demand breeds in the world.

Origin and Physical standards,

Origin : Germany
Height : 22 to 27.5 Inches
Weight : 28 to 45 kg
Life Span : 9 to 12 Years

Doberman Pinschers

Doberman Pinschers

The Doberman Pinschers in WWI

Served for, Both German and Allied forces

Dobermans are an intelligent, courageous, dominant and confident dog breed, which are a quick learner and extremely trainable that make them one of the most preferred military working dogs. They were used by both German and Allied forces, during the First World War (WWI) as generalized war dogs.

German shepherd

German shepherd

5. German shepherd

The German Shepherd is one of the world's most recognized and most popular dog, also known as Alsatian in Great Britain and parts of Europe. They are intelligent working dogs and their devotion, courage, and intelligence are unmatched. German Shepherds are very strong and energetic. Their front legs and shoulders are muscular and their thighs are thick and sturdy. They are excellent herders, search and rescue dogs, and drug detectors, these qualities make them among the best police and military service dogs.

Origin and Physical standards,

Origin : Germany
Height : 55 to 65 cm
Weight : 22 to 40 Kg
Life Span : 9 to 13Years

German Shepherd in World War I (WW I)

German Shepherd in World War I (WW I)

The German Shepherd in WWI

Served for, German Army

German Shepherd is an intelligent, and highly trainable dogs, which were the first dog breed introduced to the world war (WWI). These multitalented dogs were used by the German Army for a wide variety of purposes, they served as sentries, messengers, guards, search and rescue dogs during the war. They are an excellent sniffer dog that was trained as Army sniffer dogs to detect the land mines.

Mixed-Breed Terriers

Mixed-Breed Terriers

6. Mixed-Breed Terriers and Mongrels

Mix breed or mongrel dog is a combination of two different pure breed dogs, bred accidental or developed by mixing two breeds to accomplish specific tasks. These dogs are considered healthier than the parent breed, but their behavior and characteristics are unpredictable. The terrier mixed dogs are small to medium sized healthy, intelligent and active dogs. Some mix breed dogs inherit the best qualities of their parent and make an excellent dog.

Mixed-Breed Terriers in World War I

Mixed-Breed Terriers in World War I

The Mixed Breed Terrier

Served for, U.S. Army

Rags was a mongrel (Mix breed terrier) dog that served for the U.S. 1st Infantry Division's dog-mascot in World War I. Which was used as a messenger to pass the message between the rear headquarters and the front lines, to provide early warning of incoming shells.

Rottweiler

Rottweiler

7. Rottweiler

Rottweiler is a medium-to-large or large sized dog, native to Germany, that was known in German as Rottweiler Metzgerhund, meaning Rottweil butchers' dogs. Because, it was bred to herd livestock and pull carts laden with butchered meat to market. They are tough and fearless dogs that have the strongest bite force and make a good watchdog, police and military dog.

Rottweiler

Rottweiler

The Rottweiler

Served for, German Army

Rottweilers are medium to large sized, smart, loyal, powerful, courageous, and strong boned dogs that have an incredibly strong bite. They are dominant dog that requires a calm, stable and firm "pack leader". Rottweiler makes an excellent watch dog, Police and Military dog. They were employed by the German Military to work as a messenger, ambulance, draught, and guard dogs. During World War I (WWI) they were used as search and rescue dogs, and guard during the night and bark at any sign of enemy forces.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2022 Aaradhya

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