The present world war, while it has done many branches of the dog fancy seemingly irreparable harm, has also helped to bring other breeds more into the limelight of public notice. Foremost of the dogs thus affected are the German and Belgian Shepard dogs, or what are more commonly termed "police dogs.". In times of peace, this title is as correct as any other, but at the present writing, these animals are the real dogs of war, and are of great assistance to the various armies in whatever capacity they are employed. In the German armies they are used to trail through the fields, after a battle, and pick out the wounded from the dead soldiers. Many a wounded warrior owes his life to these sagacious beasts. They are also used as the St. Bernard dogs are commonly spoken of as being used; with a small keg of liquid, and a few mouthfuls of bread strapped to their collars, as they make their rounds.
The Belgian and French armies use the dogs more as beasts of burden than do the the Teutonic forces, training them to haul small artillery, supply wagons, ammunition, and food carts. These dogs are as nearly fearless as it is possible for an animal to be; the fire of musketry and the roar of the cannons not seeming to affect them in the very least. They are a wild but faithful breed, and only one man is allowed to handle them.
Another breed that has ably demonstrated that it can be useful as well as ornamental, is the Airedale terrier, used largely by the British forces.
These dogs are used in practically the same way as the two formerly mentioned, but as they are not as large or as hardy as the German and Belgian shepherd dogs, more are required to do the same amount of work.
There are also a great many dogs of nondescript breeding, simply mongrels, but still they seem to be very efficient in performing the duties assigned to them. It is, of course, more difficult to teach a dog of whose breeding you know nothing, than it is to train one whose ancestors, for generations back, have been engaged in the same line of work. Heredity has it's little word to say in that case.
Fur, News. Fur News, January 1916.
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