German Shepherd Military Service

At the outbreak of the First World War, the quality and skills of the German Shepherd Dog which had been fully demonstrated in Police Service, were recognized by the military. As well as exceptional scenting ability, the erect ears of the dog gave acute hearing which was invaluable at sentry posts to give warning of enemy attacks.

Another characteristic exploited on the battlefield, was the dog’s love of his master. After specialists training, this instinct could be employed to send messages back to trench and dug-out  - the nearest thing to home in that terrible conflict. Thus, the dispatch-dog became an integral part of the communication network, the efficiency of which is essential to front-line operations. The tracking and searching skills of the German Shepherd Dog, developed and utilized by the police in criminal detection, now began to be adapted to seek out wounded soldiers on the battlefield, many of whom were buried in collapsed trench works or concealed from the human eye in cops or woodland.

These wonderful dogs daily risked enemy fire in their endeavors to save human lives. In the Second World War the same skills were harnessed during the Blitz on British cities, where the Shepherds of the Crumstone prefix were successfully employed to seek out air-raid victims buried under debris. Nowadays, German Shepherds operate in rescue organizations, performing the dangerous work of finding people lost or injured on mountains or on ski-slopes after an avalanche.

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