What Dog Breeds Were Used in World War 2?

A dog is a man’s bestfriend. That quote has been famous throughout our lifetime, perhaps. The thing is, it’s true ever since; the dog had been our companion for most of the time. The majority of people choose to get dogs due to their loyal nature. Still true to this day, the bond between dogs and human even goes way back to the World War 2 era. Canines have already gained our trust, especially our military forces; soldiers brought specific dog breeds to war to help fight the enemies.  

Dog Breeds Used During World War 2

During the infamous World War 2, the military force, the U.S army, to be precise, utilized and trained dogs for combat. Today, despite the military advancement and modernity, the military still benefits from training and letting canines do military service. But what dogs made it to the cut? What are the common dog breeds trained? Were there other dogs besides the famous World War II companion, the “Original Peter?”

1. German Sheperd: Surprisingly, a German military officer developed the very first German Sheperd for the military. That is also the main reason why German Sheperd’s are still the widely used dog breeds for the military, let alone any law enforcement. They usually served by delivering ammo and serving as couriers. Their loyalty, athleticism, and intelligence are the main points why they are still widely chosen.

2. Belgian Malinois: This intelligent and bright dog served the army during the First World War. Same as the German Sheperd’s, they were also messengers, but they were helping to find wounded soldiers most of the time. With their intensity, Belgian Malinois are also widely chosen by military forces. Still, today, instead of doing their previous tasks, they are now all-around service dogs. They are preferred mainly by special units like the Navy SEALS due to their ideal weight and shape. They are much easier to deploy with parachutes than German Sheperd’s.

3. Dutch Sheperd: Though initially from sheepherder bred dogs, the German army first used the Dutch Sheperd in combat during Second World War. Like the first two, this dog mainly served as an all-rounder due to its qualities. Dutch Sheperd’s are intelligent and athletic, significant qualities they manifest and one of the main reasons they are also widely popular to military forces.

4. Labrador Retriever: Serving the military lives to its name, Retriever. Amazingly, the military trains Labrador’s to be solid hunters; that’s why they are known to have a great sense of smell amongst the others. Military forces also rely on Labrador’s during search missions. Especially if they are looking for any explosives around the area, these dogs can do the job. Another unique service they do is being a combat stress control dog. Due to their blissful tail-wagging and cheerful faces, they are used to welcome soldiers after combat.

5. Airedale Terrier: The military, specifically the British army, first used this terrier during the First World War. They mainly served as messengers in the middle of the battlefield, but Red Cross managed to train them to search for wounded soldiers, too. Today, Airedale Terriers aren’t usually the first picks when looking for military service dogs, but people wouldn’t forget their fantastic military service.

6. Siberian Husky: Always depicted as snow dogs and pulling sleds due to their looks and nature. That is why it’s not surprising that the U.S military force utilized Huskies as such. They were often deployed during Arctic searches and rescues since they could work even within a harsh environment like the Arctic. However, the U.S military stopped using Huskies as service dogs. Still, the Russians remained to utilize Huskies as part of their transport service dogs.

7. Alaskan Malamute: Like his cousin, Siberian Husky, they were used by the U.S military as sled dogs during Arctic missions. Due to their thick fur coating, they can also withstand harsh conditions as good as the Huskies. Surprisingly, the Alaskan Malamutes were also part of the pioneering dogs who parachutes from a moving airplane. They were often parachuting in a harsh environment to search and rescue planes that crashed.

Honorable Mention

  • Giant Schnauzer
  • Boxer
  • Doberman Pinscher

During both World Wars, the military also used these dogs, mainly as messenger and tracking dogs.

Truly a Man’s Bestfriend

Being in the military always tells many stories, but sometimes, some stories are forgotten from our history books. Like our trusted canines, if the topic is the infamous World Wars, they are often irrelevant, let alone forgotten entirely. But let us not forget how exceptional their service was back in the day. They mainly played a vital role during battles and will be forever engraved in history as well.