National Geographic : 1943 Jan
The National Geographic Magazine She Proudly Watches as Her Dog Joins the Coast Guard Horse barns and race track on the Widener estate near Philadelphia are now used as a dog-training station by the 4th District, U. S. Coast Guard. Only German Shepherds are accepted for sentry duty by the Coast Guard. During bad weather, dogs are trained in an indoor riding hall. the best trainers now on duty at our wartime dog schools are naturalized U. S. citizens who were dog specialists in European armies in the first World War. There are also some good American-born trainers, including well-to-do dog fanciers who long followed this interest ing work for the sheer love of it. The manual on dog training now used in our Army is based on the work and experi ence of foreign armies, and on reports from our military attaches stationed in foreign lands where war dogs are used. This is the first time the American Army has trained dogs for use in war. In World War I, it borrowed some from the French and British. History Is Packed with Dogfights Except in the United States, there's noth ing new about using dogs in war. Long before powder and guns were invented, when men fought hand to hand with clubs and swords, dogs often fought beside their mas ters. Some dogs wore coats of mail in those days. One early Turkish traveler mentions dogs "the size of asses." When bid to do so, they would grab a man and drag him off his horse! On old Assyrian temple walls in Iraq I saw bas-reliefs of great dogs straining at their leashes. Attila always used dogs to guard his camps, and Pliny says the Colophonians had whole squadrons of dogs which fought in ranks with the Ionians. Long before we read about the wicked dogs that chased poor Eliza across the ice in Uncle Tom's Cabin, the English were using "slough hounds" to trail and catch fugitives. Quesada, fighting in Colombia, had with him a large dog, and Nikolaus Federmann, a later companion, dressed his dogs in armor of quilted cotton to save them from Indian ar rows. Natives feared the dogs more than they did the Conquistadores. In 1795, 100 savage dogs were taken from Habana to Jamaica for use in the Maroon War. In more recent years, fighting the Riffs in Morocco, the Spaniards found the Moslems using war dogs. Onetrickwastodressadogupinatur ban and burnoose and let him run across in front of the Spanish lines. He looked like a skulking man. This fooled the Spaniards into firing, thus revealing their outposts' lo cations and making it easy for the Riffs to plug a sentry.