National Geographic : 1943 Jan
The National Geographic Magazine Instead of "Tramp, Strap, tramp," etc., these men were sing Sing, "When Irish Eyes Are Smiling." It was impressive-I thought i of the Roman dogs go ing to battle, or of the canine phalanx fight ing with the Colopho nians. I said to the colonel: "But look! Marines Son the march sing of 'The Halls of Monte zuma'; Artillery has its 'Caissons Go Rolling Along.' Why not a marching song for the Dog Corps?" "Who'll write it?" "Advertise!" "Where?" "Well, in that new Army weekly-the 'Yank.' Offer a cash prize to any man in uniform." "That might work," . said the officer. "Al ready we're planning a newspaper for do g trainers." From Army camps and Coast Guard sta tions all over the coun t r y ever - increasing SL, Tour & son, streams of enlisted men A Commando Dog Trainer Is Helped into His Clumsy Suit flow now to K-9 schools to learn this form of Here two assistants "cinch up" the last heavy covering worn by a soldier trainer of the dreaded Commando dogs. So vicious is the attack of these animals animal training. that even the trainers must be defended against their 42 snapping teeth. Padded When professionals sheet metal shields the man's throat. The apronlike flap buttons between his legs. have taught a class of soldiers, Marines, or command with the act he must perform. Un- Coast Guardsmen, they in turn scatter to usual talk may confuse him. other dog schools, there to teach still more With my small son I was riding one Sun- men to do this work. day morning through Berlin's wooded Tier- Also, dogs learn from each other. I watched garten. At a bend in the bridle path we came green dogs taking their first lessons. They upon a German boy, whose Dachshund was would look up and down the line on the furiously throwing up dirt, trying to dig out training field to see what the dog students some rodent. Dismounting to watch, I said with more advanced knowledge were doing, to the dog, "Catch him, Dickel!" and then try to imitate them. At once the Dachshund quit digging to Trained dogs and dog trainers multiply day snarl at us and growl. by day. "What's wrong?" I asked the German. When this war ends, think what an amazing "He's astounded-he never heard English outfit this canine corps will have grown to be. before," he answered. Already, Uncle Sam's Quartermaster Corps Four abreast, 100 dog trainers marched runs the biggest trained-dog show ever seen across a field, all dogs dutifully "at heel." in America.