Canine Crusaders

Whether you love dogs or hate them you cannot deny that they have played a mayor part in the lives of every one of us throughout history. Lets take a look at just what they have been doing to help better our lives.

Most of us have heard of the amazing dogs that can be trained to see for their blind masters and the dogs that are trained to hear for their deaf masters and even some of us may have heard about therapy dogs that are used as therapy in hospitals, schools and nursing homes to name a few places, as petting a dog or pet has been proven to decrease stress levels in humans. So there we have it whether you like it or not these are a few of the important jobs dogs do for the disabled or ill humans.

What about the jobs they do, that we don’t see day to day?  

1957, Laika became the first animal launched into orbit (image wikipedia)

Before Neil Armstrong made his moon landing a Soviet space dog named Laika was the first animal to orbit the Earth, sadly she was also the first orbital death. She died from the heat and stress just before re-entering the earth’s orbit. The consequences of her death and flight are difficult to come to terms with as dog lovers but she proved that it was possible for a living passenger to survive being launched into orbit and that the body could cope with weightlessness. Laika’s mission gave scientist’s valuable informational data about how a living organism would react in spaceflight environments. A small monument stands in honour of Laika near the military research facility in Moscow.

Romanian stamp from 1959 with Laika (Image Wikipedia)

Search and Rescue dogs.

It is said that when Napoleon Bonaparte was fleeing the Island Elba to which he had been exiled in 1815, his ship got into difficulties in the rough seas and Napoleon was flung into the sea but he was saved and he owed his life to a fisherman’s dog that pulled him to safety. I wouldn’t be surprised if this dog’s form didn’t get changed into that of a mermaid over the years.

On a day that is etched strongly into most of the minds of the whole worlds population, September 11, 2001, the day the Jets crashed into the Worlds Trade Centre New York City, dogs from New York City Police Departments K9 unit were amongst the first to arrive at the scene of the devastation that followed. They bravely went in to the Trade Centre, searching for signs of life and helping rescuers pull people from the debris.

Search and rescue dogs are widely used in avalanche situations and on mountains. Their keen noses can pick  up on a scent hours after the person passed by or in conditions not humanly possible.

Dogs of War.

Dog’s have played a vital part in assisting in combat since the early 1900s. Specialized dogs were trained to do certain tasks like delivering first aid equipment to injured soldiers, tracking mines or people, pulling sledges with food, people or medicine inboard. Dogs were trained by keeping them hungry and then food would be placed underneath stationary tanks. The dogs would go under the tanks to be fed. Later in training moving tanks were introduced, after that the dogs job would be to wear a small detonator device and blow up the tanks. During World War 11, the Russians trained their dogs so well they managed to disable 11 armoured vehicles in a single battle. After this the German soldiers were given orders to shoot every dog they saw.

Dogs are still of vital importance in war and used to detect mines and to search out bombs and weapons and injured soldiers.

Author of photograph, Taff Sgt. L. Pearsall. U.S. Air Force military working dog Jackson.

Many different types of dog have been used throughout history in war situations.

The battle of Vercellae, also known as the Battle of the Raudine Plain where large Kimber dogs led by women defended their laagers, which were wagon forts.

Romans imported the English Mastiff after their Canis Molossus were defeated in battle by the Mastiff.

Photo, U.S. Army, public domain.

In wars gone by dogs were used in as messengers, lookout and attack dogs but even now dogs play an important role in helping our Soldiers. Dogs have been imported all over the world in times of war. It is no wonder we have such a wide variety of breeds now days, many breeds would have been modified as dog soldiers.

Police Dogs  

Police dogs are probably the most common canine crusader we think about dogs working along side humans. Police dogs often called K9’s are specially trained to very high standards and in many Countries the injury or killing of a police dog is a felony. These dogs are part of the police force, some are even made sworn offices and if they are killed in the line of duty some receive a full police funeral. Although we mainly think of the strong, faithful, intelligent and brave German Shepherd, police over the world do use a vast variety of breeds. Different dog breeds have different strengths and these strengths will determine the area of policing that breed will be used in.

image wikimedia

Springer Spaniels, Beagles and Labrador Retriever would be used to sniff out drugs, bombs and weapons.

For officer protection and attack duties, German Shepherd, Rottweiler, Doberman, Dutch Shepherd and Boxer may be used. Blood Hounds are used to track, sniff out bombs, drugs and for locating evidence.

Springer Spaniel Police dogs at Waterloo Station London. Author Mark Kobayashi-Hillary.

Many of these dogs are used as Airport and railway security, sniffing out dangers and helping to keep us safe.

So whether you love them or hate them, dogs have been and always will be an integral part of our society.

Lillyrose 19/02/11

Liked it


User Comments
  1. LoveDoctor

    On February 20, 2011 at 11:33 pm

    This is excellent work. Lovely pictures too. I am a dog lover. Poor Laika. She looks like my Doberman pinscher. Several years ago, I had a beautiful cockerspaniel. He died of a heart condition. Dogs are very loyal to their owners.Each of the canines that you have mentioned have played a significant role in our society.

  2. mtrguanlao

    On February 20, 2011 at 11:35 pm

    If only dogs could say thank you to you,they’ve said it already! This is an enlightenment to those who hate dogs,thanks for sharing this!

  3. Jimmy Shilaho

    On February 21, 2011 at 12:19 am

    I think some are great even though I hate them and would rather keep a distance.

  4. LCM Linda

    On February 21, 2011 at 12:19 am

    Dogs are really helpful to humans. Hope everyone will treat dogs well.

  5. Snooky

    On February 21, 2011 at 3:24 am

    This is outstanding work,my applause to you.

  6. petercurtis97

    On February 21, 2011 at 3:40 am

    I thought this was very good work being varied. In war time were the dogs with devices attached killed in the process or was the item dropped hoping the latter


    On February 21, 2011 at 4:06 am

    well informed work

  8. lillyrose

    On February 21, 2011 at 4:46 am

    Pete many of the dogs are killed in war just as our soldiers are.

  9. Brewed Coffee

    On February 21, 2011 at 5:59 am

    Dogs have made a name for themselves. They’re really great animals. I just wish am not so afraid to get near to one LOL! Laika is a cool dog!

  10. Rita H

    On February 21, 2011 at 6:08 am

    Dogs have played a big part of our lives ever since we domesticated them and bred them to be the perfect companion.. We owe a lot to them and our ansestors who created the idea of them being at our side.

  11. anndavey650

    On February 21, 2011 at 8:35 am

    It’s amazing how intelligent they are and just what they are capable of when given half a chance! Fantastic post.

  12. Marie Milton

    On February 21, 2011 at 8:57 am

    I enjoyed reading this article so much!!! It is wonderful! :)
    Dog are just wonderful animals. And the way they can seek out things (like people :) ) with their sniffer is just amazing. I love them to bits!!! And now that you’ve mentioned the statue of Laika in Moscow, you’ve made me want to go there and see it :) That is just the cutest =P

  13. Brenda Nelson

    On February 21, 2011 at 12:44 pm

    poor little space dog….

  14. Will Dee

    On February 21, 2011 at 1:10 pm

    Wonderful read and information about our four legged friends :-)

  15. Will Dee

    On February 21, 2011 at 1:10 pm

    Wonderful read and information about our four legged friends

  16. alexgadd

    On February 21, 2011 at 6:42 pm

    Dogs are fantastic creatures, very useful and spiritual entities
    and I have had them around me all my life.

  17. yes me

    On February 21, 2011 at 7:29 pm

    Another good share here Lilly cheers

  18. Starpisces

    On February 21, 2011 at 7:34 pm

    very good post, well done!
    Yah, they are well trained and look very aggressive, bad guys and good guys also scared of them.

  19. Freethinking

    On February 22, 2011 at 9:31 am

    Our furry friends play such an important role in our lives. I can not imagine life without the company of my canine buddies. They soothe the soul and calm the heart. Thank you for this story.

  20. SharifaMcFarlane

    On February 22, 2011 at 10:04 am

    I don’t like the way they blew up the dogs in order to blow up tanks.
    Some would say sacrifices have to be made. Horrible things happen in war.

  21. Steve Weitzner

    On February 22, 2011 at 11:51 am

    Dogs are definately very smart and helpful creatures.

  22. Thewoodlandelf

    On February 22, 2011 at 5:33 pm

    It makes me sad when I read about loyal animals like dogs being killed for human experiments like space exploration.

  23. SongbirdB

    On February 22, 2011 at 6:56 pm

    Wonderful informative article…Great share, and it taught me a lot..thanks..

  24. gaby7

    On February 23, 2011 at 4:49 am

    A well trained dog is more than a friend!

  25. wonder

    On February 23, 2011 at 10:21 am

    There is so much to know from this post.Marvellous creatures.

  26. Walter Holstad

    On February 23, 2011 at 12:06 pm

    Nice one!

  27. culprit pontiff

    On February 23, 2011 at 2:51 pm

    dogs are very useful indeed–
    @jerry atrix- I would believe if you said that your docotr is a duck-quack doctor
    your boss is a monkey-monkey business

  28. oldster

    On February 24, 2011 at 5:50 pm

    Great article Lilly girl – Must admit I’m against the use of dogs for human substitute sacrifices. Sniffers and finders fine – but guards and suicide bombers no! They are far too valuable to be sacrificed for human stupidity.

  29. Phoenix Montoya

    On March 16, 2011 at 10:26 pm

    Dogs can be smelly and loud but they are definitely our friend and protector. Good article, Lisa.

  30. gvgatchalian

    On March 29, 2011 at 11:41 am

    Dogs are really adorable creatures. Interesting post!

  31. asd668768

    On July 28, 2011 at 2:44 am

  32. Socorro Lawas

    On August 22, 2011 at 5:44 am

    Dogs are really valuable to man.

Post Comment
comments powered by Disqus