Four Legged Soldiers – The Uses Of US Military Dogs

May 26th, 2008 by Dan

Canine Soldiers have held many different roles in the military. Here are some examples of the tasks these dogs have undertaken in past (and current) conflicts.

Sentry Dogs:
Sentry dogs were used to guard important areas, mostly at night, but occasionally in the daytime. A Sentry dog worked alongside a human and was trained to alert them of the presence of an intruder within that area by barking or growling. These dogs were used for guarding supply dumps, machine gun towers, air force bases and other secure locations.

Sentry Dog Handlers of the 212th MP

Photo by JS_Dow

Messenger Dogs:

The perfect messenger dog is a canine that is responsive to *two* individuals. These dogs were used to stealthy relay messages while battles raged.

Mine Dogs:

During World War II, dogs were trained via electric shock to detect danger in the ground. Eventually dummy mines were placed experimentally and the canines were able to detect them. However, these dogs were so stressed out in fields that they were not effective in their jobs and thus did not prove to be useful in combat.

Scout Dogs:

Scout dogs had many of the same skills as Sentry dogs but they were trained to alert their handlers in complete silence to the presence of snipers, enemy forces and other dangers. A scout dog would signal danger by holding completely still, stiffening its tail, raising its hackles and perking its ears.

Scout Dog Patrol In The Philippines

Photo by soldiersmediacenter

Police Dogs:
Military Police Dogs are multi-purpose canines. They will pursue a suspect, track them if they are escaping, and hold them at bay until their handler can come and detain them. These dogs are perfectly trained to respond to their handlers every command and can be called off in an instant.

Military Police K-9 In Afghanistan

Photo by soldiersmediacenter

Explosives Detection Dogs:

Canines are currently used to sniff out a wide range of explosives using their amazing sense of smell. These military dogs are often used at check points of secure locations.

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