Tuesday, October 9, 2007

GSD Acclimatizes To Warfare

Friends! Lend me your ears please. I’m talking about something regarding Alsatians in wars. Alsatians played a real vital role in the wars, although other breeds such as Airedale terriers, Rottweilers, Collies, Lurchers, Giant Schanuzers, Bull Terriers etc. were also trained to become used to gunfire and bangs of exploding grenades and shells. Training up the war dogs was as important as giving guidance for loading of rifles and hitting the target.

Dogs – especially GSDs used to be the invaluable assets to the European regiment in World War I. The funny thing is that the services of dogs were not appreciated during the early years of the World War I. But they started to gain high respect when it was realized that dogs can accomplish great things. With the demand rising high, the War Office had put forward an appeal before the dog shelters and dog owners to give their dogs for war training. To meet the ever rising demand for a true courageous, intelligent and powerful breed of dogs, an incredible number of 48,000 Alsatians were enlisted with the German war force. The saddest part of the story is that many GSDs(apart from these 48,000 dogs) were forcibly taken from their owners. The time was really hard for the dogs and their owners but they would have to suffer times more harsh if they hadn’t been enrolled in armies. It was becoming increasingly tough for the owners to feed their dearest companions with the progressive wars. Major (later Colonel) James Baldwin served the army by training dogs for the war. He used to teach dogs “Wind Scenting”.

Jet of Iada (Picture in the right)
Jet of Iada was a famous GSD, who became the first wartime search & rescue dog in the world. Jet marked a name of his own and became an example of a perfect Alsatian with accurate degree of smelling instinct. His mind blowing ability of scenting victims out of the rubble and debris of destroyed buildings set Jet apart from the rest.

World War 2 pioneer Search & Rescue dog awarded the Dickin Medal (the canine equivalent of the Victoria Cross) to Jet for his stand out service of saving a lady who was buried in the debris on the top floor of a blitzed building in Chelsea. Jet was also awarded the RSPCA “Medallion For Valour” after he saved a rescue team from a falling rock while searching for victims at William Pit Coal Mine disaster at Whitehaven, Cambria.

After the war Jet (picture: Right above) and his mate Thorn were given the responsibility of leading the Civil Defence section of the Victory Parade in London in June 1946.

Alsatian dogs were also desperately used in the Vietnam War. The US soldiers used their basic smelling instincts of the pure bred GSDs to search for the tunnels and detect the smell of the guerrillas. Nemo was the first hero GSD of his kind to return from the Vietnam War. Nemo returned to US with honors, as the first sentry dog who was officially retired from his active service.

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All you need to know about German Shepherd Dogs. Read out what I have to share with you regarding the amazing German Shepherd Dog breed. Are Alsatian dogs and German Shepherd Dogs same? Who was Max Von Stephanitz and What is SV? Also learn a bit more in depth on German Shepherd Dog training tips, German Shepherd puppy care tips, German Shepherd Dog behavior, German Shepherd instinct, German Shepherd Dog standard and history of German Shepherds.

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