Giant German Shepherds     |     Home    |   About Us   |   German Shepherds   |   Males   |   Females  |   Puppies   |   Older Dogs For Sale

  |  Wish List   |   Photos   |   Video Room   |   Testimonials   |  Remember When   |     GSD Humor   |   Cool Links  |   Contact Us

Dogs of War

In 1942, the Quartermaster Corps (QMC) of the United States Army begins training dogs for the newly established War Dog Program, or "K-9 Corps."
Well over a million dogs served on both sides during World War I, carrying messages along the complex network of trenches and providing some measure of psychological comfort to the soldiers. The most famous dog to emerge from the war was Rin Tin Tin, an abandoned puppy of German war dogs found in France in 1918 and taken to the United States, where he made his film debut in the 1922 silent film The Man from Hell's River. As the first bona fide animal movie star, Rin Tin Tin made the little-known German Shepherd breed famous across the country.
In the United States, the practice of training dogs for military purposes was largely abandoned after World War I. When the country entered World War II in December 1941, the American Kennel Association and a group called Dogs for Defense began a movement to mobilize dog owners to donate healthy and capable animals to the Quartermaster Corps of the U.S. Army. Training began in March 1942, and that fall the QMC was given the task of training dogs for the U.S. Navy, Marines and Coast Guard as well.
The K-9 Corps initially accepted over 30 breeds of dogs, but the list was soon narrowed to seven: German Shepherds, Belgian sheep dogs, Doberman Pinschers, collies, Siberian Huskies, Malumutes and Eskimo dogs. Members of the K-9 Corps were trained for a total of 8 to 12 weeks. After basic obedience training, they were sent through one of four specialized programs to prepare them for work as sentry dogs, scout or patrol dogs, messenger dogs or mine-detection dogs. In active combat duty, scout dogs proved especially essential by alerting patrols to the approach of the enemy and preventing surprise attacks.
The top canine hero of World War II was Chips, a German Shepherd who served with the Army's 3rd Infantry Division. Trained as a sentry dog, Chips broke away from his handlers and attacked an enemy machine gun nest in Italy, forcing the entire crew to surrender. The wounded Chips was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross, Silver Star and the Purple Heart--all of which were later revoked due to an Army policy preventing official commendation of animals.

The newly unveiled U.S. Military Working Dog Teams National Monument is seen at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, in San Antonio, Texas, on Oct. 28.
By Jim Forsyth, Reuters
SAN ANTONIO — The United States' first national monument to a soldier's best friend, recognizing the sacrifices of dogs in combat, was dedicated by the U.S. military on Monday.
Inscribed with the words "Guardians of America's Freedom," the nine-foot tall bronze statue at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas, features four dogs and a handler.
"These dogs were patriots just as much as anybody else who served," said military dog handler John Baker of Fallon, Nevada, whose 212th Military Police Company Detachment A was known as "Hell on Paws."
Lackland is home to the U.S. Armed Forces center that has trained dogs for all branches of the military since 1958.
In San Antonio, the first monument of its kind opened Monday celebrating U.S. military working dogs teams. And in Washington, D.C., a new painting called the Four Justices portrays the first female Supreme Court justices. NBC's Brian Williams reports.
The sculpture, built with private donations, features the four major breeds used since World War Two: Doberman Pinscher, German Shepherd, Labrador Retriever, and Belgian Malinois.
In World War I, a bulldog named Stubby helped sniff out poison gas, was promoted to sergeant, decorated for bravery by General John Pershing, and became the mascot for Georgetown University in Washington, D.C.
During World War II and in Korea and Vietnam, dogs were used as sentries, scouts, and trackers. In Iraq and Afghanistan, dogs have detected improvised explosive devises (IEDs) and roadside explosives.
Larry Buehner, who served in Vietnam as a platoon scout with the Army's First Cavalry Division, said he is alive because of his military dog.
"Callie saved my life on at least one occasion," he said on Monday of the dog that accompanied him and his unit on jungle patrols.
John Burnam, who handled dogs during the war in Vietnam, said he got the idea for a memorial after military officials decided not to let dogs working in Vietnam return to the United States with their handlers.
"They were heroes, and they were left to die," said Burnam, who has written two books about combat dogs.
"Dog units are worth a million dollars for everything they do ... You can't say enough, you can't give enough accolades to them."

First World War (1914-1919) - Pictures of German Soldier with his German Shepherd

World War 2 German Medical Shepherd

Adolf Hitler and one of his beloved German Shepherd Dogs

Eva Braun and Adolf Hitler, with Hitler holding Blondi on a leash

Blondi (1941 – 30 April 1945) was Adolf Hitler's German Shepherd dog, given to him as a gift in 1941, by Martin Bormann. Blondi stayed with Hitler even after his move into the Führerbunker located underneath the garden of the Reich Chancellery on January 16, 1945. In March, or in early April, (likely 4 April) 1945, she had a litter of five puppies with Gerdy Troost's German Shepherd, Harras. Hitler named one of the puppies "Wulf", his favorite nickname and the meaning of his own first name, Adolf (Noble wolf) and he began to train her. One of Blondi's puppies was reserved for Eva Braun's sister Gretl, and Eva sent Gretl a letter containing a photo of Blondi and three of her puppies, Gretl's being indicated with an arrow.
Hitler was reportedly very fond of Blondi, keeping her by his side and allowing her to sleep in his bedroom in the bunker. This affection was not shared by Eva Braun, Hitler's mistress (and later his wife), who preferred her two Scottish Terrier dogs named Negus and Stasi (or Katuschka). According to Hitler's secretary (Traudl Junge), Eva hated Blondi and was known to kick her under the dining table.
In May 1942, Hitler bought another young German Shepherd "from a minor official in the post office in Ingolstadt" , to keep Blondi company. He called her Bella.
During his military service in World War I, Hitler had great affection for a stray white Fox Terrier named "Fuchsl" and was distraught when he lost him.  He had been given a German Shepherd before named "Prinz" in 1921, during his years of poverty, but he had been forced to lodge the dog elsewhere. However, she managed to escape and return to him. Hitler, who adored the loyalty and obedience of the dog, thereafter developed a great liking for the breed. He also owned a German Shepherd called "Muckl".
Before Blondi, Hitler had two German Shepherd dogs, a mother [born 1926] and daughter [born ca. 1930] – both named Blonda. In some photos taken during the 1930s the younger Blonda is incorrectly labeled as Blondi. (in most cases photograph descriptions were written later).
Blondi played a role in Nazi propaganda, of which portraying Hitler as an animal lover was an important aspect. Dogs like Blondi were coveted as "germanischer Urhund", being close to the wolf, and grew very fashionable during the Third Reich.

During the course of April 29, 1945, Hitler learned of the death of his ally Benito Mussolini, who had been executed by Italian partisans. This, along with the fact the Soviet Army was closing in on his location, led Hitler to strengthen his resolve not to allow himself or his wife to be captured. That afternoon, Hitler expressed doubts about the cyanide capsules he had received through Heinrich Himmler's SS.            To verify the capsules' potency, Hitler ordered Dr. Werner Haase to test them on his dog Blondi, and the dog died as a result. Hitler became completely inconsolable.
According to a report commissioned by Joseph Stalin and based on eye witness accounts, Hitler's dog-handler, Feldwebel Fritz Tornow, took Blondi's pups and shot them in the garden of the bunker complex on April 30, after Hitler and Eva Braun committed suicide. He also killed Eva Braun's two dogs, Frau Gerda Christian's dogs and his own dachshund. Tornow was later captured by the Allies.
 Hitler's nurse, Erna Flegel, said in 2005 that Blondi's death had affected the people in the bunker more than Eva Braun's suicide. After the battle in Berlin ended, the remains of Hitler, Braun, and two dogs (thought to be Blondi and her offspring Wulf) were discovered in a shell crater by a unit of SMERSH, the Soviet counter-intelligence agency. The dog (thought to be Blondi) was exhumed and photographed by the Soviets.

Adolf Hitler and his German Shepherd, Blondie, near the Berghof.

Adolf Hitler loved his dogs so much he had Nazi scientists train them to read and write.
Such bizarre experiments are detailed in a new book, "Amazing Dogs: A Cabinet of Canine Curiosities," by a lecturer at Cardiff University School of Medicine in Wales.
"In the 1920s, Germany had numerous 'new animal psychologists' who believed dogs were nearly as intelligent as humans, and capable of abstract thinking and communication," Dr. Jan Bondeson told The Times of London.
"Part of the Nazi philosophy was that there was a strong bond between humans and nature -- they believed a good Nazi should be an animal friend," he said.
Several clever canines even managed to learn a few new tricks, Bondeson writes.
One dog, an Airdale terrier named Rolf, was able to tap out the alphabet with his paws and shared thoughts on religion. Another pooch, Don, spoke German and could bark, "Hungry! Give me cakes."
Bondeson also writes that a dog was said to bark "Mein Fuhrer" when he heard the name Adolf Hitler.
"It is absolutely extraordinary stuff," he said.
Hitler was known as an avid dog lover. One of the pint-sized Nazi leader's dogs, Blondi, was even with him the day he commited suicide in 1945.

Eva Braun and Blondi, Adolf Hitler's German shepherd.

World War II

World War II Hero

German Shepherd poses with WWII RAF flyers who bombed Nazi warships

Chips, One of The Baddest War Dogs of All Time

World War II
a German Shepherd serving with the
American Army
Highly Decorated War Hero.

CHIPS the war dog

World War II
a German Shepherd serving with the American Army
Highly Decorated War Hero.

Chips, the dog, was the most decorated war dog from World War II. Chips was a German Shepherd-Collie-Siberian Husky mix owned by Edward J. Wren of Pleasantville, NY. During the war, private citizens like Wren donated their dogs for duty. Chips shipped out to the War Dog Training Center, Front Royal, Virginia, in 1942 for training as a sentry dog. He served with the 3rd Infantry Division in North Africa, Sicily, Italy, France and Germany. His handler was Pvt. John P. Rowell. Chips served as a sentry dog for the Roosevelt-Churchill conference in 1943. Later that year, during the invasion of Sicily, Chips and his handler were pinned down on the beach by an Italian machine-gun team. Chips broke from his handler and jumped into the pillbox, attacking the gunners. The four crewmen were forced to leave the pillbox and surrendered to US troops. In the fight he sustained a scalp wound and powder burns. Later that day, he helped take 10 Italians prisoner. For his actions during the war, he was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross, Silver Star, and Purple Heart; however, these awards were later revoked due to an Army policy preventing official commendation of animals. His unit unofficially awarded him a Theater Ribbon with an Arrowhead for an assault landing, and Battlestars for each of his eight campaigns. Chips was discharged in December 1945 and returned to the Wren family.
In 1990, Disney made a TV movie based on his life, entitled Chips, the War Dog.
Click on this link to see more about CHIPS...

Hi Brenda, I was so thrilled to talk with you and am very grateful that you love the German Shepherds and want to promote their race and contribution to society! My name is Kathy Wagner and I live in West Virginia. My aunt, Dolores Wren, and her husband Ed were the owners of Chips before he was sent to dog training, and then to the European theater in WWII. As a youngster I remember visiting my Aunt, I believe it was in Pleasantville, NY, but Chips was no longer living at that time. As a teenager my mother repeated these stories so we would know and be proud of Chips. Unfortunately, I just remember the one where he lunged into a pill box where the enemy was firing a machine gun at our soldiers, and Chips rendered them 'helpless', until the soldiers could capture them. I saw 2 photos of Chips on your website for war dogs - 1 was with his handler in the field and General Eisenhower was present. And the second photo was just of Chips, standing above the picture-taker looking down. His ears were sort of pointing to the side. You can see the husky features in his face. If you come across any other photos of Chips or any information in your archives, I'd be very, very grateful to hear about it! Thanks again! Sincerely, Kathy

Cairo, the four-Legged hero of Operation Neptune Spear that resulted in the death of Osama bin Laden.
On May 1, 2011, 79 Navy Seals and one four-legged soldier, named Cairo, stormed the Osama bin Laden compound and hideout in Abbottabod, Pakistan. The founder of the al-Qaeda organization, reported responsible for the September 11 attacks on the United States and numerous other mass-casualty attacks against civilian and military targets,was killed during that raid.
Although the names of the 79 US Navy SEALS will not be released for their protection, the German Shepherd dog in question remained a mystery until May 7th, six days after the attack, when President Barack Obama visited Fort Campbell, one of the nation's largest military bases, to meet privately with members of the assault force that carried out the mission to get bin Laden, thanking each one individually for their "heroic and selfless service" to the country. That's when the name of the 80th four-legged Navy SEAL was released.
It isn't a surprise that one of the members of the platoon was a dog. Dogs have played a significant part in military history for over 100 years.

The First US Dog (German Shepherd) to do a parachute flight.

This is an amazing website about War Dogs
Check it out!


Chris Stevens and Jaro, expert bomb-sniffer dog.
August 17, 2012

Hampton Roads, Military Police, K-9 Unit, WW ll.

Military Working Dogs

A  NAVY  SEAL and his  German Shepherd Dog rappelled into an NFL game, and the Internet went wild: Just before the Dallas Cowboys and Arizona Cardinals squared off at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, a Navy SEAL and his dog descended from the heavens onto the football field, rappelling from the monstrous scoreboard hanging over the field.
The scene has become an Internet sensation. Tweets from the NFL on it have been shared widely, with some speculating the dog loved the adventure and some sure that he hated it. On Facebook, it got more than 66,000 “likes” and 8,600 shares in 24 hours.

This is Lucca, Lucca is an amputee veteran who served six years in the United States Marines Corps as a Specialized Search Dog.