Dogs are used by armies all around the world. They are seen as vital assets to military operations. Most of there is big and strong bond between the military dog and its handler. But their position in military changed over the centuries and they serve many different purposes in the military.
The first war dogs were used thousands years ago and their purpose was to break up enemy formations and kill as many enemy soldiers as possible. They were in the first line. First recorded war dogs were used about the year 600 before Christ by Lydian King who used them against invading Cimmerian army.
War dogs were used by almost all major civilizations, including the Egyptians, Greeks, Persians, Slavs, Britons and Romans. Especially the Romans were known for using The Molossus, which was extremely strong dog specifically bred for battle.
Today, dogs are not used in the first line to break up enemy formations. The armies are too modern for this and it would make no sense to use dogs this way. But that does not mean, that they do not have any purpose in the army. On the contrary, as the military modernized, so did the military dogs. We gave the dogs armor and we even developed dogs especially for the war purpose. And their role changed as well.
Most of the dogs in the modern warfare, were used as messangers, patrols, guards, scouts, but even as mascots for the morale boost. In the first world war, dogs were mostly used as messengers. The best known dog from the first world war would be Sergeant Stubby, who participated in 17 battles and captured a German spy.
There were some exceptions, when the military dogs were used directly for fighting even in the modern times. During the second world war, the Soviet Union deployed dogs strapped with explosives against invading German tanks. The US military trained dogs for the same purpose during the second world war, but it is believed, that they never used them for this purpose.
As i already said, most of the dogs in modern warfare were used for logistic and communication purposes. They were pulling guns, supplies and wounded soldiers, distributing vital messages. You might be surprise, what breeds were serving as messenger dogs. For example look at this little Yorkie. Her name was Smoky and her small sized helped her to run with telegraph wire through a pipe that was 8 inches in diameter. This ensured communication without moving troops into the line of fire.
People do not have the best senses and that is why we can use dogs to help us in this area. That is why many military dogs, thanks to their great sense of smell, are used for tracking and detection. Some dogs are able to locate mines, which is extremely helpful for armies all around the world. Dogs can also track down lost soldiers.
Because of the dogs keen hearing and smelling, they also make extraordinary scouts. They can detect danger from much larger distance than average person. Scouting dogs are able to identify the opposing threat with in 1,000 yards of area.
And of course, one of the most popular dog purpose is guarding, so its no wonder that militaries use them as sentries and guards as well. They can guard borders, warehouses, guns, supplies, just anything.
Some dogs were used as morale boosts and mascots for the soldiers, because lets be honest, dogs have the magical power to release stress from us. With dogs, you can, just for a moment, forget where you are and what is your situation and enjoy the moment.
Today, you can hear about heroic tasks dogs made in the Afghanistan, Iraq or Islamic State. Belgian Malinois helped to capture Osama bin Laden and the leader of the Islamic state not so long ago. The Shepherds are the most widely used military dogs in these days, especially the Belgian, Dutch and German Shepherds. They are preffered for their agressive, but loyal and smart nature and athletic body.
Labradors and other retrievers are also often times used by military, especially for smelling and detection purposes. Sometimes you can find some terriers in the military as well.
Dogs are valuable helpers for most armies in the world and they are able to perform truly heroic tasks.