THIS IS TO ALL MY MILITARY WORKING DOGS SHIPMATES!
Do you know the history and how the Military Working Dog Program got started?
During W WII, not long after the attack on Pearl Harbor, the American Kennel Club and a new group calling itself “Dogs for Defense” mobilized dog owners across the country to donate quality animals to the Army Quartermaster Corps.
Dogs donated by a patriotic public to the Army saved the lives of a number of soldiers in combat.
Beginning on 13 March 1942, the Quartermaster Corps ran the Army’s so-called “K-9 Corps” and undertook to change these new recruits into good fighting “soldiers.”
The readily-used phrase “K-9 Corps” became a popular title for the War Dog Program in the 1940s and 50s, and found wide informal usage both inside and outside the military.
The term however is not official. Its origin lies in its phonetic association with the equally unofficial, alternative phrase “Canine Corps.”
At first more than thirty breeds were accepted. Later the list was narrowed down to German Shepherds, Belgian Sheep Dogs, Doberman Pinschers, Farm Collies and Giant Schnauzers.
In all, a little over 19,000 dogs were procured between 1942 and 1945 (about 45% of these were rejected as unsuited for training).
The first estimates were that only about 200 dogs would be needed, but that soon changed.
Dogs for Defense worked with qualified civilian trainers, who volunteered their services without pay, to train dogs for the program. Soon the demand for sentry dogs outstripped the original limited training program.
As requirements increased reception and training responsibility was transferred to the Quartermaster Remount Branch, which had years of experience dealing with animals.
Dogs for Defense continued its highly successful campaign to solicit donations of dogs.
In the fall of 1942 the program expanded to procure and train dogs for the Navy and Coast Guard as well.
Later these branches procured and trained their own dogs.
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