Dog Heroes Dog Ownership & Training Rescue & Adoption
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K E Y I C O N S T O L O O K F O R : Words to Understand: These words with their easy-to-understand definitions will increase the reader’s understanding of the text while building vocabulary skills. Sidebars: This boxed material within the main text allows readers to build knowledge, gain insights, explore possibilities, and broaden their perspectives by weaving together additional information to provide realistic and holistic perspectives. Educational Videos: Readers can view videos by scanning our QR codes, providing them with additional educational content to supplement the text. Examples include news coverage, moments in history, speeches, iconic sports moments, and much more! Text-Dependent Questions: These questions send the reader back to the text for more careful attention to the evidence presented there. Research Projects: Readers are pointed toward areas of further inquiry connected to each chapter. Suggestions are provided for projects that encourage deeper research and analysis. Series Glossary of Key Terms: This back-of-the-book glossary contains terminology used throughout this series. Words found here increase the reader’s ability to read and comprehend higher-level books and articles in this field. Chapter 1:Dogs with Heroic Jobs..................................... 7 Chapter 2:Military Dogs. ................................................21 Chapter 3:Police Dogs....................................................35 Chapter 4: Search and Rescue Dogs.................................47 Chapter 5:How Hero Dogs Live and Work.........................61 Series Glossary of Key Terms. .........................................74 Organizations to Contact................................................75 Further Reading and Internet Resources..........................76 Index . ..........................................................................78 Author Biography / Credits.............................................80 CONTENTS
WORDS TO UNDERSTAND
archaeologists: scientists who study human history by excavating ancient sites and analyzing the artifacts and other remains they find constable: a person charged with protecting a castle or fortified town, especially in the Middle Ages hunter-gatherer: a person belonging to a type of society that is based around hunting, fishing, and harvesting food found in the wild
Dogs with Heroic Jobs
What Are Hero Dogs? It comes as no surprise to their fans that dogs are capable of doing amazing things. Not only can they learn fun tricks and useful skills, but they can also be trained to assist the disabled and provide comfort to those undergoing severe stress. In addition, they assist the police, military, and other organizations in performing all kinds of heroic tasks. For the purposes of this book, a hero dog is any dog that works in the military, for a police force, or in a search and rescue capacity. These animals all go through extensive training to do their jobs. They assist their handlers in performing lifesaving tasks, as well as in keeping people safe. As you will learn, these dogs are capable of doing amazing things. But first, we will briefly explore how this category of dogs came into being.
Working dogs in the military, law enforcement, and search and rescue are like real-life superheroes. These animals undergo extensive training to perform these tasks.
Heroic Dogs in Ancient Times The story of how dogs began to live alongside people started thousands of years ago. While there isn’t a recorded moment in time when it happened, it is speculated that at some point, early human beings and the wolves that would evolve into domesticated dogs discovered that it was mutually beneficial to work together. The relationship probably began with the dog’s ancestors hanging around the outskirts of early human homes. This would have allowed the animals to scavenge any food that was left behind.
Eventually, early humankind found that the canines would bark at approaching danger, alerting the people living there. This led to ancient humans intentionally feeding and training these animals to perform useful tasks around their homesteads, such as guarding the property, protecting livestock, herding livestock, and assisting with hunting food, and this soon extended into warfare against other tribes. Archaeologists think that dogs were first used by humans for warfare purposes about 15,000 years ago when animals were first domesticated.
This illustration depicts war dogs in ancient Assyria. The Assyrians were one of many ancient peoples who utilized canines in war.
Dogs with Heroic Jobs
As human civilizations developed from hunter-gatherer and agricultural societies and became more complex, so did the work that dogs began to do. Ancient civilizations such as the Egyptians, Romans, Greeks, Slavs, Britons, Persians, and more utilized dogs as scouts, trackers, and sentries during times of war. Some dogs were even brought into battle to fight alongside soldiers. The earliest known written evidence of the use of war dogs tells us that the king of Lydia used them against the Cimmerians in 600 BCE. Other evidence of war dogs can be found within ancient artistic depictions from the Egyptians, Greeks, Romans, and others. Heroic Dogs in the Medieval and Renaissance Periods The use of dogs in wars continued into the medieval and Renaissance periods. During medieval times, knights would put their dogs in battle armor similar to their own and fight alongside their faithful canine companions. Famous royal figures from these time periods who employed dogs in their armies include Holy Roman Emperor Charles V of Spain, William the Conqueror, Queen Elizabeth I, and Edward Longshanks. The Middle Ages is also when dogs were used in a law enforcement capacity. There is written evidence of money being set aside to maintain the village constable’s bloodhounds, which were trained to track down outlaws. In the reign of King Henry I of England, the constable who worked for the Royal Court was responsible for the upkeep of the kennels containing the dogs that helped the constable protect King Henry’s court. During the seventeenth century, dogs that we now call Saint Bernards were brought to a monastery and inn at the Great Saint Bernard Pass in the Swiss Alps. The monks at this monastery intended to use the animals as guard dogs; however, they soon discovered that the animals were useful during the many search
and rescue missions that the monks embarked on when travelers became lost or trapped by avalanches. The monks found that these dogs were able to help find missing people, as well as guide the monks safely through the pass. While it would take a few hundred years for this type of search and rescue work to officially catch on, these animals could be considered the first search and rescue dogs.
Saint Bernards like this one were first used in the seventeenth century to assist travelers who fell victim to avalanches. They were brought to monasteries to be guard dogs, but the monks quickly learned how good the dogs were at search and rescue.
Dogs with Heroic Jobs
Hero Dogs in the Early Modern Era The discovery of the New World also meant that the use of dogs in battle expanded to the Americas. The Spanish employed dogs in the fight against the Native Americans, who also used their own dogs during skirmishes. The early American government trained dogs to track down Native Americans in the swampy areas of Louisiana and western Florida in the Second Seminole War (which lasted from December 23, 1835, to August 14, 1842). They also used dogs to find runaway slaves. In the nineteenth century, police dogs were employed more and more. This began in London, England, due to the high rate of crime present there. Police and volunteer night watchers were issued guns and dogs to protect themselves from criminals. The rest of Europe followed suit during this time period. Dogs accompanied police in Paris, France, to assist them in their fight against gang activity. However, these early police dogs were not formally trained. In 1899, police in Ghent, Belgium, began an organized police dog training program, and the idea soon spread to Austria and Germany. German shepherds were pinpointed as an exceptional breed for police work. The first German police dog training school was opened in Greenheide in 1920, and the dogs in this school were trained to obey the officers they were assigned to, as well as to track and attack criminals. Heroic Dogs in Modern Times By the time World War I started in 1914, military and police dogs as we know them today were becoming more commonplace. The war saw an unprecedented number of military dogs in service. Historians currently estimate that “during World War I, the Germans used possibly 30,000 dogs, the French used 20,000, and the Italians 3,000.
The German shepherd was found to be especially adept at assisting police. This breed is still prominent within law enforcement circles.
The other Allied forces used thousands more. The US did not use war dogs but sort of borrowed some from their Allies.” The First World War also led to the Red Cross officially training dogs for search and rescue missions. These animals were taught to find injured soldiers via scent and were brought out when the fighting within the trenches had died down. Their help allowed the Red Cross to locate injured soldiers as quickly as possible so that they could be treated. The use of military dogs continued into World War II. By this time, the Americans were convinced of their effectiveness and had begun to employ them as well. In 1942, a training program known as Dogs for Defense was created, which trained dogs that were volunteered for military service to prepare them for their jobs.
Dogs with Heroic Jobs
Military dogs continued to be placed into service after World War II. They have been used by the United States military during peacetime, in wars like the Korean War and the Vietnam War, and in the modern conflicts taking place in Afghanistan and Iraq. At the beginning of 2020, the United States has approximately 2,500 dogs in active service, employed in pretty much the same ways they have been since World War II. As you will learn in a later chapter, these dogs do amazing things throughout the course of their service. During the period of time directly before, during, and after World War II, further expansion of the role of search and rescue dogs occurred. The National Search and Rescue Dog Organization
A properly trained pup will know how to react in a variety of situations.
in the United Kingdom recounts that “there was a reported incident in the winter of 1937/38 during an avalanche search. A rescue teammember’s dog accompanying the search, showed continued interest in one particular place, which had already been probed and eventually began to bark. After re-probing at this location, the victim was found alive. This incident led to a Swiss dog training expert to train four Alsatians to search for avalanche victims and these were then presented to the Swiss Army.” Search and rescue dogs were also used to find people missing in the rubble during the London Blitz in World War II. Further techniques were utilized to train these dogs until they developed into the search and rescue animals that we know today. The twentieth century also saw the further development of the role of police dogs. These animals began to be used not just for
Scan this code with your phone to watch a short video about ten dogs that have done heroic things.
Dogs with Heroic Jobs
protecting policemen and tracking down criminals but also to detect drugs or bombs. There are currently an estimated 50,000 police dogs working in the United States. They have become an essential element of law enforcement, not just in America but around the world as well. The following chapters will explore in detail the three kinds of hero dogs we’ve briefly discussed. You will learn more about the jobs that these animals perform, the types of dogs well suited for this type of work, and how they are trained to do those jobs. In addition, you will learn more about some of the most famous hero dogs.
The role of search and rescue dogs has expanded since their humble beginnings in the Swiss Alps. Modern search and rescue dogs are trained to find people in debris after earthquakes and other disasters.
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