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

Dog Heroes


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