Info Favorites Register Log in
myArmoury.com Discussion Forums

Forum index Memberlist Usergroups Spotlight Topics Search
Forum Index > Off-topic Talk > Dogs you would take into battle? Reply to topic
This is a standard topic Go to page 1, 2  Next 
Author Message
Jared Smith




Location: Tennessee
Joined: 10 Feb 2005
Likes: 1 page

Spotlight topics: 3
Posts: 1,532

PostPosted: Mon 31 Dec, 2007 6:40 pm    Post subject: Dogs you would take into battle?         Reply with quote

While most posts here focus on man made weapons, soldiers, and horses, there were other living things that were very pertinent to many battles. Having grown a little bored with “swords you would take into battle”, I thought I would try something new for a new year.

I have a Jack Russel Terrier that I doubt I could leave behind unless she were caged in a sturdy structure. A room within a typical house would not work. She chewed her way through walls as a pup to rebel against confinement while we were away during the day. It sounds silly, but she has attacked and held her own against dogs (labs, shepherds, etc.) 5 times her height through speed and tenacity. She bites golf balls in half, in a single bite, but has never harmed a thing unless she perceived it as a threat to one of my family. Similarly, my sister has had three Boston Terriers. We have lost track of how many deer they have killed. The oldest had to be euthanized after injuries from “deer battle.” So the question is not necessarily a matter of what you would pick, your loyal companion may have already picked you….


The use of dogs in battle is as perhaps almost as historical since ancient times as was the sword. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/War_dog

For reference, some possible relationships to the older breeds appropriate to deeds mentioned in the widipedia article.

2100 BC - Hammurabi equipped his warriors with huge dogs. There are some today who speculate that the Hungarian Kuvasz (similar to today’s Pyrenees, originally considered larger and more aggressive) has lineal descent from that breed. I have a friend with two of the modern Pyrenees who generally greet me eye to eye, pay on my chest near my neck. http://www.dogbiz.com/dogs-grp3/kuvasz/kuvasz.htm
~1200 B.C. – Tiryns, Indian variant of hounds are depicted as killing wild boars and used as hunting dogs. http://www.mlahanas.de/Greeks/Cities/Tiryns.html
628 BC - The Lydians deployed a battalion of fighting dogs. Those obtained from Greeks by Alyattes/ later his son Ardys, were reportedly capable of attacking and killing (I assume in packs) horses. Ancient Molossian/ Molosser breeds (including forerunners to bulldogs, boxers, mastiffs, and others) seem to remain the stereotypical Greek guard dog for several centuries. http://penelope.uchicago.edu/~grout/encyclopa...ssian.html
525 BC - Kambyses (also Cambyses) used huge fighting dogs against Egyptian spearmen and archers. These supposedly attacked and ripped their enemies to pieces. Also, he placed dogs and other animals held sacred by the Egyptians in their siege engines’ line of fire to cause a successful cease fire. Again, there seems to be modern day descent claims from the Molosser breeds. http://www.bulldoginformation.com/molossers-m...story.html
490 BC - Battle of Marathon - Per Claudius Aelianus’s account, a hoplite’s dog fought beside its master. Although there are conflicting viewpoints, some think it was immortalized within the murals of the Athenian colonnade, the Poikile Stoa. I could not find an image of this. Some advocate that ancient Celtic / later Etruscan dogs bear linguistic and artistic similarities to the Irish Wolfhound. The Etruscan tomb at Tarquinia (circa ~ 530 B.C.) illustrates that their dogs would certain chomp down on a human leg. http://oncampus.richmond.edu/academics/classi...uinia.html

Absence of evidence is not necessarily evidence of absence!
View user's profile Send private message
Sam Shifley




Location: chattanooga, tn
Joined: 16 Dec 2006

Posts: 9

PostPosted: Mon 31 Dec, 2007 7:17 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

interesting topic jared. Big Grin after having watched my yorkshire terrier dispatched by a light breeze too many times to count, i would leave her at home when it came time for battle. i would draft my friends bull mastiff instead. sweet as can be until any perceived aggression towards people he is friendly and familiar with. it's apparent laziness is a ruse. we are growing tired of replacing privacy fence panels though.
View user's profile Send private message
Jared Smith




Location: Tennessee
Joined: 10 Feb 2005
Likes: 1 page

Spotlight topics: 3
Posts: 1,532

PostPosted: Mon 31 Dec, 2007 7:24 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks for the support Sam.

I only visited the Higgins Armoury one time. I was awestruck by the very small "dog armour" on display in the entry hall. Not every "war dog" favored by a famous king was particularly large in stature. Then again, some were, and still are frightening!

Absence of evidence is not necessarily evidence of absence!
View user's profile Send private message
Tim Lison




Location: Chicago, Illinois
Joined: 05 Aug 2004
Likes: 1 page
Reading list: 6 books

Spotlight topics: 1
Posts: 1,505

PostPosted: Mon 31 Dec, 2007 7:53 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hmmm...man's best friend. I would choose my Brother's ex's black lab. It took down a 12 point buck on their front lawn all by itself. Eek! What a morning surprise that was!!!!!! Dumb as a stump but hard as nails that dog. Possibly my Mother's little Norwich terrier? That dog would beg the enemy out of all their food and they'd starve! Laughing Out Loud
View user's profile Send private message
Carlo Arellano





Joined: 21 Oct 2007

Posts: 52

PostPosted: Mon 31 Dec, 2007 7:59 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The caucasian mountain dog



150 lbs of guard dog.
View user's profile Send private message
Jean Thibodeau




Location: Montreal,Quebec,Canada
Joined: 15 Mar 2004
Likes: 50 pages
Reading list: 1 book

Spotlight topics: 5
Posts: 8,170

PostPosted: Mon 31 Dec, 2007 8:12 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The partnership between humans and dogs is close to 100,000 thousand years old so dogs have evolved social patterns that actually need human interaction as long as the dog remains domesticated and don't revert to the feral state.

I can see dogs being useful in small numbers in war in situations resembling hunting or dog pack behaviour where the dog and it's master/handler are present: The dogs are loyal to those they consider their masters and more importantly their family.
To the dogs the humans are also members of their pack as are other related dogs with the humans taking the place of the Alpha dog, assuming the humans are in control ! ( There are incompetent dog owners where the dog thinks its the Alpha dog and that usually means an out of control dog or at least a very spoiled dog ).

In large battles I don't see how numerous dogs could be controlled as they would only recognized as their own a limited number of people they are familiar with: In a great and confused melee I suspect that the dogs would have difficulty differentiating friend from foe and know who to bite and who to protect ?

So I can see uses when close control of the dogs can be maintained, and in manageable numbers: I don't see hundreds or thousands of dogs being controllable in a major battle.

Scouting, guarding, chasing down routed enemies, and to a degree a small number of ferocious dogs protected by some armour could have a great deal of psychological warfare/terror possibilities.

You can easily give up your freedom. You have to fight hard to get it back!
View user's profile Send private message
Elling Polden




Location: Bergen, Norway
Joined: 19 Feb 2004
Likes: 1 page

Spotlight topics: 1
Posts: 1,576

PostPosted: Mon 31 Dec, 2007 8:35 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

A purpose bred, like a mastif, or a Dalmatian.

Alternately, a German Sheperd.
There is a REASON they where the first, and still most popular, police dogs...

"this [fight] looks curious, almost like a game. See, they are looking around them before they fall, to find a dry spot to fall on, or they are falling on their shields. Can you see blood on their cloths and weapons? No. This must be trickery."
-Reidar Sendeman, from King Sverre's Saga, 1201
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website MSN Messenger
Joe Fults




Location: Midwest
Joined: 02 Sep 2003

Posts: 3,441

PostPosted: Mon 31 Dec, 2007 9:48 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

A standard poodle with a French cut.

Should be a brilliant distraction.

"Our life is what our thoughts make it"
-Marcus Aurelius

"Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable."
-John F. Kennedy
View user's profile Send private message
Joel Chesser




Location: Oklahoma
Joined: 23 Oct 2003

Posts: 714

PostPosted: Mon 31 Dec, 2007 11:48 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Wolf, english mastiff, or an Irish wolf hound
..." The person who dosen't have a sword should sell his coat and buy one."

- Luke 22:36
View user's profile Send private message
Patrik Erik Lars Lindblom




Location: Göteborg Sweden
Joined: 07 Jul 2004
Reading list: 8 books

Posts: 411

PostPosted: Mon 31 Dec, 2007 11:52 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I would choose a Jämthund (Swedish Elkhound) in that case. Big Grin

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/J%C3%A4mthund
http://www.furrycritter.com/resources/dogs/Swedish_Elkhound.htm

Frid o Fröjd!
Patrik
View user's profile Send private message
Peter G.




Location: Bad Kreuznach/Germany
Joined: 16 Nov 2007

Posts: 77

PostPosted: Tue 01 Jan, 2008 1:43 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

My german Sheperd-trained/working in customs duty (was my fathers dog)-tall enough to lay his head on the table and fast enough to get the guys on a vespa who thought it was a got idea to slap my girlfriend on the bottom when driving by.

or my danish Dogge--1,15m high-not fast but really scary to strangers
View user's profile Send private message
Peter Bosman




Location: Andalucia
Joined: 22 May 2006

Posts: 598

PostPosted: Tue 01 Jan, 2008 3:24 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Interesting but a bit hypothetic isn´t it?!

Jean is quite right as they of limited use.
I have been involved with dogs for decades, wrote some manuals for tariners and breed-specific training ´recipes´p.e. and see véry litle practical use for dogs save for specífic ´applications´.

Dogs can be VERY usefull for hunting and defence of homesteads but are mostly a bother in battle.

For hunting it depends on what you want to hunt wether you want something stronger, faster or being able to go under earth. Most modern dogs are too big.
A sturdy pitbull, a laika and a saluki type dog are good examples of dogs that can actively hunt.

For defense of homestead you want a sturdy dog with a strong ´family-instinct´ like a bullmastiff albeit not as burdened by it´s weight as most of todays examples,: it must be agile too after all.
The germanic peoples were reputed to leave this type of dog, which they used for unting too, at home with the women. I have bred atheletic bullmastiff type and would choose those to defend my family.
The same goes for the dog from the canary islands. Islands named after those dogs (cane corso - fighting dogs) btw and this breed accompanied the conquistadores.
Where I live this breed is VERY sought after to hunt boar but as it is rather ´effective´ the owner needs a license for one.
Half a dozen or so bullmastiffs or canary dogs within the walled premises of my cortijo would make it héavily defended Laughing Out Loud

The canary dog is a good example whý dogs are a double edged weapon: they are véry difficult to effectively control when things get hectic. They will not be able to tell friend from foe as only one is their boss.

Lasty, agitated dogs are very vulnerable if the opponent is dog wise. All the opponent needs is a protected arm and a shortish blade or simply a spear.

My conclusion is that I would NOT take dogs into batttle but make far more effective use of them to guard my homestead.
Inside the palissade and roundhouses they would be fár more effective.
They would not be able to hold off a determained attack but would be quite a help for the women against a band of opportunists.

peter
View user's profile
Geoff Wood




Location: UK
Joined: 31 Aug 2003

Posts: 634

PostPosted: Tue 01 Jan, 2008 3:56 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Joe Fults wrote:
A standard poodle with a French cut.

Should be a brilliant distraction.


Not sure about the cut, but didn't Prince Rupert have a poodle in the ECW? I suppose the Russian anti-tank dogs were the last significant attempt to use dogs in battle (as against guard/security/search roles) and from what I've read they weren't spectacularly successful.
Geoff
View user's profile Send private message
Peter Bosman




Location: Andalucia
Joined: 22 May 2006

Posts: 598

PostPosted: Tue 01 Jan, 2008 5:18 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

A poodle is a variety of ´water dog´ which in origin is a sheep dog. The andalucia ´spanish waterdog´ which has it´s origins on both sides of the western mediterranean is most likely to be the ancestor of all.
In de more rugged mountainous areas of andalucia the breed still is being used as it was say 4000 years ago. The hilarious joke is that modern kyno(il)logic breed clubs do not ´recognise´ the ancestral dogs that still herd the sheep here Razz
Highly intelligent and thus versatile dogs with quite a strong instinct to defend but rather useless in ´combat´.

I have two of these ´turcos´ as they are called here but even though they will follow me éverywhere do not even take them with me when horseriding. They are just as much a worry as they are a ´help´.
Yes I would go skirmish with my stallion but would not take a dog. Not my turcos nor my bullmastiffs. Like I wrote I would rather feel relaxed about them holding the fort Wink

peter
View user's profile
Bram Verbeek





Joined: 27 Mar 2007

Posts: 217

PostPosted: Tue 01 Jan, 2008 5:28 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I would take our dutch shepherd (it isn't really a dutch shepherd, not even in the mix, but it looks and behaves exactly like one) on a campaign to warn from night attacks and ambush, but not into battle, I like her too much for that, I think that she would try to defend my life with hers, but would die of valor too soon.
View user's profile Send private message
Jared Smith




Location: Tennessee
Joined: 10 Feb 2005
Likes: 1 page

Spotlight topics: 3
Posts: 1,532

PostPosted: Tue 01 Jan, 2008 7:57 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I am thinking over Jean and Peter's comments about the usefulness (or lack of usefulness) of dogs in times of war. Expanding on the special situations where they would be useful could prove interesting. They have been used recently (in middle East conflicts, Viet Nam, etc.) http://www.qmfound.com/dog_truth.htm

The hunting aspect of it should not be discarded too lightly as far as ancient war fare. The time between battles, traveling and foraging, was often a large portion of an army's campaign until the last few centuries. The utility of dogs for an army had already been written about in B.C. era (by Xenophon's Cynegeticus?) Interestingly enough, if I remember it right, Xenophon basically did recommend mostly limited numbers of dogs for specialized applications (defensive sentry, and hunting.)
http://www.dead-onwebsites.com/Under%20Discus...d_hunt.htm



 Attachment: 27.88 KB
Bayeux_hawking.jpg


Absence of evidence is not necessarily evidence of absence!


Last edited by Jared Smith on Tue 01 Jan, 2008 8:59 am; edited 3 times in total
View user's profile Send private message
Shayan G





Joined: 26 Sep 2006

Posts: 140

PostPosted: Tue 01 Jan, 2008 8:12 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Good points about foraging. A good hunting dog would be priceless in such a scenario. With regards to actual combat, there are enough instances of dog use that there must be something to it.

Anyways, I would trust my life with a good "Central Asian Shepherd" dog (Alabai for short). They evolved under some of the harshest conditions on Earth. This is what the United Kennel Club has to say. First is about appearance, then about characteristics:

Quote:
The Central Asian Shepherd Dog is a dog of great size with massive bone structure and powerful muscles. The body is slightly longer than tall. The head is massive. Ears are normally cropped close to the head but are naturally small, drop, and set low on the head. The tail is high set and thick at the base, and when undocked, hangs down to the hock with a sickle shape. Two coat lengths are accepted, but all are double-coated and thick. Gender differences are well expressed in this breed. Males are more massive and powerful; females are smaller and lighter in build. Dogs should be presented in hard, muscular condition. The Central Asian Shepherd Dog should be evaluated as a working livestock guardian dog, and exaggerations or faults should be penalized in proportion to how much they interfere with the dog's ability to work. Honorable scars resulting from field work are not to be penalized.


Quote:
For centuries, the Central Asian Shepherd Dog worked alone or together with several other dogs, without much intervention from the herdsmen, relying on its own intelligence and instincts to do its job. While these dogs are very devoted to their family members, they expect to be treated with respect. They are inclined to be suspicious of strange people or dogs. Central Asians are steady, even-tempered dogs who adjust well to change in their environment. When threatened, they react quickly and with complete seriousness. Central Asians are slow to mature and require extensive socialization and patient training techniques. This breed is hardy and able to adapt to a wide range of climates.


I'd like to point out the part where it says "Honorable scars[...]are not to be penalized." Wink




 Attachment: 24.42 KB
1alabai9a.jpg

View user's profile Send private message
Ken Speed





Joined: 09 Oct 2006

Posts: 656

PostPosted: Tue 01 Jan, 2008 9:29 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jared,

Thanks for an interesting topic. About your Jack Russell Terrier, it just proves the old saw about it not being the size of the dog in the fight but the size of the fight in the dog that counts. When I was a boy we had a dog that was half short haired Dachshund and half Manchester terrier. He was incredibly smart and looked very much like a shoe box sized Rottweiller . He had the heart of a lion and thought nothing of fighting a farm dog five times his size or herding cattle which dwarfed him into insignificance. He, of course, has gone to that great hunting ground in the sky that such dogs go to as has my pick, my dog Eric. He was a purebred American Staffordshire Terrier, at his peak he weighed about 75 pounds. He literally did not know fear and was incredibly strong.

I respectfully disagree with the respondent who said that all you need is a padded sleeve and a knife to defend against an attacking dog ( I'm paraphrasing, I don't remember his exact words). A dog that is trained to go for the sleeve will but a dog that is not may attack differently. My dog was not trained to attack anybody but he did stop two or three men at different times by threatening their groin, if they had moved another inch, a padded sleeve wouldn't have kept them from the soprano section of the choir and they knew it. I suspect that even if they had had a gun they wouldn't have been able to move enough to use it without getting bitten.

I would imagine that if one was fighting hand to hand or with swords, which I think is the scenario we're dealing with here, an aggressive dog would be a serious distraction to one's foe although I think a man armed with a sword could kill a dog fairly easily if it were one on one.


Best regards,



Ken Speed
View user's profile Send private message
Elling Polden




Location: Bergen, Norway
Joined: 19 Feb 2004
Likes: 1 page

Spotlight topics: 1
Posts: 1,576

PostPosted: Tue 01 Jan, 2008 2:08 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Dogs do attack head first, and have no way of protecting themselves except dodging. So once it leaps, it will be very exposed to countrattack.
Most likely, it would not attack you at all if you are facing it with a weapon.
However, you can't turn your back on it, and if there is more than one, they will spread out, and attack differenet angles, like wolfs hunting.

German sheperds make good combat dogs because they are 1) sheperds, and 2) german.
As sheperds they are fast and obedient, and used to rounding up creatures, and manouvering to keep them in place.
as german shepherds, they have a rather authoritarian approach as how to do so. As far as I've been told german sheepdogs where traditionally trained to physically stop sheep that tried to stray from the flock, having their teeth filed to avoid injury to the sheep. (rather than just bark at them, like the lighter british collies)
Whereupon someone thought "hmmm...maybe we can have the dog do that to people..."

"this [fight] looks curious, almost like a game. See, they are looking around them before they fall, to find a dry spot to fall on, or they are falling on their shields. Can you see blood on their cloths and weapons? No. This must be trickery."
-Reidar Sendeman, from King Sverre's Saga, 1201
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website MSN Messenger
Jared Smith




Location: Tennessee
Joined: 10 Feb 2005
Likes: 1 page

Spotlight topics: 3
Posts: 1,532

PostPosted: Tue 01 Jan, 2008 3:06 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Carlo Arellano's "Caucasian Mountain dog" so far takes the prize for impressiveness in my opinion. Based on a pair of 125 lb Pyrenees that like to hang around the brew pot (waiting for spent barley) when I make beer, I suspect it is a very friendly and gentle companion to those it understands "belong on the premises." As a minimum, the mere sight of it probably discourages door to door salesmen from approaching the residence.

Those dogs I have encountered (kind of adventuring, technically trespassing as a youth) that I would least want to encounter again would be a pair of Dobermann Pinchers! A skilled opponent aided by a pair of those really should win, even if an adversary did take one of the dogs out. The ones I have seen tend "distract" very well, and don't miss the opportunity to do actual restraint and damage to ankles, wrists, etc.

The shepherd seems to be the modern dog of military choice. Something like 30,000 of them have already been utilized by the U.S. armed forces since WW II. Although the emphasis has shifted away from front line armed conflict (not really the primary form of engagement these days), utilization is actually on the uprise. These along with Labradors and other sturdy breeds are actually right there in the primary action though, waiting for the command to investigate (if that is their role) or lead a patrol as a scout trying to detect ambush.
http://community-2.webtv.net/Hahn-50thAP-K9/K9History8/
http://vdha.us/content230.html
http://web.israelinsider.com/Articles/Security/2099.htm
http://www.fortleetraveller.com/articles/2007.../top04.txt
http://community-2.webtv.net/Hahn-50thAP-K9/K9History20/

Absence of evidence is not necessarily evidence of absence!
View user's profile Send private message


Display posts from previous:   
Forum Index > Off-topic Talk > Dogs you would take into battle?
Page 1 of 2 Reply to topic
Go to page 1, 2  Next All times are GMT - 8 Hours

View previous topic :: View next topic
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum
You cannot attach files in this forum
You can download files in this forum






All contents © Copyright 2003-2018 myArmoury.com — All rights reserved
Discussion forums powered by phpBB © The phpBB Group
Switch to the Basic Low-bandwidth Version of the forum