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10 Guard dogs you don’t want to mess with.

Our canine friends have proved to be excellent pets and life companions, but as history has shown, they have been indispensable for a lot of other tasks, including police work and as soldiers. Yes, no matter how lazy or docile some dog breeds can be, some can be trained to be brave soldiers that fight for freedom and keep the peace.

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Number one, for instance, saw action in one of the worst wars in history, even managing to save a number of lives, despite being small enough to fit in a hand bag. Stay tuned to learn more about her and other as we bring you 10 of the ultimate military and police dog breeds.

The Beagle:

Let’s start things off with one dog breed that you’d think would be the least likely to be an officer of the law. Beagles are often underestimated because of their short stature and friendly disposition, but they are versatile dogs and are used in harbors, airports, and border zones to sniff out narcotics and illegal substances because of their powerful sense of smell.

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Beagles have one of the best noses among all the dog breeds. Because of their hunting past, they are fast and swift and can track scents while staying less detected. They have scent membranes which can catch a whiff of a scent more with way more accuracy than humans. Their long droopy noses also help them to trap smells and keep the odors close to their noses. Beagles are pack dogs and are very obedient to their pack leader. Because of this, they are great performers in tracking, obedience, and agility events. With the training that police K-9 units provide, beagles’ obedience can come in handy when it comes to sniffing for clues and contraband.

The Pitbull:

Pitbulls are known for their strength and ferocity which should make them perfect military dogs, right? Well, not quite. Although it’s true that they are highly trainable and have proven to be very ferocious when trained to attack, when trained this way they are highly unmanageable. So it’s very rare that K9 units employ pitbulls in their ranks. But, that doesn’t mean that they haven’t been put to military service.

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Meet Stubby. Probably the most famous war dog, this American Pit Bull Terrier was the only dog to be given the rank of sergeant. Stubby was found as a stray on the Yale campus in 1917, and smuggled to France during World War I by his adoptive owner, Cpl. John Robert Conroy. The dog’s heroic acts include participating in 17 battles, four offenses, and improving troop morale. He also used his keen senses to warn his unit of poison-gas attacks, incoming artillery fire, and to locate downed soldiers on the battlefield. He even used his keen sense of smell to sniff out and apprehend a German spy lurking in the trenches. Hi died of natural causes in the arms of his owner in 1926 but is still remembered today, particularly with the Stubby Award for Canine Heroism.

The Giant Schnauzer:

With their energy and intelligence, there’s no end to the jobs Giant Schnauzers can perform. Originally bred to be all-around workers, they were primarily used to drive cattle from the farm to market, for carting, and to protect the farm and family. Because of their intelligence and need to work, the Giant Schnauzer is successful in many areas, including as police dogs, military dogs, search and rescue dogs, and even as guide dogs. To them, the most important job is to protect the home and family.

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Giants are deeply loyal to their families and instinctively territorial. This isn’t one of those happy-go-lucky breeds that greets every visitor with a tail wag. Because they learn easily, though, you can train Giant Schnauzers to differentiate between welcome visitors and everyone else. And that means they can be trained to easily distinguish ally soldiers from enemy soldiers. They were so effective as military dogs they were the prime candidate for the Soviet Union when they were trying to develop the perfect military dog in the 1940s.

The Boxer:

Boxers were developed as a classic, jack-of-all-trades working dog in Europe. Bred in 19th century Germany as a cross between an English Bulldog and the now-extinct Bullenbeiser, the Boxer was used for bull baiting, cart pulling, livestock herding, hunting huge animals such as boar and bison, and, unfortunately, dog fighting. It was one of the first dogs used for military and police service.

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In WWI, the Boxer was valued as a messenger dog, pack -carrier, attack dog, and guard dog. During the war, they were trained to be medical dogs, helping doctors and the Red Cross to search for the wounded in the battlefield.

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