Thank you, veterans and military dogs.
History of Military Use of Dogs
At the time of Pearl Harbor, the sled dog was the only working type to be found in the Army. . . Even though it had utilized a few dogs in minor roles earlier, it was not until World War II that they were used to any significant extent as auxiliaries to our fighting men when trained for sentry, messenger, scout, sled and pack duties.
The extraordinary characteristics of the dog — acuteness of his senses, his docility, his affection for man, his watchfulness, and his speed — enable him to be of great value for military purposes.
— excerpt, Dogs and National Defense, Anna M. Waller,
Department of the Army, Office of Quartermaster General, 1958
According to the United States War Dogs Association, more than 30 breeds were accepted into the fledgling war dog program during WWII. Not surprisingly, Bassets didn’t make the cut.