A Short History of Working Dogs

Nordic Viking Ancestors

Some of the earliest references to working dogs are well documented in ancient Viking Nordic culture. Their high value as working animals and companions meant that they were buried alongside their Viking masters. According to Scandinavian mythological belief, not only was a dog regarded as a guardian it was also believed to be a guide to the underworld.

Most dogs were kept for hunting purposes and we can find descendants from several of these breeds today. Probably one of the best known Norse hunting dogs is the Norsk Elghund which was bred by ancient Danes to hunt bears and moose.
Most ancient of the Nordic breeds is the Norwegian Lundehund which translates as Puffin-hound. Because of their agility, these nimble hounds were often used to hunt Puffin, a Viking delicacy.

As cattle herding was also a major requirement the Vikings used herding dogs and one of these breeds was the Swedish Vallhund. This little dog looks very much like the Welsh Corgi which is a close relative.

Mercy Dogs – World War One

As well as Scandinavian breeds, we find that European breeds are appreciated for their obedience and intellect. These breeds include German Shepherd and the Dutch Shepherd from the Netherlands, and the Belgian Malinois. Although these breeds were all used for their ability to herd sheep and cattle, it was soon recognised that they were incredibly intelligent.

It was for this reason that these breeds were often used during the outbreak of the first World War in Europe. Utilised as guardians, personal protection and for tracking they became a vital resource during these conflicts. These Mercy Dogs played a massive role in many cases on the battlefields as they were equipped with medical supplies for the wounded and dying. As well as tending to their wounds, gravely wounded soldiers would seek the company of these incredible dogs in their final moments.

Wartime Sniffers

When jungle warfare broke out in WW2 the US Marine Corp knew that they required dogs to sniff out the enemy. Many of these dogs were donated from American homes and it was the responsibility to train and mold these pets to become elite sniffers.

The advantage of these scout dogs was to sniff out the enemy scent much sooner than any man could – locking on to a scent from around 1000 yards, they were also highly efficient at avoiding detection. These superior scouting lessons learned in the first world war were later reapplied to the Korean and Vietnam campaigns of WW2.

Impressed by their high intelligence, many servicemen bought these companions home and began training them to work in law enforcement roles. Today we see these breeds of dogs being used for purposes from guarding property to rescue work and for policing in drug detection being part of a security process in international ports and airports.

Of course, all these working dogs were fed the best nutrition, at the time, to keep them in tip-top condition which may have been rather difficult in times of old. However, nowadays you don’t have to look too far to give your hound the best he can eat. This is why we formulated our feeds with the best fresh steamed meats and vegetables without fillers or grains found in most mainstream brands.

We can even drop ship your order monthly so that you’ll never worry about running out and it’s a very affordable and easy process. Just sign up for an account and follow the directions.

We look forward to supplying your dog the natural food they deserve!

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