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Tuesday, October 28, 2014

The Godfather of Military Dogs

Col. Richardson and Red Cross Dogs. Photo courtesy of Foreign Policy magazine.

We never thought we'd read an article in Foreign Policy magazine, let alone tout it on our pet blog, but we stumbled across (as one is want to do on the Internet), this fascinating article about Lt. Col. Edwin Hautenville Richardson, who pioneered and championed the use of dogs in the military during World War I.  Richardson was a British soldier who petitioned his government to allow specially trained dogs in the military—primarily to deliver messages across enemy lines. According to this article, "When Britain declared war in August 1914, it had virtually no dogs on the battlefield."

Col. Richardson led the charge to change that statistic, and one hundred years later, the impact of his passion and training methods lives on. "...Richardson's compassionate treatment of his dogs, as well as his practice of reward-based training—which reinforced good behavior and success with joyful attention and a treat or toy—are the models for dog handling today."

We hope you enjoy this bit of canine history, and perhaps to cheer the spirit of Col. Richardson, give your faithful companion a little job to do...and don't forget the joyful praise or small treat.


Kinley Westie said...

How interesting!

Unknown said...

What a great legacy and how many lives saved we wonder? Have a wonderful Wednesday.
Best wishes Molly

Bocci said...

Glad you enjoyed it! We loved both the article and the cool pictures...

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