History shows that in May 1943 the First Army Experimental Dog Training Unit consisting of 17 trained soldiers each with two trained dogs, was deployed to Lowanna, NSW.
Here experiments were carried out on the training and use of dogs for war in:
(a) Carrying messages (b) Scouting and guarding (c) Sniper hunting
Assessment of this training was later carried out in Canungra, Queensland. The dogs used for training were donated to the Australian Army after publicity in Sydney newspapers and whilst a variety of breeds were used, the German Shepherd predominated.
Combat Tracking Teams were part of Infantry Battalions and served in Malaysia, Malaya, Singapore and South Vietnam from the 1950's through to the early 1970's. A link to the Early History of our Four Legged Diggers is on the MWD History page.
In her poem "I am a War Dog", Santina Lizzio portrays the life of a Tracker Dog in South Vietnam.
Today Special Air Service Regiment (SASR) utilise "Combat Assult Dogs" as part of their patrols. In his book The Crossroad, Mark Donaldson VC gives a great insight into his time as a handler with SO Devil whilst in Afghanistan. Sadly SO Devil was killed in action in 2012. SO Devil & SO Quake