The US Air Force experiments with canine surveillance robots

Science fiction is full of stories featuring military robots with the attributes of certain animals, and the dog is probably one of the most depicted in this literature. It must be said that dogs have accompanied soldiers since time immemorial. Already, during the Roman campaigns of antiquity, the famous Canis Pugnax, a race close to the current Cane Corso, accompanied the troops of Marcus Aurelius in Germany and terrified the adversaries. The arrival of motorized technology in the armies, if it eliminated horses, mules and oxen from military inventories, did not however remove the dog from the battlefield.

Several dogs became famous for their engagement in combat, such as the Bull Terrier "Sergeant Stubby", who in 1917 accompanied its owner, Corporal James Conroy, from his American training center to the French trenches, and participated in 17 battles, was wounded by a German grenade, and even captured a German spy. But the use of dogs in combat hasn't always been so glorious. The Russian forces, during the Great Patriotic War, had thus trained many dogs to rush under the tanks to find their food. Once at the front, the dogs were armed with a mine that exploded under the tank, destroying the tank and killing the animal. Nowadays, dogs continue to accompany soldiers in combat, mainly to detect, using their scent, explosives or caches of weapons or ammunition, and to help secure sensitive sites, such as military bases.

The Stubby Bull Terrier survived his 18 months of war in France and the Battle of the Chemin des Dame. He remains the most decorated dog in American military history.

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