“Shakespeare,” is Delco's own representative for the Military Dogs of World War 1

Destination Delco's Executive Director Tore Fiore with
Judy Reese and her service dog, Shakespeare.
Judy Reese of Chichester requires assistance on a regular basis from her service dog, Shakespeare. Shakespeare is a Bouvier des Flanders which are a herding breed, as classified by the Madison Square Garden Dog Show. In the past, Bouviers were used as carting dogs, that like a miniature pony would  pull a cart of milk, vegetables, etc, from the farm to market. In these cases the farmer would walk alongside of the Bouvier with the cart. Small children might also be in the cart.

During the war Bouviers were trained to pull a cart from the foxholes, where the Allied troops would place wounded comrades and instruct the dog to go to the “Medic Tent”. Once there, the medics would take the wounded off of the cart and the dog would be sent back out. The reason the Allies used Bouviers is because the dogs were large and a native from Flanders, Belgium. Invading troops did not have access to dogs. Bouviers are often trained in Dutch/Flemish/French and of course hand signals.

Today the breed is still used for carting work, in competitions, as family pets, service dogs, and police dogs. When used in police work ,they are usually clipped like a giant schnauzer, and have crop the ears. The police dogs look more intimidating than Shakespeare

90% of Bouviers are black, but Shakespeare is of a recessive gene, and therefore is fawn colored. 

About Military Dogs

Military dogs played a variety of critical roles during World War One, depending on their size, intelligence and training. There were sentry dogs, scout dogs, casualty dogs, explosive dogs, and mascot dogs.

Casualty or ‘Mercy’ Dogs
Originally trained in the late 1800’s by the Germans, they were later utilized across Europe. Known as ‘Sanitatshunde’ in Germany, these dogs were trained to find the wounded and dying on battlefields and were equipped with medical supplies to aid those suffering. Those soldiers who could help themselves to supplies would tend to their own wounds, whilst other more gravely wounded soldiers would seek the company of a Mercy dog to wait with them whilst they died.

Messenger Dogs
Dogs were also used to carry messages on the battlefield. Human runners made large targets and during a battle the odds of them getting messages to key areas was challenging. Vehicles could breakdown or the ‘roads’ could have been reduced to a mushy pulp and travel on them made impossible. But a trained dog was faster than a human runner, presented a smaller target to a sniper and could travel over any terrain. They were also extremely reliable if they were well trained.

American Troops did not use dogs as extensively as other forces.  But it was an American Military Dog that has been called the most decorated war dog of World War I and the only dog to be nominated for rank and then promoted to sergeant through combat. While there is no documental evidence to support the claim he is recognized in connection with an exhibition at the Smithsonian Institution.
Sgt. Stubby

FYI: Sgt. Stubby is the subject of an upcoming animated film, scheduled for release in April 2018.

American  Military Dog, Sergeant Stubby’s Battlefield Bravery

As the official mascot of the 102nd Infantry Regiment, assigned to the 26th Division Stubby served for 18 months and participated in seventeen battles on the Western Front. He saved his regiment from surprise mustard gas attacks, found and comforted the wounded, and once caught a German soldier by the seat of his pants, holding him there until American soldiers found him. Back home, his exploits were front page news in major newspapers.

Stubby’s Journey into Military Service
Stubby was found wandering the grounds of the Yale University campus in New Haven, Connecticut in July 1917 while members of the 102nd Infantry were training. The dog hung around as the men drilled and one soldier, Corporal Robert Conroy, developed a fondness for the dog.[4] When it came time for the outfit to ship out, Conroy hid Stubby on board the troop ship. As they were getting off the ship in France, he hid Stubby under his overcoat without detection.[8] Upon discovery by Conroy's commanding officer, Stubby saluted him as he had been trained to in camp, and the commanding officer allowed the dog to stay on board.

Stubby served with the 102nd Infantry Regiment in the trenches in France for 18 months and participated in four offensives and 17 battles. He entered combat on February 5, 1918 at Chemin des Dames, north of Soissons, and was under constant fire, day and night for over a month. In April 1918, during a raid to take Schieprey, Stubby was wounded in the foreleg by the retreating Germans throwing hand grenades. He was sent to the rear for convalescence, and as he had done on the front was able to improve morale. When he recovered from his wounds, Stubby returned to the trenches. He ultimately had two wound stripes.

In his first year of battle Stubby was injured by mustard gas. After he recovered, he returned with a
specially designed gas mask to protect him. Also, he learned to warn his unit of poison gas attacks, located wounded soldiers in no man's land, and — since he could hear the whine of incoming artillery shells before humans could — became very adept at letting his unit know when to duck for cover. He was solely responsible for capturing a German spy in the Argonne.

Due to his capture of the enemy spy, the commander of the 102 Infantry nominated Stubby for the rank of sergeant. However, whether Stubby was actually promoted or even an official member of the Army has been disputed. Following the retaking of Château-Thierry by the US, the women of the town made Stubby a chamois coat on which were pinned his many medals. He also helped free a French town from the Germans.

He was later injured in the chest and leg by a grenade. At the end of the war, Robert Conroy smuggled Stubby home where he became a celebrity, marching in, and normally leading many parades across the country. He met Presidents Woodrow Wilson, Calvin Coolidge, and Warren G. Harding. In 1921 General John J. Pershing presented a gold medal from the Humane Education Society to Stubby.