War dogs were used by the Egyptians, Greeks, Persians, Sarmatians, Alans, Slavs, Britons, and the Romans.The Molossus dog of the Molossia region of Epirus was the strongest known to the Romans, and was specifically trained for battle. Among the Greeks and Romans, dogs served most often as sentries or patrols, though they were sometimes taken into battle.The earliest use of war dogs in a battle recorded in classical sources was by Alyattes of Lydia against the Cimmerians around 600 BC. The Lydian dogs killed some invaders and routed others.
During the Late Antiquity, Attila the Hun used giant Molosser dogs in his campaigns. Gifts of war dog breeding stock between European royaltywere seen as suitable tokens for exchange throughout the Middle Ages. Other civilizations used armored dogs to defend caravans or attack enemies. The Spanish conquistadors used armored dogs that had been trained to kill natives.
In the Far East, Emperor Lê Lợi raised a pack of 100 hounds, this pack was tended and trained by Nguyễn Xí whose skills was impressive enough to promote him to the Commander of a shock troop regiment.
Later on, Frederick the Great used dogs as messengers during the Seven Years’ War with Russia. Napoleon also used dogs during his campaigns. Dogs were used up until 1770 to guard naval installations in France.
The first official use of dogs for military purposes in the United States was during the Seminole Wars. Hounds were used in the American Civil Warto protect, send messages, and guard prisoners Dogs were also used as mascots in American World War I propaganda and recruiting posters.