26 APRIL 1890, Page 3

The Standard of Tuesday publishes a curious account of the

experiments which are being made in the French Army for training dogs to act as scouts, messengers, and sentinels. When a dog is on messenger duty, two men are detached from an outpost and walk about a mile, their companion being led by his collar. One of the men then returns to the starting- point, and the dog, whenever he is let loose, runs back to the outpost with the message in a bag tied to his back. The sentinel dogs are said to scent strangers a hundred yards off, and directly they do so, begin to bark and growl. The train- ing necessary for the scouts is more elaborate, as they have to be taught to search fields and thickets, in which soldiers dressed in foreign uniforms are lying in ambush. As soon as the animals find the enemy, it is their business to run back to their own friends, and so to report what they have seen. It is further hoped that the dogs will prove useful for sending ammunition and food to patrols and detachments on outpost duty. The spectacle of these four-footed recruits at drill must be a very interesting one, especially as all the curs of the neighbourhood turn out to watch their fellows at work, re- garding them apparently with no little envy and admiration. On the whole, however, we cannot feel much satisfaction in this new development of military science. To make them useful, the dogs will have to be kept as savage as wolves ; and this being the case, they are not unlikely to attack the wounded.