Imperial Army Dog Association
帝國軍用犬協会
The use of dogs in the Japanese Army began in earnest after WW1. There was an effort to
import German shepherds into Japan for this use and a section for raising dogs was

established in the Army Academy. This sections focused on shepherds but also included
dobermans and Airedale terriers.

In 1928 the Japan Shepherd Society--a civilian group--was formed to supply dogs to the Army
and the police forces. In order to facilitate this supply, the Imperial Army Dog Association was
established in 1933.


After the Manchurian Incident (1931-4), the use of dogs in combat increased dramatically. There
were dog breeding places established in Manchukuo as well, with about 3500 dogs being raised
in the mid-1930s. At this time, the Imperial Japanese Navy also began to use dogs. However, as
the war intensified and the USA entered, the use of dogs was seen as somewhat superfluous.
That said, there were many dogs in the Battle of Okinawa and other places, with most if not all
of them having died in combat along with their handlers.

Back on the main islands of Japan, from 1944, a Dog/Cat Collection Movement was instituted.
Basically, dogs and cats of every breed were collected, killed, and used for food and as a
source of leather. As a result, no more dogs were supplied to any of the armed forces. This
continued even after the war for a few years.

After the war ended and soldiers and sailors were repatriated, no dogs were allowed on the
repatriation ships. They were left behind to whatever fate befell them.

Much later (2009?) Yasukuni Shrine erected a statue dedicated to the war dogs and every year
on March 20 they hold a ceremony to honor these war dead. In 2012 they extended the
ceremony to include war horses and war pigeons. The former have their own commemorative
day, April 7.


More photos on
page 2

The Japan Shepherd Society is currently known as the Japanese German Shepherd Dog
Registration Society, Inc.

The Imperial Army Dog Association is currently known as the
Japanese Police Dog Association.
This is the official emblem of the Imperial Army Dog Association.
Enamel insignia pins.
I suppose these were for uniforms of some sort.
Enameled with attached metal Army star.
Inscribed 'Special Award, Imperial Army Dog Association, Tokyo Branch.'
Enameled with attached metal Army star.
Inscribed on the suspension 'Special Skills Award' and on the reverse 'Imperial Army Dog Association.'
The design element on the side rays is the official association insignia.
Enameled with yellow Army star.
No inscriptions.
The design element on the side rays is the official association insignia.
Enameled with attached metal Army star.
Inscribed 'Special Award, Imperial Army Dog Association.'
The design element on the side rays is the official association insignia.
No inscription.
The design element next to the mythical creature is the official association insignia.
This badge has the Imperial Army Dog Association insignia over some sort of flower.
Inscribed 'Practice Skills Tournament, 2602 [1942].'
This badge shows the three main breeds that Japanese military used: German shepherd,
doberman, and Airedale terrier. This kind of design was often
used on medals.

Inscribed '
Showa 9 [1934]. 2nd Exhibition. Participation Medal. Imperial Army Dog Association.'
Inscribed '4th Exhibition. Participation Medal. Imperial Army Dog
Association.
Based on the dated medals above, this would be 1936.

Inscribed 'Showa 8 [1933] March.  1st Exhibition. Participation Medal.
Imperial Army Dog Association.'
Above the dogs is the Imperial Army Dog Association emblem.
'
Branch Exhibition as well as Preliminary Exhibition, Showa 12 [1937] March, Imperial Army Dog
Association, Kobe Branch.'


SIZE OF MEDAL: 4.2 cm diameter.
'Imperial Army Dog Association Award.
Showa 14 [1939].'
Inscribed 'Merit. Imperial Army Dog
Association
. Showa 15 [1940] May.'
Lacquered wood sake cup.
Silver gilt Imperial War Dog Association insignia.
'10th Anniversary of the Founding of

the Imperial Army Dog Association.'