Despite the perception that only so-called fierce breeds were used as war dogs, America’s most popular dog got into the action in WWII. Although Labs aren’t known for having war dog properties, a black Labrador Retriever named Skipper performed admirably on Guam in the Pacific theater in WWII. Dale Fetzer was the handler for Skipper. In one encounter, Skipper was shot by a Japanese soldier. “I laid there with my head on his chest, waiting for the heartbeat,” Fetzer said. “And his heart stopped. I went crazy. I stood up there like a wild man shooting.” When it was over, Fetzer had killed eight to10 enemy soldiers. “They shouldn’t have killed my dog,” Fetzer said. This indicates the deep connection some handlers developed to their dogs. Next: Rin Tin Tin, The War Dog.

A war Labrador, but not Skipper.