The Sormwind Houndmaster Society is responsible for the breeding and training of many of the hounds used by the military, mercenary, and civilian organizations throughout the Kingdom of Stormwind. The Hound Masters of the Society also train the Hound Handler applicants as well as pair them with a hound that meets the needs of their particular organization.
Common Roles for HoundsEdit
Over the centuries, hounds have been utilized for various roles, whether it be a specific role or for general purpose. The following is a list of common roles filled by the hounds and a brief description.
Sentry Hounds work on a short leash and are taught to give warning by growling, alerting, or barking. Their function is to detect and attack, on command, all people except the handler and others who have helped care for them. They are especially useful at night when attack from cover or the rear is likely. They are trained to accompany a guard on patrol and give warning of the approach or presence of strangers within the protected area. Sentry Hounds are most often found at vital holdings or any place where security against intruders must be maintained.
Outwardly, there is little distinction between Sentry and Scout/Patrol. However, there is a big difference in the way the dogs react to their environment and in the ways they are trained. Scout/Patrol Hounds are trained to work in silence to aid in the detection of snipers, ambushes, and other enemy forces within a particular area. They are trained not to be disturbed by the approach of people and to discriminate between a threat and acceptance of others by the handler. Scout/Patrol Hounds are also trained to work both on and off leash. They can enter an empty building to search for hidden intruders or cover an area to find a lost or concealed object. They are trained to attack at the command of their handler with the aggressiveness of a Sentry Hound, but unlike the Sentry Hound, can be called off the attack at any time.
The most desired quality in these hounds is loyalty, since the hounds must be motivated by the desire to work with two handlers. They are trained to travel silently and take advantage of natural cover when moving between the two handlers.
Search and RescueEdit
Search and Rescue Hounds are trained to search for and report the location of missing persons and/or casualties in obscure places that would otherwise be difficult for search parties to locate. In cases of severe injuries, minutes saved in locating such casualties often mean the difference between life and death.
Notable Usage of War Hounds in HistoryEdit
Hounds have been used during times of war as early as the Arathorian Empire. During the Troll Wars, hounds were used to locate roving Troll war parties. Records even indicated that at some of the more distant outposts, hounds were chained to the walls to warn of an impending attack. The Arathorian Legion often clad their hounds in coats of mail armor and spiked collars, sending columns of these War Hounds in first to break the enemy ranks, shortly followed by their spear-bearing handlers, and then the Arathorian Calvary.