Corporal Kelly Woolstoncroft with Tran. Army dogs go through rigorous trainingRICHARD POHLE FOR THE TIMES

Dogs recruited to the armed forces from animal shelters, families and breeders go through rigorous training to adapt them for the battlefield but there is one key feature that troops cannot alter that has led to some awkward moments: their names.

The military’s chief veterinary officer has revealed that an army dog trained to dectect improvised explosive devices had the unhelpful name of Fire. “She worked out in front of infantry protection patrols. So you can imagine shouting ‘Fire!’ [to call for her],” Colonel Neil Smith said.

“She was blown up in Afghanistan in December 2011 and was quite badly injured but we put her back together again, retired her and I took her on. She was a real character.”

The name of a German…