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March 16, 2021
Have you ever thought how nice it would be if your dog could chip in a little around the house? You know, maybe fetch the morning paper, put his food dish in the sink, bring you your slippers, and prep the coffee pot. Okay, all kidding aside, while it might be hard for you to picture your pup working since you’re used to seeing your pet snoring away on the couch, many dogs actually have official jobs.
Of course, not every breed is a match for every task, and many are perfectly content to be professional snugglers, but many dogs find themselves serving some significant roles. Some of them might surprise you, while others are relatively common.
So, believe it or not, but there are lots of things that people just can’t do, or more aptly put, can’t do as well as dogs. Here’s a look at some of the most popular dog jobs, what they entail, and which pups are up to the challenge.
Service dogs are perhaps one of the most well-known canine jobs. Service dogs undergo specific training to assist their owners with various disabilities. There are several categories of service dogs, including mobility dogs, guide dogs for people with visual impairments, seizure dogs, and hearing dogs for people who are deaf.
Service dogs must be well-behaved, even-tempered, and incredibly trained in their particular tasks. They should also be intelligent and have a strong drive to work. Popular breeds that become service animals include Labradors, Golden Retrievers, German Shepherds, Boxers, and Poodles.
Search and rescue dogs help find people by picking up their scents. Saint Bernards can detect a person under up to 15 feet of snow. These dogs must be highly-trained, have a strong work drive, and a keen sense of smell. Typical search and rescue dogs, besides Saint Bernards, are also Border Collies, Belgian Malinois, German Shepherds, and Labradors.
From bombs to bedbugs, detection dogs have a highly-developed sense of smell, geared explicitly to detecting particular items. People use detection dogs in many situations, whether sniffing out suspicious packages at the airport, bedbugs in a local hotel, or even cancer in patients. Some popular detection dogs are German Shepherds, Springer Spaniels, Border Collies, American Pit Bull Terriers, and Beagles.
Many dogs with a keen sense of smell make good tracking dogs, like Bloodhounds and Basset Hounds. Others are great at flushing out potential prey, then retrieving it after the kill. Hunting and tracking dogs should enjoy being outdoors, plus need to be loyal, well-trained, and have great instincts. In addition to Bassets and Bloodhounds, some good hunting dogs are Labradors, Beagles, American Foxhounds, Pointers, and English and Irish Setters.
K-9 units use highly-trained dogs to help chase down criminals, protect their human partners, and sniff out clues and suspicious substances (like detection dogs). The most popular breed seen among police crews is German Shepherds, but police employ several other breeds, including Belgian Malinois and Boxers. Dogs that do police work need to be in great physical shape, intelligent, alert, trainable, loyal and possess keen senses.
Many dogs play an essential role in a variety of settings to help people deal with stress and anxiety. These pups are not the same as emotional support dogs, whose role is to help their owners with stressful situations. Instead, therapy dogs might work in hospitals, cheering up patients, the local library helping with reading programs for children, nursing homes, and even airports to help ease nervous travelers’ anxieties.
Any dog could potentially make a great therapy dog. However, critical requirements are that the dog is friendly, well-behaved, well socialized, highly trained, and outgoing.
In various places throughout the world, dogs still have the job of pulling carts and sleds, typically to deliver goods to areas that are hard to reach by other means. Members of the working class group of dogs are a good match for carting, like Newfoundlands, St. Bernards, and Bernese Mountain Dogs. If sledding in cold climates, dogs also need to be able to handle the chill, like Siberian Huskies, Alaskan Malamutes, and Alaskan Huskies. Usually, experts suggest a dog be at least two-years-old before attempting carting and be in tip-top physical shape.
Military dogs serve a wide range of roles, including scout, patrol, messenger, and detection work, among others. These dogs can join their handlers on some extensive and grueling missions. They need to be very athletic, resilient, intelligent, loyal, focused, and ready for anything. Usually, German Shepherds, Dobermans, Belgian Malinois, and Dutch Shepherds are the breeds of choice for military work.
Many working farms employ dogs to help herd livestock. Essential qualities are an overall happy disposition, intelligence, and love of the outdoors. These dogs also need to be athletic and in great physical condition. Some popular herding breeds are the English Sheepdog, Australian Cattle Dog, Australian Shepherd, and Border Collie.
While your pup isn’t likely to enter the police force or start embarking on search and rescue missions, that doesn’t mean your canine pal can’t have a job. If your dog has the right temperament, your furry friend could be a good fit for therapy work or even participate in dog sports like agility training and carting. If you think your dog could use some extra activity, needs more stimulation, or maybe is bored, then finding a job that’s a good fit could have many benefits.
Your vet can point you in the right direction of local establishments that might be looking for therapy dogs, plus your vet can also give you an indication if your pup would be a good fit. If you want to try carting or other activities with your dog, it starts with a physical exam at the vet to ensure your pup’s healthy and up for the task.
Whether your dog gets a job or is content to snooze on the porch, the most important thing is that your precious pal is healthy and happy. To learn more about all of the amazing things dogs can do, check out the rest of our blog. You’ll always find helpful tips and resources, fresh content, and useful products that will help you be a fantastic pet parent.
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