We’ve all heard the expression, “work like a dog,” but that doesn’t make a whole bunch of sense when we see our furry family members living a happy life of leisure. While the typical dog life consists of carefree days, play time at the park, and lots of cuddling with family members, there are many dogs that actually hold demanding jobs for most of their life.
Working dogs happily put in a full day’s work just like the rest of us. Some of these jobs are so difficult or complex that only the most elite dogs can perform their daily tasks.
Here are some of the jobs dogs have that show just how amazing our canine companions are.
K-9 Police Dog
Police dog’s, also called K-9 dogs, are likely the most loved member of any police force. Aside from being a fan-favorite in their local towns, K-9’s are so elite, that most dogs fail to complete training. Police dogs in any department are assigned to one specific handler in order to deepen the bonds that form between the two.
Police dog and K-9 units perform a multitude of duties. They can aid in crime scene investigation, illegal substance apprehension, and search and rescue. K-9 also use their universal popularity to help public relations in the police force. They frequently appear in public demonstrations at schools, daycare centers, hospitals, civic organizations, and churches as a way to help police connect with their communities.
Guide Dog or Seeing Eye Dog
To act as the eyes of someone who cannot see is no easy feat. So, it is no surprise that they are some of the most respected dogs in the service animal world. Guide dogs help blind or visually impaired people get around in the world. But what is even more astonishing about these canine companions is, not only do they have to follow a strict set of difficult rules, they also have to learn how to disobey any commands that would put their handlers in danger.
This ability, called selective disobedience, is perhaps the most amazing thing about guide dogs—they can balance obedience with their intuition and assessment of the situation. For example, if the command is to take his or her handler across the street, but a car suddenly speeds by, a guide dog can quickly react and disobey the command for the safety of everyone. Guide dogs are allowed anywhere that the public is allowed, so they can help their handlers be any place they might want to go.
Service and Companion Dogs for Veterans
There are a few different types of service dogs for our wounded warriors, but all of them work in various ways to help veterans restore their physical and emotional independence. If a veteran is disabled, a service dog is trained to do anything he or she can no longer do. Whether it is helping climb stairs, retrieving items that are difficult to retrieve, or alerting the veteran to important sounds, a service dog helps. In addition to physical disabilities, when veterans experience psychological trauma, such as PTSD, companion dogs can also be used to help a veteran restore their independence and reconnect with their families and community. These special companions to our heroes are true multitasking masters that seem capable of anything. Most importantly, they often save the lives of those who serve and save the lives of so many.
Hospital Therapy Dog
Many hospitals employ specialized therapy dogs to help patients in the healing process. Therapy dogs don’t require as rigorous of training as other working dogs and don’t need to work every day. However, their job is beneficial to the health and healing of patients. These dogs visit with patients, play with children, and provide comfort to the sick and terminally ill. Health professionals and scientists claim that hospital therapy dogs boost chemicals in the brain that helps patients heal, and provide much-needed social interaction to any patient that is feeling isolated.
While we love our pets and four-legged family, it is easy to see why there is a true appreciation for working dogs and canine companions. Not only are they intelligent and loyal, but also they help people heal, get healthy, enjoy life, and keep a community safe. Thank you service dogs!