Dogs are best friends for life. They cheer you up, calm you down, and help ease your workload with their unique abilities. Some dogs help gather, some help in herding, while others work to serve dog owners and even protect the country.
A short history of working dogs
Historically, dogs were companions in times of war and hunts.
In the Middle Ages, dogs were often equipped with plate or chain armor as they were used to harass enemy troops and their horses.
During Elizabethan times, mastiffs were used as watchdogs and for bull, bear, and lion baiting. In 1525, King Henry VIII shipped 400 Mastiffs to Spain as a gift to the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V to support him in the war against France.
These days, mastiffs are more likely to be police dogs for law enforcement purposes.
Bloodhounds have potent noses, so DEA agents and the police usually use them in searches for narcotics and other illegal drugs.
German Shepherds, Doberman Pinschers, and Rottweilers are used as police dogs as they are more obedient, calm, and have the right amount of aggression to defend against potentially dangerous individuals.
Other dogs help pest exterminators detect bed bugs.
Common types of working dog breeds
Any dog breed, whether purebred or mixed breed, can usually do several canine jobs.
Here are some working dogs and the jobs they perform.
In animal-assisted therapy, trained and certified animals are part of a patient’s therapeutic plan.
Therapy dogs offer sick or injured people emotional support whenever they visit hospitals and nursing homes.
Sometimes, these dogs even visit schools or daycare centers so children learn about them.
Dogs can help in therapy, provided they have the appropriate instinct, temperament, socialization, and training.
To be certified as a therapy dog, it should be calm, sociable, fearless, and well-trained. Common therapy dogs are Golden Retrievers, Border Collies, Standard Poodles, and Labrador Retrievers.
Professional pest control services use specially trained bed bug detection dogs to locate infestations.
These dogs have an excellent sense of smell and can even detect illnesses like cancer and abnormal blood sugar levels.
Usually, these dogs are used to sniff out explosives, drugs, blood, and human remains.
Some dogs are even trained to sniff out insects like bed bugs and are trained to work with a K-9 bed bug detection unit.
These dogs work with various types of livestock, like sheep and cattle.
Herding dogs, however, are the dogs that are born and bred for the job of herding other animals and can even compete in dog herding trials.
These herding dogs are usually Border Collies, King Shepherds, and Icelandic Sheepdogs.
These dogs are employed to protect farm animals, specifically sheep, given their heightened vulnerability to predators, with fencing alone proving insufficient for their safeguarding.
The usual breeds for this job include Great Pyrenees, Border Collies, and Australian Cattle Dogs, among others, as they are generally very gentle to farm animals but can be aggressive to predators and vocally intimidate or attack as needed.
Trained service dogs help people with visual or hearing impairments, as well as people with mobility issues and people who have seizures or other medical needs.
Trained service dogs assist people with disabilities.
Well-trained assistance dogs are allowed access to any place their handler goes and can be helpful in public places.
Examples of service dogs include:
- Dogs that guide people with visual impairments.
- Dogs trained to aid those with hearing impairments.
- Dogs providing mobility assistance.
- Dogs trained to help people with seizures and other medical needs.
For this type of work, breeds like the Standard Poodle, German Shepherd, Golden Retriever, and Labrador Retriever take the spotlight as they are some of the most intelligent and friendliest dog breeds.
Military working dogs
These dogs assist members of the military. They can be used as detectors, sentries, trackers, and scouts.
Working dogs also accompany search and rescue teams. The usual military working dogs are German Shepherds, Belgian Malinois, and Dutch Shepherds.
Often called K-9s, police dogs are specially trained to assist members of the police force and to protect their handlers.
Usually, these dogs are trained to chase down and hold criminal suspects who run from the police. German Shepherds and Belgian Malinois are the usual breeds for this line of work.
Search and rescue dogs
Dogs with great agility and exceptional smell and hearing do this job. Search and rescue dogs are often Border Collies, Leonbergers, Labrador and Golden Retrievers, and German Shepherds.
As dogs with extensive training, they fulfill roles in different areas, such as specialized search, tracking, cadaver retrieval, and avalanche rescue.
Even small dogs can help protect your property.
Guard dogs are used to protect the territory or the owner. They should be very loyal and are often used by the military or police.
The usual breeds for this job include Akita, Bull Mastiff, Doberman pinscher, Great Dane, and German Shepherd — highly trainable, intelligent, loyal, and muscular dogs.
Humans are lucky
Dogs are smart, highly trainable, and versatile creatures. Humans are fortunate to have them as workmates and family pets.
Whatever these dogs are tasked to do, you can trust they will do their best to accomplish them, including protecting people, serving the country, and even detecting those almost invisible bed bugs.
When you see a dog on duty, shake its paw or salute.
Luqman Butter has been a pest control technician for over 20 years. He is passionate about solving people’s pest and wildlife control problems through innovative, eco-friendly, and humane methods. Luqman currently works for Pestend Pest Control. He believes that pest control is a science and feels that his function in his community is essential since he helps people live in peace without causing unnecessary harm to animals.