Dogs serve many roles. They give us unconditional love. Encourage us to be active. And, according to some scientific studies, actually make us more attractive. However, dogs also play an important role in the safety and health of our everyday lives. Working dogs, from rescue dogs to guide dogs, are performing vital tasks that humans couldn’t do alone. Many canines in this group were initially bred to carry out duties that are no longer needed in today’s world, such as hunting lions or protecting royalty, but serving a modern need has given them an outlet to use their genetic gifts. Below, we look at some of the jobs that dogs are performing today.
Certified to assist those with disabilities, service dogs go through months of special training to perform tasks such as being a guide dog for those with visual impairments, helping people with limited mobility, detecting seizures, and more. Golden Retrievers, Labrador Retrievers, Poodles, German Shepherds, and the popular Doodle breeds are commonly utilized for these services.
While similar to service dogs, therapy dogs are often used as part of a patient’s medical therapeutic plan, usually providing emotional support to those who are injured or ill. They may visit hospitals or nursing homes and can be seen educating children about therapy dogs at school. No matter the size or breed, any dog can become a therapy dog as long as it has the proper training, temperament, and socialization skills.
It is usually a German Shepard, Rottweiler, Doberman Pinscher, or a Belgian Malinois that you will see wearing a K9-Unit police vest. These dogs need to be fast and robust enough to assist police officers in the line of duty, often chasing down suspects. Not only are they trained to protect their human handlers, but these tough dogs are skilled in holding down or cornering suspects until law enforcement arrives.
Like police dogs, these canines assist law enforcement, but with their nose. Dogs have been used for their sense of smell for centuries; however, instead of sniffing for game or truffles, they now look for drugs, explosives, and other dangerous materials. The medical field is taking note, training dogs to detect cancer and low blood sugar levels. The breeds often in this group consist of those known for their sensitive snouts, including Beagles, Bloodhounds, Golden Retrievers, and Labrador Retrievers.
Dogs must have three key characteristics in search-and-rescue situations – an exceptional sense of smell, outstanding hearing, and agility. Labrador Retrievers, Golden Retrievers, Border Collies, Leonbergers, and German Shepherds are often relied on for these tasks and have been utilized in many life-or-death situations.
Perhaps the longest-running and still vital working task for a dog is herding. These intelligent and quick dogs work with various types of livestock and are usually part of the herding group – Border Collies, Icelandic Sheepdogs, and King Shepherds.
Service Dogs Giving Veterans a New Leash On Life
We appreciate all working dogs and everything they do for us, as well as the organizations that provide service dogs to those in need. One in particular we’d like to give a special shoutout to, Veteran’s Moving Forward, Inc. is a nonprofit organization that provides dogs and canine therapy services to veterans with physical and/or mental health challenges at no cost to the veterans or their family. This is an amazing organization working to improve the lives or our veterans in need of service, emotional support, therapy or skilled companion dogs.
Working Dogs Need a Proper Diet
Working dogs make great companions, as they have been bred to be loyal, obedient, and intelligent, but having a job is in their blood. They need regular physical and mental stimulation and often require some training. Working dogs also are always on the go and need a complete and balanced diet. Many of these breeds also have sensitive stomachs. These factors make it vital to feed them the proper nutrition. Our NOBL canine food bars are ideal for these active breeds, as they not only deliver high-quality, highly digestible food but require no thawing, rehydration, or bowl – making them an easy grab for the dog on the go. In addition, our Dog Almighty Elixirs are great for dogs who need the utmost mobility support, with a blend of collagen peptides, L-carnitine, vitamins, and minerals created to help maintain healthy bone and joint function. Check out our line of products and see how we can help support your dog’s healthy and active lifestyle.