Dogs at work

I have this running joke with the receptionist at the veterinary office that Reggie needs a job there as a greeter to pay off his vet bills. Some days I’m kind of not kidding. I think Reggie gets the joke because while most of the time he’s pretty good about sitting still while I pay, he occasionally gets up and goes to the door and greets the incoming “guests”! He is a lover…

Lots of dogs do have jobs, real ones. Dogs are used for tracking, scenting, therapy, service, and more. Here’s a look at some of the outstanding jobs dogs can have.

Tracking

Tracking dogs are most frequently seen in police and military lines of work. These are generally the super- smarties of the breed world with excellent sniffers too, usually German Shepherds and Belgian Malinois. Tracking dogs are used for searches such as drugs, dead bodies, bombs, IEDs, even things like foreign produce at airports.

Other police dogs are trained with their teeth, not their noses, to take down fleeing suspects. The point is not harm or maim, but to incapacitate until arrest.

Scenting

Dogs have many unique scenting abilities as well. Jobs such as bed bug sniffing, mold spore sniffing, and cancer detectors have proven useful and effective. Many different breeds have been successful at these jobs.

Therapy

Therapy dogs are different from service dogs. A service dog helps people function, a therapy dog calms people down, eases anxieties. A therapy dog loves everyone. Therapy dogs can perform a variety of functions such as being assist dogs in trials to calm children during testimony, visiting senior living homes (Reggie has done this!), to being present after natural disasters. Therapy dogs do what they do best: just be present and happy to be petted and loved.

Service

Service dogs perform jobs to help people function and heal. Service dogs help the blind and deaf, help our veterans, people with medical disabilities- both physical and mental, and even assist other dogs! I just learned of this organization, Possibility Dogs, that aims to take shelter dogs and train them to be psychiatric service dogs.

Labor

Yep some dogs still do manual labor. Farms do still exist and many dogs herd cattle, sheep, horses, guard the livestock, etc. In colder climates sled dogs make a go of it too- it might be the only way their owner can travel!

TV Star

Is your pooch a real looker? Maybe she can be in a dog food commercial. Or like Uggy and star in the latest and greatest film. Well behaved and good looking dogs can be models and actors just like humans. There are specific talent agencies for dogs, and your dog has to be trained in a specific way so if you think Fido has the touch start working now!

If Fluffy needs to start earning her keep, explore some options there are plenty out there. Reggie needs to work on his greeter skills, he is a little over-zealous at times. But the best job of all- being your couch potato!

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