The term ‘work like a dog’ is true. Dogs can work in many different jobs. Their most common job is to bring joy to lonely people, families and children. In most cases, these working dogs are paid in love. Here are a few examples of working dogs.
When you hear the phrase ‘working dogs’ you think of farm dogs. These are the original working dogs. They have a natural instinct for working livestock and herding sheep. My Corgi loved rounding up the lawnmower and vacuum cleaner.
Dog breeds that are associated with this type of working dog are:
Welsh Collie, Border Collie, Shetland Sheepdog, Pembroke Welsh Corgi, Cardigan Welsh Corgi. The Australian Kelpie originated from the old British working Collie. The Australian Cattledog is also known as Blue Heeler, Red Heeler and Queensland Heeler.
The use of motorcycles instead of working dogs on a property has become more popular but nothing can replace a trained working dog.
People think that their dog is a guard dog because he barks (refer my article ‘To Bark or Not to Bark – That is the Question’). These dogs are working dogs but are really watch dogs. They bark to warn. A guard dog is a working dog who is trained and employed to retrain or attack an intruder.
Most common dog breeds used for this kind of working dog are:
Doberman, Rottweiler, German Shepherd, Bullmastiff and American Bulldog.
These working dogs are trained specifically to assist Police in various areas.
Public Order Enforcement – trained to chase and detain suspects.
Illicit Substances Dogs – (sniffer dogs) detect illicit substances e.g. drugs, explosives. These working dogs are also used by Customs to sniff out illegal importation of wildlife, plants etc.
These working dogs are mainly Beagles.
Cadaver dogs – Because dogs have an acute sense of smell they can detect the odour of decomposing bodies.
Tracking – Locate suspects or find missing people. Bloodhounds are mainly used.
Guide Dogs – Companion Dogs
These working dogs aren’t trained just to assist the blind. They can be used as companions to children and adults who are disabled, old, vision and hearing impaired, isolated.
It takes nearly 2 years to train a pup to become a working dog and includes 5 months of intensive dog training. After about 14 months with a Puppy Raiser, the pup goes to the Guide Dog Centre where he is assessed. If he doesn’t qualify to become a working dog for the Guide Dogs, he is again assessed to become a Pets for Therapy working dog for disadvantaged people. If the pup fails he is then offered to the Puppy Raiser as a pet.
The only dog breeds used are purebred Labradors, Golden Retrievers, Labrador/Golden Retriever crosses because they are calm, loyal and intelligent.
Working dogs are used in a greater capacity today as man realises the benefits of having a canine friend in the workplace.