Doing The Ruff Work

As we all know, dogs are one of the greatest blessings that we have on this earth. They are always waiting for us with a wagging tail when we get home, always there to snuggle when we don't feel good, and truly do anything they can for us. Many dogs have even been given titles and roles in our society because they are responsible, respectable, and lovable creatures that have only one goal: to live their best life and serve their companion. Dogs have been devoted workers from what some scientists say to be 40,000 years.[1] Back then, they were used to fight other beasts that may attack their human or used in hunting, but today dogs can be used for anything and everything. Dogs are trained now to be emotional support animals and seeing-eye dogs. There are so many tasks that dogs can perform we can't possibly fit it all into one article, so here are 3 jobs that are held by our tail-wagging companions:

Herding Dogs

Shepherds have been assisted by different breeds of dogs to help herd livestock for generations. When dogs first became domesticated, their instinct was to corner an animal and eat it. It took years of training and domestication to keep them from mauling the livestock. Certain breeds of dogs have been bred for this type of work, and it has become a part of their genetic makeup.[2] While a lot of dogs are companion dogs now, collies, shepherds, and sheepdogs still have the urge to herd. Some dogs even take it upon themselves to herd people, especially small children around. When people say “it’s in their blood,” this is especially true with naturally born herders. They’re meant to be leaders and outsmart their surroundings. Herders are still needed on ranches and in fields across the world. There are many breeds of herding dogs out there, but here are two of the most well-known breeds used for herding:

Old English Sheepdog

Old English Sheepdog

Border Collie

Border Collie

Sled Dogs

Dog sledding is a traditional mode of transportation that dates back thousands of years in the arctic regions. Sled dogs are used to transport medicine, supplies, and mail. Teams of sled dogs usually contain eight sled dogs, including a lead dog, and a musher. The lead dog comes first, and the swing dogs follow. The swing dogs are the dogs that help when the pack turns. After the swing dogs come the team dogs, which are generally the ones that provide the speed and momentum for the team. Lastly comes the wheel dogs, which are usually the biggest dogs that bring up the rear.  A musher is a person who is in charge of the dogs. They are called mushers because the sport of dog sledding is also known as mushing. The dogs required for this job need to be strong, dependable, have a large coat and used to the nature of negative one-hundred-degree weather. There are many breeds of dogs that can be used in these times of conditions, but the two most common are: [3]


Alaskan Malamute

Alaskan Malamute

Siberian Husky

Siberian Husky

Search and Rescue Dogs (SAR Dogs)

There are two types of rescue dogs, tracking dogs and air scent dogs. The tracking dogs are the dogs used in missing person cases. The dogs are taken to the last place the person was seen and they pick up skin particles from the lost human in an attempt to track them down. Tracking dogs are usually called in if a person goes missing in time-sensitive situations and before law enforcement send out search parties. If a search party is called in, dogs are almost always a part of the team.  The second type of SAR dog is an air scent dog. Air scent dogs track people by scent, the same as a tracking dog but instead of going to the place they were last seen, they are taken to an area where the officials believe the missing person to be close by. These dogs can smell people who have been trapped under fifteen feet of snow because their noses are a very powerful and useful tool to society.[4] Dogs have been known for saving the lives of thousands of missing people in abduction cases and after natural disasters. These are two of the most well-known dogs for SAR missions:

Labrador Retrievers

Labrador Retrievers

Bloodhound

Bloodhound