Dog lovers already know that dogs make their lives better every day. But dogs with jobs have a distinct role in serving their communities. Here are five incredible dogs with jobs that are sure to inspire you.
While many dogs are household pets with unofficial jobs that help their families (Delivery Alert System, Walk Reminder, Chief Snuggle Officer, etc.), some special dogs perform real jobs that uniquely serve their families or communities. Here are a few important jobs dogs can do:
1. Dogs can comfort veterans and service members.
Photo: Warrior Canine Connection
The Warrior Canine Connection trains and matches service dogs to veterans with physical disabilities. These working dogs help veterans and their families heal and return to daily life following their service to the country. The trainers who work with the dogs before they’re placed with their new families are veterans and service members who have experienced Post Traumatic Stress and/or Traumatic Brain Injuries themselves. So the dogs get to work helping people as soon as they start training. Upon graduation, the dogs become lifelong partners for veterans with disabilities, with the important job of providing mobility and social support. See these skilled working dogs in action.
2. Dogs can help people with disabilities.
Oknooshoon has created Armenia’s first therapy dog certification process, a tool they use to give rescue dogs a new life and help people in need. Oknooshoon turns rescue dogs into therapy dogs that work at facilities for youth and individuals with disabilities. After training and certification, these working dogs provide therapeutic interventions, including facilitated group activities. The Oknooshoon team also hosts educational visits with their partner facilities to teach communities how to safely interact with dogs. Through positive human-dog interactions, the organization helps combat stigma against mixed-breed and rescue dogs.
3. Dogs can detect landmines.
Photo: APOPO vzw
In Cambodia, experts estimate that hundreds of thousands of landmines litter the countryside after decades of war, forcing large land areas to remain deserted. That’s why APOPO vzw is training dogs to put their elite noses to work to detect landmines. The dogs are equipped with smart GPS backpacks that transmit images to and allow communication with their human counterparts. The dogs pause when they identify landmines, and humans record the positions so the landmines can be safely disposed of. These dogs with jobs are making the land safe for communities to drill wells and plant crops.
4. Dogs can prevent seizure complications.
Photo: Chelsea Hutchison Foundation
For people with epilepsy, trained seizure response dogs can alert others and summon help when (or even before) seizures occur. The Chelsea Hutchison Foundation (CHF) provides grants to match this kind of service dog with families of people affected by epilepsy. Besides detecting seizures and getting help, the dogs can carry medicine and even find a safe area for their partner to lie down if needed! Their work can save lives and prevent complications, including Sudden Unexpected Death in Epilepsy.
5. Dogs can protect endangered cheetahs.
Photo: Cheetah Conservation Fund
Ranchers in Namibia have often blamed and killed cheetahs over lost livestock. The Cheetah Conservation Fund breeds and distributes special dogs with the job of protecting goats and other livestock from cheetahs. That keeps both livestock and cheetahs safe. The dogs bond with their human families and alert their herds to approaching predators. Usually, their bark alone scares off predators! See how these special working dogs are saving cheetahs.
Support dogs with jobs that are changing the world
Dogs truly are amazing animals with skills that allow them to serve in impactful roles beyond their family member statuses. And they need our support to continue their world-changing work. Help and celebrate working dogs by supporting one of the projects above, or explore other dog-related projects around the world to find one you love.
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