July 14, 2024

While most dogs are considered to be just mere companions, other dogs have more specific roles and duties that they perform. Working dogs typically have natural characteristics that are specially honed with rigorous training to do a specific job. Dog breed organizations and kennel clubs categorize certain breeds into working groups. While these breeds conventionally worked (like guarding or herding), today those dogs may or may not do these specific jobs. Ideally, many dog tasks can be performed by multiple breeds as well as mixed-breed dogs.

Below are some types of working dogs and the tasks they are assigned to do.

Service Dogs

Assistance or service dogs are working dogs that have been trained to help individuals. The Americans with Disability Act has specific rules regarding service dogs as well as their rights and privileges in different settings. An assistance dog is trained to act accordingly in different types of situations, so the dog can travel with its owner everywhere they go. Emotional support dogs and therapy dogs are not considered to be assistance dogs.

Some examples of assistance dogs include:

  • Hearing dogs for people with hearing impairments
  • Seizure dogs and other medical-assistance dogs
  • Mobility-assistance dogs
  • Guide dogs for persons with visual impairments

Dog breeds commonly used as service dogs include the German shepherd, standard poodle, Labrador retriever, and golden retriever.

Therapy Dogs

Animal-assisted therapy involves the use of trained and certified dogs as part of a person’s course of treatment. Therapy dogs provide emotional support to injured or ailing people, often visiting nursing homes and hospitals. They also visit daycare centers and schools to aid in teaching kids about dogs.

Dogs of any age, size, and breed can become therapy dogs. However, they must have the right training, socialization, and temperament. Therapy dogs must be non-fearful, well-trained, well-socialized, and even-tempered. If you are looking to start an animal business at home, you can look for a animal franchises for sale.

Police Dogs

Police dogs also referred to as K-9s, are trained to help law enforcement officers in their line of duty. Police dogs also protect the lives of their handlers. They can hold and chase down criminal suspects who attempt to flee from custody. In certain instances, police dogs may be trained to sniff out banned substances. These dogs are sometimes referred to as detection dogs.

The most common dog breeds used as K-9s include Belgian Malinois and German shepherds.

Military Dogs

Closely related to police dogs, military dogs help soldiers and other members of the military in their line of duty. These dogs may be used as scouts, sentries, trackers, and detectors. And they can also be used in search and rescue operations.

Most military dogs are Belgian Malinois, Dutch shepherds, and German shepherds.

Detection Dogs

Detection dogs have brilliant senses of smell and can be easily motivated using positive reinforcement. A detection dog is trained to sniff out a specific substance. The most common types of substances that detect dogs are trained to sniff out include human remains, blood, explosives, and illegal drugs. Some detection dogs can also be trained to detect animal feces, certain kinds of insects (like bed bugs), irregular blood sugar levels and certain types of cancer. Detection dogs are also used in health care, wildlife biology, and law enforcement. One of the earliest uses of detection dogs is in truffle hunting.

The most common dog breeds used as detection dogs include golden retrievers, Labrador retrievers, and beagles.

Search and Rescue Dogs

Search and rescue dogs have amazing agility. They also have a good sense of smell and hearing. These dogs service in various fields, including cadaver location, disaster rescue, specialized search and tracking.

The most common dog breeds used in search and rescue operations include German shepherds, Leonbergers, border collies, golden retrievers, and Labrador retrievers.

Herding dogs

Herding dogs work with different types of livestock, like cattle and sheep. A herding dog must be a specific breed of dog and must belong to a herding breed group. But, not all herding dogs are born for the job. Some need some extra training, while others are better equipped to serve as companion dogs. Dogs that qualify to become herding dogs can also participate in dog herding trials.