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Dogs are Amazing

Updated on April 7, 2014

Dogs are Amazing

I had my first dog when I was about four years old it was a German Shepherd or an Alsatian could be a mix blend of the two, it was a spirited mutt full of boundless energy like most of its breed are known for, I was a little scarred of it considering how it grew into a massive hound but it was gentle with me and a terror to robbers and visitors. Dogs have been domesticated as far back as eight hundred years ago; the carnivorous predator is closely related to the bush dog, coyote, wolf and fox and by nature are pack animals that run an alpha male/female hierarchy.

Something about dogs

Dogs are carnivorous four legged animals with long snouts/ ears and are covered in fur and general have tails, this description is general but because of selective breeding we have some with shot ears, short tails and even hairless dogs. They come in various sizes from the massive bull hybrids towering five feet, to dainty small dogs that can fit into a hand bag like an accessories.

They prefer meat but have been known to eat almost anything we consume making them honorary omnivores, they range in color from pure black, white, spotted shades of different hues of colors, brownish red, red, brown, grey and blue!. Dogs can live very long productive lives like my last two dogs that lived ten and fifteen years before they give-up the ghost, but some aren’t that lucky because of inbreeding, genetic factors and pedigree they may be prone to illness like liver/kidney disease, blindness, lung infections and arthritis.

In a recent Boston Globe publication a man Mile taking his beagle for a walk, both dog and owner got hit by a car the man had two broken legs and was unconscious, the injured dog limped to a pharmacy and began barking alerting the owners to its presence then leading them back to the unconscious man, coincidence or not the dog probably saved Miles life.

Dog and human integration

We have integrated dogs into the social fabric and our daily lives to the extent of offering them employment and salaries like human beings, some example of working dogs that collect monthly paychecks are performance dogs in movies, police dogs that guard protect and patrol our roads, seeing eye dogs that are constant companions to the handicap, sniffer dogs at our borders relying on their acute sense of smell to detect illicit drugs and weapons.

Some dogs like the komondor or sheepdog is trained to work livestock like sheep or cattle as herds or guards against straying and theft, there are service oriented dogs, personal assistants, some pull farm carts or sled dogs while others are drafted as companions for the weak and elderly. Listed beneath are several jobs performed by dogs.

Image of a large Dog

Image of a  large dog
Image of a large dog | Source

Jobs done by dogs

1 Search and recue because of their long snouts and acute smelling nose, search and recue dogs are well trained in the art of detection, they can detect someone buried in snow after an avalanche, lost in wilderness or woodland areas, under debris in the case of earthquake or structural deficiency in buildings and to locate corpses.

2 Guarding comes easily to dogs because of their braveness and territorial instincts, they have a formidable assortment of weaponry they can deploy if confronted by an intruder like their talons, long jagged teeth, vicious claws, nocturnal adaptable eye sight, smell, agility, loud bark and courage.

3 Pulling/ cart dogs are usually the large more powerful dog like the Huskies, Bernese, Saint Bernard’s that carry out this difficult task, we rely on their immense strength to pull farm yields, wood, people and supplies over difficult terrain.

4 Cadaver dogs are primarily used to detect dead or buried people, they can detect very faint odors from several feet in the ground, they can be used during search and recue operations such as natural disasters or to find missing persons. Their job may be morbid but they can account for countless lives that have been saved.

5 Hunting dogs usually help hunters locate prey like fox, reindeer or birds by either chasing the prey and herding it to its handler or finding already killed prey such as squirrels, hedgehogs and other rodents.

6 Grey hounds are well adapted to racing and are the fastest dog we know, their slim slender bodies high endurance and amazing speed make them the top racing dogs, and they earn money for their handlers much the same way thorough bred race horses do during racing tours.

7 Police hounds general are referred to as police officers, they are ranked and given assignments like detection of firearms, drugs or illegal goods, they are used during demonstrations/ riots while some are search and rescue experts. Dogs like bullmastiff, German shepherd’s, Doberman pincher are good example of police dogs.

8 Care giver dogs take good care of the handicap like the Seeing Eye dog, hearing dog, companion for the sick and elderly. Dogs that have cool calm temperaments and personalities like Labradors, mongrels, mixed bred dogs and even Alsatians fall into this category.

9 Some dogs are used for entertainment when magicians use them in magic tricks, in circus acts some are professional actors that grace our screens, some can be found in Broadway shows.

10 Military dogs can be used as first aid couriers, to deliver vital information under extreme conditions; they are very versatile dogs and can be used for combat, guard duty, comfort and detection of military hardware like mines.

Just to mention a few common dogs

1 Pit pull

2 Black Russian terrier

3 American akita

4 Airedale

5 Bull dog

6 German shepherd

7 Labrador retriever

8 Bolognese

9 Afghan hound

10 Affen pincher

11 Boston terrier

12 Basset hound

13 Griffon

14 Billy

15 Blue lacy

16 Hairless terrier

17 Beagle and many more.

Dog breeds

There are very few dogs that could be referred to as true hounds or pure breeds, we have over centuries interfered with their natural evolution through selective breeding. Selective breeding has resulted in mix breed, hybrid, and full breed giving the dog’s extreme differences in temperament, appearance and behavior. The dogs sometimes are bred for specific purposes categorizing them into work animals, pet and comfort dogs or guard dogs according to their size ability and function.

We can classify them according to their designation either work dogs, guard dogs, companion dogs, show/toy dogs like the Chihuahua, I will only take a few of the breeds because of the in-exhaustive list of dogs around today, many countries have their breeding programs that have developed interesting dogs.

Types of dogs

Guard dogs
Pet dogs
toy dogs
pitbull
labrador retriver
chihuahua
Basset hound
American Beagle
Hairless terrier
German Sherpherd
Boston terrier
 

Physical and physiological benefits of pet dogs

Pet dogs are the most common types of dogs in our household, they are our constant companion’s protectors and friends, pet dogs have other underling benefits apart from the acceptable norm some of which are.

Reduces stress

Stress associated factors are greatly reduced because of the emotional dependability of pet dogs, they comfort us in our time of need and offer total loyalty and friendship, this languid feeling is brought about by oxytocin which is a mammalian hormone secreted by the posterior pituitary gland that drives the feeling of love and affection. This feeling of well being can be found in the companionship and playfulness of pet dogs.

Image of a white Dog

Image of a white Dog
Image of a white Dog | Source

Exercise and health

Dogs have boundless energy of playfulness and need their daily walks or exercise to prevent grouchiness, keeping up with a hyperactive dog can be good for both dog and owner which may lead to a general workout for the dog handler with unexpected results and benefit through exercise while performing this simple task. Close proximity to pet dogs have been known to reduce the prevalence of asthma, hay fever, depression and add to general well being. Pet dogs are good companions when you need a little jog, brisk walk or run, most dogs thrive on outside adventures and physical exercise at least once a day.

Pet dogs as educational tool

Pet dogs often fascinate young children and are used sometime as teaching aids; dogs have been depicted in story books, visual presentations, cartoons, comic books and television dramas mainly because of their different characteristics appearance and behavior. They open children to imagination, exploration, study and association by developing their confidence and sense of wonder.

Dogs as antidepressants

Depression is a debilitating state of the mind which could lead to serious health consequences like stress, high blood pressure, stroke, and suicidal tendencies or in some extreme cases death, scientists found out that the presence of a domestic pet and its comforting presence can help reduce depression. Animal’s general help in some way improve young children’s self confidence whether it’s a gold fish, cat, rabbit, bird, guinea pig or dog they need tending, care, feeding and grooming. Taking care of another living thing that solely depends on the owner improves the persons self confidence, this holds more true for children.

Pet dogs as guard dogs

Even the smallest dog would guard its owner with its life; they by nature are territorial so your home becomes part of their estate so they would defend that area jealously. Some pet dogs double as guard dogs against robbers and unwanted intruders by using their super sensitive nose and ears they can pickup the slightest odd ball sound at night. Throughout the night I can hear my dog outside tirelessly patrol the entire perimeter of the building, this protective instinct is inbuilt and comes natural to them.

In conclusion

In our modern day life style the economic and socio cultural significance of dogs in our everyday life cannot be quantified. They build self confidence in children; protect us from harm and danger, aid physical, emotional and mental development. They are our constant companions and help us do difficult task we would not have been able to accomplish without their assistance such as during search and rescue operation. They entertain us are part of our border security assist the aged, sick and handicap and are part of our police force, dogs have been with us over eight hundred years and seem to confirm the notion that the dog is mans best friend.

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