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Jobs for Dogs: People Are Not The Only Working Species

Updated on August 20, 2015
Kristine Manley profile image

Kris Manley is a blogger, author, and speaker. She's a guest on radio in the U.S., Canada, and overseas, as well as a guest on network TV.

Service Dogs - where and how they work.

When we speak of the working class we normally speak about humans, but our canine friends will "beg" to differ with us - OK, I couldn't resist the word, beg. You don't hear much about "Pet Employment," but humans have been employing pets / dogs for years. The pay is very much acceptable to the pet / dog. They get a free place to live, plenty of hugs and kisses, doggie treats, free meals, free transportation, free baths, free day care, free dental care, and free health care.

Let's take a look at areas of "employment" for dogs.

  1. Therapy Dogs - These dogs must have a temperament that is conducive to being around people, and to be able to be handled awkwardly, at times. Temperament is more important than the breed chosen. These dogs must be gentle, friendly, and patient. Therapy dogs provide comfort and affection to people with disabilities, people in retirement homes, people in hospitals, people who have been in disasters and are in nursing homes. Therapy dogs are also trained to be wonderful with children. These dogs come in all breeds and sizes and need to get along with other animals. I find it very soothing and calming to pet an animal.
  2. Herding Dogs - These dogs are also called Working Dogs, Stock Dogs, or Pastoral Dogs. They often take commands from whistles or from a word command. These dogs primarily herd, sheep, cattle, or goats. Breeds for a Herding Dog include Border Collies, Australian Shepherds, and Shetland Sheepdogs. Herding dogs can be found in Australia, the U.S., and New Zealand just to name a few countries.
  3. Protective Services Dogs - These jobs go more so to the German Shepherd and to the Doberman - go figure, but there are other breeds who protect as well. German Shepherds are known to really sense the needs of their owners and to respond to those needs. These dogs provide personal protection, protection of estates, or are canine police. These dogs can also be trained to sniff out bombs and are used in Military operations.
  4. Personal Service Dogs - These service dogs work for people who have particular disabilities. For people who are deaf, these dogs can assist them by letting them know when the phone rings or when the doorbell rings, or when a buzzer goes off if they are cooking. These dogs can assist as Seizure Alert dogs pressing a type of button to call for medical help if their owner is in distress. These dogs can also be the arms and legs of their owners by reaching and bringing items to them. We can't forget about the Seeing Eye dog who most certainly has to perform many functions for their owners.
  5. Search & Rescue Dogs - These dogs are deployed in national and state emergencies and disasters, at crime scenes as cadaver dogs, and as lifeguards. Lifeguard dogs are so fascinating because they will jump out of a speeding boat, helicopters, and they can pull small rafts and bouies. Search & Rescue dogs need to be 66 pounds or more in weight, and popular breeds for this type of work include Newfoundlands, Golden Retrievers, and Labradors - these breeds of dog love to swim and fetch things and are strong.
  6. Sled Dogs - These dogs are employed in cold climates with a lot of snow. The types of dogs include Samoyed, Siberian Husky, and Alaskan Malamute. These dogs must have speed and endurance and be able to work in a team.

Dogs go beyond the title of being man's best friend.


Where and how to get dogs certified as Service Dogs in the U.S.

A Service Dog is a dog that assists its owner who has a disability, per the American Disabilities Act (ADA). Here is the U.S. there is the National Association of Service Dogs, a non-profit agency that is nationally recognized and can professionally certify dogs and other animals to assist individuals with disabilities. After certification, your dog will be issued a patch from the association and you, as the dog owner, will be given a membership card with a membership number and an expiration date on the membership card. Your dog's patch can be placed on a vest that you, the dog owner, has purchased or made yourself. When an individual takes their service animal in a place of business, the business owner and patrons want to be sure that the animal is truly a service animal. Service dogs are allowed to enter public places with their owners.

Where and how to get dogs certified as Service Dogs in Australia and other countries.

If you live in Australia, there is an organization called A.W.A.R.E. Dogs Australia. This organization is a non-profit with a goal to train dogs for those individuals with disabilities. There is another organization called International Association of Assistance Dog Partners (IAADP) with the same mission as A.W.A.R.E. Dogs Australia.



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    • Kristine Manley profile image

      Donna Kristine 5 years ago from Atlanta, GA

      Hi Jangaplanet, I love dogs; they are such great pets. They are comforting when you pet them.

    • Jangaplanet profile image

      A Ercoli 5 years ago

      Hi Kristine Manley,

      It is a great way for canines to use some energy of their natural instinct.

      What I find interesting are -Therapy dogs, which I find are ambassadors of goodwill. And what fascinates me about these Dogs are how they provide comfort, as you stated also - hospitals, nursing homes, psychiatric wards, or wherever they may help provide some happiness and social contentment. Great hub, Up & Interesting. Thanks again for Sharing Kristine Manley.

    • Kristine Manley profile image

      Donna Kristine 6 years ago from Atlanta, GA

      Hi onegoodwoman, I love dogs. We need to toot their horns more, since they can't do it themselves. SMILE

    • onegoodwoman profile image

      onegoodwoman 6 years ago from A small southern town

      What a great article!

      I have often said that my dog, Murphy,

      understands the command, " you're on duty".....

      but my daughter and her dog are certified

      as a " search and rescue" and "cadaver" team.

      They serve us well!

      Thanks for testifying to the worth of a dog....and their their people partners.