Dogs With Jobs

  • 09/04/2020
dog-with-job.jpgMaybe part of the reason dogs are known as man’s best friend is that they’re willing to work as hard as we do?

Helping Children Testify

Getting children who’ve been victims of crime to open up is not easy and getting them to tell their story to a jury can be incredibly traumatic.

To help kids overcome their fear and shame, some courtrooms are starting to employ comfort dogs, canine companions who sit or stand alongside little victims to soothe them and bolster their spirits.

Working as Lifeguards

When crowds start filling the beaches over the summer months, lifeguards’ jobs become exponentially more difficult. But a single rescuer and a specially trained dog can help three people simultaneously, provided those in need are all conscious.

A special school in Italy trains several different breeds for this activity but Golden Retrievers, Labradors, and Newfoundlands are the best suited. They’re seen as friendly by most people and are all superb swimmers, with more water-resistant fur and, in the case of the Newfoundland, webbed paws.

Their calm temperaments are also an important factor since it’s easy to panic in a rescue situation and the ability to stay composed is a valuable tool.

Hunting Truffles

Truffles are valuable because they’re so difficult to find. Ripe ones are best located by scent, and that’s where dogs come in!

Those picked before their time have less flavour and thus less value than the ones found at peak readiness, and with rarer varieties fetching as much as US$2 000 per pound, dogs are helping to maintain a very lucrative market.

Without them the price of these fungi would rise even more, becoming accessible only to those born wealthy, people who’ve recently won big in an online Blackjack NZ game, or entrepreneurs who’ve found massive success in their professions!

But it’s not all about the money, and dogs, with their very sensitive noses and eager-to-please attitudes, find truffle-hunting a fun, fulfilling pastime. Often, dogs accompany horse riders to find these nuggets and are trained to run alongside until they pick up the scent, giving them both exercise and a real purpose.

Lagotto Romagnolos are the most popular breed for this job in Europe. They’re an ancient type of Water Retriever, but have been selectively bred over the years for their noses and are now the official Truffle Hunters of Italy.


In the same way that human law enforcement officers need to have a particular temperament, police dogs need to be a special kind of dog. These animals come from generations specifically bred to perform the complicated tasks they’re required to accomplish.

The most popular breeds are the Belgian Malinois, the German Shepherd, the Bloodhound, Dutch Shepherds, and Labrador Retrievers. These breeds are preferable because of their strong work ability, their extreme desire to cooperate with their handlers, and, sometimes, their tenacity and aggression when it’s needed.

Some dogs in law-enforcement are single-purpose animals, others are trained to perform a variety of tasks. These can include, but are not limited to, apprehension, detection, and search and rescue. Their bravery is incredible and they’re more than willing to put their lives on the line and do what needs to be done to protect their human partners.

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