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The Working Dog

Throughout history, dogs have been used for various purposes. Some are great hunters, others are wonderful companions, while still others herd and others guard home and hearth. In our modern society, we often don’t need a dog to do any of these functions. Today dogs are our mostly companions and some others canine working animals.

Were you aware that dogs come in more than 400 different breed types worldwide? There is much more variation among our friend, the dog, than in any other species of mammal known today. The variety of available dog types to choose from is truly amazing. They come in more sizes, shapes, colors, coat types, abilities and personalities than you could shake a bone at.

The AKC has divided the dog breeds it recognizes into eight different groups. They are the Sporting, Hound, Working, Terrier, Toy, Non-Sporting, Herding and the Miscellaneous group. In each group are dogs that have been breed for a specific use, to help man do a job faster, easier, and more efficiently.

We would like to focus our attention on Working Dogs in general, and are not going to be limited to those breeds that are in the AKC Working Group. Instead are focus is on dogs referred to as the canine working animal. These dogs are not merely pets but learn and perform tasks to aid and assist its human companions and others. Originally The AKC working dog group consisted of dogs used for guard duty, for carrying loads, pulling sleds or carts, herding flocks and for performing water rescues, dogs are now accompanying and assisting humans in many activities. Working dogs are used to sniff out drugs, bombs, bugs, land mines and even cancer. Some aid search and rescue missions, others are guide dogs for the disabled, some are therapy dogs assisting soldiers returning from war and some serve as courthouse dogs.

Although most people know that different types of working dogs exist, what they don’t know is what exactly these dogs are capable of. These dogs use their canine instincts and powerful sense of smell to perform wide variety of jobs. These dogs are known for their strength, courage, loyalty, good temperament, reliability, steadfastness and intelligence – all needed for the immense tasks they do.

The different types of working dogs:

FARM Dogs–still invaluable to sheep and cattle handlers, they help round up sheep and cattle and, accompany the farmer on various tasks.

GUARD Dogs–highly trained and on alert at all times, watching for intruders and protecting property.

POLICE DOGS–trained to assist officers in making arrests or investigating the scene of a crime. Some are even trained for anti-terrorist unit.

SNIFFER DOGS–trained to detect explo-sives, chemicals, and illegal drugs. Some are even used in medical research to sniff out cancer.

CADAVER DOGS–used to detect the smell of bodies or human remains at disas-ter areas, accident sites, and crime scenes.

TRACKER DOGS–trained to locate missing persons, lost persons, or crimi-nal suspects.

SERVICE DOGS–help people with vari-ous disabilities in everyday tasks.

THERAPY DOGS–used by the injured, the ill, the handicapped, to provide com-panionship and also give people a sense of hope and well being.

DOGS OF WAR–used in secret military missions, including assistance in mine detection, search, and as guard dogs.

THERAPY DOGS–used by the injured, the ill, the handicapped, to provide com-panionship and also give people a sense of hope and well being.

DOGS OF WAR–used in secret military missions, including assistance in mine detection, search, and as guard dogs.

RESCUE DOGS–dogs used to search, find and rescue people in or after a disaster. Dogs have been used through times past to help people in all kinds of situation and peril. It is not surprising that we call these faithful, courageous and intelligent creatures “man’s best friend?”

Archana Asokan
Staff Writer



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