Thousands and thousands of years ago, before humans herded cows, before we raised chickens, and even before we began to cultivate wheat or rice — we became unlikely friends with another species: Wild wolves.
It’s unknown whether it was 10,000 or 30,000 years ago that humans domesticated wolves into “man’s best friend.” But one thing is clear: At that time — just as now — we needed dogs to help us. Dogs were bred and raised for specific jobs that assisted early humans and allowed both species to survive and thrive.
Today, dogs continue to help humans in myriad ways. Here are just a few of the amazing jobs that dogs have in our world.
Herding dogs like border collies are trained to herd animals like sheep and sometimes cows. These dogs run, steer, and group large numbers of animals at a time to get them in and out of pens, pastures, and barns.
Police dogs are specifically trained for various police duties. Often, their core use lies with their nose and smelling abilities. They may be trained to sniff out guns, bombs, drugs, or even missing individuals. Police dogs also help chase down criminals or suspects on the run. Their speed, growls, and attacking abilities can keep officers safer on the job.
One of ancient dogs’ main jobs was guarding and keeping humans safe from harm. Today’s guard dogs do the same things. Some of the best guard dogs are Akitas, Bullmastiffs, German Shepherds, and Dobermans. These dogs alert homeowners or business owners of thieves or intruders. They are obedient and can be trained to ensure they do not get violent with the wrong people.
Search & Rescue Dogs
Like police dogs, search and rescue dogs are trained to use their amazing noses. More than sight or hearing, dogs’ abilities to smell make them outstanding at tracking other humans or animals. Search and rescue dogs can get the scent of a specific human from just a piece of clothing and sniff out where that person had been and even what direction they were going.
Since World War II, dogs have been working with American troops on missions throughout the world. They act in many different capacities — for example, they may be bomb detectors, scouts, trackers, sentries, and more. Dogs also act as wonderful morale for the troops.
Service dogs come in all forms. Some act as seeing eye dogs for the blind, allowing those with sight problems to get around with ease. Other service dogs work with individuals who have other sensory or physical ailments, and some even work with those who struggle with mental issues like autism.
No Matter Your Dog’s Job — Make Sure He’s Healthy
Of course, the dogs listed above are professionals, and as such, many of them have their own vets on staff to monitor their health and take care of illness or complications (for example, police dogs, search & rescue dogs, and military dogs).
For the rest of us, it’s important to take our pets to the vet on a regular basis. If you haven’t made an appointment for your dog recently, make one today. Call us at Sunset Veterinary Clinic and we’d be happy to get your dog on the books for a checkup!