Dogs are incredible, and although most of us think of them as pets and companions these days, they started their domesticated lives as working dogs, and many still work today. Less often do they pull sleds or protect migrating or nomadic humans, but instead, they are employed in a wide variety of often cool and exciting roles. We all may be familiar with training our dogs, but these expert canines take this to a new level. Check out these five excellent jobs dogs do in today’s world.
Detect Illness & Disease
Dogs have long been known for their keen sense of smell, and this has been apparent in traditional dog jobs such as hunting dogs or police and customs situations where they can smell out drugs or other contraband. But an interesting use of the highly sensitive canine nose has emerged in recent years where sniffer dogs can detect diseases such as cancer using nothing more than a patient’s smell. It has even been considered in the fight against COVID-19, where dogs have been shown to detect the virus with over 85% accuracy. We could see dogs becoming a common barrier against virus spread as international travel opens up.
Sometimes it is difficult for lifeguards to get to the struggling swimmer effectively, but fear no more as lifeguard dogs are here to come to the rescue! You can see dogs on patrol on beaches worldwide. Still, one of my favorite examples comes from Italy, where dog lifeguards jump out of helicopters to rescue swimmers in the Mediterranean. The dogs can even tow small boats for up to a couple of kilometers.
It’s no secret that one of a dog’s most significant attributes is its keen sense of smell. We usually think of this being used with police dogs or customs, but there are so many more inventive uses of this talent out there. Take nybedbugdogs.com who have trained their dogs to accurately sniff out bedbugs quickly, allowing the firm to save time and eliminate the pests more quickly.
Dogs are even being used to significant effect in professional sport, and we are not talking about greyhound racing or dog shows. Check out this extraordinary example where dogs have been used in place of ball boys and ball girls at the professional tennis event, The Brasilian Open. These ball dogs show the versatility of what dogs can do and provided a novel point of interest at the event.
I always thought it was pigs who sniffed out truffles; after all, the phrase goes greedy as a pig, not greedy as a dog! But there are various breeds of dogs that are now trained in locating and hunting for truffles. A trainer will give the dog a taste for truffles, and much like their pig equivalent are rewarded with a percentage of their finding to be eaten themselves. It just goes to show you can train a dog to sniff for just about anything.