The ruff life of working dogs

by Kira Garrett | December 06, 2013

Many pet owners enjoy the companionship of bringing their dog to work with them and dogs have long been assistants to their human counterparts. From the earliest days of domestication, dogs began working with humans as guards, hunters and herders. With an unwavering loyalty, a willingness to please and training capabilities, dogs make wonderful workers. Whether they are making the final sell in a retail store, keeping the sheep in check on the farm or bringing smiles to the faces of children in the hospital, dogs work hard to get their jobs done each and every day.

There are many conventional jobs like service animals and police assistants that dogs have held for years, but some dogs have some unexpected lines of work—jobs that even the savviest human would be jealous of:

·       Conservationist. This Cairn terrier has his work cut out for him: Ridley Ranger is trained to sniff out sea turtle nests of the endangered Kemp's Ridley sea turtle, especially in areas that humans cannot easily see them. He has helped located hundreds of baby sea turtles that have since been released and Ridley Ranger will continue to help save the lives of numerous others.

·       Actor. Whether they are gracing the Broadway stage, the movies or television, dogs have made it big. There are plenty of pooches that have made a living off of their impressive obedience skills and knack for the art. They also tend not to have the catty attitude some Hollywood divas are infamous for.

·       Teacher. They may not be able to help with the phonetics, but therapy dogs help kids across the country feel comfortable and confident when working on their reading skills.

·       Scent detector. Whether they are finding explosives, drugs, pests or disease, dogs put their heightened senses to work. Scent-trained dogs use their extraordinary sense of smell to seek out things that humans would otherwise be unable to detect. Some dogs can even sense diseases, like cancer, in humans.

·       Truffle forager. These dogs use their amazing sense of smell to seek out this gourmet fungi. Since these mushrooms can sell for over $600 per pound, these dogs are bringing in some serious cash.

With the proper training and a healthy lifestyle, it’s amazing what dogs are capable of. Here a gallery of photos of dogs with jobs: