“Man's best friend” is a term that is used quite often to describe a dog, and why not? It's a term that fits! The companionship a dog can provide is unlike any other animal on the planet. However, for some people, a dog is more than just a best friend. To some, a dog is a tool that is utilized in situations where lives are at stake. Whether it be dogs that help soldiers in combat, patrol dogs out with their police partners, or even dogs that sniff out bombs, these heroes are found worldwide and are appreciated for their hard work.
For a dog to be able to perform jobs such as these, it requires a lot more than basic obedience training as well as specialized training. A lot of time, effort and money are put into each and every dog to not only train it, but to make sure that it grows up fit and healthy with a sound diet and proper vet care. These dogs are then used by businesses or the government to provide the tasks that they were trained to do. With a dog's special set of skills, they excel in their positions, and are an asset that are unlike any other in the world.
Dogs that make their way into detection, or nose work, use their most valuable sense – olfactory cells! No human in the world could sniff out objects the way a dog can with his natural nose. Through training, a dog can help to pin point the exact location of an item that is or used to be in a location. Bloodhounds are well known for their nose work in cadaver searching as well as search and rescue, but detection dogs need to have other skills as well for their irreplaceable jobs.
Humans may have the ability to use metal detectors and other scanning devices to help us find dangerous items, but nothing beats the trained dog's nose to find exact items one is looking for. Airports often use both bomb and drug detection dogs. Each dog has his own specialty of either explosive materials or illegal drugs and paraphernalia. Even if the items are stashed in something as smelly as an old coffee can or cigar box, the dog can find it! Both public and private schools will regularly search lockers with the use of a detection dog unit to keep the area and students safe. Other establishments that may use such dogs include banks, public events, and cruise lines.
From the junk yard to the back yard, guard dogs are well known among the public for hard working and even slightly scary behavior. However, a properly trained guard dog can make a public place of business safer and run more smoothly with peace of mind. Guard dogs can be trained in a large manner of tasks or commands that will help provide security over his handler and property. Theft, vandalism, and even violence can all be prevented with a properly trained and healthy guard dog.
While guard dogs are meant specifically to guard, they are not meant to attack and cause harm. Instead, many guard dogs will hold a person of interest using either intimidation techniques like that of the Bull Mastiff or by physically holding a person by their arm or leg. Breeds that are used for guarding can vary, but many choose the German Shepherd Dog for his intelligence, size and athleticism. Bully breeds are usually too friendly to be a guard dog, but English Mastiffs, Bull Mastiffs and others of this breed type when bred and trained to hone his natural instincts can be superb guard dogs for businesses as well as home steads.
Guard dog duty does not stop there! Guarding is needed for farms to protect live stock from predators and thieves. Livestock guard dogs are usually German Shepherd Dogs, Anatolian Shepherds, Great Pyrenees, Australian Shepherd and other breeds that have been bred for centuries to instinctively be weary of strangers and protect other animals. Just because these breeds have the instincts to do the work, however, they still need trained in commands that will aid the human and keep the livestock secure.
Dogs have the ability to work in many jobs. Outside of guard duty and nose work, dogs can be used as patrol dogs, helping police chase down criminals or find evidence. These dogs are specially trained in taking down people without hurting them, usually by throwing them off balance and then using a vice like grip with their mouth to keep them in position. Once the suspect is restrained by the dog, the police humans move in with handcuffs. Combat dogs are similar, but instead are employed by the government for work with the armed forces. These dogs behave in a similar fashion, but will sometimes have secondary attributes that make them fit for the battlefield. Some are able to detect mines in the ground, help find bombs, or even track down soldiers and civilians that have been captured.
The amazing thing is, these are the same types of dogs we see walking down the road with their best friend. A lot of the dogs employed by businesses or the government are privately owned dogs, trained with certain specialties and then hired. Sarah Robinson from Lancaster Kennels says “Some dogs are even hired just for special events or certain times of the year. Many of these dogs are awarded medals of honor for their service in police work, detection or for helping soldiers in the line of duty”.
In other words, “Man's Best Friend” is more than just a best friend, but a guardian, soldier, brother in arms and more. These amazing animals are capable of fantastic things, things that help our businesses