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A working dog refers to a canine working animal, or in this case a type of dog that is not merely a pet but learns and performs tasks to assist and/or entertain its human companions, or
740px-Working dog edit

a Border Collie Mix is an example of a working dog

a breed of such origin. In Australia and New Zealand a working dog is one which has been trained to work livestock, irrespective of its breeding.

Jobs performed by Working DogsEdit

Although most modern dogs are kept as pets, there are still a tremendous number of ways in which dogs can and do assist humans, and more uses are found for them every year. The following list provides an idea of the versatility of dogs:


· Turnspit dogs were used as a source of power, they turned a treadmill connected to a roasting spit. Similar arrangements were used for household duties such as churning butter.



  • Therapy dogs visit people who are incapacitated or prevented in some way from having freedom of movement; these dogs provide cheer and entertainment for the elderly in retirement facilities, the ill and injured in hospitals, and so on. The very act of training dogs can also act as a therapy for human handlers, as in a prisoner rehabilitation project.


  • Rescue dogs assist people who are in difficult situations, such as in the water after a boat disaster.


  • Search dogs locate people who are missing; lost in the wilderness, escaped from nursing homes, covered in snow avalanches, buried under collapsed buildings, etc.


  • Herding dogs are still invaluable to sheep and cattle handlers (stockmen) around the world for mustering; different breeds are used for the different jobs involved in stock work and for guarding the flocks and herds. Modern herding dogs help to control cattle and wild geese in parks or goats used for weed control. A well trained dog can adapt to control any sort of domestic and many wild animals.


  • Sled dogs, although today primarily used in sporting events, still can assist in transporting p
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    Working in the Military

    eople and supplies in rugged, snowy terrain.


  • Performing dogs such as Circus dogs and dog actors are trained to perform acts that are not intrinsically useful, but instead provide entertainment to their audience or enable human artistic performances.


  • Hunting dogs assist hunters in finding, tracking, and retrieving game, or in routing vermin. Less frequently a dog, or rather or a pack of them, actually fights a predator, such as a bear or feral pig.


  • Guard dogs and watch dogs help to protect private or public property, either in living or used for patrols, as in the military and with security firms.


  • Tracking dogs help find lost people and animals or track down possible criminals.



  • Detection dogs of a wide variety help to detect termites in homes, illegal substances in luggage, bombs, chemicals, and many other substances.


  • War Dogs or K9 Corps are used by armed forces in many of the same roles as civilian working dogs, but in a military context. In addition, specialized military tasks such as mine detection or wire laying have been assigned to dogs.


  • Police dogs, also sometimes called K9 Units, are usually trained to track or immobilize possible criminals while assisting officers in making arrests or investigating the scene of a crime. Some are even specially trained for anti-terrorist units, as in Austria.


  • Dogs are sometimes used in programs to assist children in learning how to read. The Reading With Rover program in Washington pairs trained dogs with children who read aloud to the dog. This process builds confidence and reduces stress.








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