Dogs have been working alongside humans for centuries and they have been bred and taught to do a wide variety of tasks. While many of the jobs certain breeds were originally used for have fallen by the wayside, there are still many different things they’re used for today. Here we’ve compiled a list of the many jobs dogs have and the breeds most commonly used for them.
#1 – Police & Military
Dogs have been used to protect and serve their communities and their countries for ages. The breeds used as police and war dogs have remained relatively the same since their use became popular, but have often varied depending on the region. The majority of suspect apprehension and narcotic and explosive detection dogs today are Belgian Malinois. This breed has outdone the rest due to their drive to work, incredible agility and their outstanding health.
#2 – Guide Dog
Seeing-Eye or guide dogs have been used for decades to help the blind live somewhat normal, happy lives. They perform a variety of tasks and are required to have exceptional temperaments to help their human companions safely navigate through the world. The most common breed used for guide dogs today is the Labrador Retriever. Their gentle, social temperaments and low grooming requirements make them an excellent choice.
#3 – Herding
While it seems that farms are quickly diminishing in the presence of factory farming and feedlots, there are plenty of farmers today that still maintain healthy, functional farms with a variety of livestock and produce. Regardless of their English origin, the Border Collie has been the most common herding breed used around the world. You can find them on farms everywhere, working all types of livestock including sheep, cattle and alpacas.
#4 – Search & Rescue
Search and rescue dogs have been saving the lives of people all over the world for many years, whether they’re lost in the wilderness or trapped beneath a fallen building. Because of their biddability, social temperaments and ability to track scents, the Labrador Retriever is by far the most common breed used for search and rescue missions.
#5 – Service Dog
Service dogs are becoming more and more popular and the tasks they’re taught to perform are amazing. These dogs help make the lives of their human companions better in all aspects, both in their ability to help their owners physically and emotionally. While almost all breeds can and are taught to be service dogs, the Golden Retriever is the most common breed used for these positions. Their willingness to please, easy training, gentle and social temperaments make them ideal candidates for performing difficult tasks both at home and in public.
#6 – Hunting
Hunting dogs have been working with humans for centuries and the most common breed used depends on the type of game being hunted. Labrador Retrievers are the most common breed used for hunting and retrieving waterfowl, while German Shorthair Pointers and English Springer Spaniels are used for more flushing birds. Beagles are the most common choice for rabbit hunting, Foxhounds for fox and deer, the Treeing Walker Coonhound for raccoons and the Dogo Argentino and Catahoula Leopard Dog for hog hunting.
#7 – Sledding
The Alaskan Husky, a breed not recognized by many kennel clubs and different than the Siberian Husky, is the most common sledding dog today. They originated in Alaska by breeding various northern breeds to create a dog that could work consistently for extended periods of time. While they’re almost always the winners of sled races, they do perform day to day jobs as well.