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Work Like a Dog

I don’t know about you, but working like a dog sounds like a fun day if you ask me. My dog’s week consists of car rides to doggy daycare, getting belly rubs every free moment, chasing rabbits around the yard and sneaking food when mom isn’t looking. Sounds like a pampered paradise, right? Unlike my dog, there are hundreds of dogs whose jobs extend past just being man’s best friend. Take a look at some of the jobs dogs do on a regular basis and the training they go through to get there.

Leader Dogs for the Blind

Leader Dogs in training spend an average of four to six months on the Leader Dogs for the Blind campus in Rochester Hills, Michigan preparing for their work as guide dogs. The dogs progress through phases of training. They are introduced to the harness they will wear during guide work and begin to build on the basic obedience skills they learned as puppies by incorporating skills that are specific to being a Leader Dog, such as targeting a chair or a door. The dog’s instructor compiles information about the dog during training, such as the dog’s pace, pull, temperament, and areas where the dog excels or may need additional training. This information will help the instructors make decisions about which dog should be paired with which client to ensure a successful partnership.

Training sessions are balanced with relaxation and recreation; the dogs have multiple times every day that are designated for play with other dogs and with humans (on-campus volunteers and the dogs’ instructors). The dogs will also have formal evaluations and vet checks during the training period with action plans to ensure every dog is meeting the standards needed to become a Leader Dog. If everything goes well, when the next class of clients arrives at Leader Dog’s campus, the dogs who have completed training will soon be going home with their new partner and best friend!

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Models

Social media is a one-stop shop for fashion ideas, catching up with friends and of course, cute dogs. Some dog accounts are owners sharing their pet, while others are from the perspective of the pet. Coastal Pet reaches out to some of these accounts to help spread awareness of new products and to build relationships with real life users of the product to gain feedback. Accounts such as elwoodandandozzy_bulldogs on Instagram are just one of Coastal’s many social media models. Outside of being cute, taking long naps and watching the Chicago Cubs play these dogs are considered dog models. Their job is to have fun, be spunky and allow their parents to document a day in the life of these bulldog brothers. Although this may seem glamorous, these dogs can attest to the fact that missing naps can result in some serious grumpiness. 

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Other Work

Police dogs, hunting dogs and herding dogs all do jobs outside of being the playful companion we all know and love. These dogs go through extensive training and find their jobs to be exciting and rewarding. Every dog needs a job, whether that is carrying a backpack home from the school bus or fetching a ball. According to Cesar Millan giving your dog a job helps “boost their self-esteem to feel like they’re contributing to their pack”.  So maybe in the end all dogs have a job. Some are guard dogs or service dogs while others are models and the active companions we need to keep our health on track.

 

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