Just as we wake up bright and early each day to go do work, so do many members of the puppy population. That’s right—dogs all over the world set out each day to tackle jobs that, in many cases, most humans aren’t able to do.
You may be familiar with dogs acting in movies or on television, but there have even been a few pups hitting the runway and appearing in magazine and online advertisements as well, like Aladdin, a rescued Pit Bull who works as a certified therapy dog and “spokesdog.”
With certain types of extermination projects, pups are used to get into places that are hard for humans to reach. Beagles and other hounds, in particular, are used by companies across the country for these bug-hunting missions.
Because of their keen sense of smell and determination, many dogs are used to sniff out bombs and other weapons, and they’ve stood side by side with our servicemen and servicewomen in combat. Dogs have even fought in wars as far back as the days of Napoleon.
In remote places of the world, like rural Alaska, sled dogs are still entrusted to bring vital supplies and mail into town via sled. One of the most famous deliveries was in 1925, when famed sled dog Balto, along with multiple sled teams and mushers, carried a life-saving serum through a deadly blizzard in order to save children from an outbreak of diphtheria.
Sniffing out delicacies
This is another profession where a dog’s strong sniffer comes in handy—sniffing out truffles that are buried in the ground, for use in high-end restaurants (or by those of us with expensive taste). The Lagotto Romagnolo, an Italian breed, is the most widely used for this work.
Believe it or not, dogs have been used in recent years to help with early detection of some of the worst diseases threatening humans, including certain types of cancer. The In Situ Foundation, with teams at Duke University and UC Davis, has been successfully training these dogs for more than twelve years.
Cheering on the team
There are plenty of sports teams who are represented by animal mascots, but the first animal mascots were actually real live pups, like Handsome Dan, the original Yale bulldog. Modern-day mascot pups include Dubs, the University of Washington Alaskan malamute, Scotty, Carnegie Mellon’s Scottish terrier, and a host of others.