Petland Logo

Please create a free account, or login by clicking here.


Download our Petland App today for information on your local Petland's Available Pets and Pet Supplies. All at the tips of your fingers!

Pet Store Banner Pet Store Banner

The Many Public Safety Jobs of Our Fur-Legged Friends

August 8, 2022

When we think of a working dog, we may envision a dog in the 1800s pulling a cart or herding sheep. Images of a Dalmatian sitting in the back of a firetruck may also cross our minds. Below are some of the more common yet impressive jobs our pups do to keep us safe.

Most Common Types of Jobs

Police Dogs / K9 Units: For generations, man’s best friend was sworn to protect and serve. Police dogs, also known as K9 units, do just that. A typical day in the shoes of a police dog consists of detecting the scents of illegal narcotics and dangerous explosives and tracking a burglar who just fled from a home. These pups are generally physically dominant and intelligent enough to train for many different stressful and demanding situations. The average career of a police dog is seven to nine years.

Cadaver Dogs: Cadaver dogs are specially trained and certified to detect one smell in particular, human decomposition. Human-remain detection dogs are used in almost every country in the world on different types of recovery missions. Cadaver dogs can be used in general remains searches after natural disasters, such as hurricanes, earthquakes, and tornados. These highly skillful dogs are deployed after disaster strikes, and human life has been taken.

Search and Rescue Dogs: Search and rescue dogs are crucial in locating missing people. These highly trained dogs are capable of tracking the scent of a human for many miles. They are credited with tens of thousands of human saves throughout their existence. The dog does not actually follow the person they are looking for, but the physical scent the person leaves behind. A dog’s nose has over 200 million scent receptors in it, making them the perfect candidate for tracking a scent. As the scent enters their nose, special receptors read the scent, which allows the dog to identify what he or she is smelling. The dog’s ears are also very important in scent detection and help to circulate the air/scent from the ground to their nose.

Explosive Detection Dogs: Explosive detection dogs have one job. To detect the presence of explosive material. You will find many of these dogs in areas that accommodate a lot of people. Hotels, subways, airports, sports stadiums, outdoor marathons, etc. When one of these dogs locates the scent of an explosive device, he will stop in front of where the scent is coming from and alert his handler. These dogs are credited with preventing many large-scale casualty incidents, many thanks to their incredible noses!

Medical Dogs: Yes, you read that right. A medical dog. In the spring of 2020, the Working Dog Center at UPenn’s School of Veterinary Medicine started training Labrador Retrievers to sniff out COVID-19. In the past, dogs have also been trained to smell various other diseases and medical conditions in humans, such as cancer and even Clostridium difficile (C. diff), a dangerous bacterium that is transmitted through feces.

Truffle Hunting Dogs

Truffles grow underground near specific types of trees, and for centuries pigs were used for hunting these special delicacies. These treats are sought after but not easily found. The most suitable truffle hunting dogs are the Pointer, Lagotto Romagnolo, Spinon, Hound, and Jack Russel Terrier.

What Makes a Good Working Dog? A good working dog needs to be both smart and dedicated. They need to be able to focus on what their job is without becoming distracted. Not every working dog needs to be physically dominant. A good working dog does not just train with ease but has the ability to enter “work mode” on command. Working dogs have served humanity very well over history and have become a vital part of our day-to-day living.

Related Articles

View All Articles

  • Top Five Dog Breeds Who Love to Play Outdoors

    Top Five Dog Breeds Who Love to Play Outdoors

    If you love spending time in the great outdoors and are considering adding a fur-legged friend to your family this blog is for you. Making sure you find a dog that enjoys spendi...

    Read More

  • Help! My Dog Ate Chocolate!

    Help! My Dog Ate Chocolate!

    We all know that the only time we should use the words chocolate and dog in the same sentence is when we use them to identify a “Chocolate Lab.” Chocolate, although ...

    Read More

  • Can Dogs Smell Cancer?

    Can Dogs Smell Cancer?

    Dogs have helped humans out over hundreds of years. From rescuing people, to tracking missing persons, to detecting bombs, to herding sheep. One of the most amazing abilities th...

    Read More

  • Separation Anxiety in Dogs

    Separation Anxiety in Dogs

    Dogs that suffer from separation anxiety experience tension, stress, mental discomfort, and confusion. This anxiety manifests when a dog feels insecure when left alone at home a...

    Read More

  • What are Roundworms in Dogs?

    What are Roundworms in Dogs?

    Roundworms are a parasite that can commonly affect house pets such as dogs and cats. There are two primary species of roundworms. The first is Toxocara Canis. This type of paras...

    Read More

  • Black Widows and Dogs

    Black Widows and Dogs

    We often associate our fur-legged friends being bit by ticks and fleas. These pesky creatures are known for their persistency and potential health risks. Ticks and fleas are par...

    Read More

  • Best Apartment Dog Breeds

    Best Apartment Dog Breeds

    Small living quarters does not mean having a dog is off limits. Generally speaking, larger dog breeds such as a German Shepherd or Husky do better with more spacious living area...

    Read More

  • Bacterial Infections in Dogs – What Is It, How Are They Caused, And How to Treat It?

    Bacterial Infections in Dogs – What Is It, How Are They Caused, And How to Treat It?

    If your dog has recently been diagnosed with a bacterial infection making sure he receives the proper care is crucial. There are many different types of bacterial infections, an...

    Read More

  • Foods That You Should Avoid Giving to Your Dog at All Times

    Foods That You Should Avoid Giving to Your Dog at All Times

    We love spoiling our pups and throwing them a small treat here and there but some foods should never be shared with your pup. The reason being is that dogs and humans metabolize...

    Read More

  • Benefits of Doggy Daycare

    Benefits of Doggy Daycare

    Our pups’ desire for mental stimulation is just as strong as it is for physical stimulation. For many dog owners, our 9:00 — 5:00 job prevents us from spending forty...

    Read More

  • What Is a Dog Allergy?

    What Is a Dog Allergy?

    Dogs with an allergy have an immune system that overreacts and produces antibodies to substances that it would normally tolerate. This over-response is known as an allergic or h...

    Read More

  • Preparing Your Dogs for the 4th of July

    Preparing Your Dogs for the 4th of July

    Fireworks like the 4th of July! The 4th of July can be a pretty busy holiday and if you would be hosting, then you would need to prepare ahead for your pets. Here are some tips ...

    Read More

Help Need Help? Back to Top