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Dogs with Unusual Occupations

Five Unusual Jobs Held by Dogs

                Dogs have long been part of the working class—working for the police force and in the military, aiding the blind and those in wheelchairs and performing search and rescue duties.  But some dogs have been placed in rather unusual professions.   This week, we look at five jobs held by dogs that are anything but ordinary. 

  1.  Wildlife Chaser:  In 2016, Glacier National Park hired a border collie named Gracie, as their first “bark ranger.”  Gracie is tasked with chasing away the many mountain goats and bighorn sheep that frequent the parking area at Logan Pass to reduce human-animal interactions which can often be dangerous.  The breed has also been used in Waterton Lakes National Park in Canada to chase off mule deer, at Cherry Capital Airport in Michigan to chase birds off the tarmac and border collies have been employed in Washington D.C.’s mall to chase away geese.  Glacier hopes to add more dogs to the “bark ranger” program to cover other areas of the park. 
  2. Lifeguard:  The Italian Coastguard uses Labradors, Golden Retrievers and Newfoundlands as rescue dogs on various beaches.  Some dogs are also specially trained to jump from boats or helicopters to rescue swimmers in trouble in deep waters.
  3. Electronic device sniffer:   Dogs can be trained to sniff out drugs, bombs, people and even some types of medical problems.  In Seattle, a black Lab named Bear has been trained to detect hidden electronic devices such as laptops, thumb drives or microchips. 
  4. Lobster Diving:  Yes, you heard that right.  Alex Schulze of South Florida has trained his two dogs to dive for lobsters.   Schulze owns a company called “Devocean” which donates 20% of its profits to sea turtle conservation.  The dogs help promote the company, so it’s a win-win.
  5.  Whale Finder:  Another Labrador named Tucker and a group of other dogs are part of the University of Washington’s Conservation Canines.  These dogs have been trained to sniff out, of all things, whale poop to help conservationists track whales.  Tucker’s amazing nose can detect the scent of whale droppings from up to one nautical mile away!

Who knew that dogs were used for such interesting jobs?  These and our many other working dogs perform incredible acts every day.  It’s no wonder we love them so much! 

This blog brought to you by the Patton Veterinary Hospital serving Red Lion, York and the surrounding communities.