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  title of the page about working dogs  
         
  When reading about sheep you learned that, in order to keep large numbers of sheep and lambs together, shepherds may use dogs in this effort. This means that many dog breeds are fit for some jobs.

The dog is a domesticated animal that, thanks to his faithfulness and eagerness to learn, is kept and trained by man to perform services or jobs, such as: hunting, guarding duties, providing companionship, assisting or guiding visually-impaired people, herding sheep and cattle, performing police and draft work.


  A bit further on this page we will find out in more detail what these dog jobs are about.

Dogs live in average 12 years, but more or less at the age of 8 they already give signs that they are getting old. The oldest dog who ever lived reached the age of 29 and is recorded in the Guinness Book or Records. I would love beating that record!


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Hunting dogs: these dogs help their masters pointing, retrieving, tracking, and burrowing game.

Pets or companion dogs: these are dogs that make integral part of their master’s family. They can be any breed, but medium or small-sized dogs – most of them originally hunting dogs - are better fit for this kind of job. Many people however prefer strong and large dogs like “Serra de Estrela”, “Rafeiro do Alentejo” or “German shepherd” dogs that also make good companionship dogs.

Guard dogs: they have a high sense of protection of their mater’s house and property against any danger, restraining or incapacitating dangerous intruders even at the risk of their own lives.

Guide dogs: these are dogs trained to provide mobility and independence guiding a blind person or helping a wheelchair-bound user in such cases as walking or crossing the street, shopping and other daily tasks. To know more about this very useful kind of dog job, make a virtual visit to guidedogs.org.uk, in the UK, or to Guide-Dogs for the Blind, in the United States and Canada.

Herding dogs and livestock guardians: these are dogs that help shepherds and farmers get cattle and sheep into the pens or keep a watch eye on the animals to make sure they do not get lost or to protect them from predators. Dogs with high herding ability are called sheepdogs, like the famous "German Shepherd" or the remarkable Portuguese breeds "Serra de Estrela" or "Serra d'Aires". The Canada’s Guide to Dogs site gives you further information on this dog job.

Police dogs: these dogs are trained to help the police force detecting drugs, searching for explosives and arms, as well as rescuing people in danger situations such as fire, tracking people under snow avalanches, and other. For further information on this dog job, make a virtual visit to Canada’s Guide to Dogs, a very interesting site on dogs.

Sled dogs: fit to endure harsh conditions such as extremely cold weather and snow, these dogs are used to pull sleds, the best means of transportation in the far north and the northern and southern polar regions. Sled dogs such as the Inuit sled dog have existed for centuries; without them, the ancestors of today’s Inuit could not have survived. You’ll find information on the Inuit sled dog in the Sled Dog Central site.



 
   
       
    All Texts and Illustrations © Dulce Rodrigues, 2009. All rights reserved