Working Dogs

Many dogs were bred to work. In fact, their ancestral wolves first entered the community because they could perform useful functions as watchdogs and garbage eaters.

In the past hundreds of years many types of dogs have been bred to perform important tasks. There are hunting dogs, retrievers, guard dogs, watch dogs, vermin digging dogs, herders, water rescue dogs and even lap dogs, bred to be cuddle dogs.

Today, dogs' special abilities have made them perfect for help in areas not contemplated or even in existence in earlier times. They do important tasks in many areas of human endeavour.

In these videos, you will see some of the fascinating and often heroic roles that dogs play in our lives. You will meet wonderful dogs that:

  • help individuals who suffer from sort of disability, allowing each to have a fuller life than would otherwise be possible. The incredible bond these dogs have with their companions is amazing.
  • work as partners with the police helping to find, run down, and capture criminals - often putting their lives on the line. You'll hear some acts of sheer heroism.
  • perform for us in live shows and in the movies. You'll also find out how the SPCA monitors the handling of dogs who work on film sets.
  • help search for and rescue people including dogs that search for victims of snow avalanches.
  • Most of the videos also show how these clever dogs are taught to do their jobs by dedicated trainers.
  • One video looks at meaning of heroism when speaking of dogs. What they do can often only be called “heroic”, but is it “heroism”?

Dogs do many other tasks in our society too. Some of them are fascinating, almost unbelievable. For example, dogs have been trained to sniff out a virulent skin cancer, melanoma. Others have learned to sense when their epileptic owner is about to have an attack. Some have been trained to find whales in the ocean by smelling whale poop. Who knew?!

After you see these videos, you'll gain an understanding of why dogs and humans have been close companions for millenia. You'll also be stunned by their heroism and loyalty.