A Good Day on the Job – 18 Pictures of Working Dogs

There is often a strong bond between a dog and its owner. When that bond is combined with the dog’s intelligence, willingness to serve, and keen sense of smell, you have the ultimate partner to provide help in the police force, military operations, and other service areas.

Guide dogs, which are trained to lead blind people around obstacles, are perhaps the most recognizable of all working dogs. Labrador Retrievers are currently most popular breed for this ‘profession’, due to their range of size, easy-to-manage short fur, and gentle yet eager temperament. However, breeds for guide dogs can range from German Shepherds and Rottweilers to Collies and Poodles.

Service Dog by Found Animals Foundation

Golden Retriever Service Dog by Found Animals Foundation

Service Dog by Found Animals Foundation

Service Dog by Found Animals Foundation

Other medical-related service dogs include hearing dogs, which alert deaf people to important sounds (like smoke alarms), and seizure response dogs, which provide and summon help when a person has a seizure. These service dogs form an incredibly close relationship with the people they help, to the point that some seizure response dogs can even smell when their owner is about to have a seizure.

Besides providing medical services, dogs can also have roles in the military: sniffing out explosives and weapons, protecting and rescuing soldiers, and bringing therapeutic comfort to veterans returning home.

Rexo by Staff Sgt. Mike Meares

Rexo, the Brave Defender Military Working Dog by Staff Sgt. Mike MearesRexo and Senior Airman John Spearing get instructions before participating in a training scenario. The two-week training course, “Brave Defender,” has added a MWD (Military Working Dog) tract to the curriculum.

Home search by The U.S. Army

Home search by The U.S. ArmyU.S. Army Sgt. Ryan Henderson with his military working dog Satin, searches an Afghan home in the village of Spine Gundey, Ghazni province, as Afghan National Police look on. The ANP and coalition forces were conducting a joint patrol in the village.

iraq by The U.S. Army

Iraq by The U.S. ArmyU.S. Army Spc. Kory Wiels and his military working canine Cooper take a break after searching a house for weapons and homemade explosives in Arab Jabour, southern Baghdad, Iraq.

Taking a Break From the Patrol by DVIDSHUB

Taking a Break From the Patrol by DVIDSHUBCpl. Jonathan Eckert, a military working-dog handler, and his black lab, Bee, enjoy a moment of relaxation after clearing a compound in Kajaki. The Marines often patrol the area numerous times daily, with Bee near the front, hunting for improvised explosives.

Honoring military working dogs by The U.S. Army

Honoring military working dogs by The U.S. ArmyU.S. and coalition servicemembers, civilians, military working dog handlers and their dogs met together in a ceremony to unveil the war dog memorial built at the KAF boardwalk in honor of military working dogs killed here in the line of duty.

Working Dogs by The National Guard

Working Dogs by Sgt. John CrosbyWorking dog Coal spends time with troops at Joint Force Headquarters, Indianapolis. Coal is a five-year-old pit bull terrier that is certified as both a search and rescue and therapy dog. In his therapy dog capacity, he is part of the “Welcome Home Dogs” of Camp Atterbury, Indiana. He is a rescued dog that gives back to the community that saved him through his service as an “ambassadog” of what great things pit bulls and all rescue dogs are capable.

Iraqi Police train working dogs by The U.S. Army

Iraqi Police train working dogs by Sgt. Christopher KozloskiIraqi Police dog handlers work with their dogs on basic obedience techniques during a working dog training course near Mosul, Iraq. The course is designed to fine tune obedience and explosive-detection skills of the Iraqi working dogs and their handlers.

Police Puppy by West Midlands Police

Police Puppy by West Midlands Police

Police dogs are the civilian version of military dogs. They perform some of the same duties, only adjusted to situations involving criminal activity. For example, police dogs may search for drugs and burglary suspects instead of weapons and explosives.

However, civilian life can sometimes pose as much danger, or even more danger, as military life. Police dogs must be courageous and bold, while still having a calm temperament that isn’t too aggressive. For crime dogs working for the West Midlands Police in the UK, training starts already when they are puppies. “They spend a long time training and bonding with their handler.” they explain on Flickr. “Chasing and detaining a fleeing person can become a highly-charged situation, so our dogs must be under the handler’s control at all times. Their suitability is also constantly reviewed throughout their working life (usually around eight years).”

Police puppy walkers needed!

Police puppy walkers needed! by West Midlands Police

West Midlands Police dog puppies

West Midlands Police dog puppies by West Midlands Police

West Midlands Police puppy 'Scooby' visits Coventry

West Midlands Police puppy ‘Scooby’ visits Coventry by West Midlands Police

For examples of how brave police dogs and their handlers need to be, here are a few anecdotes from the West Midlands Police:

“PC Paul King has been named the force’s Dog Handler of the Year, whilst PC Scott Moulsher has been honoured for the most courageous act of 2011 in which he and German shepherd Aztec squared-up to three hotel knife robbers.

“Notable successes in an outstanding year for PC King include uncovering a £50,000 Handsworth drug haul – which had been stitched into the back of an armchair – and tracking two gunmen hiding in bushes.

“PC Moulsher and PD Aztec were first on the scene at a robbery in Coventry’s Chace Hotel, London Road, in April last year when they confronted three knifemen who’d already attacked a night porter. They repeatedly barred their exit, stalling the trio for vital minutes whilst armed back-up was deployed, before chasing down one offender as he ran through the foyer and finding another hiding up a tree!”

Dog handlers receive awards by West Midlands Police

Dog handlers receive awards by West Midlands Police

Ivan the Police Dog by West Midlands Police

Ivan the Police Dog by West Midlands PolicePolice dog Ivan bravely disarmed a man who was armed with a hacksaw recently.

Evening Police Dog patrol by West Midlands Police

Evening Police Dog patrol by West Midlands Police

Eventually, all working dogs must retire after years of helpful service. This retirement is often marked with tributes from colleagues, honoring the dog’s work.

For instance, when crime dog Janus (pictured below right) retired from the West Midlands Police at the “grand old age of nine-and-a-half,”  he was hailed as “one of the force’s finest” with a “glittering career that’s seen him collar hundreds of criminals.”

Janus had been part of almost 450 arrests in just four years. Besides that, he helped recover property including weapons like knives and screwdrivers, lots of stolen items and cash. “In one incident he uncovered £5,000 stolen from a security van heist and in another sniffed out more than £10,000 worth of stolen power tools.”

Retiring police dog Janus and new recruit by West Midlands Police

Retiring police dog Janus and new recruit by West Midlands Police

After forming such a close bond with Janus, his handler Dan Thomas kept him as a pet. “Janus will live out his days with me and my family. He’ll be given the best care and attention and rightly so!” he said.

“We’ve been through so much together and have spent more time with him over the last few years than my own family! He has depended on me and I’ve equally depended on him many times when he’s come to my aid and fended off violent offenders. He’s been a pleasure to train, work and live with, and if I could turn the clock back and work him again I would.”

Each retiring dog is replaced by a new recruit, young and fresh from the training program. New recruits may have tough acts to follow, but they are nevertheless eager to try out their skills and join the team.

Easi our Police Search Dog by West Midlands Police

Easi our Police Search Dog by West Midlands Police




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4 Comments on "A Good Day on the Job – 18 Pictures of Working Dogs"

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joan king
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Wonderful photos and I always enjoy looking at them. I wish some of them could be emailed to my family in Australia though
Thank you

Deborah Schaub
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Thank you for honoring these hard woring faithful companions.

Janet Warren
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Thank you for honoring these wonderful dogs and their handlers.

Robert Souza
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Great photos and thank you for honoring these wonderful dog who just want to help and be loved.

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