Police Dogs: Here to Help

So, everyone has heard of police officers, but not everyone has heard of police dogs. Let it be know, police dogs do not pull people over or arrest criminals, that’s only in the movies. Police dogs come from a specific breed that are able to perform specific tasks that police dogs need to accomplish. While some dogs are used as guide dogs, search-and-rescue dogs, and bomb or drug sniffing dogs, very few dogs are asked to give as much as themselves as police dogs. With this, police dogs are used to track criminals, sniff out illegal materials, search buildings, and do other jobs that human police officers are incapable of doing.

Why do we use police dogs? There are many things that dogs can do that humans cannot. For example, a dog’s sense of smell is fifty times more sensitive than a human’s sense of smell. With this, a dog is able to sniff out criminals, drugs, weapons, and bombs in situations where it would be impossible for a human to do so. Along with having a very strong sense of smell, a dog always has a very picky sense of smell. A dog can discern a scent from a dozens of other smells around them. THis is why dogs are able to find drugs that are wrapped in towels soaked with perform because they are able to find that one specific smell.¬†Another reason why we use police dogs is because of their sizes. Some dogs are able to fit into small spaces. Dogs are able to search through rubble during search and rescues and go through smaller spaces to get somewhere faster.

Some important qualities and characteristics of a police dogs are that they are intelligent, aggressive, strong, and have a good sense of smell. Many police dogs are male and are frequently left unneutered so they can maintain their natural aggression. However, this aggression is kept very close in check with rigorous and thorough training. Police dogs can come from many different sources. While some dogs are donated by their original owners, some dogs are now being specifically bred and raised for police work. Even more often, dogs are imported Europe because of the way they are bred. In Europe, breeding standards are much more strict than in America; dogs are measured by a core set of physical attributes and they are only bred if they meet those criteria. Also, European police dog agencies are internationally renowned and when graduating from the academies, receive an international certification.

While any dog can be trained as a police dog, the most popular police dog breeds are:

  • Belgian Malinois
  • German Shepherd Dogs
  • Bloodhounds
  • Dutch Shepherds
  • Labrador Retrievers

These breeds are known for their incredible working ability and their desire to cooperate with humans and handlers. These dogs are the easiest and most compatibility with training to be a police dog.

There are three major disciplines that police dogs are focused on when they are on the force:

  • Apprehension
    • This is the most popular discipline of the police dog. Dogs are trained to bite suspects who seem dangerous and hold them hostage if necessary. Also, police dogs are the first ones to put their lives on the line and put themselves in danger in order to protect their human partners. They must be stable and know when someone is a threat and also know that they have to act solely on the command of their handlers.
  • Detection
    • Dogs use their amazing sense of smell when it comes to fighting crimes and catching criminals. As said before, dogs are used to detect drugs, explosives, and other crime scene evidence. The dogs are able to perform their tasks anywhere but especially at airports and border entries. Dogs can also be trained to detect landmines in order to protect their handlers from danger.
  • Search and Rescue
    • One of the biggest parts of police work is searching for lost victims whether that be through a kidnapping or a missing person. With this, dogs can be trained to find living victims based on their scents or even find the remains of a deceased human. Dogs are also able to search through rubble and cover miles of to look for a lost hiker, someone buried in an avalanche, or even locate the bodies of victims under water. Dogs are able to cover large areas in a short amount of time which makes them a great resource when looking for victims.

If you would like to make a donation to the National Police Dog foundation to help them continue to train dogs in making the world a safer place, click here!

 

 

Rescue Dogs: The Best Way to Find a Friend

If you are looking to add a new addition to your home or apartment, the best way to go is to get a dog. If my blog has not made it clear enough, dogs are the best companions in the world. Not only do they foster unconditional love for anyone, they can be protective, fun, comforting, or anywhere in between. You can get any kind of dog that matches their your personality because all dog breeds are so different and unique. With this, while there are many different places to get dogs, the best option is to save the life of a dog by rescuing them from a shelter.

First, it is important to explain what exactly an animal shelter is. While not all animal shelters are the same, animals still end up in these shelters all the same. Basically, most animal shelters take in just about every type of domesticated animal, ranging from birds to rabbits to horses. However, the most common types of animals that are taken in by shelters are dogs and cats. While most animals that are taken in by shelters are found on the street, some people bring in their own pets to the shelters because they can no longer take care of them.

In many movies, like Hotel for Dog, 101 Dalmations, and Oliver and Company, they show the dog pound and as scary and an abusive place for animals. Today, many rescues are trying to reverse this stigma and use different, far gentler words to describe these “dog catchers” and “pounds.” For example, instead of “dog catchers,” the name was changed to “animal control officers.” These officers then find stray or “homeless” dogs and take them to rescue shelters. At the shelters, the dogs are not abused, but taken care of until they can be adopted by a new family. This change of wording shows how society is changing and adopting more positive attitudes about animal welfare and protecting animals.

So if the rescue shelters take care of these animals, why is there such a necessity for people to adopt them? Yes, it would be great if shelters could just keep any animal for as long as they could until they were adopted, but that is not the case. Unfortunately, shelters do not have enough room and provisions to take care of all the animals that they take in. With this, more than half of the dogs and cats that are taken into shelters are put to sleep or euthanized because they are too sick, too old, or are unable to be adopted. There is no law or rule on how long shelters can keep animals in their shelter so each shelter has their own individual rules. The Humane Society recommends that shelters hold strays for at least five days before putting them down but it can vary based on the space that the shelter has as well as the individual health and actual adoptability of a specific animal.

Now if the facts above do not convince you to go to a shelter when getting a dog, here are some statistics about shelters:

  • About 6.5 million animals are put into shelters nationwide every year. Of this 6.5, about 3.3 million are dogs and 3.2 million are cats.
  • Each year, about 1.5 million shelter animals are euthanized. About 670,000 dogs and 860,000 cats are part of that 1.5 million.
  • About 3.2 million animals from a shelter are adopted each year.
  • About 710,000 animals are returned to their owners after being in a shelter.

If you would like to learn more about these statistics, you can learn more at the ASPCA website. The ASPCA or the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) was the first humane society established in North America and it is also one of the largest humane societies in the world. The organization was founded on the belief that all animals deserve and are entitled to respectful treatment at the hands of humans. With this, the organization believes that animals should be protected under the law. The mission of the ASPCA is “to provide effective means for the prevention of cruelty to animals throughout the United States.” The ASPCA works with shelters, pet owners, political leaders, and entire communities to spread their mission and help all animals.

So, why should you adopt a pet from a shelter? Here are some concrete reasons as to why adopting is the best option when it comes to pets:

  • You are literally saving a life. By adopting an animal, you will save them from the possibility of being euthanized.
  • You can still get a terrific pet if you get an animal from a shelter instead of a breeder. Most animals are so happy to finally have a home again and others can already be housetrained or used to living with families already.
  • It will cost less than buying a dog from a breeder.
  • You will help more than one animal by adopting. By adopting an animal, it makes room for other animals and lowers the chance of another animal being euthanized.
  • You will change an animal’s whole world. You will give an animal a second chance at a happy and healthy life.

 

I cannot say it enough, adopting is so much more beneficial for animals. If you would like to learn more about rescuing an animal from your area, click here. If you would like to donate money to the ASPCA, click here.

Therapy Dogs: Emotional Support for Those in Need

In the first semester, I decided to switch up from what I normally do on the blog and talk about Service Dogs instead of a specific dog breed. While I love talking about dog breeds and telling the history of all of them, I think that it is very important for people to understand what dogs are capable of. Dogs are not only useful for being a wonderful companion and protector, they are so much more than that. Dogs can be trained to do many things that can be very beneficial to humans. For example, a dog can be trained to be a therapy dog.

Therapy dogs are dogs who are trained to be able to visit nursing homes, hospitals, schools, special needs centers, airports, or other institutions to bring joy to those who are in need of it. The whole point of therapy dogs is to make others happy, whether young or old, sick or healthy.

Any dogs can be therapy dogs if they are trained well. Most therapy dogs are friendly, affectionate, confident, and gentle. Since the primary role of therapy dogs is to interact with other people, it is very important that service dogs are able to work and interact with other people, no matter what the age or gender. However, a dog cannot just have these qualities to be a therapy dog. They have to go through a whole training process to be considered proper therapy dogs.

There are many different tests and training processes for different therapy dog organizations. However, most of the tests are very similar. The tests are typically designed to affirm that an owner and the therapy dog have a good relationship with one another. If an owner cannot control their dog or if the dog does not respect the owner, then they will not be good with strangers or with children. It is also very important for dogs to have a calm nature and temperament so that they will be able to work with certain people. After the test monitors see how the dog behaves with their owner, the dogs then have to go with their owner and a Tester or Observer to three facility visits and two of those three visits must be to a medical facility. During these three visits, the Tester will teach the dog what to do and show them how to interact with patients. If the dog is able to handle the visits, then the Tester will be able to pass the dog and then recommend registration with that specific organization.

It is important to note that if you want to make your dog a therapy dog, they must get their certification through an expert, not just anyone. You would have to go to someone that actually knows what they are doing and can give dogs a legitimate certificate. Here are some organizations that can certify a dog for therapy:

While any dog breed can be trained to be a therapy dog, there are some breeds that are bred to be better than others at this job; they might just have innate characteristics or personalities that make them good for therapy. With this, here are the 10 Best Therapy Dog Breeds:

  1. Labrador Retriever
  2. German Shepherd
  3. Greyhound
  4. Beagle
  5. Rottweiler
  6. Cardigan Welsh Corgi
  7. Pomeranian
  8. Poodle
  9. Pug
  10. Collie

Now, once the dogs are trained and ready to go be with people, what do they do? It has been proven by many different studies that the presence of a dog can be very soothing and calming to those in stressful situations. Therapy dogs are able to promote activity, conversation, and even an emotional connection between patients. People can interact with therapy dogs through:

  1. Tossing a ball or toy for the dog to fetch.
  2. Talking, petting, holding, or cuddling the dog.
  3. Making the dog to tricks and commands like sitting, rolling over, and even shaking hands.
  4. Simply enjoying the presence of the dog.

It has also been proven that therapy dogs can really help the social and emotional feelings of people. Due to the unconditional affection of therapy dogs they are able to provide:

  1. Reduced feelings of loneliness and depression
  2. Lower levels of anxiety
  3. A more positive outlook on life and circumstances.

If you are interested in learning more about these studies based on Animal-assisted therapy, check this link out!

If you think that your dog has what it takes to be a therapy dog, click here to find out where to start!

 

Siberian Huskies: Blue-Eyed Beauties

Welcome back to Dog of Blogs! I hope you all had a well-deserved break and are ready to learn more about dogs in the newest installment of Blog of Dogs! This week we will be focusing on the Siberian Husky!

The Siberian Husky is commonly identified by their blue or multi-colored eyes as well as their wolf-like features. Huskies are very smart, athletic, and independent which can make them challenging for first time owners. Because of their athletic ability, it is very easy for Huskies to run away, so it is very important for Huskies to be in a fenced-in area. Huskies are one of the friendliest dog breeds, especially with families and kids. They are very agreeable and have an outgoing temperament which makes them good companions for kids. They also have good endurance and a strong willingness to work which makes them a great working dog, especially in colder climates.

Fast Facts:

Siberian Huskies come from the “Working Dogs” breed group. They are a medium sized dog, ranging from one foot eight inches to eleven inches tall at the shoulder. They have a pretty wide weight range from 35 to 60 pounds. They also have a nice long life lifespan, ranging from 12 to 15 years if you take good care of these precious dogs.

History:

The Siberian Husky is believed to have originated among a tribe of Siberian nomads, the Chukchi. DNA tests have confirmed that Siberian Huskies are one of the oldest dog breeds, making their history pretty unknown. With this, it is known that the Chukchi used the Siberian Huskies for faster transportation in the cold weather. An even more important use of the Huskies is how helpful they were to families. For example, they slept with children to provide warmth and comfort in the cold weather and were able to help doing heavy labor around the house, like transporting things. In 1908, the Siberian Husky moved to Alaska and were used as sled dogs during the Gold Rush. Once they moved to Alaska, they became part of the All-Alaska Sweepstakes, which is a 408-mile dog sled race which is still continued today with the Huskies. The Siberian Club of America was founded in 1938 and the Siberian Husky was recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1930.

Characteristics:

Since Huskies are pack dogs, they need an owner who is a clear and firm leader. If an owner can establish themselves as such, it makes training much easier because the dog will respect and listen to the owner. It is very common for Huskies to challenge the limits of an owner’s position and even try to take control from time to time so it is very important to have a good grasp on a Husky. It is necessary to give a Husky plenty of exercise throughout the day because they are such a high-energy breed. If they do not have enough exercise and play time, they can be very destructive. Huskies are very social and love to interact with other dogs as well as people. One interesting fact about Huskies is that they do not bark, making for horrible watchdogs. Instead of barking, Huskies have a nice loud howl that can bother neighbors if not contained. As always, it is very important to socialize Huskies as early as possible because of how social the breed is. Going to dog parks, going on strolls through town, inviting people over, or even taking a Husky into a store are all great ways to socialize a Husky.

All Alaska Sweepstakes Race:

This 408-mile race was originally made to help the gold miners in the cold winter weather of Nome, Alaska. During this time, the best mode of land transportation in the winter were sled dog teams. With this, people would bet large amounts of money on which sled dog team would get to somewhere faster. However, it was soon discovered that this race was not won simply by going fast, but rather, with strategy and special care to the dogs doing the hard work. The first couple of races did not have any rules but as time went on, more and more rules were added to this race in order to make sure that everyone involved was safe, humans and dogs. This is an entertaining and important race in Alaska that captures the attention of thousands of people.

If you want to add a wonderful addition to your family, adopt a Husky now! They will be a great friend and companion as well as an amazing comfort with their warm fur!