Most modern dogs enjoy being a special part of a home. They are trustworthy door greeters, enthusiastic playmates, and champion snugglers. With an emotional intelligence and willingness to learn that has been passed down through many generations, dogs have the amazing ability to happily excel at the tasks we give them.

Some canine jobs are particularly noble. For these roles, we strongly admire the honourable dogs that perform the duties for which humans simply cannot compete; they are truly dog heroes.

In law enforcement, scarce time and resources can sometimes mean the difference between life and death. In addition to search and rescue, our canine (or “K9”) friends can also be trained to find narcotics, explosives, cadavers, or even illegal exotic animals far more effectively than their human counterparts. They aren’t easy jobs, but these positions are filled by dogs who are specially bred, selected, and trained for success.

Similarly, service dogs are bred for the situations into which they will be placed. Shepherds and Belgian Malinois are frequently sought after for law enforcement due to their agility and compliance, a variety of other breeds are selected for their emotional awareness and temperament to be service dogs. These dogs provide the necessary support for someone with a behavioural disorder or traumatic brain injury to participate in certain situations, or even help a timid child to testify in court. For these individuals, a service dog is truly life-changing.

For the dogs, these positions also allow them to truly thrive due to increased mental and physical stimulation in addition to the high level of attention and care throughout their careers.

Because of their unusual duties, they may live untraditional lives, but they still become members of the family. Humans and dogs have created an incredible bond after working alongside each other for thousands of years, so it’s natural for the bond to be especially strong between working dogs and their handlers.

We wish that we could give these canine heroes all the glory that they deserve, but they don’t ask for much in return. They perform their incredible duties for a treat, a toy, or even just a scratch behind the ear.

In that way, they’re not all that different from our loyal household companions. To them, they just have a different job, and if they make their family proud, that’s all that matters.

Dr. I. Wonder is here to answer your questions regarding your furry family members. If you have a question, email it to us at  Our team at Neighbourhood Pet Clinic will tap into their collective experience to answer your various questions.