Posts Tagged ‘working dogs’

We thank Nic Carrin and Yahel Contreras for this good info from Brisbane “The Courier Mail” Tuesday July 24th, 2007, Pg. 19.

IT’S a dog’s life in Australia, with 83,000 canines helping carry the country’s workload.

Photo by Craig Borrow

From rounding up sheep to catching crooks and sniffing out suspicious packages at airports and mail centres, hounds are happy to help their human owners.

New figures from the Australian Companion Animal Council show most working dogs are found on farms.

Police dogs, Customs canines, cattle, quarantine and even seeing and hearing assistance dogs line up for work each day.

As well as doing some of the most dangerous jobs in the country, dogs also provide gentle helping hands to humans in need.

Australia’s Customs Service has a squad of detector dogs responsible for sniffing out drugs, guns and explosives.

Quarantine dogs are trained to detect illegally introduced fruit, vegetables and other contraband that threaten Australia’s lucrative fresh produce and export industries.

Australian kelpie and cattle dog breeds have been riding the backs of sheep on which the nation’s fortunes were first farmed.

And in more recent decades, specialist trained seeing and hearing dogs have given independence to countless sight and hearing impaired owners.

Australian Animal Companion Council president Kersti Seksel said the role of the dog in Australian working life could not be underestimated.

The role of dogs in supporting people who are visually impaired is well known but there are actually more dogs working with people with hearing impairments” Dr Seksel said.

There were 389 guide dogs and seeing-eye dogs nationally in 2005 and 405 dogs working with people with hearing difficulties.”

There are also a range of groups that bring companion animals to hospitals, day care and nursing homes where their visits to sick children and adults are well recognised in supporting the physical rehabilitation and mental health of patients.”

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