Hero Dogs and the Lives They Save

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Hero Dogs and The Lives They Save
Hero Dogs and The Lives They Save

While canines can be perfectly content living a predominantly sedentary lifestyle, some pooches have gained fame for notable careers.The "Today" show reported that 

eight finalists for the Hero Dog of the Year award

stopped by its offices for a brief highlight. Organized by the American Humane Association, the annual prize is given to pooches who do more than just deliver unconditional love - they're

dog heroes

saving and helping people. This year's candidates include canines from all sorts of backgrounds, such as the military, search and rescue, law enforcement and therapy.Some of the standouts included JJ Krawczyk, Chaney and Xena the Warrior Puppy.JJ was a shelter dog at Eyes Ears Nose and Paws when she was paired with a 5-year-old girl from North Carolina named Kaelyn Krawczyk, who has a rare disorder called mastocytosis. Her life-threatening reactions to the environment, which can cause hives and intense itching, can be triggered with little to no warning. However, JJ is able to sniff out the trouble and alert Kaelyn's parents of the danger.Chaney retired from the U.S. Marines in 2013, and also happens to be a Labrador retriever. Now 8 years old and living in Lansing, Michigan, the pooch completed multiple tours in Iraq and Afghanistan as a bomb-sniffing dog. Together with Cpl. Matt Hatala, his former handler, Chaney volunteers for Retrieving Freedom, which trains service dogs for children with autism and disabled veterans.Lastly, Xena the Warrior Puppy battled back from an abusive start in September 2012 to be adopted by Linda Hickey and her family in March 2013. She immediately connected with Jonny, an 8-year-old boy who was diagnosed with autism and had been closed off from others. Xena's presence transformed him into a chatterbox and changed the household as a whole.

What can Fido do besides fetch?

While you may be content training your family dog to complete basic sit and stay commands, you can strive for more with your pooch. Humans aren't the only ones capable of working, as there are many jobs that canines are perfect for, which turn them into heroes every day.Here are three of the top positions your dog can try out.

  1. Herding: Smart Recruiters explained that some dogs are instinctively adept at herding. If your canine constantly runs around the local park, trying to round up the other dogs by barking and moving in circles, he may be perfectly suited for the job. Herding pooches help control livestock on farms, such as sheep and cattle. They've been known to gather up to hundreds of animals at a time to lead back to the enclosure.
  2. Law enforcement: According to Main Street, the versatility of dogs' noses makes them more than capable of detecting illicit substances. Working with the police as a K-9 unit or narcotics partner can be a viable option for your pooch. Many of these positions are populated with tough breeds like German shepherds who are trained to take down fleeing or attacking suspects.
  3. Hunting: Many breeds are suited to accompany hunters on long trips into the woods for ducks and quail. Smart Recruiters suggested that hounds, terriers and dachshunds are the most popular types of dogs for hunting and tracking animals. They're trained extensively to hone their senses of sight, hearing and retrieval to serve as perfect counterparts to humans. With the right temperament, they can carry prey back to hunters without chewing them.

Dogs can be trained for a variety of careers that might land them on the AHA's list of

hero dogs

. Joining

PetPlus

 gives owners access to discounted supplements and accessories that facilitate exercises and training. Sign up today and start saving immediately!

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