While it is true pups make great pets, people often overlook our place as work dogs. With awesome agility, sensational snouts, comforting companionship, and an untold number of other talents, pups have boldly barked, “We’re here to work!” While most know us as K-9 police dogs or protectors for those with disabilities, in honor of the recent Labor Day festivities, we wanted to let you know some of the lesser known ways that pups get to work.

From dogs who sniff out expensive culinary ingredients to whose find endangered turtle nests, there is no shortage of the ways dogs help out.

From a Dog’s Nose to Your Table

truffle is the underground body of a mushroom so difficult to locate, that they’ve become highly prized culinary delicacies throughout the world, sometimes selling for over 100 dollars an ounce. Pigs used to be the primary animals humans used to find these treats, but as soon as humans found out the pigs liked to eat the truffles before they could harvest them, they turned to the Italian dog, the Lagotto Romagnolo, to help them out, using their keen sense of smell to search for these truffles in the European countryside.

A Scottish Terrier Helping The Environment

The Cairn Terrier, one of the oldest Scottish terrier breeds, might not be very big, but like the Lagotto Romagnolo, they’ve been found to have an extraordinary sense of smell. Unexpectedly, scientists in the United States, particularly in Texas off of Padre Island, have found the Cairn Terrier to be able to locate the nests of a particularly endangered sea turtle. Already 92 baby sea turtles have been found and released, with hopes that by 2020, the Kemp’s ridley sea turtle will no longer be endangered.

Long Recognized as a Guardian

While most people are familiar with the role of dogs protecting property, fewer are aware of the Komondor, a large Hungarian bred dog with a penchant for protecting livestock and homes from all kinds of predators since the 1500s. With long white, corded coats, they’re sometimes referred to as mop dogs, but don’t mistake their cute appearance for laziness. At night they’re alert, constantly patrol the perimeter of a sheep or goat farm. When they recognize an intruder, their strong agility can allow them to ward, or even knock down, wolves, bears or coyotes.

These are just some of the interesting ways that pups help humans. If you want to learn about other jobs dogs have, visit the American Kennel Club website to see which other breeds they’ve classed as the Working Group. And, if you’re interested, go read about your own breed. While you may love their slobbering kisses, you might just be surprised at what else they’re capable of doing.

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