Hi! Let me introduce you to the Working Dog Blog: all about a working dog that is not a service dog. Dogs have been helping humans work for hundreds of years. We all know what a service dog is: a dog that helps a human companion with a physical or mental disability. Typically people think of working dogs (excluding service dogs from now on) as cattle/sheep herders, police dogs, drug sniffing dogs, bed bug sniffers, etc. But there are many other fields in which dogs work. Some of these fields include therapy dogs, wildlife dogs, show dogs, hunting dogs, and education dogs. Katie works in two fields: both in the wildlife field and in education/training field.
Katie is a English Spring Spaniel that came to live with me as a rescued dog. Her background before me wasn’t good. She was afraid of everything, afraid of men, very skinny, afraid of being left alone, and full of so much energy! When she came home with me, we immediately started basic training and socialization and began slowly working on her fears. Weekly trips to the local park were a fun time to learn. Katie learned how to swim, socialize with all different dog breeds, and learned how to do a dog agility course (minus the tunnels). Then we moved. Katie still had all this energy and we lost an important outlet. So, I started taking her to work with me when I could. There she got even more socialization. During breaks I did obedience work with her. I noticed she had a good ability to find things for me. I capitalized on that and praised her for finding things for me, such as poop piles, doves, prairie chickens, deer, or wildlife trails.