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Some trainers say we should give our dogs jobs in order to solve their behavior issues, and in reality, that is pretty much exactly what you should do.  However, putting on a backpack on your dog and adding a jar of pickles for weight is not a "job";  it does not challenge the dog in anyway except physically. Imagine if our dogs can help us around the house. With our dogs doing the chores, life would be so much easier, right? Wouldn't doing household chores quality as a job for your dog?

For centuries dogs have had jobs. Breeds were developed to take advantage of natural behaviors that dogs do in order to help humans work, hunt, and live better lives. Dogs' roles in society, which in the last 100 years became more of a companion then a partner, are again expanding. Many dogs are trained to help the disabled. These assistance/service dogs are trained to help out around the house, doing things like opening the fridge, fetch objects, turning the lights on and off, alerting to sound and movement and so much more. Dogs are companions and also assume special roles for assistance or therapy by volunteers or human health professionals.  Many changes are appearing in new research findings and evolving regulatory and legislative updates around the roles of dogs in society. In addition to time honored jobs like search and rescue, herding, hunting and guarding the junk yard, dogs work in animal assisted therapy, calming children and teens in courtroom situations and being a friend to autistic children.

Although most modern dogs are kept as pets but there are a tremendous number of ways in which pets can and do assist humans, and more uses are found for them every year. Most of those "jobs" are pretty specialized however, and the majority of owners have neither the need for a working dog or the time necessary to transport the dog somewhere to do it's "job".  But teaching your dog to do the laundry helps you nearly everyday and you don't need to fire up the car or go for a walk.

The actions of take it, drop it, carry it, hold it necessary for doing the laundry can be useful in training other behaviors. Along with knowing the basic actions of  most working dogs, your pet dog can bring you the phone when it rings, put their toys in a toy basket, close doors, cabinets and drawers with the push of their nose or paw, go out and get the newspaper or mail, bring you the remote, turn the lights on and off and grab a beer from the fridge. The possibilities are only limited by your imagination, your ability to learn how to play simple games and the dogs' ability to learn.

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