Since their domestication, dogs and humans have formed an effective working partnership. Dogs have helped humans in so many work tasks that over time, they have become more than a simple aid. Many breeds play useful and highly varied roles for humans, including those we believe to be pure companion animals.
Since their domestication, dogs and humans have formed an effective working partnership. We see brave dogs teaming up with humans in rescue missions, with the exploits of search and rescue dogs, avalanche and tracking dogs, wreckage dogs, and sea rescue dogs known far and wide.
The poodle, for example, was originally a waterfowl retriever. In the Middle Ages, they were also fighting dogs responsible for retrieving the ducks or partridges that the peregrine falcon was trained to catch. Their dexterity was used to retrieve the hunters’ arrows that had missed the prey. They then became famous in many a circus or music hall act. They have remained excellent truffle dogs (cavage).
Nowadays, poodles are used by customs and border authorities as service dogs to sniff out drugs. Guide dogs also help the poor of hearing, are support dogs for the disabled, and therapeutic assistants for autistic children or the elderly. Very close to their owners, helping dogs like the poodle can be trained to warn them of an oncoming epileptic attack and some have also been trained to detect cancer.
Whatever their breed, the exceptional olfactory abilities of dogs continue to demonstrate their utility: to seek out nickel and copper deposits, look for parasite larvae, pirate DVDs, snakes, and many more.