Dogs are helping us in several important medical areas. The first one are dogs that are directly helping people with disabilities. Those are called service dogs. Then we have the therapy dogs, who are trained to provide comfort and affection for people with different mental ilnesses – for example an anxiety. Next area, where dogs are our big helpers, are so called medical detection dogs, who are for example able to detect some forms of cancer. And lastly but not least we have the dogs in medical research. The fate of these dogs is kinda sad, but they are definitely helping us, the people, because thanks to them, some new drugs have been explored.
Lets start with the service dogs. If you are watching this channel for longer time, you probably know, that i was training a puppy as a future service dog for a blind person. But service dogs are not only helping people with visual impairment. People with hearing impairment, epilepsy, seizures or mobility impairment can also benefit vastly from having a service dog. People with diabetes and post traumatic stress disorders are also frequent owners of these dogs.
The service dog must have good physical and mental characteristics. They must be big and healthy enough to help their owners but they also must have great temperament. They must be patient, extremely trainable, eager to please and pretty loyal. Two breeds, that are used most by far, are Retrievers (especially the Labs) and German Shepherds.
The dogs are helping with various tasks and it really depends on what their owners need from them. They can be leading blind person on different routes (for example to the shop), they can calming down people, they can picking up dropped objects or alert hearing disabled on alarm and bell.
Service dogs are not only helping their owners with the disabilities, they are also helping them emotionally and they are improving their social life. But if you are in need of emotional support, you can also have the therapy dog.
The therapy dog is professionaly trained dog, which is providing affection, comfort and stress relief. They are not only used by individuals, but also by hospitals, retirement and nursing homes or in areas of disaster.
I think all the people who owned a dog will agree, that dogs can help us when we are not feeling well and they just make us happy. So its no wonder that they can help people with real issues, like anxiety and depression. Its proven, that only touching a dogs fur is calming our mind. Dogs are also helping people with depression and anxiety, because they are giving them daily program. They just have to go out with the dog, they have to go feed them. Having a dog will entertain the mind, which is a big help for mental ilnesses.
Now lets talk about the medical detection dogs. Those are professionaly trained dogs to to identify human diseases by sniffing out unusual odours. Dogs have extremely sensitive noses and even though it might sound like science fiction, they are truly able to detect cancer, malaria or neurological diseases from different samples, for example from samples of urine, faecal, and skin swab.
It’s likely that all diseases are associated with biochemical changes that cause changes in odours emanating from our bodies. That is the reason, why the dogs are able to detect these diseases.
But medical detection dogs are also helping as so called medical alert assistance dogs. They are basicly helping people who are having life threatening health problems, especially diabetes and Addisons disease.
The dogs are able to detect small changes in blood sugar levels or hormon related odour changes. When the change is too big, the dog will alert its owner, so they have more time to find proper help or to get their medicine.
And now the sad part of the video, which is about the medical research dogs. As you probably know, not only dogs are used for medical research. This table shows us how many and what animals are used for this purpose in the USA.
Probably the most important scientific researches, where dogs played their role, were the use of insulin to treat diabetes and the discovery of anti rejection drugs for organ transplants.
Majority of dogs used in this industry are Beagles, because of their trusting personality. They are too loyal and friendly to people, that they can be manipulated to doing almost anything.
Most of the people who are watching these videos have dogs and we can not imagine the life without our four legged friends. But for some people, the dogs are more than that, they are literally giving them freedom and in some cases, they are keeping them safe from dying. Dogs are just playing amazing roles in humans lifes.
Dogs are used by armies all around the world. They are seen as vital assets to military operations. Most of there is big and strong bond between the military dog and its handler. But their position in military changed over the centuries and they serve many different purposes in the military.
The first war dogs were used thousands years ago and their purpose was to break up enemy formations and kill as many enemy soldiers as possible. They were in the first line. First recorded war dogs were used about the year 600 before Christ by Lydian King who used them against invading Cimmerian army.
War dogs were used by almost all major civilizations, including the Egyptians, Greeks, Persians, Slavs, Britons and Romans. Especially the Romans were known for using The Molossus, which was extremely strong dog specifically bred for battle.
Today, dogs are not used in the first line to break up enemy formations. The armies are too modern for this and it would make no sense to use dogs this way. But that does not mean, that they do not have any purpose in the army. On the contrary, as the military modernized, so did the military dogs. We gave the dogs armor and we even developed dogs especially for the war purpose. And their role changed as well.
Most of the dogs in the modern warfare, were used as messangers, patrols, guards, scouts, but even as mascots for the morale boost. In the first world war, dogs were mostly used as messengers. The best known dog from the first world war would be Sergeant Stubby, who participated in 17 battles and captured a German spy.
There were some exceptions, when the military dogs were used directly for fighting even in the modern times. During the second world war, the Soviet Union deployed dogs strapped with explosives against invading German tanks. The US military trained dogs for the same purpose during the second world war, but it is believed, that they never used them for this purpose.
As i already said, most of the dogs in modern warfare were used for logistic and communication purposes. They were pulling guns, supplies and wounded soldiers, distributing vital messages. You might be surprise, what breeds were serving as messenger dogs. For example look at this little Yorkie. Her name was Smoky and her small sized helped her to run with telegraph wire through a pipe that was 8 inches in diameter. This ensured communication without moving troops into the line of fire.
People do not have the best senses and that is why we can use dogs to help us in this area. That is why many military dogs, thanks to their great sense of smell, are used for tracking and detection. Some dogs are able to locate mines, which is extremely helpful for armies all around the world. Dogs can also track down lost soldiers.
Because of the dogs keen hearing and smelling, they also make extraordinary scouts. They can detect danger from much larger distance than average person. Scouting dogs are able to identify the opposing threat with in 1,000 yards of area.
And of course, one of the most popular dog purpose is guarding, so its no wonder that militaries use them as sentries and guards as well. They can guard borders, warehouses, guns, supplies, just anything.
Some dogs were used as morale boosts and mascots for the soldiers, because lets be honest, dogs have the magical power to release stress from us. With dogs, you can, just for a moment, forget where you are and what is your situation and enjoy the moment.
Today, you can hear about heroic tasks dogs made in the Afghanistan, Iraq or Islamic State. Belgian Malinois helped to capture Osama bin Laden and the leader of the Islamic state not so long ago. The Shepherds are the most widely used military dogs in these days, especially the Belgian, Dutch and German Shepherds. They are preffered for their agressive, but loyal and smart nature and athletic body.
Labradors and other retrievers are also often times used by military, especially for smelling and detection purposes. Sometimes you can find some terriers in the military as well.
Dogs are valuable helpers for most armies in the world and they are able to perform truly heroic tasks.
1) Neutral Ground
I will start with one the most important tip of the video. Do not let the dogs meet in your appartment or on your yard. It is the territory of your current dog and he or she might see it as an intrusion of their territory and they might be very protective. You can go to your favourite park, but the best would be a place, which is unknown for both dogs. Of course, you will need an assistance of another person, who will bring the second dog here.
2) Act normally
Its important that you have the situation under control, but you should not be stressed about it. I know, this is easier to say than do. I would suggest you, to do ordinary things with the new and old dog. Lets say you met outside, your friend brought the new dog and you brought the current dog. Let the dogs see each other, if you want to be safe, keep them on leash, and go for a walk with them. Most likely, the dogs will be curious about each other and you should slowly let them introduce each other naturally.
Especially if you are buying a young dog or your current dog is very active, it is better if the dogs will be exhausted. Hyperactive puppy might be too much for an adult dog and he might not like the overflowing energy. Exhausted dog is relaxed dog. And introducing a relaxed dog will be much easier.
4) Slow Pace
Dont push the introduction, proceed calmly and slowly. You should be absolutely relaxed, so the dogs can see there is nothing to be worry about. If you will see no bad behaviour, you can let the dogs sniff each other.
5) Choose the correct dogs
You can make the introducing much easier, if your new dogs personality will be compatible with the current dogs personality. It is very hard to do it when you are buying a puppy, but if you are adopting an adult dog, you can ask in the shelter about the dogs personality. If your current dog is very calm and likes to relax in its pet bed during the day, you will have much easier job if you adopt another calm dog.
6) One by one
If you currently own more than one dog, dont introduce the new dog to the whole pack at one time. It is better to introduce every dog one by one. It might be completely overwhelming, if you will just throw the new dog between several other dogs that know each other.
7) Body language
You should monitor the all introduction and do not let the dogs leave alone. The most important is to be aware of the body language. The good sign would be loose body movements, relaxed open mouths and playfulness. On the other hand, you should be aware if the dogs are stiff and slow, if the hair is standing on their back, if they growl, baring their teeths or if they stare at each other for long time. In that case you should bring the attention of the dogs to you and try to introduce them after some time again.
8) Personal objects
When you arrive home with the new dog, make sure that he or she has its own food bowl, pet bed and toys. This is especially important, if your current dog is possesive. You can let them eat in different rooms, if you are afraid that they would fight. The food creates competition, which creates stress, and we dont want to have stressed dogs in our pack. It might be a good idea to hide all the old toys for some time and buy some new toys for all the dogs, so there is no competition over that either.
9) House Tour
Put the dog on the leash and again, slowly and calmly, show the newcomer his new home. Show him where he will sleep, where the other dogs live and set up the boundaries. You can do easily by closing some rooms, or you can use some baby gates.
10) Be patient
Patience is the key with almost everything you do with your dogs and introducing a new dog to the pack is no exception. And if you feel you have been patient enough, just be patient a little bit more. Sometimes the new dog will become friendly with your current dogs fast and quick, but sometimes it takes some time. So be patient, dont push it and always be calm and relaxed around the dogs.
Is there a dog breed with zebra stripes? What combination of dog breeds would make your perfect dog? Are large dogs more intelligent? Should all dogs be banned from parks with children's playgrounds? This and more questions in this Rocadog QnA.