Jobs for dogs can cure behaviour issues and boost their mental health, a Professor at Tufts University has said.
Just like people, dogs can suffer from poor mental health at times and feel happier after mental and physical activity.
“I knew a bloodhound who was destroying the house,” Dr Nicholas Dodman told Moncrieff.
“He was enrolled in scent work - hunting for things using his nose. As soon as he had a job, the problem faded away.
“So, having a job and having fun is much better than just lying on a rug waiting for a 15 minute or half hour walk.”
The difference can be especially noticeable if a dog suffers from anxiety.
“The type who had generalised anxiety benefited from being enrolled in dog sporting activities like flyball - which is a sort of relay game for dogs [and] border collies in particular enjoy that kind of thing,” Dr Dodman said.
“Or nose work, which is a very sort of underground [game] searching for a fake rodent under tunnels that you build for them - that’s very good for the terrier type dogs.”
Other jobs include sheep herding classes or taking part in obstacle courses.
“When they’re rolled in these things because of the interaction, because of the ‘having a job’ [experience] and enjoyment in life - instead of just doing a walk around the block - their anxiety faded away,” Dr Dodman said.
“They were three times as likely to have that anxiety quelled by enrolling in dog sports.”
Even if they only take part once a week, the benefits can endure for days afterwards.
“They can remember pretty well,” Dr Dodman said.
“So, for example, if a dog was enrolled in herding classes once a week, the six days of the week that he’s not doing herding classes, he’s thinking of it, dreaming of it.
“So, I think it just has a general calming effect.”
Main image: A sheep dog at work. Picture by: Alamy.com