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Discussion Starter #1
Please forgive the awkward phrasing. Some dog breed descriptions (especially working and herding breeds) include a phrase similar to "this dog needs a job." There are official jobs such as service dogs, law enforcement, search & rescue, farm work, but what do ordinary owners do with their dogs? What are some non-job jobs for working / herding dogs?
 

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Some jobs can be anywhere from Frisbee dog, trick dog, obedience dog, search and rescuer of toys; it could be anything, but the key thing is that dog has to do the activity like a job. That is, every day, the dog and the owner set aside special time to work at a goal, make will make dog work and think. You can get really creative if you put your mind to it :D
 

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Agility, obedience, flyball, etc. All sorts of dog sports. Trick training.

I don't really like the term 'needs a job' but really all you need to do is give the dog something to do that will exercise their mind more than anything.
 

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Yep! Dog sports are one thing to get involved in, as are tricks like putting toys away and picking things up on command, and for some dogs, walking nicely on leash is even a bit of a job :)

It really depends on the dog, too, not just the breed. Kimma needs stuff to do or she is a nightmare to live with. So we walk twice a day or maybe more, train for obedience and agility, she used to get her meals out of food puzzle toys (can't find them since the move :(), and her new thing is that she puts all the toys/bones away in a basket each night. My other two of the same breed are content with a daily walk, some play, and a bit of training. So their "jobs" are different from Kimma's "jobs," but everyone is well-exercised both physically and mentally so it's all good :)
 

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Let's see......we

1) Take weekly agility classes and trial maybe one weekend out of two
2) Play disc for fun and compete at local competitions
3) Take weekly nosework classes and train at home and around town for practice
4) Train all kinds of useless but fun tricks

Kit's a busy girl, but very happy. Anyone who couldn't provide these things for her has no business owning a dog like this. Most dogs don't have such extreme needs, but the only dogs I'm interested in owning all do.
 

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I have two currently working real jobs in sar. The rottie mutt has a job lol, he carries feed pans and buckets for me. He is beside himself while "working"lol. The retired malinois still "works" he does small tracks occasionally. Also we do bitework with him for fun. He thinks he is working. The dogs in training, well that's there job for.the moment. Sports are good, but even jobs around the house or farm will give the satisfaction that they are fulfilling their need to work.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks so much for the replies! As usual, I was really over-thinking things. As a human, I was using too narrow a definition of "job."

Finkie_Mom, you're right about so much being dependent on the individual :)

GottaLuvMutts, what a great life Kit has with you.

Wicket, love the idea of "search & rescue" toys.
 

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Kenda and I are currently working on passing the Therapy Dog certification. Even if we never visit another nursing home (though I suspect we will) they are all great skills and provide focus to our training.

At home we're working on policing up her toys and putting them in a toy box. If housework isn't a job, I don't know what is. :juggle:
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks for the additional ideas. Not sure I'd ever own a job-needing dog, but I can dream. And put my current dog to work...I'd like her to help with housework :)
 

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Thanks for the additional ideas. Not sure I'd ever own a job-needing dog, but I can dream. And put my current dog to work...I'd like her to help with housework :)
Hmmmmmm?
Is my female Rottweiler really afraid of the vaccuum cleaner?..or is she just trying to avoid doing housework?
 

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I have an Australian Shepherd who has to constantly have a job.
We got doggie backpacks for our dogs. It makes them feel like their helping you out buy carrying things for you (even if it's just a water bottle or 2!). I have 2 donkeys that he watches along with the rest of the farm, he keeps an eye on everything 24/7. He also does tricks, agility, ect and he's still aways looking for more to do.
 

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I bike with my dog and I think she sees that as a job because she gets really focused! We've also been doing some trick training and simple agility stuff. We definitely don't walk daily but we try to do SOMEthing everyday, whether it's walking, training, or biking. She even considers going for a ride in the car a job... She'll be on the lookout for "dangers" LOL! Stares through the windshield the whole way...
 

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Main job for Denali is agility, with a side of biking. Main job for Kaytu is mushing. They also go to the dog park ~4-5x per week for usually 2 hours mainly to socialize but the play and running is great too.

Basically "needs a job" or "need to work" means to me that the dog has a lot of energy and if you leave it around the house with nothing to do, it will make its own fun by ruining your everything, developing obsessive and neurotic behaviors, or other issues born of boredom.
 

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Yeah... If I have a day where I can't do anything my dog sleeps all day... Definitely not a dog that needs a job LOL But I like to give her one anyway... She's eager to do whatever I want her to do!
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Some of you make is sound almost easy to have a "workaholic" dog, but I know I don't have the energy level to keep up :) Katie gets 2 longish walks a day; fetch in the yard; trips to the dog park several times a week; weekly (at least) outings to various locations; daily informal training; and for now, weekly classes. Anything more and I'd need to live on diet coke ;)
 

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My dogs have always had the job of telling me when the washer is off balance ... which Leeo was much better at then the other two! :/ Abbylynn will bark when the timer on the oven goes off and pulls me around in the wheeled desk chair for fun. She thinks this is a job. I have been teaching all of them to "go look" to alert me when the squirrels are raiding the bird feeders outside. Other than this ... for the time being their job is to just be my companion... until I come up with something else odd for fun. :)
 

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Holly's job is playing fetch, her next job is lookig after my nephews.

I would love to do agility with her but my garden is stones and paving, and i'm guessing this would hurt her joints?.
She cannot go to classes due to her fear of dogs, it just would not work.

Instead i hide her ball, sometimes on the tree over the road, round the house or garden, or on the washing line, she has to work out how to jump up and get it.

We do tricks too.
 
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