Is your 9-5 job boring the pants off you? Do you dream of working with dogs rather than humans? If so, you are not alone. Most animal lovers have a secret dream of spending their days working with man’s best friend. They see it as a rewarding career on so many levels. But is it? Let’s look at what you need to know before you make a career switch.
There are dozens of cool dog jobs out there. From search and rescue dog handlers to K9 units and dog trainers, working dogs need humans to train and handle them. Not everyone has the requisite skills. Some dogs are difficult to deal with and you may not bond with every canine you meet. But working with dogs can offer many benefits.
The Benefits of Working with Dogs
The difference between dogs and your snarky colleagues is that a dog is completely dependent on you for his basic needs. You are his source of food and water, exercise, stimulation, and love. He needs you to make him happy – and it works both ways.
Numerous studies have shown that spending extended periods of time with dogs – and other animals – is good for our wellbeing. Pets are a mood booster. They relax us. This is why taking pets into senior care facilities is so effective. Working with dogs will improve your mood and make you less susceptible to depressive illness.
Working with Canines is Good for Your Health
If you suffer from mental illness, a career working with dogs could be the best thing for your mental health. Dogs force us to focus on them and their needs. They de-stress us and the knowledge that another creature loves us unconditionally can provide relief from loneliness and anxiety.
Working with dogs will also boost your immune system. A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association concluded that children who grow up with pets are less likely to develop allergies, contrary to what many doctors and parents think. This protective effect continues into adulthood, so working with dogs could be good for your health.
Are You a Suitable Person?
Not everyone has what it takes to work with dogs. You may need to pursue qualifications, depending on what role you are interested in. For example, if you want to become an animal behaviorist or dog trainer, certification is essential. You may have to learn about canine health and anatomy as part of your training.
Other personal skills are important, too. Working with dogs requires a high level of patience. Dogs don’t always do what we want them to do. Like humans, dogs can be stubborn, feisty, and naughty at times. They can also be aggressive, so be prepared to act like an alpha or you’ll find your canine buddies run rings around you.
Just because you will primarily be working with dogs, you will still need good communication skills when dealing with their owners and other professionals.
Working with dogs is guaranteed to put a smile on your face, every single day. If this sounds like a job for you, investigate training opportunities and make that career switch today!