But for the countless working animals of the world, napping the day away is the last thing on their minds. These inspiring pups take work ethic to a whole new level.
Dogs may be man's best friend, but guide dogs offer much more than just companionship. For men and women who are blind or visually impaired, venturing out into the world can be a challenging and sometimes frightening experience. By helping their owner get to and fro, guide dogs are helping their owner to be more independent and confident.
German shepherds, Labrador retrievers and golden retrievers are commonly bred as guide dogs. Light training begins as a puppy and becomes more intense as the dog ages. Guide dogs must learn obedience, resistance to distraction and agility. A guide dog's main responsibility is to help its owner move about safely by avoiding obstacles like curbs, traffic and people.
These canine troopers don't go unrewarded—many dogs are credited with saving the lives of police officers and are honored for their service.
Hundreds of these dogs were used during the 9/11 search and rescue efforts at the World Trade Center and in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. These four-legged heroes have noses so powerful, they can sniff out people buried under wreckage or even detect victims underwater.
Children who cannot walk can feel the rhythm in the horse's gait, and those with sensory disabilities can learn the power of trust while propped high atop the animal. Therapy horses can give their riders confidence, exercise and a whole lot of joy.
If you want to see a herding dog in action, your best bet is to look Down Under—herders in Australia and New Zealand frequently rely on these top dogs.
During the famous Iditarod, sleds with teams of 12 to 16 dogs run over 1,150 miles of Alaskan mountain ranges, frozen rivers, dense forests and desolate tundra. The dogs cover about 100 miles a day—proudly forging through darkness, freezing winds and temperatures well below zero.