Working Dog Breeds
Among the breed groups categorized by the American Kennel Club, dogs found in the working group stand out for their history of providing invaluable aid to humankind. Indeed, throughout the ages these dogs were selectively bred to be skilled in many disciplines allowing them to be used for a vast array of jobs. These strong, intelligent dogs are for the most part, large powerful canines who do best in homes with experienced owners. You’ll see a vast array of shapes and sizes in this group, from the standard schnauzer to the majestic great dane.
A Look Back in History
Selectively bred for intelligence and hardiness, working dogs are dogs with strong work ethics who need a job to keep their mind stimulated and body exercised. Whether they were bred to guard property, pull sleds, protect livestock or perform water rescues, these dogs have what it takes to get the job done. Some of them were bred for generations to be very versatile dogs, and therefore, they were utilized for a variety of tasks. For instance, the German shepherd breed was utilized throughout history for herding, police work, search and rescue missions and for sentry and patrol. Another versatile breed is the Rottweiler who pulled carts, herded cattle and then became a police dog. Nowadays, they are utilized as guardians, therapy dogs and loving companions.
Who Should own a Dog in the Working Group
- Those who have the time to socialize and train. These dogs are large and powerful and need some serious training to be under control and socialization is a must so they are less likely to becoming protective when not necessary.
- Those interested in enrolling in canine specialties. Because these dogs are highly intelligent and they’re often looking for something to do, they really thrive when they’re engaged in canine specialties such as agility, nose work, search and rescue or Schutzhund.
- Experienced dog owners. Several breeds in this category are very powerful and do best in homes with experienced owners capable of providing them with the needed training, guidance, socialization, exercise and mental stimulation.
- Owners willing to keep their dog active. There’s nothing worse than having a bored working dog. If you are unable to find a way to fulfill these dogs’ needs for exercise and mental stimulation, they’ll find their own forms of entertainment and they won’t be amusing. Digging, barking, chewing are some favorite past times. Daily walks are a must for these dogs who get easily bored if left in the yard to fend for themselves all day.
- Those who want a working companion. Do you want a dog who could pull carts of wood? Looking for help keeping your livestock safe from predators? Then choosing the right working dog for the task you need help with will make your life easier and your working dog happy.
A good amount of research is required by those who are considering adding a dog in the working group to their household. Since there are several different breeds within his group, no generalizations can really be made. Some dogs in this group have heavy coats and may shed a whole lot, while others may require extensive grooming to keep their coats neat and free of mats. Several are guardians by nature and need to be taught not to let those protective instincts to take over at the wrong time.