Working Dog Breeds

The Working Group varies in appearance, but all these dog breeds are known for their tremendous strength, endurance and intelligence.

By | posted: April 12, 2012, 6 p.m. EDT

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The Working Group is a broad category, including dog breeds that perform a wide variety of roles, such as those of police dog, sled dog, guard dog and search and rescue dogs. Working breeds are some of the world's oldest breeds. Mastiffs have been used since Roman times as house guards and war dogs. Draft dogs have been used to pull carts and sleds since the thirteenth century. Many of these breeds are still used as working dogs today. Rottweilers and Doberman Pinschers are preferred breeds for military work. Others are favored as guide dogs and drug-detection dogs. Because Working breeds are so versatile, many of them have traditionally been used for multiple functions, such as hunting, guarding estates and livestock, tracking, hauling freight and serving as companions.

The common denominator is that all Working breeds assist humans in some capacity or another. They vary in appearance, but they are all known for their tremendous strength, endurance and intelligence. Many have been bred to appear menacing, which belies their gentle, loving nature. They tend to be naturally protective toward their household "pack" and home territory.

Is a Working Dog for you? Look at these 12 facts about the Working Dog to decide if it is the right dog for your life situation.

1. They have plenty of strength, stamina and endurance.
2. They are extremely loyal to and protective of their families and make excellent watchdogs.
3. Their weatherproof coats provide good protection in hot and cold weather.
4. They are responsive to training.
5. Some large Working breeds have only modest exercise requirements despite their size.
6. Many Working breeds are fairly inactive indoors, making them well-behaved house dogs.
7. Working instincts can veer in unwanted directions without adequate training and socialization.
8. Owners must be prepared to supply firm and consistent training.
9. Some Working breeds can be very slow to mature, retaining puppy traits longer than some smaller breeds do.
10. Because of their strong protective instincts, Working dogs tend to be tolerant bus suspicious of strangers. Don't expect these breeds to behave as fun-loving extroverts.
11. Giant-breed puppies require careful dietary management and have some exercise restrictions as they grow.
12. Some breeds in this group can be targets of breed-specific legislation.

 

Excerpt from the American Kennel Club's Meet the Breeds with permission from its publisher, BowTie Press, a division of BowTie, Inc. Purchase the AKC's Meet the Breeds.

 

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