A working dog is a dog that is employed to assist people with specific tasks or activities. Some common examples of working dogs include search and rescue dogs, guard dogs, and dogs for pulling sleds and farm equipment.
One important temperament trait for working dogs is obedience. Working dogs must be able to listen to their handler’s commands and obey them without hesitation. This trait is essential for tasks such as search and rescue, where the dog’s safety and the success of the mission depend on their obedience.
Another important trait for working dogs is athleticism. A working dog needs to be able to run long distances, be strong, and swim through water.
Working dogs can be of any breed, but some breeds are more commonly used as working dogs than others.
List of Working Dogs
There are two different distinct types of Akita Dog — American and Japanese. The Japanese comes in fewer colors than the American and is smaller in size. However, aside from this, they are pretty much the same dog and have very similar personalities, temperaments and care needs.
The Akita is recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC). In fact, the AKC is the only breed club that sees the Japanese and American Akitas as the same dog and allows breeding between the two. All other breed clubs, such as the World Canine Organization and UK Kennel Club, recognize them as distinctly different breeds.
The Japanese variety of the Akita Dog is the original, as this purebred originated in Japan and is a type of Spitz dog. Their original purpose was to hunt wild boar, deer and bears, but soon they became family companions thanks to their power and their ability to protect. Owners also noticed how loyal and friendly these dogs were with children.
The Bernese Mountain Dog is a beautiful and lovable, large mountain dog from Switzerland. It has an adorable soft and gentle face with a long-haired, tri-colored silky coat. This is a versatile working dog that is obedient, eager to please, and calm; but with a high energy level.
Bernese mountain dogs are strong and reliable and were bred as farm dogs to work Swiss farmlands; herding cattle and as draft dogs pulling heavy milk carts. Draft dogs (also spelled draught dogs) were traditionally bred as farm dogs for pulling working carts or sleds, in the Swiss Alps. Any dog bred for this type of work will have a strong and sturdy build. This breed came from crossing Mastiffs (another Molosser type breed) and other guarding-type dogs.
You may not have heard of the Anatolian Shepherd, but it is actually one of the oldest breeds of all time. Despite not being a very popular dog, these pups actually make great pets and excellent family dogs. They are also often used as working dogs on farms, guiding and herding livestock.
These pups were first seen thousands of years ago, so it is surprising they are not more heard of. If you’re interested in learning more about this unique dog or are thinking about adding one to your family, keep reading to find out about their history, their characteristics and their care needs.
Anatolian Shepherd dogs are excellent companions and working dogs, who excel especially when working as livestock guardians. They are particularly good at defending livestock from wolves, coyotes and other potential predators and farmers rely on them heavily. Since 1994, they have been used by farmers in Africa as a deterrent for big cats such as Cheetahs.
This protective nature can sometimes cause a few issues when introducing the Anatolian Shepherd as a pet to a family. However, with the right socialization, it can be done with no problem.
If you are looking for a “proper dog”, then a Presa Canario might be the right choice for you. They’re large, protective, and definitely won’t be just a lap dog in your household. It’s not by chance that this breed has gained a reputation for being just like a guard dog, although don’t be fooled into thinking that the temperament of each individual canine is exactly the same.
These mastiff type dogs are study and hardworking, but a well-bred pup of this breed can also be trained to be calm and loving in the family home, provided they do not live with other pets. In some parts of the United States, this breed has been used for dog fighting, which is why they are often a misrepresented dog.
We know that the Presa Canario was an export from the Canary Islands, which is why they are sometimes described as Spanish guard dogs. What isn’t fully understood is how they actually came to be there in the first place. It remains unsolved as to whether they were always found in the Canary Islands, or whether they were brought there by explorers to the Spanish isles. Either way, we know that their appeal stretched much further than the Canaries as they went international.
The Alaskan Malamute is a wolf dog breed. These arctic sled dogs descended from wolves and still resemble them very closely, both physically and mentally. Of course, they have also been domesticated over the years and are gaining popularity as a companion dog.
The Alaskan Malamute was registered by the American Kennel Club (AKC) in 1935, the same year that the Alaskan Malamute Club of America was formed.
Thousands of years ago, the Alaskan Malamute’s predecessors crossed from Siberia to Alaska with native people. One tribe, known as the Mahlemuts, settled in the northeastern area of the Seward Peninsula. Here the Alaskan Malamute was developed and the breed was used to hunt seals, chase away polar bears and pull sleds.
The Cane Corso is a breed of Mastiff dog that originated in Italy. With a solid body and a large build, you may think this dog is aggressive and unapproachable, and certainly not a family dog. In fact, this couldn’t be further from the truth! These pups are affectionate and friendly, and just want to be loved and doted on.
This breed is also hardworking and loyal, with high intelligence and great trainability, making them an excellent dog to have around the home.
The Cane Corso is recognized as a “Molossus” dog breed. This breed appeared constantly throughout Ancient Greek history in old sculptures and paintings. Molosser dog breeds are made up of both Bully dog and Mastiff dog breeds. Cane Corsos are classified as a Mastiff dog, although they are less-bulky than most Mastiffs. This smaller build meant that they are known for being one of the faster Mastiff breeds.
The Cane Corso was not recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC) until 2010. This means that they have a breed standard and breeders try not to stray too far from their Italian heritage
The Giant Schnauzer is the largest of the three Schnauzer dog breeds – Giant, Standard, and Miniature. The Schnauzer name is derived from the German word “schnauze” which means muzzle. The Schnauzer’s muzzle is decorated with a moustache and beard. The Giant has a rough and wiry outer coat with a dense undercoat. This Schnauzer has longer hair on its legs and face and shorter hair elsewhere.
Giant Schnauzers were used to herd cattle in Wurttemberg and Bavaria in southern Germany. The early Schnauzers were popular as coach dogs because of their stamina. Later the Giant Schnauzers were used as guard dogs for butcher shops and breweries. In Germany the Giant became the dog of choice for police and military work. In the US and Canada, Giants are used for search and rescue work and also at airports for the detection of dangerous or illegal substances.
The history of the Hungarian Sheepdog starts in Hungary. Used as guardians and watchdogs, they belonged to the Maygar tribe, which dates to the late ninth century. The Maygars used the dogs because of their coats, which allowed them to blend in with their sheep. Predators that went after the sheep at night found the dogs instead and ran away. Komondors were also popular with this tribe because the members knew that the dogs would protect their flocks of sheep when humans weren’t around.
In the early 1920s, the first standards for this breed appeared in print. Those standards included information about their height and weight as well as their coat and colors. Just a few years later, the Hungarian Komondor Club opened, which brought more attention to this dog. Some credit this club for the popularity of the breed today and the spread of the Mop Dog outside of Hungary.
Mop Dogs first traveled to Germany where farmers and others registered their dogs. They then became popular in Belgium before moving to the United States. Many American farmers used the dogs to scare off coyotes, which were growing in numbers at the time. This led to the AKC recognizing the breed in 1937 and the World Canine Organization added the breed to its registry in the mid-1940s.
The Boerboel is a giant breed of dog that is also known as the South African Mastiff. These pups are one of the most powerful breeds of dog in the world, with an ability to exert 450 pounds of pressure per square inch when they bite.
The Boerboel’s name derives from the word “boer” which means “farmer”, so it is not difficult to guess what these dog’s were originally used for. A giant breed, these pups were originally bred to be guardians and protectors, although nowadays are also known for being pets and companions. They are actually known to be quite lazy and laid-back dogs, despite their size and power!
The Boerboel was recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC) as a working breed in 2015.
The Newfoundland dog is primarily a companion dog that makes an excellent family pet and is great with children. However, they weren’t always used as companion dogs and were actually used as working dogs due to their size and strength. They are one of the biggest breeds of dogs out there!
The Newfoundland dog is recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC) and the Fédération Cynologique International. They have been recognized for over a century! They have an official breed club called The Newfoundland Club of America.
The Newfoundland dog comes from the Newfoundland area of Canada. Originally, they were used as lifeguards by fisherman and helped to save lives. They are closely related to other water Retriever breeds such as the Labrador Retriever and the Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever.
The Rottweiler Dog, also known as a Rottie, is an extremely popular dog. They are a large working dog breed that is strong and powerful, yet their friendly and kind-hearted nature also makes them an excellent companion dog! These pups love to play and can thrive in a family environment, too.
The Rottweiler has a bite force is 328 pounds per square inch, which is around half the strength of a shark’s bite! For this reason, these dogs are often seen as aggressive and dangerous, but this couldn’t be further from the truth.
The Rottweiler Dog is a strong yet goofy dog that is extremely loving and loyal. It is for this reason that this dog breed is one of the most popular dogs in the United States and ranks at number 8 in the top 10 breeds.
These dogs have a working history and, although they are normally seen as companion dogs today, they are still used as police dogs, military dogs, service dogs, search and rescue dogs and therapy dogs, and can make great guard dogs and watchdogs for families too.
The Husky Dog, also known as the Siberian Husky, is an intelligent and driven breed of dog that has excelled as a working dog for many years. These pups have been used as sled pullers, guard dogs and explorers, but also make an excellent companion for a family.
With both high stamina and strength, the Siberian Husky originates from Northern Asia and were bred by the Chukchi people.
The Siberian Husky is a very popular dog that is widely known across the world. They are still used as sled pullers in Alaska, but have also become a fantastic companion and are known for being an excellent family dog and a great playmate for children. They are somewhat a mystery to scientists, as they can regulate their metabolisms so they never get tired.
In 1930, the American Kennel Club (AKC) recognized this breed. The Husky dog was also recognised by the United Kennel Club (UKC) in 1938.
The Great Dane is known for being one of the largest dog breeds out there and was originally bred to hunt wild boar. However, nowadays, these dogs are one of the gentlest and loving pups out there! The Great Dane makes a wonderful family pet, demanding attention from anywhere they can get it from and providing a fantastic playmate to children.
The Great Dane descended from Mastiff-like dogs, but they are more refined that other descendants of this breed. It is unknown when they first arrived in America, but the Great Dane Club of America was formed in 1889 and they were the fourth breed club allowed to join the American Kennel Club (AKC).
The Great Dane can be traced back through drawings as far as 3000 B.C. It is thought that they were moved to different parts of the world by the Assyrians, who traded their dogs to the Greeks and Romans, who then bred these dogs with other breeds. This is why it is thought the Great Dane descend from Mastiff-type dogs.
The Dobermann Pinscher breed originated in Germany, Europe. In 1890, Karl Lewis Dobermann, a tax collector and stray dog catcher in Apolda, Germany, needed a fearless and powerful dog to protect him in in some of the hostile locations he found himself in because of his unpopular type of work. With access to so many different breeds he was able to breed his ideal guard dog.
It’s uncertain which breeds he mixed to create this new breed of dog, but most likely it includes the Terrier, Rottweiler, Great Dane, English Greyhound, Weimaraner, Manchester Terrier, German Terrier, German Shepherd and the Beauceron (A French sheepdog).
After his death, in 1894, this new German dog breed was named after him as the Dobermann Pinscher. (Pinscher means terrier in the German language and refers to the act of ‘biting’ or ‘gripping’; referring to the Terrier breed’s original function as a rat hunter).
After World War II, it was deemed inappropriate to keep the word ‘Pinscher’ in the breed name so it was removed internationally with the exception of the US and Canada.
The Mountain Cur breed, also known as Mountain Kerr, is one of the rarest breed of dogs. These dogs are energetic and enthusiastic, and love to be outdoors. They have an interesting history that links them to the early settlers that colonized the southern United States, and are known for being very protective over their owners and for being excellent hunting dogs. The word “Cur” refers to working dogs, bred to herd, hunt and guard their owner’s property and is also the umbrella term for various dogs that share highly similar traits and purposes.
It is thought that the Mountain Cur breed was brought over from Europe by the early European settlers to southern parts of the United States, mainly Ohio, Virginia, Kentucky, and Tennessee. Also known as the “True-All American Pioneer Dog”, these dogs help to protect their families and properties from wild animals. They were also great for hunting, catching animals such as squirrels and raccoons that could be served for dinner.
The Estrela Mountain Dog comes from Portugal and, while these dogs are still primarily used as herding dogs in Portugal, they are also know favored as companion dogs in other parts of the world. They are not very common outside of the country, but it is still possible to add one of these wonderful pups to your household when you live in the United States. Certain breed organizations and breed specific rescues will be able to help.
The Estrela Mountain Dog is recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC), the Kennel Club and Fédération Cynologique Internationale.
The Entlebucher Mountain Dog is a breed of herding dog that originates from Switzerland. This breed is the smallest out of all the Swiss Cattle breeds, also known as Sennenhunds. These dogs love to work and really will want to be given a job to do, yet they can also make wonderful companions to those who understand them and their needs.
The Entlebucher Mountain Dog is related to the three other Swiss Cattle breeds — the Appenzeller, the Bernese Mountain Dog, and the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog, of which they are the smallest. This breed is recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC), the Canadian Kennel Club, the Federation Cynologique Internationale and the United Kennel Club (UKC).