Working breeds are dogs with a job and a body willing to work hard at it. But they show many different characteristics in the group: from agile guard dogs to gentle giants to sled dogs, also known as long-distance runners in the dog world. Here is everything you need to know about these popular dog breeds.
Job description of a working dog
Working dog breeds come from all over the world and, as the name suggests, are hardworking breeds specifically designed to distinguish themselves in specialized, non-herding professions. This is primarily protection and protection for people, livestock, or property – but also sledding, pulling, and rescue. Historically, many of these dogs have been able to turn their paws to other work roles when needed.
Sizes and coat types for working dog breeds
These dogs are all big or large Giant races and have a variety of coat types depending on the country they called home and the jobs they were asked to do. Larger breeds usually come from colder climates, and this is the case with the majority of this group.
The natural instincts of working dog breeds
Like all different breeds, working dogs use their natural canine behavior to do the jobs that humans designed them to do. Her instincts were perfected through successive breeding to look for intruders and then take the necessary action.
Working races differ in how they use these instincts. Guarding dog breeds are extremely vigilant and always on the lookout for intruders or anything that could jeopardize their charge. Once an intruder or danger is detected, they react differently to whether they chase them and then hunt them or whether they just hunt. Once they reach their goal, they can grab to stop them or bite much harder to disable them (or in the case of Bullmastiff, pull it to the ground and sit on it!).
But not all working races guard. Some (Bernese and Newfoundland as examples) are known as the gentle giants of the canine world, though they are just as hardworking. While others, like the sled dogs, are the long-distance runners of the canine world.
Remember that for working dog breeds, predatory behavior is self-rewarding, meaning they need an exit for those hard-wired instincts to manifest. Don’t think, however, that you need an estate to protect your dog or an arctic wasteland to sled across. However, this does mean that you must be aware of these natural instincts and work hard to make sure that your dog is fulfilled, happy, and a safe member of canine society.
Behavior and personality of working dog breeds
In order to do their job successfully, working breeds have special skills and characteristics.
Strong and determined
Many working races are expected to face threats from their charges, and so most are able to walk the path rather than just bark the bark! Others may be asked to pull sleds or heavy carts that require both strength and endurance.
Whether you’re sledding or fighting off intruders, working breeds are the members of the canine world that have both endurance and endurance in their DNA.
While not as active as that pastoral or Hunting dog breeds Most working breeds are still quite active as they are bred to be active all day. Some will happily be lazy and wait for the moments when they will be asked to work, while others, like the sled dogs, can literally run all day and happily do it.
Working dog breeds are able to scare off even the most determined opponents or to work tirelessly in their skilled trades. These dogs are often as strong-minded as they are physically strong.
Unlike some breeds, which fear the owners of a perceived threat, these dogs tend to be far more secure.
And since these are dogs better suited for seasoned owners, here’s what you can expect when you welcome these large dogs, strong both physically and mentally, into the family.
- Can be suspicious of strangers (humans and dogs)
- Do you need training and good management/handling
- Can be very territorial
- Dedicated to the owner and family
- In the case of the herd guards, they can be happy to be left behind longer than other breeds
- Quiet (apart from the sled dogs!)
- Surprisingly sensitive and reward-based training
- In the heavily coated dogs (especially the sled dogs) they can peel off a lot
- These are dogs that are bred to do a job. Without proper exercise, training, and interaction with the owner can become boring and frustrating, which can lead to destructiveness and potential aggression.
- With good management and training, these can be the gentle giants of the canine world, protecting their families with unparalleled worship.
Is a Working Breed Right For You?
If you think a workgroup member is right for you, here are some things to keep in mind.
Dog exercise Requirements vary within the group. The protective races tend to require less exercise than they do pastoral and Hunting dog breeds since their job is mainly to watch and wait and then take action when necessary. You will still need one to two hours of daily exercise. They prefer to take frequent short walks with you rather than the occasional longer one. However, the sled dogs have to run – a lot.
Guard dog breeds love to play in the garden, and the frequent walks together will help them use their limitless energies. All of this fun and exercise is giving your dog a break from “duty” at home to protect you and your family – a task that all these guard dog breeds naturally do, even though they’re more pets than working guard dogs!
Working dog breeds will grow up to be large, powerful dogs, which is why they need training to be safe members of canine society. With right Dog training and being sensible, they can be the most incredibly rewarding and devoted dogs to own. Without them, they can become a danger to others and to themselves.
Some of these dogs can turn their paws into obedience, but they generally do not have the attitude to hold onto champions! However, some make excellent dogs for the armed forces as their intelligence and strength are ideal for this job.
The sled dogs will love sports such as canicross or bikejoring that give them an opportunity to run.
Guard dogs may also want to protect and protect things that you don’t want (such as the remote control of the TV)! Asking “give” is a great way to ensure that your protective instincts don’t get out of hand. When training your puppy make a game of always replacing what they have in their mouth with something tastier (if it’s food or a treat) or more exciting (like replacing an old toy with a new one).
As some of the most protective of dogs, guard dog breeds can be a little bit possessive. If your dog is showing signs of guarding his bed or other possessions, or owning you or other family members, seek advice from a qualified canine behaviorist immediately upon referral from your veterinarian.
Working races require early and continuous Dog socialization to make sure they accept strangers and are with other dogs. Some may never be “dog-social” (especially men with other men), but with training and sensible behavior they can accommodate others in their immediate vicinity and be safe. However, sled dogs enjoy living and working with others.
Since your protection dog is likely to be big and strong, and their protective instincts make them suspicious of people, it is important that they be exposed to the world as much as possible. The traits that traditionally made them good watchdogs could turn them into annoying pets if they get used to “guarding” too much!
Guard dog breeds can be very powerful, which is one of the unique aspects of their type. With that in mind, it’s also important that they get used to being treated by different people, including strangers, at a young age. Your dog’s vet, groomer, walker, or babysitter will surely thank you for making their lives easier when it comes to getting them back on a leash or taking them to their checkups. Using relaxed daily grooming sessions – whether the coat needs attention or not – will produce the best results and be fun for you too.
Some working dog breeds are short-haired and only need to be wiped with a cloth, while others require extensive grooming and are very difficult to shed. Do not hesitate to ask Dog grooming Breeder’s advice on how to best groom your working dog’s coat.
Most protective breeds are calm and self-contained, while sled dogs enjoy a good howl and can be very talkative!
Relaxing around the house with your insight will help most types of guard dog breeds stay alert to unusual events happening around them. They react instantly to the sound of a car alarm or steps outside, and bark frequently to alert you and ward off potential threats.
Some dogs are more reactive and persistent than others, and it is very useful to have a good answer to the demands of “speaking” and “remaining silent”. If you teach your dog to bark when asked, it means he can be vocal when it is convenient for both of you, e.g. Take a walk outside, for example, if your neighbors don’t mind. Teach your dog to start and stop barking also means it is easier to calm them down once they decide it’s time to bark inside!
Most working dogs are completely devoted to their owners but show affection through quiet closeness rather than cuddling. There are always exceptions, however, and some may be more aloof while others think they are lap dogs!
If your dog is very dependent on you, make sure he isn’t tied to the point where he can no longer cope on his own. It is important that your dog is taught self-confidence from a young age to avoid this Separation anxiety in dogs. Provide a comfortable, cavernous kennel (sometimes called a crate) or cozy bed in a dog-proof space for them to doze or chew on a favorite toy of their own. Before you leave your dog alone, train your dog so he goes to the bathroom and is ready to relax, and hide a treat-filled chew toy that he can find and then manipulate to keep him busy in your absence .
Your guard dog is likely to be close to someone in a family. To avoid over-reliance on the one person, make sure that all adult family members feed, exercise, walk, and play with your dog. Older children are also involved in some of these tasks under the close supervision of an adult.
If you want a dog to play endless retrieval games with you, you’re out of luck! Most working races enjoy enrichment games, however, and some love to be challenged with regular scent work, tracking, and interactivity Dog brain games. Just make sure that any toys you give them are strong, sturdy, and safe. Treat each working dog as an individual and spend time figuring out which games they enjoy.
The working dog owner’s checklist
If you think a working dog breed is a companion for you, here are a few things that will make a dog owner compatible with such an active breed:
- Experienced owner with good knowledge of handling large dogs
- Lots of space inside and outside – rural locations preferred (working dogs are definitely not city dogs)
- Very safe garden – some of these breeds are escape artists
- Lots of time to train and socialize – and to create suitable and safe opportunities for movement
Bond with your working dog
The best way to bond with your working dog is to give him a job. However, make sure that the job is under your control and don’t let them become “self-employed”. Find ways to exercise your mind and body to avoid boredom and frustration – a good reward-based trainer can help you with that.
Your dog may seem reluctant at times, but he will form close relationships with his family and he has been known to use great strength to defend him. Strangers are often viewed with initial suspicion, but friends and visitors who have been introduced and accepted are viewed as part of the group.
Some guard dogs are more ostentatious than others in their affection. Guard dogs like rottweiler, Dobermans and German shepherds are generally devoted to their owners and cling to every word, but some of the protective races, in particular Great Dane Types are more independent.
Discover all working dog breeds (Kennel Club recognized, February 2020)
Bernese Mountain Dog
Bouvier Des Flandres
Canadian Eskimo Dog
Dogue de Bordeaux
Entlebuch Mountain Dog
Great Swiss Mountain Dog
Portuguese water dog
Russian black terrier