If you are looking for working breeds of dog but not sure which one to pick? Knowing about the breeds can help you choose one that fits your family. Let’s start-
Perhaps you work on a farm and need an energetic mutt to help herd your livestock, maybe you’re looking for a powerful pup to keep guard of your property, or perhaps you’ve stocked up on trail mix and nite lite hunting supplies and are looking for a loyal companion to accompany you on the hunt.
From big to small, friendly to independent, those are best suited for families, people with disabilities, or lone wolf types who want a friend to face the world. Whatever your reason for looking for a working breed, there’s a fantastic variety to choose from. So, here is our top pick of working breeds of dog and the jobs they can do.
One of the most popular breeds of dogs in the world, working or not, the Labrador Retriever is the perfect working breeds of dog for many tasks. But their ability to gently carry fragile items in their mouth and their automatic inclination to fetch things for their owners make them ideally suited for hunting and retrieving. Namely, fowl and game.
Originating from Newfoundland, Labrador Retrievers were brought over to the UK in the 19th Century by fishermen from Canada, who used them for hunting small game and land fishing nets. (With a double coat of fur, they could easily withstand the cold). In Britain, Labrador Retrievers were honed further as sporting dogs for waterfowl and upland game. After the Second World War, their popularity crossed the pond to hunters in the United States.
Outside of hunting, their even-tempered nature, intelligence, and trainability have made this breed a popular choice as therapy and service dogs, aiding those with disabilities, or simply as loyal and friendly companions for the whole family.
Despite the unjust reputation they have garnered over the years. Rottweilers are not known to be a naturally aggressive breed. First thought to have been bred as herding dogs, Rottweilers are most well suited to protection as far back as ancient Rome. Historically being employed to protect herds from bandits and thieves as livestock was driven to market.
With their impressive stature and immense power, it is a Rottweilers nature to protect and guard, and their fierce loyalty means they will be ready at a moment’s notice to defend their owners and their property.
Despite their popularity, however, Rottweilers are not necessarily the best choice for new dog owners. They require a firm understanding of their needs and wants to be handled and a lot of time and dedication to be efficiently trained. To put it simply, they might be too much dog to handle for a lot of people. But for an experienced owner, Rottweilers will make an extremely affectionate and loyal companion and an excellent guard dog.
The Leonberger is a large, solid and muscular dog and the definition of a ‘gentle giant’ with a long history as a watchdog and lifeguard. Their unusual, webbed feet and a waterproof coat are making them excellent swimmers.
Unlike most of the other dogs on this list, however, the Leonberger was first and foremost developed as a companion. Providing a striking and elegant pet for European royalty in 19th Century Germany. Bred to resemble the lion of the Leonberg town crest.
Outside of Germany’s wealthiest circles, Leonbergers also performed well on farms, pastures, and waterfronts, having been known to pull carts due to their immense strength.
Today the breed makes for excellent watchdogs, lifeguards, and search-and-rescue dogs. However, they require a lot of time and dedication for training and maintenance. However, so, the Rottweiler may not be the most suitable option for first-time owners.
Developed from Australian Collies and Pyrenean Sheepdogs, Australian Shepherds were born and bred for herding. They are agile, athletic, and hardworking and make for excellent working farm dogs, handling the herding of cattle, sheep, and other livestock with ease.
Despite their name, Australian Shepherds are originally thought to have been bred in the United States, acting as sheep herding dogs for Californian Shepherds in the 19th Century, before becoming a prevalent breed for ranchers.
Until the mid-20th Century, Australian Shepherds were rarely seen outside of the livestock industry, when the breed was popularized across the western states by rodeo performers. These days they can often be seen performing in dog shows and rodeos across the United States. However, they remain an extremely capable livestock herder and would be suitable for anyone that works outdoors or those owners that have a lot of energy to spare.
Affectionate, intelligent, agile and with a good work ethic, the boxer is a strong working breed of dog that also makes for a great family pet.
Originating in Germany in the late 19th and early 20th Centuries, Boxers were bred as hunting dogs. With mighty jaws, they were prized for their ability to hold down prey and were trained to run down, catch, and hold large predators such as bears, boars, and bison.
However, despite the connotations that this may give, Boxers are not an aggressive breed. On the contrary, they are extremely friendly and good-natured, and outside of the world of hunting, they have been a popular choice for families for many years. They are good with children of all ages and have a strong protective instinct, making fantastic guard dogs.
As the name suggests (unlike the confusing case of the Australian Shepherd), the German Shepherd does originate from Germany. Raised to herd sheep and protect flocks, their devotion and courage are unmatched, and as such, they have become trendy in the police and armed forces in modern times. Working as trackers and in search and rescue.
The German Shepherd is confident, obedient, and protective, and outside of farms and the police, they make for wonderful service dogs. At one time, German Shepherds were used almost exclusively as guide dogs for the visually impaired.
All these qualities make the German Shepherd an excellent domestic companion, protector, and friend. Although they can be reserved with strangers at first, they warm up quickly, and thus it is good to get them socializing from a young age.