Working Dog Breeds

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Have you ever wondered where the term ‘work like a dog’ comes from? Well the answer is found in our list of the world’s best working dog breeds.

This list draws on the group of 31 breeds that the American Kennel Club calls working dogs. And each one of these breeds helped inspire the term ‘work like a dog’.

Dogs have been working with humans for centuries. And many of the dogs known as working dogs were specifically bred to help humans out with jobs like hauling heavy loads, helping hunting parties and guarding property. Others have been used as war dogs and for herding cattle and sheep.

And a few breeds specialized in helping on ships. Not only did they help with dramatic water rescues, they also hauled fishing nets to shore, carted the day’s catch to market, herded fish into nets, and acted as a messenger between ships and the shore.

With technology advances, many of the jobs that were previously given to dogs have diminished. But there are still lots of roles in today’s world where the best person for the job is a dog.

Think about breeds like the Saint Bernard and Bernese Mountain Dog that continue to be highly prized members of search and rescue teams.

Or the Siberian Husky and Alaskan Malamute that still thrive in environments where they are given a job to do like pulling a sled.

And Dobermans, Rottweilers and Mastiffs keep on working around the clock to provide some of the best protection for life and property that money can buy.

While working dogs were all bred to do something different, they all share some common characteristics.

Intelligence, strength, loyalty, fast reaction times, courage, and an ability to analyze and decide are all hallmarks of a great working dog.

Working dogs are also generally easy to train, although some can be stubborn and independent so need lots of patience and positive reinforcement when training.

And all working dogs have an absolute commitment to their job when they are on duty. You won’t find these pups taking long lunches or coffee breaks or checking their social media throughout the day.

The dedication to the job and work ethic shown by working dog breeds has inspired not just the term ‘work like a dog’ but a whole ‘Work Like a Dog Day.’ Celebrated on August 5 in America, this day honors those people who show the same level of work ethic as these amazing working dogs, and is designed to inspire us to follow their lead.

While many of the dogs on our list love being employed, most also love being part of the family and can make excellent pets.

You may just need to spend more time on training when they are young and continue to give them giving them stimulating and structured activities that give their big brains and big hearts something to focus on.

Working Dog Breeds