Dog Breeds: The Working Group

The Working Group

This classification needs little explanation. Though more varied in job description than the other groups, these breeds have one thing in common—throughout the centuries they have had a specific job to do and humans have been the beneficiaries. The subgroups are Sled/Draft, Personal Protection, Rescue, and Estate Guarding.

The Sled/Draft Dogs

These working dogs also referred to as Nordic breeds, love cold weather! Originally bred to pull sleds and live outside, sled dogs have thick, beautiful coats and a strong instinct to pull. Put one on the end of a leash and you’ll see what I mean: Rugged and free-spirited, sled dogs need plenty of exercises and thrive outdoors.

  • Grrr:
  • Doglish:

With their double coat, sledding breeds aren’t much for really hot weather. If you live in a hot climate, consider another breed. These dogs would be miserable. What’s the difference between Standard and Giant? About 6 inches and 40 pounds. It’s a size thing.

Don’t try to coddle these dogs—they’re not the cushion-by-the-fire type! Although strong-willed and hard to train, Nordic breeds make sweet, friendly pets if you work with them. They need to exercise attention to prevent destructive behavior. These fearless hunters will wander if given the opportunity. Sledding:

  • Alaskan Malamute
  • Samoyed Greater
  • Siberian Husky

Draft:

  • Bernese Mountain Dog
  • Swiss Mountain Dog

The Siberian Husky

The Guard Dogs

Bred to protect territories and livestock without man’s direction, the guard breeds are alert, intelligent, courageous, and independent. These dogs need structured training and a qualified leader. Please be sure you are up to the job—you must be the shepherd, not the sheep. Guard dogs living in a sheep’s home may attack strangers who enter their territory. But in the right home (with the right owner), these dogs are calm, dignified, and devoted. Train and socialize them early to avoid later difficulties.

  • Akita
  • Bullmastiff
  • Great Dane
  • Great Pyrenees
  • Komondor
  • Kuvasz
  • Mastiff
  • Rottweiler
Great Pyrenees

The Great Pyrenees

The Personal Protection Dogs

These dogs were bred to work under the direction of the man. Consequently, they are intelligent, strong-willed, and intensely loyal to one family unit. These dogs need a structured training program and early socialization to offset potential territorial aggression. For the determined and committed owner, these dogs make extraordinary companions. Without training and exercise, however, they may become aggressive, unruly, and destructive.

  • Boxer
  • Doberman Pinscher
  • Giant Schnauzer
  • Standard Schnauzer

The Doberman Pinscher

The Rescue/Water Dogs

The rescue breeds are large, low-key dogs with dense coats. They prefer cold weather to hot. Steady and intelligent, rescue breeds are exceptional around children when raised with them. Untrained and isolated, however, they can develop Hyper Isolation Anxiety.

  • Newfoundland
  • Portuguese Water Dog
  • Saint Bernard

The St. Bernard

The Portuguese Water Dog