36 Type of working dog breeds

Dogs to form part of the Working dog group are sized medium to extremely large. From protecting properties to performing water and avalanche rescues, these are dogs have invaluable assets to offer to their masters.


Working traits of these dogs are seen used in specialized jobs, such as rescue operations, guarding properties, and as a police dog. In their early years, these dogs would be used to keep watch over their families, as well as to go to battle with their master and to attack its enemies.

These breeds often come with high intelligence levels, so able to adapt to a job in a short space of time, and often make a great companion dog. The strength and sheer size of some of these dogs make them unsuited to life as a household pet. Although, if a dog is well-trained at a young age and raise with a family, it will soon adapt to this lifestyle.

Having in place a proper obedience program is crucial to these breeds whether it’s to function as a working dog or as a pet – companion dog. Training a dog at a young age is paramount before a dog's size can become a concern. Most working dogs feature a temperament that’s calm and friendly in the presence of its masters, such as a Bernese Mountain Dog, Newfoundland, and Boxer.

Dobermans, Rottweiler’s, Akitas and Boxers often display a dominant personality and can potentially be aggressive at times. These breeds can respond to rapid movement, a disturbance, or a loud noise by reverting to its prey mode unless of course socializing was given at a young age. A group of dogs that aren’t particularly suited to a first-time owner, as a dominant owner is required from the start.

It wasn’t until the 1800s that appearance started to be a concern with breeds of this particular nature. These dogs were selected due to their temperament and natural instincts, and particular traits were developed to advance a performance or skill to suit the type of work. Attack or guard dogs were bred to develop defense abilities, while a rescue dog was bred for its concentration and stamina.

In past years, it wasn’t an uncommon practice to cross-breed dogs to increase some of its useful characteristics. Records are maintained of individual breeding programs and passed on. Purebred dogs now recognized were as a result of prior crossbreeding programs.

Dogs within the working category often have double or long coats and are inclined to shed heavily. In spring, loose hair can often be pulled from a coat by the handful. Dogs in need of a frequent grooming routine with the ideal combs and brushed to hand.

Guard Dogs (or sentry dogs)

often differ in their approach to guarding properties, and it's all based on training and breed. A ‘Watch Dog’ is effective that, a dog that will watch over the property, if an intruder is detected, the loud barking will follow to alert its master. The overall aim is to let is the owner know about the potential problem, and not attempt to solve it himself.

Not all dog breeds can be trained to attack or take down a human as it calls on a dominant personality and strong protective instinct in the canine. An attack dog isn't going to bark, as its aim to chase and catch a would-be intrude than merely to frighten away. Attack dogs can often inflict damage or harm to a trespasser if left to guard a property without supervision.

Protection Dogs

a guard dog is there to protect property, while a protection dog has the sole aim of protecting its master. These dogs can often be companions but will react swiftly to counter all threats towards its owner. This protective trait is seen in several breeds within this category, such as a Rottweiler and German Shepherd. In its own home, these dogs can make a gentle and loving household pet.

Sledding (or carting) dogs

often a large breed was trained to pull a cart for hauling light loads in years past. Huskies and sled dogs are commonly known for this purpose in Alaska. The hardiness and spirit of these canines is renowned in its survival stories of the region.

Rescue Dogs

often have to take on difficult duties in conditions that aren’t always ideal. Locating a hiker or lost child, to finding survivors after a disaster, are all time-sensitive and require a dog to perform for as long and hard as required.

If being lined up for a specific task, a working dog needs to be carefully chosen from a breeder that’s respected. Some of the large dog breeds tend to have problems with joints and can be prone to diseases, with hip dysplasia being a common one. A regular exercise routine and a good healthy diet will assist in the development of a puppy, although it might not overcome joint problems.

Most of these dog breeds can turn into a great pet for a family if chosen wisely. Not all are suited to homes with children, but can still be great companion dogs. A working dog often shows a personality that’s calmer than a lot of the terriers or small spaniels.

Overall success with these breeds will often depend on an owner. The instinct and nature of a working dog should be taken into account. A larger dog in a small home or apartment doesn’t always result in a problem, but a large breed that constantly barks can be a headache for neighbors. Effective training at an early age often results in a true companion.

Rottweiler RottweilerAlaskan Malamute Alaskan MalamuteAmerican Bulldog American Bulldog
Kuvasz KuvaszShar Pei Siberian HuskyAmerican Water Spaniel Samoyed
Argentine Dogo Chesapeake Bay RetrieverLeonberger LeonbergerGreat Pyrenees Great Pyrenees
Saint Bernard Australian ShepherdTibetan Mastiff Tibetan MastiffGreat Dane Great Dane
Sabuesos Espanoles Australian Stumpy Tail CattleCanadian Eskimo Canadian EskimoBlack Russian Terrier Black Russian Terrier
Bernese Mountain Bernese MountainGerman Pinscher German PinscherFila Brasileiro Fila Brasileiro
Greater Swiss Mountain Greater Swiss MountainKomondor KomondorCane Corso Italiano Cane Corso Italiano
Doberman Pinscher Doberman PinscherPortuguese Water Dog Portuguese Water DogDogue De Bordeaux Dogue De Bordeaux
Alapaha Blue Blood Bulldog Alapaha Blue Blood Bulldog Pyrenean MastiffMiniature Schnauzer Miniature Schnauzer
Mastiff MastiffGerman Shepherd German ShepherdShar Pei Siberian Husky
Landseer LandseerOld English Sheepdog Old English SheepdogDachshund Dachshund
Boxer BoxerGiant Schnauzer Giant SchnauzerNeapolitan Mastiff Neapolitan Mastiff