Working Dogs Breed Guide – 5 Popular Working Dog Breeds

The term “work like a dog” is a nod to the tireless efforts that working dog breeds put in to get the job done. Throughout history, dogs have been called on to perform various jobs in the home, on the farm and even on ships. Today, most dogs are tasked with providing companionship, but there are still a number of breeds that retain their roles as essential workers!

What Are Working Dogs?

Working dogs were bred to excel at specific tasks. Most working dog breeds have impressive resumes with the skills and temperaments that are ideal for tasks ranging from pulling sleds and protecting livestock to sniffing out contraband and identifying invasive species.

There are large working dog breeds and small working dog breeds. Although the tasks working dog breeds perform vary, these pups have a few common characteristics that have allowed them to climb the career ladder (while earning several “employee of the month” awards along the way).

· Active

· Confident

· Focused

· Loyal

· Intelligent

· Determined

Duffy the brindle Great Dane

What Are the Working Dog Breeds? 

There are 31 dog breeds in the American Kennel Club (AKC) “Working” group, that perform a range of different jobs. Working dogs come in all sizes, coat lengths and colors but all share a common desire to get the job done.

Meet the breeds that are considered working dogs.

  • Akita
  • Alaskan Malamute
  • Anatolian Shepherd
  • Bernese Mountain Dog
  • Black Russian Terrier
  • Boerboel
  • Boxer
  • Bullmastiff
  • Cane Corso
  • Chinook
  • Doberman Pinscher
  • Dogo Argentino
  • Dogue de Bordeaux
  • German Pinscher
  • Giant Schnauzer
  • Great Dane
  • Great Pyrenees
  • Greater Swiss Mountain Dog
  • Komondor
  • Kuvasz
  • Leonberger
  • Mastiff
  • Neapolitan Mastiff
  • Newfoundland
  • Portuguese Water Dog
  • Rottweiler
  • Saint Bernard
  • Samoyed
  • Siberian Husky
  • Standard Schnauzer
  • Tibetan Mastiff

Do Working Dog Breeds Make Good Pets?

Working dogs can make great pets. In fact, several of the working dog breeds, including Boxer, Newfoundland, Rottweiler, Alaskan Malamute and Bernese Mountain Dog, are also on the AKC’s most popular breeds list. The reason: working dogs tend to be smart, loyal, even-tempered and protective, which are qualities pet owners want in their dogs.

It’s important to remember that working dogs were bred to, well, work; these are dogs that have a high desire to complete tasks that require physical stamina and problem solving. You might not adopt a Siberian Husky to pull a sled across snowy landscapes or train a Great Pyrenees to protect a flock of sheep, but it’s important to provide the training, exercise and mental stimulation that these dogs need to feel happy and fulfilled.



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