Working Dog Breed Group

huskies pulling on a lead outside in a snowy mountain looking happy

Working Dog Breed Group

Working Dog Breeds

Working dogs are, as the name suggests, dogs that just love having a job to do! These dogs have been bred to do specific, non-herding, jobs, and as such each Working Dog breed has it own unique skill set to be encouraged and enjoyed. Many of these dogs will offer guarding or protection, but they can also include sledding, draughting, search & rescue.

Popular Working Dog Breeds

Some of the most popular Working Dog Breeds in Ireland are the Siberian Husky, Alaskan Malamute, German Shepherd (Alsatian), Bernese Mountain Dog and the Great Dane.

Physically strong dogs, Working Dogs are all large and giant size breeds, many of these breed have a self-rewarding predatory instinct which must be supported with an outlet to use these instincts. Having a Working Dog in your life will mean lots of hard, but rewarding, work for you to support their natural instincts.

doberman dog breed looking serious outside in field close up

Things to Know About Your Working Dog

Working Dogs are large and giant breed dogs that want to work! Some important things you need to know about sharing your home with a Working Dog are:

  1. Due to their strength and independent spirit, Working Dogs will need proper handling and training to ensure their natural instincts are supported and controlled.
  2. Sledding breeds are are long distance runners that need lots of exercise every day to keep them happy and healthy
  3. Working Dog Breeds are best suited to experienced dog owners who can dedicate the time needed to their training and exercise needs
  4. Guarding breeds can be very territorial 
  5. Without appropriate exercise and stimulation, Working Breeds can become destructive and aggressive.
  6. Working Dogs respond best to positive, reward based training.

Types of Exercise and Play:

Working Dogs need to work, so depending on the individual breed traits, you will need to find an exercise and mental stimulation routine that fulfils their natural instincts to work hard. Joining a breed club with these breeds is recommended to help.

  • Sledding breeds are great long distance runners so activities like Canicross or sledding /mushing sports should be explored.
  • Search and Rescue is a terrific activity to be enjoyed by breeds such as Bernese Mountain Dogs; New Foundlands and German Shepherds
  • Working Dog Breeds will need frequent, shorter walks (exception sledding breeds) and lots of mental stimulation
  • Some Working Dogs will excel at Agility

What toys should I get my Working Dog?

Our top recommendations of toys for this type of group are:

*Every dog is different their individual personality and interests may be different to what might be expected from their breed group. The information provided in this blog is to help you understand the typical traits and interests of your dog, but every dog is different their individual personality and interests may be different to what might be expected from their breed group. If you feel you need some additional help understanding your dog, or finding the exercise that suits them best, we recommend booking a session with a local dog trainer.

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