Types Of Working Dog Breeds
How many breeds of working dogs are there?
The Working Group, also called the Utility Group, is the largest group of dog breeds. The huge Mastiff and Great Dane belong to this group. So do the Anatolian Shepherd Dog, the Malamute, the Husky, Akita, the Schnauzer, the Neapolitan Mastiff, the Portuguese Water Dog, the Rottweiler, the Saint Bernard, and the Samoyed.
Because most of these dogs are large and powerful, they require skillful training from an early age, and families with small children may want to consider whether their child might be unintentionally harmed by such a dog. Many of these dogs make good watch dogs.
Here are the traits of some popular members of this group of dog breeds.
The Alaskan Malamute, a dog bred to pull sleds in Alaska, is happier in colder climates. They are large and powerful, often weighing 80-90 pounds.
Grooming: Regular brushing of their thick coats will help keep these dogs tangle-free. They will shed quite heavily in warm weather.
Exercise: These dogs, bred to pull heavy sleds long distances, need a lot of exercise to burn off their restless energy.
Small children: Because of their size, strength, and energy, caution should be used in bringing these dogs into homes with small children. They are not inherently vicious or prone to snap at children, however.
Aggressiveness: They are generally friendly and loyal. However, they can be aggressive and territorial, especially with other dogs. They are pack animals who are used to having to establish their dominance in a pack, and are rumored to have wolves as ancestors.
The Rottweiler is a massive, powerful dog who is used as a guard dog for good reason. They were originally bred in Germany as herding dogs, but their size and temperament lends itself well to being used as a guard dog. They often weigh around 120 pounds.
Grooming: Minimal because of their short smooth coat.
Exercise: They need a lot of exercise, and should not be kept cooped up in a small house or apartment or they will become very destructive.
Small children:Rottweilers are not ideal dogs for households with small children, because of their size and the aggressiveness that has been bred into them.
Aggressiveness: They can be very aggressive and make good watch dogs.
The Great Dane weighs up to 200 pounds. They are massive but good-natured dogs; they are also among the shortest lived of dogs; larger dogs in general are shorter lived. An average lifespan of around eight years is not unusual for this giant breed. Great Danes were originally bred to hunt wild boar.
Grooming: Great Danes have short smooth coats and do not need much grooming.
Exercise: Moderate to high. They do need a fair amount of exercise daily, but not as much as one would expect from such a huge animal.
Small children: Great Danes are not vicious to small children, but could easily harm a small child because of their large size.
Aggressiveness: Great Danes are generally a friendly breed if properly socialized from puppy hood.
The Standard Schnauzer is a working dog with a distinctive muzzle of hair that looks like a beard when groomed properly. They can weigh in the range of 35 to 50 pounds. Giant Schnauzer weigh up to 80 pounds. They both originated in Germany. The Standard Schnauzer was bred to kill vermin; the larger Giant Schnauzer was bred to kill vermin but also to pull carts and was sometimes used as a guard dog.
Grooming: The Standard Schnauzer, like a Poodle, needs regular grooming. This helps to keep their distinctive bearded muzzle attractively shaped and trimmed.
Exercise: Moderate to high. Schnauzers have a lot of energy.
Small children: If a Schnauzer is raised with children, they will be very good with them in most cases.
Aggressiveness: They need vigorous exercise, as do many of the working dog breeds.
Saint Bernard’s are another massive breed. They are frequently pictured with little barrels of rum around their necks, which was supposed to be used to warm stranded skiers or hikers in the snow that the Saint Bernard’s were sent to rescue. They can weigh in the neighborhood of 240 pounds.
Grooming: They have thick heavy coats and need frequent brushing.
Exercise: Vigorous exercise. St. Bernard’s are working dogs.
Small children: St. Bernard’s are generally friendly, lovable, and sweet, as they were bred to rescue, not hunt. However they could be dangerous to small children because of their large size.
Aggressiveness: St. Bernard’s can occasionally be aggressive, depending on the individual dog, but it is not a breed characteristic.
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