Working Dogs


These breeds have a job to do. Some pull sleds or carts while others guard livestock, homes, businesses or military installations. Diverse duties may also include water-rescue work, alpine rescue or stints at sea as the fisherman’s helper.

Activity level

The energy level of most Working breeds depends on the task at hand. Guardian dogs may patrol or simply observe until called upon to defend. Then they surge into action. Sled dogs keep their enthusiasm in check until they’re in harness and then they’re keen to hit the trail. Working breeds might be termed energy efficient.


The Working breeds vary from medium-sized, such as the Standard Schnauzer, up to giant, typified by the Great Dane, Mastiff or lesser-known Leonberger.


Prized for their long association with humans, their loyalty and willingness to work, these breeds usually take well to training, though some may take longer than others for lessons to sink in.


They don’t wear grey pinstriped suits on the job but they are serious about their work.