Working dogs come in all shapes and sizes, from herding dogs lending a helping paw around the farm to therapy dogs comforting the sick and vulnerable. These brave breeds need special qualities to successfully complete their work, especially if they're a police K9 or military dog.
Not only are working dogs unique in temperament, but they also have special care and dietary needs. Handlers of working dogs have their paws full with vigorous training, ensuring their working dog is fed the best food, and keeping up with the day-to-day demands of the job.
So what are the best working dog breeds, and what characteristics make them best suited for this ruff yet rewarding work? Scroll on to find out!
The Labrador Retriever is the perfect working breed for many tasks. As their name implies, they love to retrieve things, which makes them well-suited for the task of being a therapy dog or aiding the disabled. Sturdy on their feet, these pups can be held onto for support. Their shiny coat is easy to care for, and their loving personality will fit into any family unit.
Topping the chart at #2, the German Shepherd is ready and willing to go the distance with any task you put before them. Their strong herding instinct makes them perfect for farm life, their protective nature keeps them employed as a police or security dog, and their sweetness and way of movement puts them first place as a guide dog. Nothing can stop them.
Need a dog that will go and go? The Border Collie has neverending energy and enthusiasm for whatever task is put before them! Definitely a top pick for ranchers, this pup will herd cattle or sheep and round up just about anything, including the children! Their sweet disposition makes them a perfect family pet, and their soft, medium length fur can be easily cared for!
Not too far off the top of the chart is the Belgian Malinois, who loves to be put to work. They have a neverending drive and confidence that shows in their sweet face. Popular for search and rescue, this medium to large stature dog can handle the work load during the day and serve as a family companion when off duty.
This amazingly affectionate pup is well-suited for assisting the disabled and for therapy dog work. They seem to always be smiling, which will take away the blues on any day! Their build is sturdy with a flowing medium coat, and their gentle nature combine to work well with those needing a friend to hold onto. "Goldies" are a working fan favorite!
The Great Pyrenees is appropriately named because all of their characteristics are indeed ‘great.’ They are sweet and gentle giants that work well on the farm, and in the family. They can tend sheep and tend the children all on the same day! Their over 100 lb weight can scare away intruders, but their personality will melt your heart for sure.
This breed is perfectly suited for guard work, whether with the police, security industry or farm. These pups are tall but slender, and have a wiry coat which makes for easy grooming. They have a lot of energy which needs to be used up, so working is what they do best. Strong, bold and sweet makes this combo a pupperific dog for all.
Strong yet sensitive in nature, these dogs do it all. Pulling sleds is an easy task because of their thick coats and husky build. They have been used to keep their companions warm in frigid temperatures, they can pick up a new chore quickly, and can keep themselves entertained. Best of all, their sweet faces will put a smile on anyone’s face.
This pup can sure pull, and they are put to this task often by their owners. Pack sleds or family-filled sleds are no problem for these hardy pups. This medium sized, but husky dog is friendly and always seems to be happy. Running is a favorite pastime, so any working environment that features movement is perfect and will be suited for the Siberian!
This pup is well-known for its abundance of skin and wrinkles, but its nose is what makes it famous! This working dog has been used since the beginning of time searching out criminals and lost people. Rescuing an individual from an avalanche is no problem for this great dog. Tall and lean, this 100 lb dog will find your heart right away!