Working Dogs are those that carry out specific functions to a high standard. They should not be confused with ‘Utility Dogs’ who were bred to perform a specific purpose, but who no longer carry out that function today. The Working Dogs, in contrast, are still able to do what they have been bred for within our modern society. As dogs that have been used to herd and guard flocks are classified within the Pastoral group and those that have worked alongside man to hunt are listed in the Gun Dog group, these breeds are not linked with the Working Dogs.

These diligent members of society include the Doberman, who often works for the military, the St. Bernard, who is an everyday hero on snowy mountains, aiding in search and rescue missions, and the Siberian Husky, who is frequently employed as a sled dog.

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There are a whopping 26 dog breeds contained within the Working Dog group as classified by the UK Kennel Club. All of them are integral members of society and can be used to carry out vital tasks in modern society. The universal quality of these dog breeds is that their work has not become obsolete with time and that they continue to contribute, using their unique skills.

A group that has been established based on function, dogs do not look similar, though many are large, well-muscled and athletic.

Purpose

The general purpose of a breed within the Working Dog group is to carry out a job that benefits modern man. This task can be practically anything of use. It is important to remember that certain dog breeds, such as Gun Dogs and Scent Hounds also carry out important functions but are grouped accordingly and are not included within the Working Dog Group.

Unlike those in the Utility group, Working Dogs carry out the same job that they have always done. Here are just a few examples:

As is evident from this list, these breeds are a truly multi-talented group. Many regard those within the Working Dog Group as the ‘experts’ in their field and some of the most courageous and selfless canines in existence. While most make wonderful pets, they have a desire to be constantly active and occupied, meaning they require dedicated and knowledgeable owners.

Types

There are no established types within the Working Dog Group, with their defining feature purely being that they must carry out a useful purpose. However, some will group them into ‘guard dogs’ and ‘non-guard dogs’. Dogs, such as the Bullmastiff, the Doberman, the Giant Schnauzer and the Mastiff can all be employed as successful guard dogs.