An In-Depth Look at Working Dogs - Doggy Brace
Working Dogs

Working dogs are lovable, highly intelligent, and very desirable due to their looks and personalities. They’re well rounded and a majority of them are quite fluffy! The dog in this group are often the ones that leave us going “awwww” at puppy photos until we realize we’ve spent an hour on Google Images. Think of breeds like Siberian Huskies, Boxers, and Alaskan Malamutes. 

Working Class dogs were bred to be hard workers — some pull sleds, while others are meant to help with water rescues and security. For example, the St. Bernard dog is most known for being in animated cartoons such as Looney Toons, for rescuing characters from snowy mountains. 

Other breeds you may know that fall into this class are: 

  • Doberman Pinscher
  • Rottweilers
  • Great Danes
  • Akitas

Working Dog Personalities

Working dogs need a firm hand to train them because they are so smart and strong. They’re not usually for first-time dog owners because they’re so watchful and alert. However, they make amazing companions who are more than happy to snuggle up with you, despite their size!

Because they are bred to assist us, they excel at jobs such as guarding property, pulling sleds and performing water rescues. This makes them exceptionally loyal to their family and very loving. However, it can make it harder to properly socialize them with other animals and humans, as they’re so loyal to their original pack. 

Other than that, working dogs are lovely pets. They love to explore and learn, ensuring you’ll never be bored with them around. 

How to Choose the Right Working Dog

As we mentioned before, working dogs may not be the right fit for first time dog owners. They require a firm hand when training and thorough socialization. They’re also quick to bore, meaning they need constant stimulation or healthy ways to exert their energy. 

Working dogs are also bigger in size. They range from sleek and muscular to a ball of fluff, but all of them will be over 50 pounds fully grown. 

What does all of that mean? Working dogs are generally not suited for apartment life. They thrive when they have a yard to run in or larger spaces to romp around and play in. 

Their personality can be a bit deceiving at first too. For instance, Bernese Mountain Dogs may look like cute and cuddly companions (and they are), but they were bred for hard work. They drive cattle, guard farms from predators, and are strong enough to pull many times their own weight. This means they may love cuddling, but they may not take too kindly to a mailman or other pets, as they will instinctually want to herd them or protect their home. 

Another example is the Boerboel, which is bred to look intimidating to scare off predators. In actuality, they’re extremely sensitive dogs who have a soft spot for kids. Many of them even make great therapy dogs! 

One final point, the working class of canines hosts massive breeds that drool a lot, like Mastiffs, Newfoundlands, and Bernese Mountain Dogs. If you’re not a fan of drool, then you probably won’t be a fan of them! 

Are Working Dogs Family Dogs? 

Yes! With the right training, most dogs will love your family. If you teach your children how to handle the dog and teach your dog to be gentle with your kids, you’ll be fine. You may not want to let them hold the leash until your child is older though, especially if your dog likes chasing squirrels. Remember, they’re strong!


All dogs shed, but none more than some breeds in the working class. Alaskan Malamute and Siberian Huskies are notorious shedders and need a lot of grooming. If you’re not into that, there are plenty of short-haired breeds too.

Remember though, short-haired breeds still shed and require regular grooming to keep them healthy and to keep their coats shiny. After all, no one wants a Doberman Pinscher to track in mud after a fun day in the field! 

Common Health Problems 

Canines in the working class are diverse, but because they’re all larger dogs, they have a few common health problems. These health problems include: 

  • Torn ACLs in dogs
  • Hip dysplasia 
  • Neoplasia 
  • Cardiac disease 
  • Intervertebral disc disease 

Some breeds, such as huskies, are prone to eye problems as well. It is very common for working class dogs to lose their vision as they get older due to these health issues. Don’t worry, though! They’re highly resilient and losing their sight shouldn’t stop them from living their best life. 

If you’re unsure that a working dog is right for you, check out our blogs on sporting dogs and hound dogs