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Best in Show Working Class Dogs


Best in Show Working Class Dogs – Quick to learn, dogs of the Working Group are intelligent, strong, watchful, and alert.

Bred to assist man, they excel at jobs such as guarding property, pulling sleds and performing water rescues.

Doberman Pinschers, Siberian Huskies and Great Danes are part of this Group, to name just a few.

Best in Show Working Class Dogs – They make wonderful companions but because they are large, and naturally protective, prospective owners need to know how to properly train and socialize a dog.

Some breeds in the Working Group may not be for the first-time dog owner.

Best in Show Working Class Dogs – Many of these dogs are still put to work around the world today.

It isn’t uncommon to find a husky pulling a sled or a Great Pyrenees guarding a flock of sheep, for example. 

Best in Show Working Class Dogs – However, the vast majority of these dogs are companion animals today.

Still, because they were initially bred to work, they are not always as laidback and easy to take care of as other breeds. 

Best in Show Working Class Dogs – Before choosing a working dog, you need to consider very carefully whether or not you can handle their needs. 

Here are some of the traits most working dogs exhibit. 

Best in Show Working Class Dogs – Common Characteristics of Working Dog Breeds

Although dogs in the working group obviously vary from one breed to the next (as well as among individuals), most exhibit a few similar characteristics, aptitudes, and tendencies. 

Best in Show Working Class Dogs – Medium to Giant in Size

Because these dogs were bred to do some sort of work, they often range from medium to giant in size.

These dogs are big and bulky; most will weigh at least 40 pounds, and some may be up to 200 pounds in extreme cases.  

This is something to keep in mind if you’re considering adding one of these dogs to your family.

Working dog breeds are often unsuitable for apartments and small spaces for this reason. 

Best in Show Working Class Dogs – Intelligent

To do their job correctly, many of these breeds had to be intelligent.

Today, many of them still retain this intelligence and are therefore easier to train than some other breeds. 

Of course, this intelligence is a double-edged sword. 

These dogs require mental stimulation to stay happy.

Many of them want to work. 

This can be done through a consistent, energy-draining, and fun training program, which is often the most practical solution.

However, interactive food toys and games are also excellent options. 

Best in Show Working Class Dogs – Usually People-Centered

These canines were bred to work with and for their humans, so they’re typically pretty people-centered.

Many of them are one-person-dogs, though, which means they’ll bond closely with one person and might not listen to anyone else. 

This might not bother all owners, but it can be a point of contention in some families. 

Best in Show Working Class Dogs – Alert

Many working dogs were used as guard dogs – or at least, they could be used as guard dogs.

Because of this, many are very alert and will guard instinctually, even if their ancestors haven’t guarded anything for a long time.

Many of these dogs will bark at neighbors as they walk by or be a little edgy around strangers.

Of course, because they’re so intelligent and many are eager to please their person, this can be offset by proper training. 

Best in Show Working Class Dogs – Protective

Again, these dogs were often used as guard dogs in some capacity, even if that wasn’t their breed’s primary purpose.

And this means that many are still protective to some extent today. 

For some owners, this may be considered a good thing. Perhaps you’re looking for a dog that is a bit more protective.

In this case, many of these breeds are going to be suitable. 

However, if you aren’t looking for a protective dog, you’re going to have to be careful about what working breed you adopt. 

Best in Show Working Class Dogs – Common Jobs for Working Dog Breeds

Many of these dog breeds still perform jobs today.

If someone needs a dog to get something done, they are almost always going to choose a working breed.

These canines have work in their blood, and it often shows. 

Rottweilers and doberman pinschers, for example, have historically worked in police and military contexts (although they’ve largely been replaced by other breeds in the modern world).

That’s because these breeds still hold their natural protective instincts, while still being easy to train. 

Other breeds, like the greater Swiss mountain dog are still used for herding.

Of course, most dogs who excel at herding are in the — wait for it — herding group, but they don’t have a monopoly on the job.

Herding tendencies can be a hiccup for some families, however.

Many of these dog breeds will herd whether you train them to or not.

This leads them to try to herd things like children, which can create a serious problem. You also may have trouble training away this behavior. 

Many working breeds are also used as service, ESA, and therapy dogs today.

They’re highly trainable, which makes them perfect for this job. There are also other breeds used as service dogs, of course, depending on what job needs to be performed. 

Other working dogs are used in search and rescue.

This job requires not only a high level of intelligence but also great physical stamina – two qualities many working breeds have. 

Sled pulling is a task mostly left to the Siberian husky and Alaskan malamute.

This was the job they were bred for. With that said, though, some other dog breeds make be involved in sled pulling occasionally as well. 

And finally, many of these dog breeds are also used for protection purposes.

Many of these canines have natural protective instincts, which makes them perfect guard dogs after a little bit of training. 


Siberian Husky

Siberian huskies are great dogs, who can be a decent choice for first-time owners, but they are also a huge handful.

They’re three-year-olds in an athlete’s body.

They are trainable but easily distracted and very opinionated – if they don’t want to do something, they’ll let you know with that classic blue-eyed stare and some hollering.

And while that husky coat is certainly beautiful, it will eventually end up covering everything you own, as these dogs are epic shedders.

Daily brushing is a must, and you’ll even want to invest in a quality pet vacuum to maintain your home.

Huskies can certainly make excellent family pets, but you need to know what you’re getting into and have a plan for keeping Huskies busy with toys.    

Siberian Husky – The Breed

Siberian Husky, a thickly coated, compact sled dog of medium size and great endurance, was developed to work in packs, pulling light loads at moderate speeds over vast frozen expanses.

Sibes are friendly, fastidious, and dignified.

The graceful, medium-sized Siberian Husky’s almond-shaped eyes can be either brown or blue and sometimes one of each and convey a keen but amiable and even mischievous expression.

Quick and nimble-footed, Siberians are known for their powerful but seemingly effortless gait.

Tipping the scales at no more than 60 pounds, they are noticeably smaller and lighter than their burly cousin, the Alaskan Malamute.

As born pack dogs, they enjoy family life and get on well with other dogs.

The Sibe’s innate friendliness render them indifferent watchdogs.

These are energetic dogs who can’t resist chasing small animals, so secure running room is a must.

An attractive feature of the breed: Sibes are naturally clean, with little doggy odor.


Bernese Mountain Dog

If you’re a new dog owner, a Bernese mountain dog might be the best option for you in this group.

These tricolored cuties have great personalities and make loving, friendly companions.

Bernese mountain dogs are large and born to work, but they’re also affectionate and quite gentle.

They’re also pretty easy-going doggos, who love just paling around with their people.

These dogs do best in cold weather, as they are built for the farmlands of Switzerland.

Bernese Mountain Dog – About the Breed

So, owners living in the sunbelt may want to consider a breed better-suited for their climate.

Big, powerful, and built for hard work, the Bernese Mountain Dog is also strikingly beautiful and blessed with a sweet, affectionate nature.

Berners are generally placid but are always up for a romp with the owner, whom they live to please.

The Bernese Mountain Dog is a large, sturdy worker who can stand over 27 inches at the shoulder.

The thick, silky, and moderately long coat is tricolored: jet black, clear white, and rust.

The distinctive markings on the coat and face are breed hallmarks and, combined with the intelligent gleam in the dark eyes, add to the Berner’s aura of majestic nobility.

A hardy dog who thrives in cold weather, the Berner’s brain and brawn helped him multitask on the farms and pastures of Switzerland.

Berners get along with the entire family and are particularly gentle with children, but they will often become more attached to one lucky human.

Berners are imposing but not threatening, and they maintain an aloof dignity with strangers.


Anatolian Shepherd Dog

Anatolian shepherd dogs are descended from some of the oldest domestic-canine bloodlines in the world.

They are a timeless breed with no-frills.

Anatolian Shepherd Dog

An Anatolian Shepherd Dog is a rugged, imposing flock guardian of ancient lineage.

Protective and territorial, but also intelligent, patient, and profoundly loyal, these muscular avengers are prized as working guard dogs without equal.

The Anatolian Shepherd Dog stands between 27 and 29 inches at the shoulder and can weigh as much as 150 pounds.

Profusely muscled but nimble afoot, Anatolians are more than a match for the predators and harsh terrain of their homeland.

Anatolians descend from some of the oldest known domestic-canine bloodlines.

This lends the breed a sense of timelessness, a no-frills, untouched quality that takes us back 6,000 years to the Bronze Age.

Anatolians are smart, devoted, responsive, and adaptable.

They will protect their flock, livestock, children, smaller dogs, even the family cat with intensity.

Anatolian owners must be strong leaders, willing and able to handle a dog as dominating and demanding as he is calm and loving.



Bullmastiffs were bred to protect English forests from poachers, where they fearlessly pursued trespassers.

But despite this history, they are quite docile today, especially while chillin’ at home with their peeps.

Like most other dogs, bullmastiffs require a significant amount of socialization while they’re young.

But they are great protectors and family companions if you have some experience with big, assertive breeds, as well as the time to devote to them. 

Bullmastiff About The Breed

Fearless at work, docile at home, the Bullmastiff is a large, muscular guarder who pursued and held poachers in Merry Old England merry, we suppose, for everyone but poachers.

Bullmastiffs are the result of Bulldog and Mastiff crosses.

The Bullmastiff isn’t quite as large as his close cousin the Mastiff. Still, standing as high as 27 inches at the shoulder and weighing between 100 and 130 pounds, this is still a whole lot of dog.

After the first impression made by the Bullmastiff’s size, it is the large, broad head that conveys the breed’s essence: the dark eyes, high-set V-shaped ears, and broad, deep muzzle all combine to present the intelligence, alertness, and confidence that make the Bullmastiff a world-class protector and family companion.

Coats come in fawn, red, or brindle.

These are biddable and reliable creatures, but as with any large guarding dog, owners must begin training and socialization early, while the puppy is still small enough to control.


Cane Corso

This breed’s name translates roughly to “bodyguard-dog.”

As you might imagine, they have strong protective instincts and an opposing appearance, which works as their first line of defense against intruders.

But the cane corso is generally nothing more than a snuggle-bug when hanging out at home with the pack.

They are loyal and intelligent, but they are also strong-willed (and just plain strong), so they’re not a good choice for novice owners. 

Cane Corso – About the Breed

Smart, trainable, and of noble bearing, the assertive and confident Cane Corso is a peerless protector.

The Corso’s lineage goes back to ancient Roman times, and the breed’s name roughly translates from the Latin as ‘bodyguard dog.’

At nearly 28 inches at the shoulder and often weighing more than 100 pounds, with a large head, alert expression, and muscles rippling beneath their short, stiff coat, Corsi are at a glance intimidating creatures.

Their imposing appearance is their first line of defense against intruders.

As one writer put it, ‘An understated air of cool competence, the kind of demeanor you’d expect from a professional bodyguard, is the breed’s trademark.’

Corsi are intelligent, loyal, eager to please, versatile, and intensely loyal to their humans, but are also assertive and willful, and can end up owning an unwitting owner.

As with any other big guardian dog, responsible breeding and early socialization with people and other dogs is vital.


Great Pyrenees

Bred to protect mountain pastures (and to resemble the sheep they were tasked with guarding), Great Pyrenees are immensely powerful.

However, like most other huge dogs, they’re usually gentle giants.

They spend most of their time lazing around but can spring into action in a moment’s notice if they need to.

They can be a good choice for novices, but they require quite a bit of activity and plenty of room to roam (this is not an apartment-friendly breed). 

Great Pyrenees – About the Breed

The Great Pyrenees is a large, thickly coated, and immensely powerful working dog bred to deter sheep-stealing wolves and other predators on snowy mountaintops.

Pyrs today are mellow companions and vigilant guardians of home and family.

Frequently described as ‘majestic, Pyrs are big, immensely strong mountain dogs standing as high as 32 inches at the shoulder and often tipping the scales at more than 100 pounds.

These steadfast guardians usually exhibit a Zen-like calm, but they can quickly spring into action and move with grace and speed to meet a threat.

The lush weatherproof coat is all white, or white with markings of beautiful shades of gray, tan, reddish-brown, or badger.



Bred as both hunting dogs and guardians, the kuvasz was originally developed for wealthy nobles.

Large dogs, these four footers usually weigh between 70 and 110 pounds or so.

Kuvaszok (another fun plural name) are not as easy to train as other breeds, and they can be very independent.

In fact, their overall aloof attitude and willful nature make them only suitable for experienced dog owners.

Nevertheless, these dogs can make excellent companions for the right families — they just need a lot of training and socialization upfront. 

Kuvasz – About the Breed

The snow-white Kuvasz is Hungary’s majestic guardian of flocks and companion of kings.

A working dog of impressive size and strength, the imposing and thickly coated Kuvasz is a beautiful, smart, profoundly loyal, but challenging breed.

Imposing, impressive, majestic, massive, mighty, pick the adjective you like best, they all apply to the Kuvasz (pronounced KOO-vahz; the plural is Kuvaszok, pronounced KOO-vah-sock).

This snow-white livestock guardian of luxuriant coat can stand as high as 30 inches at the shoulder, and weigh between 70 and 110 pounds.

Despite their size and strength, Kuvs are quick-moving, nimble-footed protectors when meeting a threat.

The breed’s fans say that the elegantly proportioned head ‘is considered to be the most beautiful part of the Kuvasz.’



The Leonberger is a gigantic and powerful dog that is also known for his elegance.

Covered in a water-proof, medium-length coat and a black facemask, the breed is pretty easy to identify on sight.

Generally, these dogs are friendly, but they are also excellent watchdogs. They are quite intelligent, but also require plenty of grooming and exercise. 

They’re not ideal for first-time owners, but they can make good family pets for those with some experience.

Leonberger – About the Breed

The Leonberger is a lush-coated giant of German origin.

They have a gentle nature and serene patience and they relish the companionship of the whole family.

A huge and powerful dog, yes, but the Leonberger is also known for his aristocratic grace and elegance.

A male can stand over 31 inches at the shoulder and weigh as much as a full-grown human.

Females run smaller but are still a whole lot of dog.

Breed hallmarks include a medium-long waterproof coat, lush triangular ears, a bushy tail, and a black facemask that frames kindly dark-brown eyes.

A dramatic feature of the male’s coat is the lion-like mane around the neck and chest.

A well-built Leo moves with an easy, elastic gait. A Leo is friendly but nobody’s fool.

As watchdogs and all-around workers, they exhibit intelligence and sound judgment.

Leos require lots of brushing, ample room for romping, and unlimited love.



Boerboels are big, broad, and blocky.

As you may expect of such gigantic canines, they are considered a mastiff breed (they’re sometimes called South African mastiffs) and likely share a common ancestor with other mastiffs.

Boerboels were bred for guarding purposes, so they don’t make quick friends with strangers.

They aren’t a particularly great choice for beginners, and they require regular training and socialization to ensure they remain friendly and agreeable. 

Boerboel – About the Breed

Boerboels are intimidating but discerning guardians of home and family who learned their trade while protecting remote South African homesteads from ferocious predators.

They are dominant and confident, also bright and eager to learn.

There’s a no-frills, no-nonsense quality to this sleek-coated avenger, who might stand as high as 27 inches at the shoulder and weigh as much as you do.

A broad and blocky head, powerful jaws, and thick muscles from neck to rump mark it as a descendant of the ancient ‘molloser’ dog family, the foundation of today’s mastiff-type breeds.

In motion, the Boerboel just might be the most agile of all mastiff types.

The imposing Boerboel is devoted to protecting the people and places he loves.

Training and socialization should begin early, before a pup becomes a dominant adult.

This is a trainable, versatile breed, eager to spend time with their adored humans.

Still, a Boerboel might be way too much dog for the novice owner to handle.



Once again, we have another strikingly colossal dog.

It’s almost like there’s a pattern here..

The Newfoundland has a lovely personality and is best known for its affinity for kids.

Newfies are quite trainable and respond well to traditional obedience training.

Because of these factors, and unlike so many others in the working group, these dogs may make great pets for first-time owners.

At least, that is, first-time owners with enough room for a 150-pound, fun-loving ball of fur. 

Newfoundland – About the Breed

The massive Newfoundland is a strikingly large, powerful working dog of heavy bone and dignified bearing.

The sweet-tempered Newfie is a famously good companion and has earned a reputation as a patient and watchful ‘nanny dog’ for kids.

A male Newfoundland can weigh up to 150 pounds and stand 28 inches at the shoulder; females typically go 100 to 120 pounds.

The Newf head is majestic, the expression soft and soulful.

The outer coat is flat and coarse. Colors are gray, brown, black, and a black-and-white coat named for artist Sir Edwin Landseer, who popularized the look in his paintings.

The Newfie breed standard says that a sweet temperament is the ‘most important single characteristic of the breed.’

The Newf’s sterling character is expressed in their affinity for kids. Trusting and trainable,

Newfs respond well to gentle guidance.

These noble giants are among the world’s biggest dogs, and acquiring a pet that could outweigh you comes with obvious challenges.


Portuguese Water Dogs

Like Newfies, Portuguese water dogs are another breed that is usually suitable for beginners.

They are typically loving, friendly, easy to train, and very eager to please their people.

They will pal around with the kids all day, and they’re especially awesome beach companions.

Portuguese water dogs do require professional grooming, but you’ll have your choice of many different cuts, which is kind of cool.

These canines do require a fair amount of exercise, so daily walks and plenty of fetch-playing time or swimming are necessary. 

Portuguese Water Dogs – about the Breed

The bright and biddable Portuguese Water Dog was bred to be an all-around fisherman’s helper.

The robust, medium-sized body is covered by a coat of tight, low-shedding curls.

PWDs are eager and athletic companions built for water work.

The Portuguese Water Dog is super-smart and very ‘biddable’, meaning he’s easy to train and eager to please.

The Portie can be groomed in two styles: The retriever clip (the entire coat is clipped to one inch in length, with the tail tip at full length) or the more check-me-out lion clip, where the coat is on the hindquarters and muzzle is clipped down to the skin.



As you may suspect given their thick, white coats, Samoyeds were bred to work in some of the world’s coldest climates.

In fact, the breed’s founders even used them as living lap-warmers!

They are pack animals through and through, so they crave attention and love their people.

In fact, they will not like being left alone for extended periods, so these are best-suited for people who spend a lot of time at home. 

Samoyeds are smart dogs, but they can also be mischievous if they don’t get the love and attention they need.

Samoyed – About the Breed

The Samoyed is a substantial but graceful dog standing anywhere from 19 to a bit over 23 inches at the shoulder.

Powerful, tireless, with a thick all-white coat impervious to cold, Sammies are perfectly beautiful but highly functional.

Even their most delightful feature, a perpetual smile, has a practical function: The upturned corners of the mouth keep Sammies from drooling, preventing icicles from forming on the face.

A Sammy sentenced to solitary confinement in the yard is a miserable and destructive creature.

These are smart, social, mischievous dogs who demand love and attention.

Sammies need a very firm but loving hand in training.

As pack animals, they must learn early who the alpha dog is and the alpha dog must be you.

Samoyeds, the smiling sled dogs, were bred for hard work in the world’s coldest locales.

In the Siberian town of Oymyakon, for instance, temperatures of minus-60 degrees are common.

The Sammy’s famous white coat is thick enough to protect against such brutal conditions.

Powerful, agile, tireless, impervious to cold, Sammies are drop-dead gorgeous but highly functional.

Even their most delightful feature, a perpetual smile, has a practical function: The mouth’s upturned corners keep Sammies from drooling, preventing icicles from forming on the face.

Best in Show Working Class Dogs – Key Takeaways

Best in Show Working Class Dogs – Working dogs comprise a group of broadly similar breeds, who were initially developed to perform a variety of different jobs, ranging from guarding duties to sled-pulling.
The AKC currently recognizes 31 breeds in the working group, including huskies, mastiffs, Great Danes, and several other familiar breeds.

Best in Show Working Class Dogs – Several breeds in the working group can make excellent family pets, but others are quite large and assertive, making them inappropriate for inexperienced owners.

Best in Show Working Class Dogs – Choose the Best Working Dog for Your Family

Best in Show Working Class Dogs- It’s always important to select a breed and individual dog that’ll fit in well with your family.

But given their large size, strength, and assertive natures, working breeds demand even more careful consideration.

Most working dogs are not suitable for beginners.

However, there are a few that may be okay if you’re ready to devote the necessary amount of time to their care.

Best in Show Working Class Dogs – All of these dogs require quite a bit of exercise and mental stimulation.

They are not dogs that will enjoy being left alone without much to do all day. 

So, just be sure that you carefully review the traits of the breed you wish to add to your family and try to meet several in person before bringing home your new dog.

Best in Show Working Class Dogs – After all, you’ll avoid a lot of headaches if you discover that a given breed is not well suited for you before you bring one home.

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