Black dog herding sheeps

List of working dog breeds

© Shutterstock

The best working dog breeds

By Daniel Mar Journalist

Updated on the

There are many working dog breeds in the world. They can help you carry out a large number of jobs that you can’t do on your own.

Nowadays, dogs are not only good at making a family happy. In fact, there are many working dog breeds that can potentially help you do a specific job better than if you do it on your own. You name it: security, rescue, law enforcement, or hunting, a dog can help many of today’s professionals. Of course, not every dog breed is compatible with hard and specialized work. There is a working dogs group that excel due to their intelligence, loyalty and physical strength.

What are the characteristics of a working dog?

Working dogs are special because of their size, intelligence, strength and capacity for training. A working dog tends to be very active. This means that once you train them to carry out a particular task, they can become restless without regular work or any other form of mental and physical stimulation.

Working dogs can make wonderful family pets as well, but you need to train them in their puppy days. These dog breeds are very adaptable and obedient. They can handle anything that you put in their path.

Best working dog breeds

Here you have a list of the top 10 working dog breeds in the world. If you are looking for a working dog, pick one from the following.

German Shepherd

The German Shepherd ©Shutterstock

They are mainly used as unit police dogs, yet they are popular as guardians for a property. Some people tag them as aggressive but this is unfair. Not only are they very intelligent but also highly obedient.

Check out the German Shepherd's breed sheet!

Labrador Retriever

The Labrador ©Shutterstock

They are the best dogs for search-and-rescue jobs. However, they can also be used for police work. Lately, clinics are using them for therapy practices. This working dog’s trainability is unique. That, along with their friendliness, make them the most popular dogs in the whole world.

Check out the Labrador's breed sheet


Bloodhound ©Shutterstock

Bloodhounds are superb when it comes to tracking abilities. They are so skilled at tracking that their discoveries are admissible in courts cases (in some countries of the world).


The Akita ©Shutterstock

Akita is a big and powerful working dog. Their bloodline goes all the way back to early Japanese history where having an Akita was seen as a sign of “superior status”. Overall, Akita is a reserved and very independent dog. Likewise, their loyalty and fearlessness as guard dogs are unmatchable.

Siberian Husky

The Husky ©Shutterstock

They are quintessential sledge dogs. Huskies are perfect for this job because of their speed, endurance and strength. They are able to carry loads for long distances at very low temperatures. Huskies can also be employed for other transportation purposes.

Check out the Siberian Husky breed sheet


The Rottweiler ©Shutterstock

This is another working dog that gained fame as a guard dog. They are powerful and praised for their endurance. In fact, history proved that the ancestors of Rottweilers were used to guard livestock back in Ancient Rome! Even though this working dog breed is used for aggressive kind of jobs, they can be employed for much more. Not only are they very intelligent and obedient, but also quite loving.

Dobermann Pinscher

The Dobermann ©Shutterstock

This is the classic guard dog. Films have depicted them as the ideal and perfect guard dog for a long time now. They have earned themselves a reputation for being aggressive and sometimes vicious guardians. But if properly trained, they can also excel as family dogs. You may be surprised but Dobermanns can be loving and affectionate as well.

The Great Pyrenees

The Great Pyrenees ©Shutterstock

These are huge dogs! People call them ‘gentle giants’ because they are very affectionate toward their owners. But don’t be mistaken, they are very territorial, so if their owners are in danger, they can be quite fierce at defending them. Originally, they were bred to guard livestock. However, they are very intelligent, loyal and strong thus matching the necessary skills to make fine guards of people.

Check out the Pyrenean Mountain Dog breed sheet


The Boxer ©Shutterstock

A Boxer is a great working dog! They are strong, active and quite agile. They were originally bred in Germany for hunting and guarding. Overall, they are not aggressive. Nevertheless, they do have a very strong protective instinct.

Border Collie

The Border Collie ©Shutterstock

This is a great herding dog. Historically, it was developed in the Scottish Borders for herding sheep and similar livestock. However, in recent times, their qualities have made them the dog of choice for competitions and working trials. For example, they shine because of their intelligence, trainability, energy and tenacity.

In fact, back in 2011, a Border Collie proved that he learnt to respond to 1,022 words! Dogs can be very impressive creatures. This list of working dog breeds is proof of that. If you are looking for a working dog, just pick the one that fits your criteria!

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