Working Dogs?

If you are wondering what is the right dog for you, this is the place to be. In this introductory forum we talk about topics such as breed vs. mix, size, age, grooming, breeders, shelters, rescues as well as requirements for exercise, space and care. No question is too silly here. This particular forum is for getting and giving helpful, nice advice. It is definitely not a forum for criticizing someone else's opinion, knowledge or advice. This forum is all about tail wagging and learning.

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Rapid Fire!
Barked: Sun Jul 8, '12 9:54pm PST 
I am always curious as to what breeds people find are the best all around workers. I have friends that breed many different working breed, working line dogs and know many more that own them...and it seems there are always the two main ones that pop up. The Germans Shepherds and the Border Collies. I've owned a few of both, but I am looking to add another working pup sometime in the not-so-near future, and would like fellow dog lovers input on "their breed" of working dog.
I know it will vary greatly from sport to sport as well... I probably would get another BC for herding, or another GSD for Sch/IPO, and a Malinois for Ring Sport, Lab for field work etc, etc.. but I am talking overall. Someone that wants to take one dog and compete in many things- what would your ideal breed be? thinking

Do you even- lift?
Barked: Sun Jul 8, '12 10:24pm PST 
The German Shepherd is definitely the dog that springs to my mind as a jack of all trades, not many things a well bred GSD can't do.

Barked: Sun Jul 8, '12 11:22pm PST 
I'd probably say German Shepherd Dog too, but NOT the show type. I really can't see a show-line Shepherd doing what a good working-line Shepherd can. Unless that show-line Shepherd isn't crazy extreme with the hocks and sloping back like the vast majority of them are, that is.


The Boy Wonder
Barked: Mon Jul 9, '12 8:42am PST 
German shepherds or border collies would be the two breeds I'd go too. My border collies can herd, do biting sports, a bit light rabbit hunting as well as I've known people to train them as bird dogs.

The main difference is border collies run a bit smaller than most shepherds so it would depend on if size was a plus for you or not. Add to that most shepherds are a little more laid back and somewhat better suited to regular pet homes than border collies who can become quite neurotic without a job to do.

Both breeds can pretty much be trained to do about anything.

However because of that very traits that make them good working dogs they often don't make as good pets as some other breeds.

The Monster
Barked: Mon Jul 9, '12 8:42am PST 
I know from experience that Aussies are real jack-of-all-trade type dogs. I wouldn't say they'd ever be the best suited for a particular sport, but they definitely do well enough in a variety of sports.

GSDs are renowned for being all-rounders.

Performance bred Labs and Goldens would probably do well in just about anything you want them to do, as well as BCs and other herders. Basically I would look for a breed known for their biddability, and build a preference from there.

Barked: Mon Jul 9, '12 10:58am PST 
What about an airedale? They can certainly do bitework and they've been used as gundogs a lot, I'm not sure about herding capability though but they're capable of most things if you can put up with their sense of humour.
Rocky *CGC*- With the- angels.

Gone but never,- ever forgotten- xxx
Barked: Mon Jul 9, '12 12:20pm PST 
I'm going to throw another breed into the mix... The German Shorthaired Pointer puppy

I used to work with sled dogs all of whome were Alaskan Huskies. But the people I worked for also bred GSP's. They trained them in gundog sports, agility and three of them were lead sled dogs! They were beautiful as well as super intelligent, so to me, GSP's are amazing working dogs and and brilliant family pets too puppy

Whippy- The- Whipador
Barked: Mon Jul 9, '12 12:30pm PST 
Well, i'm gonna say my next dog - the Hovawart big grin They do well in many different sports and activities. Obedience training, flyball or schutzhund training; dancing or agility training, and the different types of trials and shows, or tracking and scent work. And one breeder i'm in touch with even states that some Hovawarts here in the UK have even been 'trained to the gun' for retrieving purposes! The breed can pretty much do anything. I plan on training in working trials, maybe schutzhund or something similar, tracking and perhaps obedience too. But the breed is very rare and not easy to get hold of, so not a breed to get if you want one "right now" so to speak or want trainers with knowledge on your breed.

Edited by author Mon Jul 9, '12 12:32pm PST


bitches love- pantaloons
Barked: Mon Jul 9, '12 1:35pm PST 
Other than GSD of course, I always think of the Rottweiler as a pretty versatile breed. They can do herding, Sch, obedience, carting, tracking, agility, weight pull, therapy dog...
To include field work in the mix, perhaps consider a Catahoula Leopard Dog? I know they have been used for pretty much everything under the sun including hunting.

Edited by author Mon Jul 9, '12 1:38pm PST


Pocket Wolf
Barked: Mon Jul 9, '12 4:19pm PST 
I'm going out on a limb I think, but miniature dachsunds and chihuahuas are awesome working dogs that excell at nosework and are perfect for finding drugs and contraband that bigger dogs overlook. I have a friend that does work on the Mexican border, and his group uses Chihuahuas and mini dachsunds to search piles of luggage, backpacks, and clothes, and also cars and trailers. I think dachsunds do better nosework than chihuahuas, but chihuahuas are slightly more biddable. Both can be very intimidating, but chihuahuas are less likely to nip the wrong things, like children, in a situation like parents coming over illegally with their kids. Where it comes to that chihuahuas have a more intuitive sense of empathy, whereas mini dachsunds with their hound ancestry are more focused. Both are smart, adaptable, trainable, portable, tough, high energy, prey driven. Chihuahuas have herding instinct, believe it or not. they excell at herding humans.

and people think that they are just little lap ratsshrug
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