What is a working dog?

A working dog is a canine working animal, i.e., a dog that performs tasks to assist its human companions.

There are dogs that have been bred to be working dogs, but there are groups of breeds that can be trained and are appropriate for particular tasks. For instance Labradors as guide dogs, or German Shepard as police dogs. Working dogs on farms come from a number of different breeds that are trained to work livestock.

Guide dog - labrador puppy

Assistance and Services dogs

These help people with various disabilities in everyday tasks.

Some examples of these dogs include guide dogs, mobility dogs and hearing dogs.

Search and rescue dogs

Rescue dogs assist people who are in difficult situations, such as in the water after a boat disaster, lost in the wilderness, escaped from nursing homes, covered in snow avalanches, buried under collapsed buildings, etc.

Dogs and horse on ridge

Farm dogs

These are invaluable to sheep and cattle farms for mustering. Different breeds are used for the different jobs involved in stock work and for guarding the animals. A well-trained dog can adapt to control any sort of domestic and many wild animals.

Government working dogs

These include police, military, detector and quarantine, customs and aviation security dogs. These dogs cover a broad range of duties, from tracking possible criminals to detecting illegal substances.

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