Working Dog Breeds
A diverse group skilled in a number of disciplines, most working breeds are robust, intelligent and headstrong, often unsuitable for novice owners. Made up of guardians of livestock and property, police dogs, sled dogs and rescue dogs, these workers come in all shapes and sizes, from the standard schnauzer to the Great Dane. But for the most part, these are large, powerful dogs. The Akita (Japan), the Komondor (Hungary), the Portuguese water dog, the Newfoundland, the Saint Bernard (Switzerland), the Alaskan Malamute, the Bernese Mountain dog (Switzerland) and many more make this group a veritable United Nations of dogs. Without the right training, some working dogs can be difficult to handle, even dangerous. Very bright and rather determined breeds such as Rottweilers, Dobermans and Akitas have become extremely popular, even trendy. Motivated by rising inner-city crime rates and by the rather twisted notion that owning a powerful dog somehow enhances one's social standing, all too many people have invested a lot of money in acquiring one of these dogs, but sometimes nothing can convince some of these dogs that not all strangers, especially children, pose a threat.