Dogs of the AKC Working Group

The breeds of dog that are part of the AKC working group are those that were meant for actual jobs, including being guard dogs, rescue dogs and pulling sleds, hence the name “working group”. Working dogs are characterized by their usefulness to mankind since the first domestication of canines.

Popular Working Group Dogs

The Akita is a Japanese breed known for the fluffy tail that curls over its back. A popular show dog, the Akita is also a hunting dog in Japan. The first Akita to arrive in the United States was one brought over by Hellen Keller in 1937.

The Alaskan Malamute is a dog meant for hauling large loads over long distances. This sled dog is a common family pet, and enjoys jogging, swimming and other athletic activities. Their thick coat can be gray, red, sable or black, and they have distinguishing face marks.

Another sled dog is the Chinook. One of the few american dog breeds, the Chinook was bred by an arctic explorer for endurance and a gentle nature. According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the Chinook was the world’s rarest dog in 1965. It has since expanded from the sole proprietorship of Perry and Honey Greene, and there are now hundreds of Chinooks registered in the AKC. Like the Malamute, this breed is highly athletic.

The Anatolian Shepherd, as the name suggests, originated in Turkey. It was meant for guarding livestock against predators, and is thusly colored like the livestock. Its protective instincts make it a calm breed around strangers, and a loyal companion to its family. Bred to make independent decisions while working, it is not as easy to train and will not follow commands exactly.

Bernese Mountain Dogs were bred to perform a variety of tasks around the farm, in particular pulling carts to the market and driving cattle. Their calm temperament makes them ideal farm companions and good family pets.

The Black Russian Terrier was developed during WWII as a working dog for the armed services, by the Red Star Kennel. Meant to be trainable, unpretentious, and strong, the Black Russian Terrier exhibits these same traits today, despite looking different from its WWII-era ancestor.

Boxers, a popular breed in the United States, have been couriers during wartime and make good seeing-eye dogs. Its original purposes, however, were dog-fighting and assisting hunters in holding off game before the hunter’s arrival. Boxers are protective, but also very patient with children.

The Mastiff, a docile and dependable breed from England, has been used as a watchdog for over two thousand years. Ancient Egyptian monuments even depict drawings of Mastiffs. Due to its size, the Mastiff prefers country and suburban dwelling to city life.

The Neopolitan Mastiff is another ancient breed, dating back to ancient Egypt, Persia, Mesopotamia and Asia. Later, this breed continued to be a defender of property in northern Italy, because of its serious appearance.

The Tibetan Mastiff became the breed it is today by being isolated in the Himalayan Mountains. An excellent guard dog, this breed guarded families and tents when the shepherds took their flocks elsewhere. A highly protective breed, this dog can prevent its owners from having guests come to visit.

The Bullmastiff’s original purpose was to guard large estates from poachers. The idea behind this breed was to combine elements of both the mastiff and bulldog. A fearless yet docile breed, the Bullmastiff does not often bark and is an independent thinker.

The Cane Corso is another good property watchdog. This breed was only known in southern Italy until 1988, and has been the subject of many paintings throughout its native country’s history. The Cane Corso is great with children and can also be easily trained.

The Doberman, another watchdog, is intelligent and ca retain training, making it effective as a police dog. An obedient breed, the Doberman is loyal and fearless.

The Dogue de Bordeaux also makes a good property watchdog, as well as a fighter and hunter. A calm dog and unaggressive dog, this breed is ideal for families. Its ancestry is unknown, but this breed is suspected of being related to the Bulldog or Bullmastiff.

The German Pinscher may look like the Doberman, but is actually more closely related to the Schnauzer. This breed is adept at hunting rodents, as well as protecting its family. Though it is small enough for either the city or the country, this breed prefers to have a large yard.

The Standard Schnauzer is a breed ideal for hunting vermin, much like the German Pinscher. They are naturally protective and alert their owners to any danger.

Its larger counterpart, the Giant Schnauzer, was developed for work around the farm. An intelligent breed, the Giant Schnauzer makes an ideal police dog and guard dog. Larger than its standard-sized cousin, it needs more exercise and is happy when given a job to do.

The Great Dane’s original purpose was to hunt boar, but this breed later became a guard dog and companion. Depicted in ancient Chinese texts and in drawings on Egyptian monuments, the Great Dane is a well-known breed descended from the Irish Wolfhound.

The Great Pyrenees has sharp eyesight and intelligence, making it a good shepherd dog. Nobility cherished this dog, and it was even appointed French court dog in the 17th century. Despite being a quiet, patient ad tolerant breed, the Great Pyrenees can be territorial.

Working Group Breeds

Neapolitan Mastiff

Neapolitan Mastiff

Tibetan Mastiff 1

Tibetan Mastiff