Large and fluffy Bernese Mountain Dog lying on the wooden pier at the mountain lake
AKC Groups | Cleo's Blog | Dog Breeds | Working Group

Working Group Dogs Are Strong And Intelligent

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Working Group dogs were bred to help their humans in their daily lives by doing such jobs as guard duty, pulling sleds and carts, and search and rescues. They have been performing these jobs for longer than history has been recorded.

The Doberman Pinscher, Siberian Husky, and Great Dane are included in the Working Group, to name just a few. Quick to learn, these intelligent, strong animals make great companions. Their large size and strength alone, however, make many working dogs problematic as pets for average families.  Because of their size alone, these dogs must be properly socialized and well trained.

A Great Dane, for instance, can weigh up to 175 pounds. They are easy-going and gentle giant dogs and would not harm a small child on purpose. But because they are huge dogs, they could easily injure a small child completely by accident.

Akita

The Akita comes from Japan where it regarded as a family protector, a symbol of long life, happiness, and good health. The Akitas is a spitz type dog.

The famous blind American author Helen Keller  (June 27, 1880 – June 1, 1968) owned the first Akita to enter the United States in 1937.

Akita Club of America

Height: 24-28 inches; Weight: 70-130 pounds;
Lifespan: 10-13 years; AKC rank: 47 of 197
Country: Japan

Alaskan Malamute

The Alaskan Malamute has been pulling sleds in the arctic long before Seward’s Folly. They are an ancient breed and have likely been around for thousands of years.

Not only does the Alaskan Malamute pull sleds but it also is an excellent hunter of big game such as bears and seals. The Alaskan Malamute is the official state dog of Alaska.

Alaskan Malamute Club of America

Height: 23-25 inches; Weight: 75-85 pounds;
Lifespan: 10-14 years; AKC rank: 58 of 197
Country: United States (Alaska)

Anatolian Shepherd Dog

The Anatolian Shepherd Dog (aka Kangal Shepherd Dog) is a large dog used to act as a guardian of livestock in its native country of Turkey. Although they are loving dogs, they will need strong leadership due to their size.

They will protect their entire family (even the cats) against all enemies foreign or domestic. They have even been exported to Africa to protect herds against lions, cheetahs, and other big predators.

Anatolian Shepherd Dog Club of America

Height: 27-29 inches; Weight: 80-150 pounds;
Lifespan: 11-13 years; AKC rank: 90 of 197
Country: Turkey

Bernese Mountain Dog

The Bernese Mountain Dog is one of the giant dog breeds. They were used as also purpose farm dogs and pulled guard duty as well as carts.

They are calm well-behaved dogs that are seldom aggressive to strangers. They are affectionate family pets but care should be taken of when small children are around simply because this is a very large dog.

Bernese Mountain Dog Club of America

Height: 23-27.5 inches; Weight: 70-115 pounds;
Lifespan: 7-10 years; AKC rank: 22 of 197
Country: Switzerland

Black Russian Terrier

The Black Russian Terrier is a mix of many dog breeds created in Russia for use as a military working dog. It is not a true Terrier despite its name.

They are very large dogs and because they were bred to be guard dog, they are vary of strangers. They have a heavy black coat that serves them well in colder climates.

Black Russian Terrier Club of America

Height: 26-30 inches; Weight: 80-130 pounds;
Lifespan: 10-12 years; AKC rank: 118 of 197
Country: Russia

Boerboel

The Boerboel is a large dog sometimes called the South African mastiff. It was bred to be a protector of South African farmers from dangerous predators.

The Boerboel is usually calm but is fearless and needs to be trained and socialized from an early age, preferably starting within the few weeks of its birth. These imposing dogs can weigh up to 200 pounds.

American Boerboel Club

Height: 22-27 inches; Weight: 150-200 pounds;
Lifespan: 9-11 years; AKC rank: 121 of 197
Country: South Africa

Boxer

The Boxer is a popular family pet that is bright, active and very good with children. They are loyal and protective of their family. They are not usually aggressive but may be a bit wary of strangers.

The Boxer gets its name from its behavior while playing. It sometimes stands on its back legs and moves its front legs in a manner that resembles boxing.

American Boxer Club, Inc. 

Height: 21.5-23 inches; Weight: 65-85 pounds;
Lifespan: 10-12 years; AKC rank: 11 of 197
Country: Germany

Bullmastiff

The Bullmastiff name sounds like it should be that of a big dog and it is. It is not the biggest dog in the world but it is still a lot of dog to handle. These dogs were bred to prevent poachers from taking game animals from the estates of the landed gentry.

Owners of this breed must be diligent in socializing and training their dogs. The Bullmastiff was bred to tackle and hold down poachers. Your neighbors and visitors may not appreciate being tackled by your Bullmastiff, even a friendly one.

American Bullmastiff Association

Height: 24-27 inches; Weight: 100-130 pounds;
Lifespan: 7-9 years; AKC rank: 51 of 197
Country: United Kingdom

Cane Corso

The Cane Corso is a mastiff from Italy. It is used for protection, law enforcement, guard duty, and also as a loyal companion dog.

They look imposing but they are gentle and loving family dogs, very good with children, and easy to train. Due to the size of the Cane Corso, early socialization and trained is essential.

Cane Corso Association of America

Height: 23.5-27.5 inches; Weight: 88-110 pounds;
Lifespan: 9-12 years; AKC rank: 32 of 197
Country Italy

Chinook

The Chinook is the official state dog of New Hampshire where it was developed. It was bred to be a powerful and swift sled dog that was also gentle and friendly.

The breed’s name is in honor of the dog “Chinook” that founded the breed. Chinook was a was a famous lead dog that was lost in the Antarctic when he was about 12 years old.

Chinook Club of America

Height: 22-26 inches; Weight: 50-90 pounds;
Lifespan: 12-15 years; AKC rank: 190 of 197
Country: United States

Doberman Pinscher

The Doberman Pinscher breed was started in Germany to be a personal protection dog by Karl Friedrich Louis Dobermann. Doberman was a tax collector who wanted a dog for his personal protection when going about his tax collecting duties.

The Doberman Pinscher is a very intelligent and popular guard dog that all but the very foolish and unwise would try to confront.

Doberman Pinscher Club of America

Height: 24-28 inches; Weight: 90-100 pounds;
Lifespan: 10-12 years; AKC rank: 17 of 197
Country: Germany

Dogo Argentino

The Dogo Argentino was developed in Argentina primarily for hunting big game animals including the wild boar. It is a large dog with short white fur.

The Dogo Argentino is a courageous and loyal dog that has a natural instinct to protect its family. If not socialized properly, it can be a threat to strangers and is banned in several countries.

Dogo Argentino Club of America

Height: 24-26.5 inches; Weight: 88-100 pounds;
Lifespan: 9-15 years; AKC rank: of 197
Country Argentina

Dogue de Bordeaux

The Dogue de Bordeaux is a large mastiff from the Bordeaux region of France. It was put to work pulling carts, carry large items, and guarding flocks.

It is a large, powerful that has been around long before there was a country called France. They are loyal, affectionate and will courageously protect its family.

Dogue de Bordeaux Society of America

Height: 23-27 inches; Weight: 99-110 pounds;
Lifespan: 5-8 years; AKC rank: 67 of 197
Country: France

German Pinscher

The German Pinscher is a medium-sized dog and one of the smallest dogs in the Working Group. They are a very old German breed and are in the bloodlines of several other dogs including the Standard Schnauzer, Doberman, and Rottweiler.

The German Pinscher is an affectionate, non-aggressive dog that is playful, alert, and fearless. They are confident companion dogs ready to see what the world has to offer.

German Pinscher Club of America, Inc.

Height: 17-20 inches; Weight: 25-45 pounds;
Lifespan: 12-14 years; AKC rank: 134 of 197
Country: Germany

Giant Schnauzer

The Giant Schnauzer is the largest of Schnauzers bred to work on the farm for herding and guard duty. Once it moved to the city, it become more of a guard dog and also was used in military and police work.

They are usually amiable and good-natured but because of their breeding, they can be suspicious of strangers. They come in two color variations, solid black or salt and pepper.

Giant Schnauzer Club of America

Height: 23.5-27.5 inches; Weight: 55-85 pounds;
Lifespan: 12-15 years; AKC rank: 78 of 197
Country: Germany

Great Dane

The Great Dane is one of the largest dogs in the world and will tower over most over dogs and many humans. It is known as a gentle giant because of its easy-going and friendly nature.

They are watchful and imposing guard dogs. They are great with other family animal, including children, especially if raised with them.

Great Dane Club of America, Inc.

Height: 28-32 inches; Weight: 110-175 pounds;
Lifespan: 7-10 years; AKC rank: 16 of 197
Country: Germany

Great Pyrenees

The Great Pyrenees (aka Pyrenean Mountain Dog) was bred to guard livestock in the Pyrenees Mountains between France and Spain. Their coats are white sometimes with gray, tan, or reddish-brown markings.

The Great Pyrenees is not easy to train and may be stubborn at time. However, they are not usually aggressive and get along with other members of its family.

Great Pyrenees Club of America

Height: 25-32 inches; Weight: 85-100+ pounds;
Lifespan:10-12 years; AKC rank: 66 of 197
Country France

Greater Swiss Mountain Dog

The Greater Swiss Mountain Dog is the largest of the sennenhund dog breeds that come from the Swiss Alps. It is well known in Europe but relatively rare in the United States.

They have an attractive tri-color coat of black, brown and white. They are happy dogs that bond with its family including children.

Greater Swiss Mountain Dog Club of America

Height: 23.5-28.5inches; Weight: 85-140 pounds;
Lifespan: 8-11 years; AKC rank: 174 of 197
Country: Switzerland

Komondor

The Komondor is a large guardian dog from Hungary. Its white curly coat looks so mop-like that it sometimes called the “mop” dog.

The ancestors of the Komondor was brought to the Hungarian region as early as the 12th century. It is a guard dog used to protect livestock and other property. It is affectionate with family and children and very protective.

Komondor Club of America

Height: 25.5-27.5 inches; Weight: 80-100+ pounds;
Lifespan: 10-12 years; AKC rank: 173 of 197
Country: Hungary

Kuvasz

The Kuvasz, like the Komondor, is a large white livestock guardian dog from Hungary. It is also an ancient breed whose roots can be traced back as far as the 9th century.

It is an intelligent dog that once could only be owned by Hungarian royalty. It is independent and very loyal, even when owned by commoners.

Kuvasz Club of America

Height: 26-30 inches; Weight: 70-115 pounds;
Lifespan: 10-12 years; AKC rank: 116 of 197
Country: Hungary

Leonberger

The Leonberger is named after the German city of Leonberg. Apparently, the citizens of the town wanted a dog that looked like a lion which was on the city’s coat of arms.

The Leonberger is a giant dog that is loyal and affectionate. It is not aggressive and its only real danger is that it is so big. It is a great family dog, gentle with children, and wants all the love and attention you can give it.

Leonberger Club of America

Height: 25.5-31.5 inches; Weight: 90-170 pounds;
Lifespan: 9 years; AKC rank: 93 of 197
Country: Germany

Mastiff

If you paying for your dog by the pound, you will need some extra cash in your wallet to buy a Mastiff. The mastiff (lower-case m) breeds have been around for thousands of years.

The Mastiff is another gentle giant dog breed. However, simply because of its hugeness, you need to make sure it is socialized early and is well trained. It is not a dog for small apartment dwellers.

Mastiff Club of America

Height: 27.5-30 inches; Weight: 120-230 pounds;
Lifespan: 6-10 years; AKC rank: 29 of 197
Country: England

Neapolitan Mastiff

If mastiff is part of your name, you will probably be big. And, the Neapolitan Mastiff is no exception. Even a small one will weigh over a hundred pounds.

The Neapolitan Mastiff’s has a distinct wrinkled face. It is a guardian dog, loves its family, and is very protective of those it loves.

United States Neapolitan Mastiff Club

Height: 24-31 inches; Weight: 110-150 pounds;
Lifespan: 7-6 years; AKC rank: 102 of 197
Country: Italy

Newfoundland

The Newfoundland was bred to help fisherman on the island of Newfoundland. They are excellent swimmers and are used in water rescue and lifesaving. They are calm, intelligent dogs.

The good-nature of the Newfound is so important in the breed that many kennel clubs list that virtue as part of the breed standard. Its only threat to humans and other creatures is that it is a very big animal.

Newfoundland Club of America

Height: 26-28 inches; Weight: 100-150 pounds;
Lifespan: 9-10 years; AKC rank: 40 of 197
Country: Canada (Newfoundland)

Portuguese Water Dog

The Portuguese Water Dog is a kind of herding dog in that it was used to herd fish into the fisherman’s nets in Portugal. They are a non-shedding breed.

This breed gained some popularity because a Portuguese Water Dog lived in the White House as the family pet of President Obama. They are very smart and easy to train.

Portuguese Water Dog Club of America

Height: 17-23 inches; Weight: 35-60 pounds;
Lifespan: 11-13 years; AKC rank: 50 of 197
Country: Portugal

Rottweiler

The Rottweiler is a very popular dog breed in the United States. They are large, imposing dogs that most people up to no good will likely respect and avoid messing with.

The Rottweiler is a calm, self-assured dog that is not over aggressive but can inflict serious harm if provoked or if someone messes with its owner or family. This dog needs socialization at an early age and needs to be well trained.

American Rottweiler Club

Height: 22-27 inches; Weight: 80-125 pounds;
Lifespan: 9-10 years; AKC rank: 8 of 197
Country: Germany

Saint Bernard

Saint Bernards are an iconic dog that was bred by the Great St Bernard Hospice as a rescue dog. The small barrel it carries is traditionally filled with brandy.

The St Bernard is a sweet, gentle dog and very good with children. Maybe if you get one, fill that barrel with hot chocolate instead of brandy.

Saint Bernard Club of America 

Height: 26-30 inches; Weight: 120-180 pounds;
Lifespan: 8-10 years; AKC rank: 48 of 197
Country: Switzerland

Samoyed

The Samoyed is named after the nomadic Samoyedic people of Siberia. They used the dog to help herd reindeer. The Samoyed has a white coat and is a spitz type dog.

The Samoyed originated in a very, very cold climate as a pack animal. They are affectionate and need attention. And, they need a pack leader.

Samoyed Club of America, Inc.

Height: 19-23.5 inches; Weight: 35-65 pounds;
Lifespan: 12-14 years; AKC rank: 59 of 197
Country: Russia, Siberia

Siberian Husky

The Siberian Husky originated in Siberia but the modern Siberian Husky is from Alaska where it is used as a sled dog. Mush, you huskies was frequently cried out by Sergeant Preston of the Yukon on radio and early TV shows.

They are pack animals so tend to get along with other dogs and humans. They will chase smaller creatures like cats and rabbits so they need to be kept in a secure area.

Siberian Husky Club of America, Inc

Height: 20-23.5 inches; Weight: 35-60 pounds;
Lifespan: 12-14 years; AKC rank: 14 of 197
Country: United States

Standard Schnauzer

The Standard Schnauzer is from Germany and is an important ancestor of the other two Schnauzer breeds, the Miniature and the Giant. They were bred to help with herding and controlling vermin such as rats.

They are very easily trained. They make good family pets because of their good nature and acceptance of kids. They love to chase squirrels!

Standard Schnauzer Club of America

Height: 17.5-19.5 inches; Weight: 30-50 pounds;
Lifespan: 13-16 years; AKC rank: 89 of 197
Country: Germany

Tibetan Mastiff

The Tibetan Mastiff started as a herding and guard dog for the nomads of Tibet and for guarding Tibetan monasteries. Their size and appearance will probably be enough to scare away any intruders.

However, they are also gentle and lovable family companion dogs. They will need room to roam in a spacious backyard and are not very suitable for small apartment living.

American Tibetan Mastiff Association

Height: 24-26 inches; Weight: 70-150 pounds;
Lifespan: 10-12 years; AKC rank: 131 of 197
Country: Tibet

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