We are a nation of dog lovers in this country. Not only do they hold the title of man’s best friend, but they have also become a part of our lives in several aspects, whether that’s as part of the family or a fulfilling a job or service.
The Kennel Club splits dog breeds into several different groups; the Working Group hosts dogs known for being alert, obedient, and strong. This group of dogs “consists of some of the most heroic canines in the world, aiding humans in many walks of life,” stated the Club’s website.
Some of the roles of working dogs in the UK include search and rescue dogs, livestock guardian dogs, police and armed forces dogs, and more.
In this article, we will list some of the most popular working dog breeds in the UK, according to the Kennel Club.
Table of Contents
Boxers are descended from the Bullenbeisser, a German breed used to hunt in the 1800s. The appearance of the Boxer today is thought to be the result of crossbreeding with the Bulldog.
The Boxer is well-known for being intelligent and for its excellent guarding ability. It has been used as a tracking dog as well as a messenger and pack carrier in the armed forces. This is due to the breed’s strength, endurance, and loyalty.
These particular attributes make them great working dogs in the UK. They are very obedient and respond well to training. They are also known to be very brave, making them ideal for roles such as search and rescue or police work.
The Rottweiler was created in Southwest Germany by mixing the herding dogs used by the Roman army with sheepdogs. These dogs were primarily used for droving cattle and guarding them against thieves.
Fast forward to the present day, and Rottweilers are proving their abilities in the army and police.
The Kennel Club states that this breed requires responsible owners to cope with the Rottweiler’s activity levels and intelligence. If well-trained, this dog can be a great addition to a family.
Named after the breed’s developer, tax man Louis Dobermann, the Dobermann is the largest of the Pinscher breeds. These dogs prefer an active lifestyle but can be comfortable as companions or working dogs.
Since their creation, Dobermanns’ jobs have included guard dogs, tracking dogs, and more. These roles need extensive training, which this breed can do well as they thrive off mental stimulation. If kept as pets, this necessary mental stimulation can be provided by obedience training, taking part in agility, playing fetch, and more activities.
You can read more on the trainability of Dobermanns here.
Dogue de Bordeaux
Once known as the French Mastiff, the Dogue de Bordeaux is suspected of having been a guard dog for vineyards and farms in France as early as the 1300s. These large dogs have also been used in blood sports, such as bull or bear fighting.
Like many larger breeds with an intimidating appearance, the Dogue de Bordeaux suffered from being commercialised. This meant the breed was sold specifically for profit due to its macho image, which is said to have resulted in several unhealthy litters.
Due to their looks and affinity for hard work with positive reinforcement, Dogue de Bordeaux makes excellent working dogs suited for roles in law enforcement, security, and more.
With boar-hunting ancestors, the Great Dane is definitely one of the more elegant-looking working dog breeds on this list. Tall and almost noble in stature, these dogs were once known as the “Apollo of all dogs”.
Great Danes are gentle giants who are good with children and other animals. They are also known to be very loyal, making them great protectors. However, they need to be socialised from a young age to avoid any aggression.
These dogs make great working dogs as they are relatively easy to train and are very obedient. They are also good at following orders, which is essential for roles such as police dogs and search and rescue dogs.
First known as Alpine Mastiffs, the St Bernard was once property guards, but their role changed by the 1700s; they began being used as rescue dogs. Lost and stranded travellers were located by the St Bernard’s impressive tracking ability, which allowed them to cover large areas of ground. They would then dig the traveller out of the snow, for example, and provide warmth until help arrived.
Nowadays, St Bernards are not used as often for rescue missions, but they are still excellent working dogs. They have been known to work as avalanche rescue dogs, as well as therapy dogs. They are also excellent guard dogs due to their size and intimidating appearance.
The Newfoundland is a large working dog that was originally used for fishing. These dogs would help pull in nets as well as carry messages between boats. They were also used as working dogs on land, helping with farm work such as pulling carts.
Nowadays, Newfoundlands are still used as working dogs in some capacity. They have been known to work as search and rescue dogs, as well as therapy dogs. They are also excellent at water sports due to their swimming ability and their love of water.
Bernese Mountain Dog
The Bernese Mountain Dog was originally used for herding and driving livestock. These dogs are still used for this purpose in some parts of the world, but they have also become popular family pets.
Their size and strength make them ideal for working roles such as search and rescue, as well as being excellent guard dogs. They are also known to be very intelligent, which makes them easy to train for various roles.
The Bullmastiff was created by gamekeepers in Victorian England to help them stop poachers on their land. These dogs were bred by crossing the English Mastiff with the Bulldog, which resulted in a dog with the size and strength to take down a poacher, but with the loyalty and docility to not hurt them.
Bullmastiffs are often used as guard dogs or family pets. They are known to be very gentle and tolerant with children, which makes them ideal for families. They are also very loyal and protective, making them excellent guard dogs.
Bullmastiffs make excellent working dogs as they are very intelligent and respond well to training. They are also known to be very brave, which is essential for roles such as search and rescue or police work.
Siberian Huskies have a very high drive; this means they can be difficult to control. Owners, or those using these dogs for work, should allocate time to spend training the dogs. However, once this time is spent, the Siberian Husky can make an excellent working dog.
Their high drive means they are excellent at sledding and racing. While this might be less common in the UK, these skills have been used in sports like Canicross and pulling skateboards, modified bikes, etc.
They have also been used as search and rescue dogs as well as working dogs in the UK armed forces.
To Sum Up
All of the breeds on this list are just some that the Kennel Club states are the most commonly bought from the Working Group.
These breeds have become popular working dogs in the UK due to their temperaments and trainability; both aspects are essential in developing skills required for certain jobs, like sniffer dogs and search and rescue dogs.