While dogs have become our best domestic fur-iends, for many years the human/canine relationship was one where we worked together.
Working dogs were bred to perform specific tasks to assist people. Original jobs were focused on the acquisition and protection of food sources such as hunting, tracking, herding, and guarding. Today’s working dogs mostly perform life-saving tasks such as search & rescue, therapy and disability assistance, policing, patrolling, and military tasks.
And although most dogs today don’t have jobs, it doesn’t mean they don’t have the drive to work. Generations of breeding have given most dogs an inherent working drive.
Read on to find out what your dog’s original “job” was. You might just discover your dog’s new favorite activity!
A brief history of working dogs
Ever wonder what your breed was originally bred for and what they should be doing now? We compiled a list of popular working dogs with their old and new jobs.
- Siberian Husky Originally bred to assist the Chukchi people of Siberia. They weren’t used as sled dogs in the Americas until the 20th century. Today they can still compete in Alaska or you can take them urban mushing.
- Boxers These high-energy pups were bred to hunt deer, wild boar, and bears. Now they are often police dogs, guide dogs, and assist in herding.
- Staffordshire Bull Terrier A relatively new breed, these dogs were bred to bait bulls and bears for sport. Their loyalty and strength make them excellent police dogs, nannies, rescue dogs, and soldiers.
- German Shepherd Despite being bred for herding and guarding sheep, this breed is now the universal working dog. They work as K9 police, soldiers, rescue dogs, guide dogs, guard dogs and more.
- Labrador Retrievers Originally bred for waterfowling and hunting, they are the go-to breed for guide dogs, search & rescue dogs, bomb dogs, and therapy dogs. They still love swimming though!
- Jack Russell Terriers These tenacious pups were bred to track and hunt quarry. But like many smaller working breeds, they are overlooked for modern day work. Now you’ll mostly find them in entertainment & acting, and if they’re lucky, competing in canine dog sports like flyball and agility.
If you have a working breed, then you know they are smart, have a ton of stamina and need lots of exercise, training, and stimulation to keep them happy (and from destroying your home).
Keep your working dog happy
So you have a work-driven breed, and no activities to help them channel their energy? Fitdog is here to help! We know dogs are smart, capable, and worthy of activities that make them feel fulfilled. Fitdog’s recreational Group Classes keep your dog engaged and active the way they were designed to be.
If you have a working dog, find out how Fitdog can help you create a customized schedule of activities within your budget.
Originally published on September 4, 2017