Working Dogs Beyond Zoology
In our August blog, we put the spotlight on our hard working livestock guardian dogs (LGD’s). Jelly, Zoey, and Cupid are a breed, or a mix of one or more, that was created for this kind job. Great Pyrenees were selectively bred to make them perfect for this sort of work, from their territoriality to their thick, weather-proof coats that keep them comfortable while they live outdoors with their herds. Another popular breed of live-stock guardians in our locale are Anatolian Shepherds, who are also known for their fierce defense of their herds.
Live-stock guardians are just one example of working dogs, though. For example, when it comes to working with live-stock, LGD’s aren’t alone. A whole multitude of breeds were bred for herding. These include many well known breeds, such as Border Collies, Australian Shepherds, and Heelers. Did you know that Corgis are also herders? They were originally bred to herd cattle, which may come as surprising due to their small stature! The diversity when it comes to herding breeds is immense, covering a whole range of both types of herd animals and the environments they live in. Many of these breeds are known for not only being incredibly intelligent, as the Border Collie is especially famous for, but also being athletic and having very high energy. Due to this combination, herding breeds love to exercise both their bodies and brains. Many of these dogs thrive doing work, or receiving tons of walks and stimulating training.
Similarly, LGD’s are joined by a number of other breeds when it comes to guarding territory and other living things. Guard dogs, as the name suggests, were bred with protection as their primary job. German Shepherds are likely one of the first to come to mind, with other popular breeds including Doberman Pinschers, Rottweilers, and Mastiffs. Known for their loyalty and alertness, you can have peace of mind knowing guard dogs are on the job. These breeds will deter intruders and keep their territory, and those who occupy it, safe. While Zoey and Cupid work hard to protect their herd, Jelly is our guarding super-star, as she assigned herself the role of also protecting the whole property!
This is only scraping the surface of the types of working dogs out there. Most breeds came to be with a job in mind, with the sky being the limit on the types of roles they can take on. From the rather niche sled dogs, which have their specific and unique duty, to service dogs, which almost any breed can be due to the variety of the particular role they are filling, there is an impressive range when it comes to the type of work dogs do. Of course, no one breed or individual dog is confined to any one type of work, and even more fill the role of being a dutiful companion, which is as worthy a job as any!
Because of the various backgrounds and intended roles many breeds have, a little research can go a long way into making sure you and your dog thrive together. There are many aspects of the care and keeping of a dog that can be learned just from their breed. In our November blog, we’ll take a deeper dive into how the breed of a dog can tell you a lot about their temperament, behavior, and predispositions.
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