Meet our top seven favourite working dogs

Komondor

Trying to list our top five working dogs was hard. So hard, in fact, we had to expand our list to the top seven working dogs.

There are lots of things to love about working dogs. They are super intelligent, strong, and alert, and they help humans in a myriad of ways. For example, they help us to guard property, herd sheep and save lives by performing water rescues. They can also make excellent and loving pets, although training and socialising are critical because of their size and protective instincts. So without further ado, here are our top seven working dogs.

Komondor

Komondor Dog

The Komondor are fierce protectors of their flock. These tough doggos think nothing of running off wolves or other predators. Their stunning cord coat provides them with protection in extreme cold, protects them from predators and also helps to disguise them with the sheep they protect. Known as the king of Hungarian flock dogs, Koms were introduced to Hungary during the 12th and 13th centuries by Cumans, the Turkic speaking, nomadic people.

The Great Pyrenees

Great Pyrenees Dog

The majestic Great Pyrenees is a powerful working dog bred to withstand the chill of snowy mountain tops. They protect flocks of sheep and cattle from dangerous predators like bears and wolves. As a family pet, the Great Pyrenees is calm, well-mannered, and loyal. Training is essential, though, as they can also be independent and stubborn. Their gorgeous lush coat is all white or white with markings of grey, tan, reddish-brown, or badger.

Newfoundland

Working Dogs: NEWFOUNDLAND DOG

Sweet-natured and loyal, the Newfoundland is also affectionately called the Newfie. They are working dogs who are natural swimmers because of their partially webbed feet, double-layered coat and large lung capacity.

Canadian fishermen relied on them for sea rescues and hauling fishing nets from churning seas. Newfoundland dogs are black, brown, grey or a mix of white and black. They are affectionate and loyal to children.  Perhaps the most famous (although imaginary) Newfie is Nana, the guardian of the Darling children in Peter Pan.

Giant Schnauzer

Working Dogs: Giant Schnauzer Dog

The Giant Schnauzer hails from the Bavarian Alps. The bred was created from the Standard Schnauzer in the mid-1800s. They were used to drive cattle from farm to market and served as fearless guard dogs for farmers, innkeepers, and merchants. In more modern times, they took on duties as guard dogs and police work. During both World Wars, they were used as guards, trench, and messenger dogs. Although hardworking, Giant Schnauzers are also playful and highly intelligent. Beware, though, these smartie pants can also be selective about whose commands they will obey.

Alaskan Malamute

Working Dogs: Alaskan Malamute

The Alaskan Malamute is an affectionate, loyal, and playful dog. They are famous for being a chatty breed that vocalises with a “woo woo” sound. Mal’s origins are as an arctic sled dog, so they are not recommended for first-time pet parents. They are sensitive and need plenty of open space, exercise, attention, and company. Although wolf-like in appearance, they make terrible guard dogs because they are friendly and affectionate puppers, even with strangers, and seldom bark!

Bernese Mountain Dog

Working Dogs: Bernese Mountain Dog

The Bernese Mountain dog is affectionate, patient, and excellent with children. While today they make great family pets initially, they were put to work droving cattle, guarding farmyards, and serving as a gentle giant companion. They’re also tremendous drafting dogs because of their strength and ability to pull many times their weight with their broad and muscular hindquarters. Hailing from Switzerland, their ancestors are thought to have been bought over from invading Romans over 2000 years ago.

Portuguese Water Dog

Working dogs: Portuguese Water Dog puppy

The Portuguese Water Dog once lived all along Portugal’s coast. They were used to herd fish into nets, retrieve lost tackle, and act as a messenger between ships and shore. Today they are still used in water rescue, helped along by their powerful webbed feet. Their beautiful coats are non-allergenic, non-shedding and waterproof. Perhaps the two most famous Portuguese Water Dogs in the world belonged to President Obama and his family. Bo, who Sunny later joined, was a gift from Senator Ted Kennedy and his wife, Vicki.