What is the working group of dogs? It’s one of a few groups to classify dog breeds. Working dogs have their own set of characteristics and were built differently. So, let’s learn more about the working group of dogs. 

Why Are Dog Breeds Classified Into Groups?

Dog breeds are classified because it’s easier to group certain breeds for national dog shows and dog sports.

In addition, they’re grouped to help families decide which dog breed is suitable for their lifestyle.

For example, active families who want to have a hiking buddy won’t do well with a toy group dog. They’re too small and need a little exercise. On the other hand, working group dogs might do well on the occasional hike.

The American Kennel Club (AKC) came up with these groups. There are about seven groups of dog breeds, and the working group is one of them.

Since the AKC created these groups, you won’t find mixed breeds on this list. The AKC only recognizes purebred dogs.

What Is The AKC Working Group Of Dogs?

Dogs are grouped based on a few different reasons. The first reason is what the dog was initially bred for.

For instance, working dog breeds were initially bred for work. For example, they’d guard property, pull sleds, and conduct rescues in the water.

In addition, these dogs can also act as war dogs and police dogs.

Of course, these breeds do not include those who work to protect and herd livestock. That’s a separate group called the herding group.

Also, these dogs are classified based on a few shared temperament characteristics.

What is the working group of dogs? | PetSimplified.com

Top Working Group Characteristics

Most working dogs are large breeds, but the size isn’t enough. These dogs, in addition to what they were initially bred for, share many traits. So, let’s talk about a few of them.


These dogs are one of the most intelligent breeds. This is because they always have a job to do. Whether protecting their family, territory or doing search and rescue work, they need to be on top of their game.

So, working dogs are brilliant as they can adapt to new environments and perform their jobs diligently.

Needs Lots Of Training

On the other hand, they need a lot of training. Not only do they need the training to do their jobs properly, but you need to let them know who’s in charge: you.

Since they’re so intelligent, training can be easy. However, they can easily get bored by training and not want to do anything. So, you’ll need to keep training fresh and pretend it’s a game or work for the doggo.

Can Be Aggressive

One other reason they need plenty of training is that these working dog breeds can be aggressive. They make excellent guard dogs, and some are more aggressive than others.

Because of the aggressiveness, you’ll want to be careful about training these pups for guarding. It’ll be all too easy for them to bite someone they’re not supposed to. Also, they’ll need to be able to listen to you if you tell them to stop being too aggressive. 

What is the working group of dogs? | PetSimplified.com

May Be Unsuitable For Novice Dog Owners

Most working dogs are high-strung. They need extensive training, can be aggressive, and have a mind of their own. That’s why these dog breeds are best suited for dog owners who have experience with these types of breeds before.

If you’re a new dog owner and want a working dog, it’s a good idea to talk to a vet about it first. Also, shop for some dog training classes for you and your furry friend to learn together.


Finally, working dogs are independent. This isn’t to say that they won’t be affectionate with you. However, they’ll be on alert a lot. They’ll do their best to guard the house and you.

Working dogs tend to be alone most of the time when they’re not working or training.

Which Breeds Are In The Working Group?

According to the AKC, 31 purebred dog breeds are part of the working group. Look at the chart below to see which breeds are working dogs.

List of Working Group Dog Breeds
AkitaAlakan MalamuteAnatolian Shepherd Dog
Bernese Mountain DogBlack Russian TerrierBoerboel
BoxerBull MastiffCane Corso
ChinookDoberman PinscherDogo Argentino
Dogue de BordeauxGerman PinscherGiant Schnauzer
Great DaneGreat PyreneesGreater Swiss Mountain Dog
MastiffNeapolitan MastiffNewfoundland
Portuguese Water DogRottweilerSaint Bernard
SamoyedSiberian HuskyStandard Schnauzer
Tibetan Mastiff

Question Corner: FAQs About The Working Group Of Dogs

If you have more questions about working dogs, then take a look at the frequently asked questions answered below.

Which Breeds Is The Most Intelligent Working Dog?

The Chinook, Doberman Pinscher, and Rottweiler are all intelligent dogs. These three breeds might be too smart for their good. They may make training too easy or more difficult.

Are Any Working Dogs Hypoallergenic?

The Giant Schnauzer, Portuguese Water Dog, and Standard Schnauzer are hypoallergenic. These pups don’t shed or drool much, making them a good option for allergy sufferers.

Which Working Dogs Are The Best For Families?

The best working dogs for families (with or without kids) are the Alaskan Malamute, Bernese Mountain Dog, Boxer, Chinook, Newfoundland, and the Siberian Husky. All of these breeds are affectionate, loyal, and energetic.

What is the working group of dogs? | PetSimplified.com

Which Working Dog Makes The Best Guard Dog?

The top guard dogs in this group are the Akita, Anatolian Shepherd Dog, Black Russian Terrier, Boerboel, Boxer, Bullmastiff, Cane Corso, Doberman Pinscher, Giant Schnauzer, Rottweiler, and the Tibetan Mastiff. Be careful training these dogs to guard, so they don’t become too aggressive.

Are Working Dogs Suitable For Apartment Living?

Unfortunately, no. None of the breeds in this group will do well living in an apartment or smaller house. They always need a job to do, so they need constant physical and mental stimulation. Also, due to their size alone, these large and giant dogs won’t have much room to stretch their legs.

Are Any Working Dogs Banned Breeds?

Sadly, yes. Due to their possible aggression and background, some working breeds are banned in parts of the world. For example, the Dogo Argentino, Rottweiler, and Mastiff breeds are often banned. 

Is A Working Dog Right For You?

If you’re an experienced dog owner, live in a bigger house with a fenced-in yard, and can take the time for extensive training, then a working dog may be a good choice for you. These doggos are low-key and will be loyal to you and your home. 

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