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Encyclopedia > Working dog
This working dog is a border collie mix.
This working dog is a border collie mix.

A working dog refers to a canine working animal, i.e. a dog that is not merely a pet but learns and performs tasks to assist and/or entertain its human companions, or a breed of such origin. Working Dog Productions is a small film and television production company based in Melbourne, Australia. ... Image File history File linksMetadata No higher resolution available. ... Image File history File linksMetadata No higher resolution available. ... The Siberian Husky is a medium-size, dense-coat working dog breed that originated in eastern Siberia, belonging to the Spitz genetic family. ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (1600x1296, 221 KB)A common Australian working dog - a border collie cross. ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (1600x1296, 221 KB)A common Australian working dog - a border collie cross. ... The Border Collie is a breed of herding dog that originated in the border country of England and Scotland. ... A healthy mixed-breed dog shows hybrid vigor. ... A working animal is an animal that is kept by humans and trained to perform tasks. ... Trinomial name Canis lupus familiaris The dog (Canis lupus familiaris) is a domestic subspecies of the wolf, a mammal of the Canidae family of the order Carnivora. ... It has been suggested that Residential pets be merged into this article or section. ...

Within this general description, however, there are several ways in which the phrase is used.

  • To identify any dog that performs any task on a regular basis to assist people. In this context, a dog who helps a rancher manage cattle or who performs tricks for a trainer who receives pay for its acts is a working dog, as is a service dog or an assistance dog. This might be in comparison to a companion dog, whose purpose is primarily as a pet.
  • To distinguish between show dogs that are bred primarily for their appearance in an attempt to match a breed club's detailed description of what such a breed should look like, and working dogs that are bred primarily for their ability to perform a task. For example, a Border Collie that is a champion show dog is not necessarily good at herding sheep; a Border Collie that is a champion at sheepdog trials might be laughed out of the show ring for its nonstandard appearance. It is possible that a specimen may excel in both appearance and performance, but it is very unlikely, because showing animals have to a large degree lost all working ability due to extremes in type being favoured in the show ring. These extremes make it very difficult for the dog to do its job. It has become fully accepted that many genetic problems existing in dog breeds today are a direct result of breeding for the show ring rather than for the function the dog was intended to do.[citation needed]
For some breeds, there are separate registries for tracking the ancestry of working and show dogs. For example, in Australia, there are separate registries for working and show Australian Kelpies; the working registry encourages the breeding of any Kelpies with a strong instinct to herd, no matter their appearance or coat color; the show registry encourages breeding only among Kelpies whose ancestors were registered as show dogs and who have only solid-colored coats. Other breeds have just a working dog register, independent of the showing registers, such a breed is the Boerboel, the breeders of this dog consider entry into the AKC for example would damage the dogs gentic working base if it were ever to be bred for the showring.
  • As a catch-all for dog breeds whose original purpose was to perform tasks that do not fit into a more specific category of work. For example, the American Kennel Club uses Working Dogs to describe breeds who were originally bred for jobs other than herding or hunting. Such jobs might include pulling carts, guarding and so on. However in practise these 'show' dogs under the AKC are not proper working dogs, and would indeed not be suitable for use as such. Many true working breeds are still very valuable as working dogs, and without them local economies would suffer. An example of such a breed is the Anatolian shepherd without which many sheep would be destroyed for example by wolves, feral domestic dogs, and in Namibia, the cheetah.


Ranching is the raising of cattle or sheep on rangeland, although one might also speak of ranching with regard to less common livestock such as elk, bison or emu. ... For general information about the genus, including other species of cattle, see Bos. ... A service dog is a type of assistance dog, specifically trained to help people who have disabilities other than visual or hearing impairment. ... An assistance dog is a dog trained to help a person with a disability. ... Companion dog usually describes a dog that does not work, providing only companionship as a pet, rather than usefulness by doing specific tasks. ... It has been suggested that Residential pets be merged into this article or section. ... An American Cocker Spaniel show dog with its ears wrapped in preparation for showing A show dog is a purebred dog that is displayed at conformation dog shows to determine how well it conforms to established breed standards. ... A breed club, in the hobby of dog fancy, is an organization dedicated to breeding and showing of one single breed of dog as opposed to a diverse mixture of dogs. ... A breed standard (also called bench standard) in animal fancy and animal husbandry is a set of guidelines which is used to insure that the animals produced by a breeding facility conform to the specifics of the breed. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... The Border Collie is a breed of herding dog that originated in the border country of England and Scotland. ... A man herding goats in Tunisia Herding is the act of bringing individual animals together into a group, maintaining the group and moving the group from place to place—or any combination of those. ... Species See text. ... A Sheepdog trial (or simply dog trial) is a competitive dog sport in which herding dog breeds move sheep around a field, fences, gates, or enclosures as directed by their handlers. ... A breed registry, also known as a stud book or register, in animal husbandry and the hobby of animal fancy, is an official list of animals within a specific breed whose parents are known. ... This article is about the dog breed; for the aquatic creature from Celtic mythology, see kelpie. ... The Boerboel is a large working molosser type breed of dog from South Africa. ... © The American Kennel Club (or AKC) is the largest registry of purebred dog pedigrees in the United States. ...

Jobs performed by dogs

A detection dog at work
A detection dog at work

Although most modern dogs are kept as pets, there are still a tremendous number of ways in which dogs can and do assist humans, and more uses are found for them every year. The following list provides an idea of the versatility of dogs: Image File history File linksMetadata Download high resolution version (1491x1143, 674 KB)Image of a detection dog searching for drugs, image copyright Yvette Cendes, 2005 File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Download high resolution version (1491x1143, 674 KB)Image of a detection dog searching for drugs, image copyright Yvette Cendes, 2005 File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... It has been suggested that Residential pets be merged into this article or section. ...

  • Assistance or Service dogs help people with various disabilities in every day tasks. Some examples include mobility assistance dogs for the physically handicapped, guide dogs for the visually impaired, and hearing dogs for the hearing impaired.
  • Therapy dogs visit people who are incapacitated or prevented in some way from having freedom of movement; these dogs provide cheer and entertainment for the elderly in retirement facilities, the ill and injured in hospitals, and so on. The very act of training dogs can also act as a therapy for human handlers, as in a prisoner rehabilitation project.
  • Rescue dogs assist people who are in difficult situations, such as in the water after a boat disaster.
  • Search dogs locate people who are missing; lost in the wilderness, escaped from nursing homes, covered in snow avalanches, buried under collapsed buildings, etc.
  • Herding dogs are still invaluable to shepherds and cattle herders around the world for managing their flocks; different breeds are used for the different jobs involved in herding, and for guarding the flocks and herds. Modern herding dogs help to control wild geese in parks or goats used for weed control. A good dog can adapt to control any sort of domestic and many wild animals.
  • Sled dogs, although today primarily used in sporting events, still can assist in transporting people and supplies in rugged, snowy terrain.
  • Performing dogs such as Circus dogs and dog actors are trained to perform acts that are not intrinsically useful, but instead provide entertainment to their audience or enable human artistic performances.
  • Canine mascots, who accompany their teams or organizations for support and publicity
  • Hunting dogs assist hunters in finding, tracking, and retrieving game, or in routing vermin. Less frequently a dog, or rather or a pack of them, actually fights a predator, such as a bear.
  • Guard dogs and watch dogs help to protect private or public property, either in living or used for patrols, as in the military and with security firms.
  • Fighting dogs are used to generate income in dog fighting.
  • Tracking dogs help find lost people and animals or track down possible criminals.
  • Cadaver dog or Human Remains Detection Dogs use their scenting ability to discover bodies or human remains at the scenes of disasters, crimes, accidents, or suicides.
  • Detection dogs of a wide variety help to detect termites in homes, illegal substances in luggage, bombs, chemicals, and many other substances.
  • War Dogs or K9 Corps are used by armed forces in many of the same roles as civilian working dogs, but in a military context. In addition, specialized military tasks such as mine detection or wire laying have been assigned to dogs.
  • Police dogs, also sometimes called K9 Units, are usually trained to track or immobilize possible criminals while assisting officers in making arrests or investigating the scene of a crime. Some are even specially trained for anti-terrorist units, as in Austria.

An assistance dog is a dog trained to help a person with a disability. ... A mobility assistance dog is a kind of service dog trained to help a person that is physically disabled. ... A blind man is led by his guide dog in Brasília, Brazil. ... Visual impairment is the functional loss of vision. ... Hearing dogs, also called signal dogs, sound alert dogs, hearing ear dogs, or hearing assistance dogs, are a category of assistance dog that are specially selected and trained to assist people who are deaf or hearing impaired. ... A hearing impairment or hearing loss is a full or partial decrease in the ability to detect or understand sounds. ... Therapy Dog refers to a dog trained to provide affection and comfort to people in hospitals, retirement homes, nursing homes, mental institutions, schools, and stressful situations such as disaster areas. ... Rescue dogs are dogs like Bernese Mountain Dogs, Newfoundlands, and Saint Bernards. ... A SAR dog training event for disaster situations The use of dogs in search and rescue (SAR) is a valuable component in responding to law enforcement requests for missing persons. ... A Koolie working with sheep. ... Sled dogs, known also as sleigh dogs, sledge dogs or sleddogs are a group of dogs that are used to pull a wheel-less vehicle on runners (a sled or sleigh) over snow or ice, by means of harnesses and lines. ... Millie, once mascot of the City of Brampton, is now the Brampton Arts Councils representative. ... A hunting dog refers to any dog who assists humans in hunting, or whose breed was originally developed to do so. ... A guard dog, watch dog, or sentry dog is a dog employed to guard against, or watch for, unwanted or unexpected animals or people. ... This is a list of dog breeds originally developed for, or commonly used at some time in their history for, dog fighting. ... Two dogs fighting Dog fighting is a physical fight between canines, sometimes involving the pitting of two dogs against each other for the entertainment of spectators, and for the purpose of gambling. ... Tracking is a technique in which dogs are trained to locate certain objects, such as a downed bird. ... Categories: | ... A detection dog getting ready to search a car for explosives. ... A war dog is a dog trained for war. ... Police dog getting ready to search a vehicle for drugs A policemans dog is a dog that is trained specifically to assist police and similar law-enforcement personnel with their work. ...

Search and rescue dogs

Main articles: Rescue dog and Search and rescue dog Rescue dogs are dogs like Bernese Mountain Dogs, Newfoundlands, and Saint Bernards. ... Tracking dogs follow ground scent The use of dogs in search and rescue (SAR) is a valuable component in responding to law enforcement requests for missing persons. ...

Dogs are commonly used as search and rescue workers in cases of lost persons and disasters. The St. Bernard was historically used in Europe in the case of avalanches and lost travelers. Search dogs used in lost person searches each year saving human lives. Several breeds of dogs were used during World War I to locate wounded soldiers in the field. Several cities in Italy are experimenting with working dogs as rescue swimmers. In this situation, a strong and well-trained dog is equipped with flotation devices and dropped in the water near a floundering swimmer. The swimmer then grabs onto the dog, and the animal tows the swimmer to shore. The Newfoundland has long been used for water rescue, not only on shore, but from fishing boats as well. Search and Rescue (acronym SAR) is an operation mounted by emergency services, often well-trained volunteers, to find someone believed to be in distress, lost, sick or injured either in a remote or difficult to access area, such as mountains, desert or forest (Wilderness search and rescue), or at sea... Wikimedia Commons has media related to: St. ... The toe of an avalanche in Alaskas Kenai Fjords. ... A personal flotation device (also named PFD, lifejacket, life preserver, Mae West, life vest, life saver, cork jacket) is a device designed to keep a wearer afloat and their head above water, often in swimming pools, rivers, or oceans. ... A Landseer painting of a Landseer Newfoundland. ...

Working dogs as pets

The breeding of working dogs originated from selecting highly intelligent[citation needed], hardy, alert mixed-breed dogs. Working dogs resulted when dogs with similar desirable characteristics, such as loyalty and good temperament, were bred. As a result, many working breeds are sought after as family pets. Selective breeding in domesticated animals is the process of developing a cultivated breed over time. ... A healthy mixed-breed dog shows hybrid vigor. ...

Working dogs make excellent pets as long as potential owners realize that these dogs must be given 'work' to do. Dogs that are not to be used for their original purpose must be trained from a young age and are best suited to active persons and families. Obedience training, dog sports, informal or novelty shows, and trial work are all excellent channels for these breeds' energy. At the very least they must have daily walks or other exercise at an appropriate level for the breed, given toys, played with, and provided with human company. Obedience Training usually refers to the training of a dog and the term is most commonly used in that context. ... Dog sports are activities that involve dogs. ... Sheepdog trials (or simply Dog trials) is a competitive dog sport of an agricultural nature, popular in the United Kingdom, Ireland, Canada, the USA, Australia, New Zealand and other farming nations. ...

Working dogs that are chained, left alone, or ignored become bored, vocal, and even neurotic; they may exhibit malaise, lethargy, destructive behaviour or attempt to escape. Working dogs inappropriately chosen as pets are often surrendered to shelters for these reasons. A neurosis, in psychoanalytic theory, is an ineffectual coping strategy that Sigmund Freud suggested was caused by emotions from past experience overwhelming or interfering with present experience. ...

See also

  • Working Group (dogs) for lists of dogs included in various kennel clubs' "Working Group" categorization, which is more narrowly focused than the general phrase "working dog".

The Working Group is a kennel club designation for purebred dog breeds descended from dogs bred to assist humans with their work. ...

External links

  Results from FactBites:
rec.pets.dogs: Working Dogs FAQ (10036 words)
History Prior to the formation of sled dog racing as a formal sport, sled dogs were bred and used by native peoples of the polar regions of the world in their everyday lives for survival in harsh climates.
Alaskan Malamutes, Siberian Huskies, Eskimo Dogs, Greenlands, Samoyeds, Norrbottenspets, and Hokkaidokens are all sled dogs.
A courage test, in the dog must protect his handler and flock from a stranger wielding a stick, is an important part of every HGH trial.
Save Our Dogs - Save Working Dogs from AB 1634 (2728 words)
Many people need dogs in their everyday life as working dogs and if a bill like this was passed people would have to go out of State to purchase their dogs.
Working dogs are a vital part of ranching, especially since not many young people are coming into the field.
The adult size of the dog is influenced by its pedigree, but it cannot be accurately determined until the major growth phases have taken place, and the frame size is not set until 14 months in most large working dogs.
  More results at FactBites »



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