BaxterBoo Blog
August 29, 2011

Labor Day: Celebrating Working Dog Breeds

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Labor Day is a time to celebrate. We work hard everyday. Whether you put in 40 hours a week in the office, take care of children, or perform manual labor, Labor Day is a time to take a step back and give yourself a pat on the back. In order to celebrate here at BaxterBoo, we complied a list of working dog breeds. We thought is was only necessary to pay homage to our hard working furry friends.


Known as the “Silent Hunter,” the Akita is a quiet dog with strong instincts. They’re fantastic guard dogs and a natural born leader. Their temperament can range from calm to aggressive, so supervision is suggested around children.

These pups have a long history as a working dog. Japan celebrates the pup with memorials in the form of statues. The Akita is one of seven breeds designated as a nation monument and whenever a child is born in Japan, the family is often presented with an Akita statue to promote health, happiness, and long life. In 1937, famous American, Helen Keller brought the working dog back to the United States.

Alaskan Malamute    

Just one look at the Alaskan Malamute and you can tell that this breed is majestic and dignified. It is an affectionate yet hard working breed. The Malamute is very strong-willed and has a mind of its own. With an athletic build and thick fur, it’s no surprise that the dog is popularly used as a sled dog.

Anatolian Shepherd Dog    

A bit shy, the Anatolian Shepherd Dog is a quiet, reserved breed that doesn’t like to show public affection. He will only show his loyalty and loving nature to his family, unless he feels the need to protect them.

Because of their protective nature and versatility, the Anatolian fit well with Turkey’s harsh climate and nomadic lifestyle. The breed worked as a guard dog to protect livestock against predators. They worked for more than 6,000 years before they came to the United States in the 1950s.

Beligin Malinois

An extremely intelligent breed, the Malinois possesses a strong desire to work. They’re actually happiest when given a job to do. Confident and somewhat reserved around strangers, the Malinois is extremely protective of their owners without being overly aggressive.

The Malinois is such a protective dog that is used for the United States military. They’re trained for special ops tasks and one is reported to have helped take down number one arch enemy Osma Bin Laden. The breed is prized for their working characters and has been the favorite type of Belgiaan Shepherd in its native country for centuries.

Bernese Mountain Dog

A big, lovable giant, the Bernese Mountain Dog desires to be close to humans. They’ve got a gentle, charming demeanor with a working spirit. Berners have been working as general purpose farm dogs for years and originated in Switzerland. With their large, sturdy frames and a confident temperament, they’re not only great workers on the farm, but also handy to keep farmers company.

Black Russian Terrier

With a natural instinct to guard and protect, the Black Russell Terrier tends to be reserved with strangers, but loving towards his family. They’re highly trainable and very intelligent.  A Black Russian Terrier tends to remember information for a long time, the good or the bad.

The Black Russian Terrier you see today is actually different from the earlier version. The breed was actually developed during WWII by Red Star Kennel, a state operated organization chartered to provide working dogs for the armed services. They needed a dog that was easy to care for, easily trained, and showed aggression. So, through selective breeding, the Black Russell Terrier was born.


A protective guard dog, the Bullmastiff is a fearless companion. They’re bold, confident nature make them great for watchdogs, but their sweet, loving nature is what makes them great companions. Since they can be a bit of an independent thinker, the Bullmastiff tends to be a tad difficult to train.

Because of their defense nature, Bullmastiff’s were breed to keep large estates and game preserves free of poachers. They originated in England around 1860 because gamekeepers needed a dog that could track quietly, cover short distances quickly, and pin and hold poachers without mauling them.

Cane Corso

A native of Italy, the Corso’s large and athletic build make for a good watchdog. They were used primarily as a guard dog and for hunting wild boar. With their intelligent nature, Corso’s are easily trained and they bond well with their family.

Doberman Pinscher    

A loyal companion, the Pinscher makes for a great guard dog. They’re obedient and affectionate, but they are confident and if alarmed, they have no problem coming to the defense. Because of their fearless and watchful demeanor, they were created in Germany to be a medium sized guard-dog.

Dogue de Bordeaux

A guard dog at heart, the Dogue de Bordeaux is a courageous and brave breed with a calm temperament. They’re loving and affectionate with their families, which makes them a great family dog.
The breed’s origin is unknown, but it is certain that they have been used a guardian, hunter, and fighter.

Throughout history, they’ve been used to protect and keep a watchful on their masters homes and businesses. They’ve also been trained to bait bulls, bears, and jaguars, hunt boars, and heard cattle. These dogs were breed with one idea in mind, work.

German Pinscher    

With a small statue, the German Pinscher is a small breed with a big bite. They’re highly strong willed and possess a natural instinct to hunt vermin and protect his home and family.  A naturally strong prey drive makes them great hunters, but their warm hearts and willingness to learn make them great companions.

Named after the country of origin, the German Pinscher comes from Germany. With the defeat of Germany after WWII, the breed faced a possible extinction problem. However, one devoted owner, Werner Jung, revived the breed.

Giant Schnauzer

The Giant Schnauzer is a very protective breed that gains a close bond with its owners.  Their strong protective background comes from their overpowering territorial characteristics. They learn quickly, since they are extremely intelligent.

The Giant Schnauzer came from Wurteenberg and Bavaria sections of Germany. Both areas were in dire need of farm help and used the Schnauzer to help shepherd drive livestock. They were also used by breweries and butchers as a guard dog. During WWI, they were often used for police training.

Great Dane    

A gentle giant, the Great Dane is an excellent family companion. They’re not aggressive, but sometimes they don’t know their own strength.

The Great Dane is thought to be a mix of an Irish Wolfhound and an old English Mastiff. The breed was primarily used to hunt boar, but when no longer used for hunting, the breed changed to more of a companion dog.

Great Pyrenees    

With a mind of their own, the Great Pyrenees are bred to work independently. They’re very affectionate and loving with their family, which leads them to become quite territorial.

They get their guarding instincts from their origin. Bred in Central Asia or Siberia, the breed followed the Aryan migration into Europe where they were used to guard flocks on the steep slopes. Because of their nobility, they were appointed as a French court dog during the 17th century. Now that’s one royal pooch!

Greater Swiss Mountain Dog

This socialite loves everyone and especially being a member of the family. Their large size is nothing to be feared. From the name, it’s easy to tell that the dog originated in Switzerland. They were used primarily for herding and guarding livestock.


With a serious demeanor, the Komondor is usually serious around strangers. They tend to only show an affectionate side to their masters. The Komondor is known for its dignity, strength, courage, and mop-like appearance.

Bred to guard large herds of sheep and cattle in Hungary, the breed is able to work on its own without commands from their master.


A devoted protector, the Kuvasz grows a close bond with its family, but may be reserved around strangers. The dog gets its protective instincts from its guarding background. As a companion to the rulers of Hungarian and other European empires, the Kuvasz was considered a royal pup. After hundreds of years and a falling decline in status for the dog, it fell into the hands of the general public, where they found that it worked great as a guard dog for sheep and cattle.


This famous breed has been featured on stamps of various European countries! With a loving heart, the Leonberger makes a great family pet. They love children and are loyal to their family. Their original purpose was a family dog with a drive to work. The breed was used in the 1800s in Lenonberg, Germany, but after WWI, the breed almost became extinct until two men fought to keep them alive.


Loyalty makes this gentle breed a great household companion. However, because of its size, it is better suited in a home with lots of space outdoors. The can be playful, sweethearts with a protective nature.

This strong breed fought alongside the British soldiers in 55 B.C. Captivated by the strength and bravery of the Mastiff, Caesar brought a group of them back to Rome. As bold fighters, Mastiffs were used in bull baiting, lion fighting, and even fighting with human gladiators.

In England, Mastiffs were introduced to keep guard. They protected homes and kept wolves and other dangerous predators under control. The fearless and courageous qualities of the Mastiff make the breed, an extraordinary working dog.

Neapolitan Mastiff

Since this breed is a derivative of the Mastiff, the strength and size can be overpowering. It isn’t recommended for first-time dog owners or families with youngsters, since the breed can sometimes get protective of its territory. If they’re well-bred and trained, the breed can be very loyal to their own families.

Neapolitan Mastiffs are natural born warriors. They were used by the Roman army to fight. Later, the breed was put to work as a protector for their owners and property.


A giant sweetheart is often the term used to describe a Newfoundland. They have very gentle demeanors, which makes them great for family use. Even though they look passive, they’re actually an active breed.

Since this breed is highly intelligent and super strong, it is no surprise that this breed was used as a working dog to pull nets for fishermen in Europe. They hauled wood from the forest and powered blacksmith’s bellows.

Portuguese Water Dog    

A highly intelligent breed, the Portuguese Water Dog is an active breed. Their name comes from the term Cao de Agua (dog of water) in Portugal. They’re great swimmers and divers, which make it no surprise that the dog was bred to accompany fisherman on their boats. They retrieved broken nets, dove for fish, carried massages between boats to shore, and guarded the boat for his master in foreign ports.


Even though Hollywood has tend to given this tough breed a bad social stigma, the Rottweiler actually is very loving towards their family and can tend to be quite a funny breed. However, because of their attachment to their owners, they do get very protective and will not welcome strangers. Because of their excellent guarding skills, the breed was recognized by the Germans. They were used for herding and protection. During the 1900s, the breed gained its standard and became the breed we know today.

Saint Bernard    

A loveable family companion, the Saint Bernard will make a great addition to any household. Due to their size, it’s better that they live in large spaces.  The Swiss are credited with forming the Saint Bernard we know today. They were bred with the intent of working as a guard dog, a carting dog, and an avalanche dog that rescued travelers trapped in the snow.


An independent thinker, the Samoyed needs a job to do. They’re active workers that love to chase, run, and bark. Their gentle and loyal demeanor makes them great for families.

The Samoyed is about as close as you can get to a primitive dog (they have no mixture of wolf or fox in their genes). They were bred by the Samoyede people of Siberia, primarily for herding reindeer, hunting and hauling sledges, and guarding. Because of their dependence on the breed, the dogs were treated like royalty and were even allowed to sleep in the tents with their people.

Siberian Husky    

An aggressive hunter, the Siberian Husky has a natural born instinct to hunt. From the name, you can pretty much guess that the Siberian Husky originated in Siberia. These dogs are used for dogsled races due to their thick coats and sped. They also served in the Army’s Arctic Search and Recuse Unit during WWII.

Standard Schnauzer    

Growing a close bond with the family, the Standard Schnauzer can get very protective of his human families. They love children and are very affectionate. Due to their high intelligence, the breed tends to have a mind of its own.

Just like its other versions (Giant and Miniature Schnauzers), the breed came from Germany. They were primarily used for guarding families and livestock and ridding the area of any vermin.

Tibetan Mastiff

A true Mastiff, this breed is highly protective of their families. They are highly intelligent and extremely independent. The breed makes and excellent guard dog and loyal family friend.

The earliest record of the Tibetan Mastiff came from China around 1100 B.C. The breed was confined to the Himalayan mountains, where it developed into the dog we know today.  Let loose primarily at night, these dogs were great property guardians.


All descriptions courtesy of

Tara on September 1 at 10:40 AM said:

You left out Corgis! Little itty bitty herders!
Jessie on September 1 at 11:39 AM said:

Love looking at the breeds and pretty babies!! I would love to have a saint bernard one day but got four babies as it is, and not a big enough house, maybe one day if I can ever hit that lottery lol.. Thanks for sharing neat info.
black russian terrier kennel on February 28 at 8:13 PM said:

They appreciate going for long walks, playing and romping around. Fascinated with water and snow, this breed would be very happy rolling around in the snow during winter season and playing in the water through spring and summer months.
Elana on July 20 at 12:17 PM said:

Your Black Russian, looks remarkably like a Jack Russell, lol.

What do you think?

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