Let me define my meaning of working breed, because I’m not talking about just the typical CKC classification of working breeds. I’m talking about dogs that truly work, need a job, or are very high drive. This will include most terriers, the ckc working group, some hounds, some mastiff types, some herding breeds, field bred dogs and some things in between.
So you’ve decided that you like the looks of a working breed of some sort. They look cool, intimidating, interesting and, from everything you’ve read, are easy to train. But have you really, I mean really really, looked into the requirements of these types of dogs?
Most working type dogs are not completely mentally and physically satisfied in a regular pet home. Sure, some make excellent pets, however, when they make excellent pets they have an outlet for energy release, mental stimulation, VERY clear rules, and lots of training.
Are you prepared to provide that in order to offer the correct home for one of these dogs? Are you prepared to put in the work to make the dog an acceptable member of society? Are you prepared for the fall out from lack of direction, lack of stimulation or lack of exercise, that can and does happen if you get “lazy”? Do you understand, that in the wrong, misguided hands, that working dogs can be an enormous liability? Do you know that, in this case, it doesn’t matter the size, it matters the drive?
If you are debating whether or not a working type dog would be a good fit for your family, ensure that you do your research. Research and question exercise requirements, mental requirements, outlets needed, drives they come with (like prey drive), and consider seriously if you can offer the right home for one of these dogs. If you don’t live an active lifestyle, or are a very permissive person, these may not be the right type of dogs for you. If you don’t like the idea that your dog may outsmart you, embarrass you or make you cringe, these may not be the right types of dogs for you.
Regardless of if you got your puppy from a breeder, shelter or rescue, make sure that you understand what you are getting into, and the requirements for that particular type of dog before adding one to your home.
The video below is just a tiny snippet of mental work needed for a high drive, mini working type breed (patterdale terrier). You wanna drink your morning coffee and train? Then continue this throughout each meal of the day, plus at random other times, and add exercise on top of it? Cool, then maybe a working breed is in your future.