The German Shepherd:King of Working Dogs
I always have had an interest in dogs,big dogs in particular. We have a shih-tzu here who is a perfect lady but is a small dog all the same. We recently acquired a male German shepherd, having had a female one a number of years ago. I was wary about getting the first one as they are often feared because of their strength and there is a myth that they are a vicious breed of dog. My fears were unfounded because that German shepherd ands the one we have now have the best temperament of any dog I have ever come across. This is because they are bright like spaniels and labradors but they are easier to live with because they are not hyperactive.
Anyway, I decided to write this article on the five different kinds of working dogs. Having researched the subject, I found that the German shepherd is top of the list in four out of the five categories of working dogs which are outlined as follows:
Guard dogs can be used to guard people and/or places. Their loyalty to their owner is such that they can be trained to guard. Indeed, it is often not necessary to train these dogs as their instinct is to guard anyway.
The top breed of guard dogs are chow-chow, rottweiler and the versatile German shepherd.It has been said that the German shepherd has a tendency to over-guard which may make it dangerous in some instances.
These are of two kinds. We all know of guide dogs for the blind but I have seen these dogs used as companions for children on the autistic spectrum as well. The main breeds of guide dogs are labradors, retrievers and of course the German shepherd whose innate intelligence makes them ideal for this responsible job.
There are two types here-cattle dogs and sheep dogs. Main breeds of farming dogs include Australian cattle dogs. Obviously the German shepherd is here too as his main occupation before being recruited to do so many other jobs is as a shepherd. The Belgian shepherd is also in this list.
Once again there are two categories here at least-sniffer dogs for cadavers(corpses) and sniffer dogs for drug smuggling. German shepherds are the most common breed of police dogs but beagles are also used by police.
Gun dogs are also known as hunting dogs and the list includes spaniels,retrievers,pointers and setters.This is the only category of working dogs that the German shepherd does not feature in.
One thing that I am very aware of with our German Shepherd is that he is wasted here. He has a good home but the highlight of his day is being taken for a walk. Working dogs are intelligent and want to work so it is a pity we cannot offer him a job to keep him occupied so he can fulfill his potential. A good home and regular walks is the best we can do.
Having read over the above list of jobs for dogs, there is one thing they all have in common.When a dog works, he is more skilled than the person who is handling him at the job in hand. It is as if the tables are turned and the dog becomes the master, just being guided what to do and where to go in some instances. Sometimes, they just know the job themselves without any guidance. The thing that motivates any dog is the willingness to please his master so working dogs are often easily trained for this reason. The relationship between a working dog and his master is a special one indeed.
Have a look at my other articles on dogs listed below if you are interested. The one I recommend is the history of dogs for it's general appeal and information content.