Types of Working Dogs and Which Breeds They Are

Farmer's Border Collie herding sheep

Types of Working Dogs and Which Breeds They Are


Many dog breeds have great skills and attributes that ensure they become valuable workers across a range of different types of work. Throughout history, dogs have played vital working roles such as herding, but now there are many more jobs that they can carry out.


These are some of the most common working dog roles:


Herding dogs


Herding dogs work in the farming industry to herd livestock and provide support to farmers. The typical breeds that make good herding dogs are Border Collies, Icelandic Sheepdogs, King Shepherds and Black Mouth Curs.


Security/guard dogs


Well-trained security dogs provide protection for property and humans and there are a number of breeds that are well-suited to this line of work. German shepherds, Bullmastiffs, Doberman Pinschers and Belgian Malinois are the most common breeds of guard dogs.


Service/assistance dogs


Service dogs improve the quality of life for people with disabilities by providing them with assistance to be more independent and to protect them from dangerous situations. Assistance dogs work for people with visual impairments or hearing impairments and seizure dogs provide medical assistance for people who have regular seizures. Golden Retrievers, Labradors and German Shepherds tend to do these types of jobs.


Therapy dogs


One of the more recent types of job roles for dogs is to be a therapy dog, supporting people with conditions, injuries or illnesses. Therapy dogs are required to be sociable and good-tempered and usually require comprehensive training to provide the necessary support. A wide range of breeds can be suitable, including Golden Retrievers, Labradors, Poodles and Cavalier King Charles Spaniels.


Police dogs


Dogs working for the police tend to be the same breeds that are suitable for security dogs, such as German Shepherds. Some dogs are involved in chasing and holding criminals, while others are trained to use their superior sense of smell to identify illegal substances, explosives or weapons. The amount of training required to become a police dog is considerable, given the importance of the job and the need to protect public safety.


Search and rescue dogs

Another vital job that dogs perform is search and rescue when people go missing. They use their sense of smell and hearing to locate people in dangerous situations. The most common breeds to train as search and rescue dogs are Golden Retrievers, Labrador Retrievers and Border Collies.




In Italy and some other countries, dogs are trained to help keep people safe in water, working at beaches and with the local coastguards. In particular, the Newfoundland breed makes a great lifeguard due to its strong physique and swimming ability.


These are just a few examples of the types of jobs that dogs perform but there are many more unique and unusual jobs that dogs are employed for, and some can even sniff out diseases such as cancer. Let’s not forget that they also make the best friends and most loyal pets!


If you currently have a working dog, and are looking for ways to maintain their safety upon travelling, have a look at our range of Dog Transit Boxes, and our new Countryman Range – which features several items into an unbeatably priced bundle!



Click one of our contacts below to chat on WhatsApp

× How can I help you?