working dog

Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Acronyms, Wikipedia.

working dog

working dog, classification used by breeders and kennel clubs to designate dogs raised by humans to herd cattle and sheep, as draft animals, as message dispatchers in wartime, in police and rescue work, as guardians of persons and property, or as guides (see guide dog) for the blind. The following breeds are designated working dogs by the American Kennel Club: Alaskan malamute, Belgian Malinois, Belgian sheepdog, Belgian Tervuren, Bernese mountain dog, Bouvier des Flandres, boxer, Briard, bull mastiff, Cardigan Welsh corgi, collie, Doberman pinscher, German shepherd, Great Dane, Great Pyrenees, komondor, kuvasz, mastiff, Newfoundland, old English sheepdog, Pembroke Welsh corgi, puli, Rottweiler, Samoyed, schnauzer (giant and standard), Shetland sheepdog, Siberian husky, and St. Bernard. See dog.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2022, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Working Dog


one of a group of breeds of domesticated dogs of different origins used to herd animals, to draw vehicles, to guard and protect property, and to perform police work and other tasks. Working dogs have a well-developed instinct for protecting the person and property of their master. The great majority are vicious, distrustful of strangers, and easily trained.

Herding dogs are used primarily on livestock-breeding farms to herd flocks and protect sheep, cattle, swine, reindeer, and Japanese deer against predators. Sled dogs are used in teams as a means of transportation in the Far North. The average load that can be drawn by a dog is 40–50 kg, and a team can travel as fast as 15 km per hour. Watchdogs and guard dogs are used to protect state borders and military, industrial, and household property, to locate criminals, to search for minerals (as part of geological prospecting teams), and to perform special services for the army relating to field medicine, communications, and mine detection.

Working dogs include such sheep dogs as the collie, the Hungarian-bred komondor, kuvasz, puli, and pumi, the Slovakian čuvač, the Polish-bred podgal, the Yugoslavian herder, the German-bred Hovawart, the Old English Sheepdog, the Belgian-bred Groenendael, Tervueren, and Malinois, and the French-bred Beauçeron and Briard. Other working dogs include the northeastern laika, Airedale terrier, Doberman pinscher, Rottweiler, giant schnauzer, St. Bernard, Newfoundland, mastiff, Moscow watchdog, and the boxer, bulldog, and other mastifflike dogs. Large and vicious mongrels can also be used as working dogs after special training. There are approximately 100 breeds of working dogs, more than 20 of which are bred in the USSR.


Mazover, A. P. Plemennoe delo v sluzhebnom sobakovodstve. Moscow, 1960.
Posobie po sobakovodstvu, 2nd ed. Leningrad, 1973.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Functional identification vest for working dogs in training communicates to public and signals to dog that it's time to work.
Then, handlers introduce the target odor to their working dogs using several training techniques.
"There is the dog that is the fine animal that is useful for military working dog service.
Military Working Dogs (MWDs) have been in man's arsenal for thousands of years.
Titles included in the Amazing Working Dogs with American Humane series are:
These extra senses come in handy when the International Security Assistance Force Dutch Force Protection military working dogs and their handlers guard Royal Dutch Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcons at Kandahar Airfield helping keep fighter planes and the airfield safe.
A LETTER in your December issue asked if a military working dog pictured in the November Soldiers was actually wearing protective goggles.
Based on the real-life experience of author, Hanni and Beth Safe and Sound is a wonderful introduction for young people to the rules in how to treat a seeing eye dog; for example, a dog is working when its harness is on, and a working dog should not be petted or distracted.
On 4 December 2007, the Army's newest and most modern veterinary hospital and military working dog kennel, located at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri, was dedicated to a fallen Soldier, Corporal (CPL) Kory D.
TV shingle Working Dog is responsible for that rarest of Australian achievements--selling a format Stateside.
The docking must occur before the dog is five days old, and proof that the animal is to be a working dog must be provided to the vet before the operation is carried out.