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The German Shepherd:King of Working Dogs

The German Shepherd is used to work in many different jobs

The German Shepherd is used to work in many different jobs

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

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.

Guide dogs

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.

Farming dogs

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.

Police dogs

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

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.


Glenn Stok from Long Island, NY on August 29, 2015:

Wow! Thanks again Kate.

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Kate McBride (author) from Donegal Ireland on August 29, 2015:


I am giving the printed version of your alliteration hub to my brother for his teenagers. Our teenage sons enjoyed it.. I just love playing with language and as I saw in a comment on one of your other hubs, you do indeed have a great control of the language. Your writer's toolbox is so much more comprehensive than mine. Am away here to read some more of your stuff.


Glenn Stok from Long Island, NY on August 26, 2015:

Thanks, Kate, for sharing my alliteration hub.

Kate McBride (author) from Donegal Ireland on August 21, 2015:

Thanks Glenn. I really like this hub myself because it was my own ideas and I didn't have to research it. I printed your alliteration hub and showed it to my son. He liked it. I will email it to my brother and I have shared it on facebook. Wish I had time now to read more off your stuff but it will be something to look forward to later. Kate

Glenn Stok from Long Island, NY on August 20, 2015:

I never realized that German Shepherds quality for so many categories. And I didn't know that they don't make good hunting dogs. But they sure fit all those other categories of working dogs. Very interesting hub.

Kate McBride (author) from Donegal Ireland on September 17, 2012:

I really need to do something about the photo. Thanks for adding your story and I appreciate you taking the time to comment.

Brenda Barnes from America-Broken But Still Beautiful on September 16, 2012:

Shepherds are great dogs. We have had several and no dog is more loyal or intelligent. One actually saved my little girl's life when she got into a bee's nest. He snapped dozens of bees with his teeth and kept them from getting to her. Shepherds require a lot of attention because they are so smart and curious. I highly recommend one to the right family. If one has little time to spend, this is not the dog for you. Otherwise, lots of love reaps a great reward from this amazing animal. Thanks for the tribute.

PS-(The photo does look like a wolf)

Kate McBride (author) from Donegal Ireland on September 04, 2012:

I didn't take the photo Perspycacious and I take your point-it does look like a wolf.I think I will change it.Thanks for letting me know about this.


Demas W Jasper from Today's America and The World Beyond on September 04, 2012:

Are you sure the photo with this article is not a wolf instead of a German Shepherd? Just stirring the pot, you know. No source was given, but if you took the photo, I'll accept German Shepherd for an answer.

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