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5 reasons why working dogs are the best dogs

From police dogs, service dogs to working dogs and many more, sometimes a dog can be more than just a companion.

We love dogs of all shapes and sizes, no matter what their abilities may be, but working dogs that help their owners amaze and astound us with their determination and intelligence. Here are just a few of the reasons why we think working dogs are the best.

1. They make the best companions

First and foremost, working dogs are often more than just a companion for their owner. They have a range of abilities depending on the type of role they have been trained to do. Service dogs, for example, can be trained to help those who are hard of hearing, visually impaired or even those that suffer from mental health issues. Each of these dogs will not only support their owner in the way that they have been trained but also offer emotional support.

Police dogs are always given a handler that they will live with for the entirety of their career. Once they have retired, the police dog will continue to live out their retirement in the handler’s home, making them more than just a working dog to that family. 

2. They have really big brains

Working dogs are chosen for their intelligence and stamina but not all dogs make the cut; they have to be truly exceptional. The nature of the work will determine the breed that is picked. For instance, some Toy Poodle puppies are trained to help potential owners manage blood sugar variations, while Poodle puppies may learn to activate light switches and carry objects.

Dogs who work within the dog handler unit in the police force may also be trained in different areas of policing. The most popular breeds in policing are Belgian and German Shepherds, Belgian Malinois, Dutch Herders, and less often, Rottweilers, Doberman Pinschers, and Bouvier de Flandres. Breeds such as Labradors and Cocker Spaniels will often be selected by the police for more specialist roles. The most common breeds trained as guide dogs are Labrador Retrievers, Golden Retrievers and German Shepherd Dogs.

No matter the breed, all working dogs have one thing in common. They’re extremely clever and that’s one of the reasons why we love them!

3. They have the BEST personalities

A working dog isn’t like your everyday pet. Not all dogs have the focus and aptitude needed to fulfil an important working role. Working dogs must have the right temperament to work within the role and capabilities needed to carry out their work, without getting distracted.

A service dog must remain calm at all times (particularly in unfamiliar settings), have a willingness to please and be able to remain alert without being reactive. Farm dogs, on the other hand, must be able to herd animals but still remain calm towards other animals. It is also important that a farm dog stays by its owner’s side and must be willing to obey commands.

Working dogs are loyal, obedient, hardworking, intelligent, gentle, fond of human interaction and eager to please which is why they have the best personalities.

4. They’re extremely obedient

Maybe it’s because they have been trained for rewards or it’s just in their nature but working dogs are some of the most obedient dogs in the world. Quite frankly, it comes with the job description, you couldn’t have a police dog running over to greet someone while on duty!

While it may be easy to presume that obedient dogs are just smarter than the rest, there’s actually more to it than the dog’s intelligence. Some dogs can be extremely intelligent but they are free thinkers and stubborn by their nature. The dog breeds that excel in obedience have a good balance of intelligence, eagerness to please and an enthusiasm for learning. 

Some of the most obedient dog breeds include Spaniels, German Shepherds, Labrador Retrievers, Border Collies and Poodles, so it’s no wonder these dogs make up the majority of working dogs in the UK.

However, these traits can vary from dog to dog, so just because you have a Labrador doesn’t mean it will be naturally obedient. That being said, these breeds tend to be easily trained as they respond well to positive reinforcement, such as treats. Some simply have a strong work ethic that allows them to focus on training.

5. They work hard, no matter what

Working dogs must have an innate desire to work hard and complete tasks. However, each breed can be hard-working in different ways.

An Alaskan Malamute is fast and strong and can pull sledges in groups of the same breed. They’re capable of pulling over 20kg of weight for approximately 40 miles. Bernese Mountain Dogs are also often used by humans due to their constant need to be active. Border Collies, on the other hand, are considered to be one of the world’s smartest dogs, making great sheepdogs. Often people who work with them say they can control sheep with a simple turn of the head. Collies have also been man’s best friend since the tenth century due to their tireless help with the herds.

Their ability to work hard is also helped by their diet, ensuring they receive vital nutrients to complete their daily tasks.

Are you thinking of getting a working dog? Here are some things to consider before bringing home your new pooch:

Do working dogs need more food?

Unlike the average family pet, working dogs tend to be extremely active and require a diet specifically formulated to meet their increased energy and nutrient demands. Working dog food can be found in most pet shops or online and these brands are formulated to meet the demands of a more active dog such as a working dog. 

How often should you feed a working dog?

Working dogs such as farm dogs and police dogs may need feeding up to three times a day, depending on their activity. While service dogs, which may not be quite as energetic in their line of work, may only need feeding as much as an ordinary pet. It’s always best to refer to the feeding guide of the food you have chosen and if you have any concerns around weight then speak with your vet. After exercise, dogs should be fed within 2 hours, in order to replenish muscle stores.

What is the best food for working dogs?

The best food is a high protein food that will help with endurance. High protein diets have also shown to significantly reduce exercise-induced injuries. A healthy amount of fat can also help with endurance. Our Meatiful Sausages are great for working dogs due to their high meat content. They also contain brown rice for slow-release energy and nutrient-dense vegetables. 

Do you have a working dog? We’d love to hear all about them and what makes them special. Head over to our Facebook or Instagram pages to tell us more!