Working Dog vs. Pet Owner…..Who wins?

working dog border collie

Working Dogs Can be a Big Help or a Big Problem!

They are almost majestic, adorable creatures, especially as puppies.  You can see through their eyes into their soul. They have nothing but loyalty and unconditional love only for you. Their witty charm and charismatic play draws you in like a child to an ice cream truck!  Then reality sets in and you realize that cute tail is really a baseball bat in disguise as it cracks against your coffee table knocking off everything in the floor.  That look of intelligence is replaced with the chattering of teeth and tremble of the front legs as they almost explode waiting for you to throw their ball.  Their unconditional love turns into a game of obsessive compulsive behaviors as they stalk every move you make!  I am referring to the common behaviors of a working dog trapped in a pet dog environment!

So, what is a working dog exactly?  A working dog is a dog bred for their intelligence, temperament, athletic ability and drive. Working dog breeders traditionally do not care as much about confirmation as show breeders do, these breeders look for the traits to make a better dog for humans to assist with work (cattle dogs), competitive events (competition trials) or law enforcement work (Police K9 Training).  Examples of working dog lines are:  Belgian Malinois, Border Collie, German Shepherd, Aussie, Doberman Pincher, Australian cattle dog, Labrador Retriever, Jack Russell Terrier, Giant Schnauzer, Dutch Shepherd, Rottweiler, Pointers, etc.   Please keep in mind that if for example a Belgian Malinois is bred for show quality, it does not mean it would make a good working dog and vice versa.

working dogWorking dogs can make some of the best pet dogs you have ever had, but you must give them an outlet to release that energy and use their brain.  Working dogs do well in active families, farm type settings, and with specific jobs such as:   Search and Rescue, therapy dog, detection dog, agility, service dog, Rally O, earth dogs, IPO trials, Ring, herding, and  Treibball to name a few.  Working dogs who are not stimulated mentally often display negative behaviors such as barking excessively, aggression, and seem almost neurotic.

If you feel at wits end with your working dog, give us a call right away. Highland Canine Training offers free evaluations to find out if your dog needs a job to make them better behaved!  If you have questions or need more information, feel free to contact us at 866.200.2207 or