Working Breeds

The Akita breed traces its origins back to Japan and the breed has split into two separate breeds over time. The American version of the Akita comes in many different colors and can even be found with a long-coat although the longer coat is considered a fault at dog shows.

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Having a double coat with undercoats that can be up to two inches think, Malamutes are bred for colder weather. They are used as sled dogs or just recreational pets and share some common ancestry with Alaskan and Siberian Huskies, but are a separate breed that can be traced to the Northern Alaskan region.

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Bernese Mountain Dogs, nicknamed Berners, originated in the Swiss Alps as a guard dog. They have a distinct tri-color coat and are known for their large frame, weighing in around 135 lbs (60 kgs). They are known for having a self-confident, alert and good-natured temperament. The Bernese Mountain Dog is officially recognized by all major registries such as AKC and FCI.

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The square head and short muzzle is what makes most Boxers unique from other breeds. They have short-haired smooth coats and are generally brindle or fawn in color with white markings on their feet and belly.

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These large dogs are originally from Southern Italy where they were used as guard dogs. They share similar breeding and origins as the Neapolitan Mastiff and generally are colored black or fawn. The breed name is also a bit tricky for English speakers to pronounce (kah-neh kor-so) with the first word being two syllables.

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Doberman Pinschers, or just simply "Dobermans", are a highly intelligent, alert, and extremely loyal breed making them the perfect candidate to be trained as a guard dog. While historically they've fit the mold for being a great personal protection, police or war dog, today's Dobermans have been bred and trained to have a much more good-natured temperament making them a common domestic house dog.

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English Mastiffs are very large in size. Males can be over 4 feet tall and weigh more than 200 pounds. They generally have massive heads that contain a black mask. The color of English Mastiffs can vary, but you'll often find them in fawn, beige, apricot or brindle coats.

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The Rottweiler is one of the oldest herding breeds with historical records dating back to ancient Rome. At the turn of the 20th century they were known for being police dogs and handling various heavy-duty tasks due to their muscular build. Rottweilers have a medium-large frame between 22-27 inches (55 - 70 cm) and usually weigh around 75 to 110 pounds (35 to 50 kg). Their muscular build combined with their short black coat and brown/rust markings gives the Rottweiler their distinct look. Although they might look intimidating, Rotties make wonderful companions with their calm, confident, and courageous temperament.

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The roots of the Samoyed can be traced back to Siberia where they were used as working dogs for pulling sleds, hunting and herding. They are known for their thick, double-layered, white coats, but can also have biscuit colored ears but are usually colored solid white. For more breeds like the Samoyed, see other dog breeds from the Spitz family.

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Originally bred in Switzerland, the Saint Bernard was a guard dog for the hospice at the Italy-Swiss border, and a hard working dog trained to locate and help rescue travers in the mountains. While large dogs, this breed is extremely affectionate and caring. Many people were introduced to the breed from the 1990s movie "Beethoven", and also from the Disney movie "Peter Pan", where Nana the Saint Bernard watches over the nursery.

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