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Labor Day is more than just parades, cookouts and a day off from work. It’s a day to reflect on the labor and industry this country was built on, a firm foundation our nation still stands upon. As we honor the men and women of our modern day work force, let’s not forget our canine companions. Many of them work side by side their human counterparts, often putting their lives in danger in order to protect us and keep us safe.
According to the American Kennel Club, there are a number of breeds that are considered working dog breeds. They come in all shapes and sizes and work in many different occupations. For example:
Alaskan Malamute—The Alaskan Malamute is the largest breed of Arctic sled dogs. Contrary to popular belief, the Malamute is not bred to race, but to carry large loads across a long distance. They are strong and built to work, and they enjoy the outdoors. The Malamute is loyal to his human companions but he also knows when it’s time to go to work. Malamutes live an average of ten to fourteen years.
Bernese Mountain Dog—This calm, good-natured dog is right at home in the snow and ice. Their intelligence and strength makes them great farm dogs but they also make great family dogs. They do however, shed, a lot and require grooming on a weekly basis. They have a short life span of just six to eight years.
Cane Corso—The Cane Corso is a very large dog. He stands more than two feet tall and can weigh more than 100 pounds. Bred as a guard dog, he looks very intimidating. He is often the first thing an intruder sees. He barks when necessary but being a large breed, his life span is short at just nine to twelve years of age.
German Shepherd—The German Shepherd is a dog that was bred to have a high pain tolerance, therefore they make excellent police dogs. The working German Shepherd, however, is constantly on guard, and doesn’t do well around people, especially children it might see as a threat. The German Shepherd has a lifespan of nine to thirteen years.
Great Pyrenees—Livestock guard dogs, such as the Great Pyrenees, live their lives on farms protecting the animals their owners raise. While they are gentle animals, they are quick to spring into action when they sense a threat is near. They are vocal when they need to be but tend to wander away when not secured in the yard. They can weigh more than 100 pounds and live to be ten to twelve years of age.
Portuguese Water Dog—Originally raised in Portugal, the Portuguese Water Dog was bred to herd fish into the nets of fishermen. He is a loyal dog that has a waterproof coat, allowing him to swim all day. This very active dog is good with children and eager to please. They are medium size dogs, weighing no more than 60 pounds. They live an average of eleven to thirteen years.
These are just a few of the many working dogs that work side by side their human companions. To see a complete list, visit http://www.akc.org.
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