dog training, dog behavior, dog health
 
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Other specially trained dogs will catch and restrain without harming a trespasser but when guarding a property on its own the, attack dog often inflicts a bit of damage.


 
Protection Dogs 
While guard dogs are watching property, protection dogs will protect their master.  These dogs are companion animals but highly trained to react quickly to counter a thread against the owner.   The protective instinct occurs in several of the working breeds such as German Shepherds and Rottweilers.  What appears to be a gentle family pet will often react with at least a growl if it's owner is threatened and some will instinctively defend the owner.
 
Most professional training facilities offer more than one level of protection training.   This is based on the intelligence and ability determined for each specific animal.  For example, some dogs may be trained simply to respond to a perceived threat against the owner such as a raised voice or hand of someone who may be arguing.   More advanced training results in a dog that responds quickly and effectively to a violent thread against its owner; the highest level results in a do that can protect its owner against more than one assailant in violent attacked.
 
Sledding (and at times, carting) dogs 
Years ago it was common to train a large breed working dog to pull a cart for light hauling or to provide entertainment for children.  Better known these days are the huskies used as sled dogs in Alaska.  The spirit and hardiness of these dogs is legendary in survival stories of the far North.
  
Rescue Dogs 
Some rescue dogs cross the lines to other groups.  This work is some of the most difficult as working conditions are not always optimal.  Finding lost children or hikers, finding survivors after a natural disaster or locating a skier buried in an avalanche -- these are time sensitive tasks where the survival of a person depends on the ability of the dog to keep working as long as needed.
 
After the 2001 terrorist attack on the World Trade Center, rescue dogs were brought in from all over the U.S.  Day after day they worked long hours attempting to locate any survivors...then the cadaver dogs took over and worked to locate bodies.  A large number of the dogs used in that rescue died within 1-2 years of respiratory problems - caused by the toxins in the air they were breathing during that rescue.
 
A working dog that is to be trained for a specific task should be carefully chosen from a respected breeder.  These large animals have a tendency to develop joint problems and are especially prone to degenerative diseases such as hip dysplasia.   Good nutrition and regular exercise will help a puppy develop healthy joints but it may not be possible to overcome a genetic disposition to joint problems.  Not only do you not want to lose a pet early to such disease, a working dog needs to be healthy to have a long "career" after the time and effort have been expended on specialized training.
 
Almost all of these dogs, if chosen well, can make great family pets.   Some are not suitable for homes with small children, but all are good companion dogs.   The personalities of these breeds are often calmer than found in smaller spaniels or terriers.
 
As a pet these breeds can still utilize their instincts for working by guarding the family and home, pulling children in a wagon or pulling sleds back up a hill, fetching floats from the water and being taught the game of "find" to locate family members in a working dog version of hide and seek.   
 
Success with the Working Dog Group depends on the owner.  The nature and instinct of the breed should be considered.  A large dog in an apartment or small home is not always a problem though a large barking dog would cause neighbors to complain.  Early and effective training by an owner or trainer and a dominant personality by the owner will result in a dog that is not only useful but a true companion.

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