Definition of pet vs. working - Page 1

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by ZweiGSD on 13 March 2015 - 19:03

Have been seeing posts running down the GSD that's "just" a pet.  Was wondering what some define as a working dog.

To me a working dog is military, police, search & rescue, farm/ranch herding or an assistance dog (high level of assistance).  These dogs have a career.  I do not consider dogs in competitions/trials to be a working dog.  I consider them pets. 

What's your definition?

by gsdstudent on 13 March 2015 - 20:03

I always pet my sport dog when he working well.

by Hired Dog on 13 March 2015 - 20:03

Mine is the exact same as yours and I take it one step further and call these so called working dogs you see advertised, sport dogs which is what they are.

by vk4gsd on 13 March 2015 - 20:03

i think competitive sport is legit work, takes the same qualities more or less.


i would rather buy a "working" dog of a breeder that competes in preferably a bite sport than one that does nothing, same a sport herding competitor or this "new" scent-work  comps, hell even a comp tracking dog is work to me, comp agility is work.....


i do not consider trottong in a circle with a double-handler and a squeaky ball while a dog stands on a table work but the many show people will tell it is.


i don't do sport but have immense respect for it, not every dog can do it to a reasonable standard.

by Hired Dog on 13 March 2015 - 22:03

VK, I have been a competative bodybuilder for a long time and I can tell you that doing the amount of work and the eating and the discipline involved to do well is huge, but, its not work that actually pays bills.

Sport dogs who are being seriously trained for National level competition, put in some very serious hours at training, but, that is not the same as a guide dog for the blind or a police dog or a detection dog that actually goes to a JOB 10 hours a day and serves a purpose higher than a ribbon. In my opinion to call any of those sport dogs a "working dog" is to insult tht actual working dogs who do actual work.

by joanro on 13 March 2015 - 22:03

Sport dog does not equal life or death
Working dog = life or death
People, keep this in mind next time you think an agility dog or schH dog is a working dog. Then think about a tracking dog searching for a lost kid or a detection dog searching for explosives.

by vk4gsd on 13 March 2015 - 23:03

So these spuriously claimed therapy dogs and such are working dogs or pets?

by Hired Dog on 13 March 2015 - 23:03

They are pets with a hobby VK.

by joanro on 13 March 2015 - 23:03

Therapy dogs as in go to Hosp or nursing home and let people pet them? I took my Australians shepherds to nursing homes to entertain in 1979 and smooth fox terriers to Ronald mc house before the label 'Therapy dog" was even coined. Those dogs performed in my dog acts, but they were not 'life and death' working dogs. I also took my sled dogs/performing huskies to perform at nursing home in 2003 at Christmas. Student, all those dogs of mine made a living, so were not hobby dogs, but we were available to help spread a little joy.

by vk4gsd on 13 March 2015 - 23:03

A dog in a gov agency that detects organo-phosphate residue in soil, bed bugs.....pets? Life and death? A dog being agitated on wed night at ipo, not being worked? Sheep dog, life and death? Lots examples of full time detection dogs detecting things that don't involve anybody getting killed...none of them are working dogs.

A working dog litter has one Leo, 3 ipo and 1 pet, the breeder is or isn't a working dog breeders?


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