Cockapoo Training: An Expert Guide
The world’s most popular dog breeds are the German Shepherd Dog (GSD) and the American Pit Bull Terrier (APBT). They have been bred for centuries to provide protection, companionship, hunting skills, agility and much more. These dogs were originally used as guard dogs or “protection” animals.
Today they are commonly known as “working” or “show” dogs.
These two breeds are very different from each other, but they share many traits such as their size, shape and temperament. While these dogs may look similar at first glance, there is a great deal of personality between them. There are some things that all working GSDs and APBTs have in common; however, there are also certain differences that make one breed better suited for certain jobs than another.
What Is A Working Dog?
A working dog is a dog trained to perform work tasks such as guarding property, patrolling streets, searching for lost persons or even performing search and rescue missions. Working dogs must be able to do a variety of physical labor including fetching objects, pulling carts, lifting heavy loads and more. They must also be capable of enduring long periods of intense exertion without becoming exhausted. A good working dog will not only perform these tasks effectively but will also learn new tricks along the way.
Many people do not realize that GSDs and APBTs share many similar traits. These traits give them the ability to perform at an exceptional level in many working fields. In addition to physical skills, these dogs possess high levels of intelligence.
This means that they can easily be trained to perform tasks that are required of them.
Working-GSDs are often used by the military, police and even the TSA. They are also commonly used as guard dogs or rescue dogs for police and first responder units. These dogs can also be used by hunters to locate and track animals over long distances.
Working-APBTs are not as popular as their GSD counterparts, but they are used in many of the same fields. These dogs have also been known to be used by law enforcement officials for tracking, cadaver searches and even drug detection.
Which is Better for Working- GSDs or APBTs?
As stated above, both of these breeds possess similar traits that make them highly desirable as working dogs. It is sometimes difficult to separate the two since they are bred from the same parents (the shepherd and the terrier). However there are some differences between these breeds that mean one may be more suitable for your tasks than the other.
GSDs are known for their willingness to please their owners. These dogs have natural protective instincts making them excellent guard dogs. Their size and strength also make them good choices as cart dogs or to drag items for hunters.
Due to their intelligence, they can often learn new tricks and perform commands with relative ease.
APBTs may not be as large as GSDs, but they are much more energetic than the GSDs and some even consider them to be a handful. They are not as protective as the GSDs and they do not have the strong herding instinct that most GSDs have. However, this is often considered a blessing as their high energy levels can cause them to nip at people’s heels.
Due to their high energy levels, these dogs do best when they have a job to do such as agility training, weight pulling or even flyball. They also do well in the field and are often used to hunt rabbits or other small animals.
Which Breed is Right for You?
Both GSDs and APBTs can make great working dogs no matter what your needs are. If you are looking for a loyal friend to perform a variety of tasks, either of these breeds will fit your needs. Deciding between the two can be difficult, especially if you are inexperienced with these dogs. A good place to start is to take a look at your lifestyle and decide which breed is the right fit.
If you are more of an indoors person and do not participate in many outdoor activities, then the GSD may be a better fit for you. They are less active than the APBTs and do not require as much exercise. GSDs also tend to be a little larger than the APBT, so they have more natural protection.
If you participate in many outdoor activities such as hunting, fishing or camping then the APBT may be a better fit for you. These dogs are bursting with energy and need plenty of exercise or else they may start displaying behavioral problems. These dogs are bred to hunt small animals, so they will feel right at home when in the field.
These are just some guidelines to help you decide which breed is best for you. Both the GSD and the APBT make excellent working dogs and can fill any role you desire. All that is left to decide is which one you like better!
P.S. If you are still not sure which breed is the right choice, you can’t go wrong with a Doberman Pinscher.
They are also great working dogs and make an excellent addition to any farm or homestead.
Sources & references used in this article:
Zak George’s Dog Training Revolution: The Complete Guide to Raising the Perfect Pet with Love by MD Foley – 2012 – i5 Publishing
Veterinary Neuroanatomy and Clinical Neurology-E-Book by MH Bonham – 2005 – Alpha Books
The Hamptons Dictionary: The Essential Guide to Class Warfare by J Katz – 2006 – Random House Incorporated