Article by Jeanne Stuemke
The first time you see a real big dog like the Great Dane or the St. Bernard you might wonder if it’s really a dog. lt’s so big that you might mistake it for a little pony. If you saw the dog in some European countries, you would surely think it was a pony. Big dogs are still used by farmers to pull carts of milk and produce.
Most big dogs are working dogs, and they do many things. Some, like those mentioned above, pull carts, others like the Collies, the Kuvasok, and the English Sheepdogs are experts at tending sheep. Mastiffs, Boxers, and Dobermans are often used as guard dogs. The German Shepherds are well known as guide dogs for the blind. But not all “seeing eye” dogs are Shepherds. They are usually big dogs, but they can be any breed – even a mongrel – just so long as they have a will to learn.
Among the most famous big dogs are the sled dogs of Alaska and other snowy regions. The Samoyed, Siberian Husky, and Malemute and the Eskimo dog all are good sled dogs. Just as all guide dogs are not pure bred, the same is true with sled dogs – sometimes they are mixed with timber wolf. Mushers in Alaska say that these wolf-mixed dogs have more stamina than pure breeds, but they don’t care to work like a dog.
Another working dog that is at home in the snow is the St. Bernard. Many an injured mountain climber or skier owes his life to this breed. Immediately after a bad snowstorm, these dogs would be sent out of the hospice in groups of three in search of people in distress. When someone was found unconscious in the snow, two of the dogs would lie down on either side of the victim to keep him warm while the third St. Bernard would go back to the abbey for help. When help arrived, the three dogs would go off to find more people in need of help.
Working dogs are the best dogs for children. They would like nothing better than to be with a child all day and guard him or her. They do not wander as do hunting dogs, and their size will scare away anyone who might want to harm the child.
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Jeanne Stuemke is an online antiques and collectibles dealer, internet marketer, recipe blogger, dog blogger, and cat blogger.
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