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Hard-Working Dogs Honored by Photographer, Andrew Fladeboe

The Labor Day holiday was created to celebrate the sacrifices and accomplishments of hard-working men and women.  But, we would be remiss if we did not remember to celebrate the working dogs that often give everything they have to get the job done. 

Working dogs, as the name implies, are those dogs that are trained to perform specific roles and responsibilities.  While browsing the internet, I came across the work of a magnificent photographer, Andrew Fladeboe.  His photo series called “The Shepherd’s Realm” truly honors the working dogs and embodies the true celebration of the Labor Day holiday. 

In an interview with National Geographic, when asked about the importance of the working dog, Fladeboe stated that “working dogs are still in widespread use today, and in fact the number of jobs they can perform grows every year. To me they represent the god’s greatest gift to humanity, a species sagacious and noble, willing to do whatever we ask of them and only asking for some food and a pat on the head in return.”

Below are additional snippets of his interview along with his beautiful shots of some of these working dogs fulfilling their respective duties:


Sheep Dog


Mobility Assistance


Urban Search and Rescue


 Herding Dog




Cow Herder


In his National Geographic interview, Fladeboe said that working dogs "often live hard and short lives, but for a dog like a border collie, they are happiest when they have a job to do” and went on to explain “seeing them in action made me realize just how devoted they are to us. They love to work and the bond between human and dog is uncanny. Dogs as pets definitely have an important role to play, but to me the dog is at its best and happiest when it has a job to do.”


Sheep Dog


 Search and Rescue


Police Dog




Fladeboe says, “We are so connected to dogs, and not just in terms of getting jobs done or as the pets we know them today. Dogs show up in the myths and folklore of almost every culture. They are part of our collective subconscious. The working dog is the perfect archetype of our sagacious friend.”


Epilepsy Assistance


Cattle and Sheep Herder




Explosive Detection


Guide Dog


Moose Hunting

This Labor Day while honoring and respecting the work of all hard-working people, let’s also remember the hard work and dedication of our faithful dogs.

 Tell us your favorite photo from above in the Comments!!!


Artist Credits: In 2014, Andrew was awarded a Fulbright Grant to photograph and study working dogs in New Zealand. The Shepherd's Realm series is currently available through New York gallery and dealer Peter Hay Halpert Fine Art. Please contact them if you are interested in a limited edition print.

Photo Credits: andrewfladeboe.com, phhfineart.com



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Comments 5

  • Nancy J. Olds
    Nancy J. Olds

    All of these hard working dogs are wonderful depictions of the variety of dogs that enrich our lives. I guess that it really isn’t a separate category, but those service dogs who interact with our returning veterans afflicted with PTSD have done an enormous amount of good for those who have difficulty navigating through each day after the trauma they faced in combat. Those service dogs are great companions and much better for these veterans than other kinds of medical treatment available. We also know that autistic children respond better to dogs and other animals than they do to people. One is blessed in calling a dog a friend!

  • Jacqueline

    One type of dog seems to be forgotten: Emotional Support Animals, as well as ‘Hearing’ Dogs; and several other types of animals, who ASSIST People with many different “Invisible

  • Linda Wise
    Linda Wise

    The mobility assistance and epilepsy dogs are incredible! How they are able to take care of their human is wonderful.

  • Jill

    My favorites are the ones that show how dogs are instrumental in keeping us safe from terror. The work done by the bio-watch and explosive ordinance dogs is beyond impressive to me.
    Thanks for remembering the four-legged workers on this holiday weekend!

  • Pam

    It’s a tough choice, but I really love the picture of the Collie Herding Dog. But, also totally respect the work of the Sheep dog (and all the others!). What amazing animals!