Dog Breeds by Group

Dog Breeds by Group

Dog Breeds by Group Over the years dogs have been breed for certain traits and in some cases to perform specific tasks. As a result, there are a variety of breeds from the tiny Pomeranian to the hard working Great Dane and many dogs in between. To help make sense of the many dogs, breeds and traits, the AKC has placed them into groups based on unique, but shared characteristics. These groups include the toy dogs, herding dogs, working dogs, sporting dogs, non-sporting dogs, hounds and terriers. The dogs that are not yet recognized by the AKC go into the miscellaneous or rare breed category. If you already know that you would like a tiny lap dog or a dog that could go hunting or on long hikes, then searching by group will help you narrow down the breeds that are right for you.

Herding Dogs Breed Group

Herding Dogs Breed Group

With high energy and intellect levels, dogs in the herding group require a good amount of daily exercise and constant stimulation. They range from medium to large breeds such as Australian Shepherds, Border ColliesGerman Shepherds and Bouviers. Bred to work, they have strong instincts and a strong desire to please, but are also able to accomplish and learn things independently. While dedicated to their families, these types of dogs do not always work well in homes with young children. Due to their herding instinct they are prone to chase after running kids, as though they were herding sheep and can possibly nip or knock over small children. If not trained and given a job to do, herding breeds will take it upon themselves to learn new tricks (some of which you may not enjoy). While these breeds do best with open space, you don't have to own a farm or ride horses to provide them with an enjoyable home. They excel not only in herding but also in obedience, agility, tracking and flyball. Their intelligence allows them to quickly acquire skills and to navigate obstacles while their physical abilities allow them to fly through the various courses with speed and ease. Herding dogs require a strong and dedicated owner who can appreciate the amazing intelligence and athleticism.

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Toy Dogs Breed Group

Toy Dogs Breed Group

The Toy group is made up of small breed dogs. Many of them have been bred as miniature versions of larger breeds to make them more portable, such as the Toy Poodle and the Toy Fox Terrier. Due to their small stature, they often are great companions for condominium or apartment living. Toy dogs do not require much space to receive proper exercise. While they may enjoy a trip outside or a walk, these are not "outdoorsy" breeds and should not be left outside or taken on long hikes. They can often be targets of larger animals including birds, who may mistake them for rabbits. Toy dogs have a tendency to be spoiled and owners are likely to let them get away with more than a larger breed because they are so small. Because of this, these breeds are prone to house-training problems and other behavior issues such as barking and biting, which can escalate if not addressed. Toy dogs are just as capable of learning and being trained as any other dogs. In addition to being adorable, companion dogs, toy dogs are great for therapy work. The size of dogs in the toy group makes them both manageable and appealing.

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Non-Sporting Dogs Breed Group

Non-Sporting Dogs Breed Group

A diverse group, non-sporting dogs are generally sturdy, but vary in everything from personality to size and appearance. Often considered a "catch-all," the non-sporting group includes popular small breeds like the French Bulldog and Lhasa Apso to larger breeds likes the Standard PoodleChow Chow and Dalmatian. Unlike the herding, working group, or even the toy group, dogs in the non-sporting group do not share a common instinct or trait other than the fact that they do not fit into the other groups. This does not mean these wonderful companions should not be overlooked. When choosing a dog in this group, it is important to do research on the specific breed you are interested in as the group will not reveal much information.

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Sporting Dogs Breed Group

Sporting Dogs Breed Group

Originally bred to aid in hunting, sporting dogs are naturally energetic and alert. The group is made up of a variety of spaniels, setters, retrievers and pointers. Bred to chase and fetch, they love games of this nature and it is important to stimulate them. Sporting dogs need a place to run and play and require serious exercise rain or shine. Because many of them love water, they will go out in any weather and will even take pleasure in jumping in a mud puddle or two while they are outside. They do not do well cooped up in small apartments or confined in tiny places and need opportunities to socialize with dogs and people regularly. Loyal and eager to please they love people and as a group tend to make wonderful family pets for families with older children. Because of their size and energy levels they are not always well suited to children under age 5 as they may knock them over unintentionally in play or pure exuberance. Highly intelligent and happy to oblige their owner, they are easily trained, and many sporting dogs, specifically Labradors and Golden Retrievers, go on to become search and rescue dogs, guide dogs and service dogs. High-energy and eager for attention sporting dogs make great pets for someone who loves exercise, the outdoors and wants a dog who insists on being part of the family.

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Hound Dogs Breed Group

Hound Dogs Breed Group

The first known hunting dogs, the Hound group is made up of scenthounds and sighthounds. Scenthounds such as the Basset Hound or Beagle use their keen nose to track down prey. Bloodhounds are often used in police work to track criminals or missing people because of their amazing ability to track and decipher scents. Hounds such as the Afghan Hound or Greyhound, fall into the description of sighthounds. They locate prey by sight and are known for their amazing speed. Energetic, bold and stubborn, hounds are not easily distracted once on a trail. For this reason, it is essential to teach a hound to come when called as soon as possible. That being said, this is not always an easy feat and they must be trained with consistency and patience. It is a good idea to keep dogs in this group on a leash when on walks or with a good size fence at home so that they do not wander off. As puppies and young adults these dogs will require a good amount of exercise. In their senior years, they will still require a good walk, but will also enjoy napping at your feet. Hounds as a group are rarely aggressive. Loving and loyal, they do well with children of all ages.

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Sighthounds and Pariah Dogs >>

Working Dogs Breed Group

Working Dogs Breed Group

Developed for a range of tasks, working dogs are intelligent, capable and can make excellent companions. They are highly adaptable in many ways including temperatures. The Alaskan Malamute and Saint Bernard for example thrive in cooler climates. Working dogs are large to extra-large breeds that have been breed for their size, strength and adaptability. While this helps them excel in their role as guarding, pulling and rescue dogs, it also means that these breeds are not for everyone. Dogs like the Mastiff or Cane Corso were originally used to hunt lions and wild boars respectively and weigh in at over 100 pounds. DobermansRottweilers and Giant Schnauzers are often used for police work and can easily take down a man. It is essential that they be trained and socialized at an early age and this should be continued on and throughout their lives. Working dogs can make wonderful pets in the right home and do especially well when they have a job to perform.

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Terrier Dogs Breed Group

Terrier Dogs Breed Group

Tenacious and full of energy and life, Terriers are highly intelligent. Bred to hunt small game like rodents foxes and badgers, they do not back down easily from a fight. While not particularly aggressive, they do require training and socialization early on so they don't develop aggressive tendencies toward strangers and other animals. They make great pets, but do require an owner who is willing to spend time with them and who does not mind a spirited debate now and again. Many Terriers, such as the Cairn Terrier or West Highland Terrier, require a specific type of grooming called stripping. This maintains their unique looks and helps protect the unique qualities of their protective coats. Very happy dogs, they do well in families, but should be supervised and socialized with small children. While they range in size and space requirements, Terriers do best with regular exercise and games to keep their active minds stimulated.

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Rare Dogs Breeds Group

Rare Dogs Breeds Group

Outside of the breed groups determined by the AKC, there are many rare breeds recognized throughout the world. Many of these breeds have specific standards that are watched over by rare breed organizations, rare breed groups and enthusiasts. While you might not see these dogs on a regular basis, many of them are quite popular and have a strong and devoted following. From the large, muscular Olde English Bulldog to the petite Mi-Ki and all types in between, dogs under the rare breed group range in size, shape and personality. It is important to research the various breeds to find the rare breed that is just right for you.

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