The 7 Dog Breed Groups: What You Need To Know

Before getting a furry pal, there are several things you need to know. One thing that is very often neglected is the breeds’ characteristics. This is important because they inform you about what you can expect from your dog when it comes to their behavior. To help you in your search, it’s a good idea to look into dog breed groups.

Canine breed groups are character groupings that categorize dogs according to their behavior and the role for which they were originally bred for: hunting, reporting, being faithful companions, etc. Dog breed groups are defined by several global organizations. The most famous one has been established by The Kennel Club, which is an organization dedicated to the welfare of dogs.

The 7 groups of dog breeds are:

  1. Sporting
  2. Herding
  3. Working
  4. Toy
  5. Hound
  6. Terrier
  7. Non-sporting

Sporting Group

All sporting dogs were originally hunting pups that have been developed to accompany their master for the sport. The invention of the gun led to the development of hunting for sport. They are gun dogs. Dogs were trained to aid hunters in locating and/or retrieving pray.

English pointers and setters were used to locate and target game. The cockers were used to flush out prey and bring it back between their delicate jaws. Spaniels and retrievers are the most well know dogs coming from the sporting group.

Other breeds of sporting dogs:

  • Clumber Spaniel
  • Curly Retriever
  • English Setter
  • Flattened Retriever
  • German Hard-Hound Retriever
  • Golden Retriever
  • Gordon Setter
  • Irish Setter
  • Labrador Retriever
  • Italian Spinone
  • Sussex Spaniel
  • Hungarian Shorthaired Pointer

Sporting dogs are active, alert and require regular, exhilarating exercise.

Hound Group

Hound dogs were initially qualified as sporting dogs because of their hunting skills. However, hound dogs don’t respond as fast as sporting dogs do to an order.

The hound group includes a great range of size, shape, and coat. There are two types of hound dogs:

  1. Dogs hunting at sight

Those who work with their eyes love to hunt what they see. They are famous for having the most sensitive noses of all dogs. Among many others, we find the foxhound, the basset hound, the Saint-Hubert dog, the beagle, and the dachshund. These dogs love the sound of their own voice and use it to inform the pack leader of their position when they smell. However, for homeowners who do not use these dogs to hunt, this often constitutes a pesky character trait.

2. Dogs that hunt in the sense of smell

Those who work with their sense of smell prefer to follow their snout. These dogs have been developed to hunt at an impressive speed and although they love to have the opportunity to gallop at full speed. They are also more than happy to be able to bask all day on the couch, especially in adulthood. This group includes:

  • Afghan Hound
  • Borzoi
  • Greyhound
  • Irish Greyhound
  • Italian Greyhound
  • Persian Greyhound
  • Deerhound
  • Whippet Greyhound

They must be physically and mentally active so as to not let their obstinacy take over. They are likely to move away easily, so it’s best to walk in a secure place and keep them tied on a leash. When they feel like running, they can go at full speed, and it’s sometimes impossible to stop them.

The top hunting breeds:

  • Plott
  • German Shorthaired Pointer
  • Labrador Retriever
  • Bluetick Coonhound
  • Beagle, Pointer
  • Dogo Argentino
  • Treeing Walker Hound
  • Irish Setter
  • English Springer Spaniel
  • Basset Hound
  • Bloodhound

Herding group

Herding dogs have been developed to gather, herd and protect livestock. They have an instinctual ability to control the movement of other animals.

A fun fact about herding dogs, is that their long, dreadlocked hair plays real role in their animal work environment. It offers them protection against the wolves they may have to fight to protect their flock. Good examples of these dogs are the Komondor and the Puli.

Herding dogs are extremely intelligent and need to be given regular tasks that stimulate them intellectually to keep them busy. If they are not given enough exercise, they risk doing something wrong. However, if they have what they want, herding dogs are very loyal dogs and perfect for families with kids. In fact, their herding instinct is so strong that they naturally perceive their owners’ family as a flock. So, if you need a hand with security at home, then a herding dog is perfect for you.

The most common shepherd dogs:

  • Shetland Sheepdog
  • Border Collie
  • German Shepherd
  • Australian Cattle
  • Australian Shepherd

Working dogs

Working canines come in all shapes and sizes, from the gigantic Saint Bernard with its barrel of schnapps around their neck, (used to warm the victims of avalanches), to the agile Siberian husky, used to shoot goods across the frozen tundra. These pups are not the best pets to have at home unless you can offer them lots of physical activity and intellectual stimulation. Most working dogs are tall and built for tiring tasks.

sitting st. bernard dog with a barrel (14 months old)

Working dogs have been developed for their physical strength, loyalty, and courage. Unfortunately, some of the breeds within this group tend to have a sad reputation of being used in illegal dog fighting. But, with intelligent training and kind treatment, working dogs turn out to be good-natured.

Generally, a strong and tenacious breed when they are well educated, dogs of this breed are rather calm and gentle. For this reason, it is recommended that you already own a dog of another type before adopting a working dog. They are generally not recommended for first-time dog owners.

If you plan to own a guard dog and have children, take the time to choose the best breed for you and your family. For instance, german shepherds are often considered the best guard dogs for families with children. When they are loved and well educated, these dogs are very obedient and are wonderful companions for both adults and children.

Breeds used as working dogs include:

  • Rottweiler
  • Boxer
  • Siberian Husky
  • Great Dane
  • Doberman Pinscher
  • Mastiff
  • Newfoundland
  • Cane Corso
  • Akita
  • St. Bernard
  • Bullmastiff
  • Samoyed
  • Great Pyrenees
  • Dogue de Bordeaux
  • Giant Schnauzer

Toy Group

Small in size, the toy group are known as adorable little dogs that have been raised to be true human companions. These pups generally receive a lot of tenderness and affection. This grouping traditionally refers to small and tiny breeds. They are affectionate, playful, and full of energy. Their personality makes it so nice to be around.

Toy dogs tend to attach themselves a great deal to one person, and when this happens, they get very protective and show aggression if someone approaches you. To prevent this, it is important to socialize these dogs with visitors and other canines from a very young age.

Toy dogs tend to suit city-dwellers more because their size is ideal for apartments and those with limited space. However, this doesn’t mean they don’t require exercise or a daily walk.

Among the toy dogs:

  • Chihuahua
  • Maltese Dog
  • Bichon Frise
  • King Charles Spaniel
  • Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
  • Pomeranian
  • Pug, Yorshire Terrier
  • Chinese Crested Dog
  • Papillon Dog
  • Miniature Pinscher
  • Griffon Bruxellois
  • Italian Greyhound
  • Shih Tzu
  • Pekingese
  • Havanese Dog
  • Japanese Chin
  • Toy Fox Terrier
  • Affenpinscher.

 

Non-sporting or Companion Group

The non-sporting group consist of a wide variety of breeds. Above all, they vary in size, coat, personality, and appearance. The Kennel Clubs were the original ones to regroup dogs as either Sporting or Non-sporting dogs.

For example, Dalmatians were originally trained for a specific purpose– to run alongside plows. However, because this work no longer performed by dogs. In this instance, Dalmatians would have been in the working group, but are now regrouped into the non-sporting group.

Companion breeds:

  • Chow-chow
  • Dalmatian
  • English Bulldog
  • French Bulldog
  • Lhasa Apso
  • Coton de Tulear
  • Shar-Pei
  • Boston Terrier

Wrap Up

In conclusion, it is in the future pet parent’s interest and responsibility to do some research on the breed that would best fit their daily life. Choosing the right breed and knowing your expectations from a dog is very important. Some breeds will require you to invest more time in their education when they are young to avoid dealing with social limitations or behavioral issues as they grow older. It’s important to take into consideration that you may have to invest in training lessons. Since a dog owner spends on average $1,000 per year on their dog, choosing the right breed of dog for you is very important.

About the Author

Subina Siddiqi is a writer living in Sydney. She always loved pets and can’t help herself cuddling dogs that meet her way. In 2018 she decided to learn more about therapeutic dog massages and is now providing dog massages during her spare time.

 

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