are the recognized dog groups by the American
Kennel Club. (below)
Sporting dogs like to be
around people and are active and alert. These dogs make
well-rounded companions. They have great instincts in
water and woods and many of these breeds participate in
hunting and other field activities. Members of the Group
include pointers, retrievers, setters and spaniels.
Hounds are generally friendly
and affectionate with people. There is an ancestral trait
of being used for hunting that most hounds have in common.
They have have an acute sense of smell and can usually
follow a trail easily. The Hound group is a diverse lot
and there are not many other generalizations about them.
There are Pharaoh Hounds, Norwegian Elkhounds, Afghans
and Beagles, among others. Some hounds share the distinct
ability to produce a unique sound known as baying.
These dogs are large, intelligent,
and protective of their owners. Dogs of the Working Group
have been used by people throughout the ages to perform
tasks such as guarding property, pulling sleds, and herding.
The Doberman Pinscher, Siberian Husky and Great Dane are
included in this Group. Quick to learn, these capable
animals make solid companions but their considerable size
and strength, make many working dogs unsuitable as pets
for average families. These dogs must be properly trained.
Dogs in the Terrier Group
were developed to hunt vermin. Terriers are clever, brave
and have a distinctive terrier personality. These are
feisty, energetic dogs who come in a variety of sizes.
Terriers typically have little tolerance for other dogs,
or other animals in general. Most terriers have wiry coats
that require special grooming. In general, they make good
pets, especially when their owners can match their dogs'
lively characters. Terriers include the Norfolk, Cairn,
West Highland White Terrier, and Airedale Terrier.
Toys are small, charming
dogs that love to be around people. The main function
of this type of dog is to make great companions. In spite
of their size, many Toys are tough as nails and will bark
at dogs ten times their size. They make ideal apartment
dogs and terrific lap warmers. (Incidentally, small breeds
may be found in every Group, not just the Toy Group.)
Training aside, it's much easier to control a ten-pound
dog than one 50 pounds or more.
Dogs in the Non-Sporting
Group do not fit the criteria of the other breed groups,
or may no longer perform the tasks they were originally
bred for. These dogs make wonderful family companions.
Non-sporting dogs are a diverse group and vary collection
in terms of size, coat, personality and overall appearance.
Some examples include the Chow Chow, Poodle, Lhasa Apso,
Dalmatian, French Bulldog, and Keeshond.
Dogs in the Herding Group
were developed to work with livestock. These dogs are
highly intelligent and require lots of exercise. The Herding
group is the newest classification and it's members were
previously part of the Working group. All dogs in this
group are excellent at controlling the movement of other
animals and instinct prompts many of these dogs to gently
herd their owners (especially small children in the family).
Generally these dogs respond well to training and make
that throughout the world there are several hundred distinct
breeds of purebred dogs, not all of which are AKC recognized
breeds. Dogs not falling in one of the recognized categories
are in the Miscellaneous class.