Dogs Different Breeds

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Dogs Different Breeds

by Michael Russell

Although there are approximately 400 breeds of dogs recognized in the world, the American Kennel Club (AKC) only recognizes 146 breeds. These breeds are subdivided into seven groups: Sporting, Hound, Working, Herding, Non-Sporting, Terrier and Toy. The dogs in each group share similar characteristics but can be quite diverse and therefore each group has distinctive subgroups.

The Sporting Group were bred to assist man in hunting, especially in retrieving birds from water or fields. These are very active dogs that are loyal and intelligent. They need lots of exercise and do not like to be left alone. Excellent family dogs who love interaction, these dogs can play fetch for hours and absolutely love it. Subgroups in this category include retrievers, pointers, setters and spaniels.

The Hound Group are also favoured for hunting because of their instinct to follow fast-moving game like rabbits and foxes. They are renowned for their keen sense of smell and sharp eyesight and tend to be great pets due to their gentle, easy to get along with nature. Subgroups include sight hounds such as greyhounds, whippets and Irish wolfhounds; scent hounds like basset hounds, beagles and dachshunds; and large game hounds such as the beautiful Rhodesian Ridgeback.

Dogs that make up the Working Group were historically bred to perform specific tasks for people. This group includes sled dogs that love cold weather, living outside and need plenty of exercise. Guard dogs such as mastiffs, rottweilers and Great Danes were bred for protection and are thus alert, courageous, intelligent and independent. These dogs can be territorial and require strong leadership and structured training.

Other breeds that make up the Working Group include personal protection dogs like boxers and Dobermans that are very loyal and strong-willed and rescue dogs such as the friendly Saint Bernard. Rescue dogs can be terrific with children if they are raised with them and tend to be quiet and unassuming.

The dogs of the Herding Group do just that, herd livestock. This group can be broken down into sheep herders like shepherds and collies and cattle herders such as bouviers and corgis. They love to work, exercise and play. Extremely agile and easy to train, these dogs also tend to be fabulous family pets.

The Terrier Group consists of breeds that are determined and very competitive. Two types of terriers are fighting breeds and vermin hunters. Fighters such as pit bulls and bull terriers are courageous yet perhaps somewhat cocky but fortunately most of their aggression has been bred down. They can make excellent pets but need early socialization to ensure that they can be comfortable around other people and animals.

Vermin hunters were originally bred to hunt vermin on farms and hence are very alert, lively, agile and independent. These dogs include just about every breed of terrier that you can think of and make great pets if you like spirited dogs that require patience, training and attention.

The majority of the dogs that comprise the Non-Sporting Group were bred to perform specific jobs that now have become obsolete so the animals have become companions. The personalities of the dogs that make up this breed group have very wide variations so it makes sense to consult breed-specific information sources before selecting one of these dogs as a pet. Some of the breeds in this group include the Dalmatian, Bichon Frise, Lhasa apso and the poodle.

The final breed group is the Toy Group. They are mainly miniature versions of hunting or working dogs and tend to be adorable, affectionate pets that are ideal for the elderly or apartment dwellers. These dogs need attention and exercise and will benefit tremendously from training to prevent them from constant barking and nipping.

Many people prefer mixed breeds but the advantage of choosing a purebred is predictability of behaviour. For example, if you want a dog that will retrieve, you know you will get that with a retriever. The main point is that all dogs should make excellent pets if given proper attention including exercise, discipline and affection.

Michael Russell Your Independent guide to Dogs

Michael Russell - EzineArticles Expert Author

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