Have you ever considered which of the American Kennel Associations-recognized eight groups of canines your dog belongs to? Many dog owners may not know about the different classifications or even care, but your precious pooch most likely belongs to one of these eight dog groups, if it’s a pure bred. Let’s delve a bit deeper into this subject and see where your dog is classified.
One of these eight dog groups
It is generally acknowledged by the AKC as well as other canine organizations the number of different “officially recognized” dog breeds number one hundred and seventy or so. All dogs will belong to one of these eight dog groups classified by the dog’s original bloodline and purpose.
1) Our first group is the non-sporting dogs. This is a somewhat misleading classification because many of the dogs in this group were originally bred as sporting and working dogs. A good example for this group is the American Eskimo Dog which has a history of not only pulling sleds but performing in turn of the century circus acts.
2) The hound group comes from a long line of dogs specifically bred for hunting. They use their eyes and noses to track game. The Beagle, Bloodhounds, and Whippet fall into this group. The Whippet is fast for its size and able to reach speeds of thirty five miles per hour.
3) One of these eight dog groups very popular with dog owners is the sporting group. This classification is for dogs bred to hunt wild game birds and naturally included the lovable Golden Retriever, Labradors, and English Setters to name a few. These breeds are very trainable as search and rescue, including being great guide dogs as they work well with people.
4) The terrier group was bred to chase down vermin. The Jack Russell and Australian Terrier, one of the smallest of this group, fall into this category. Originally bred by Australian settles to tend sheep and protect the owner’s property this little firebrand is well suited for the job.
5) Our next canine group is the herding dogs. Bred to keep watch over various domesticated herds of animals such as cattle the German Shepherd is in this classification. The Sheltie also falls within this family of dogs. Very protective, they make great family dogs.
6) We now have the toy group of canine. These dogs have been bred for companionship with their human owners. They are delightful family dogs who like to romp and play. The Japanese Chin, Maltese, and Chihuahua are in this category.
7) Next comes the working breeds. Bred for working alongside humans the Saint Bernard falls within this group.
8) Finally: miscellaneous. If you furball is a purebred, but doesn’t fit one of the above seven, it is most likely “miscellaneous”. Not very flattering, is it? Actually, this is a “conditional” trial classification. There are literally hundreds of pure breeds in the world, but many of them are few in number. Once there is proven sufficient interest in and growth for a breed, it may be admitted to the “Miscellaneous” group, and is allowed to compete in shows on a limited basis, but gets no championship points. After other qualifications are met, including meeting continued growth standards, the breed can eventually be admitted to one of the above 7 groups. That’s why you see “new” breeds being added just about every year.
So technically, you could have a pure bred, but it may not even fit into any of the eight “official” classifications as yet. If you want to know where your pup fits in, search the AKC breed and group listings here.
9) There should be a Group 9: Mutts!! They have won and will continue to win the hearts of hundreds of millions of dog owners over the years. We have had both mutts and purebreds, and have found them all equally precious.
Hundreds of years ago breeds of dogs were meant to perform their reason for being, and were bred with certain characteristics. Modern canine breeds are now more numerable and your dog is certain to belong within one of these eight dog groups if it is a pure-bred.
Where does your dog belong? Comments are welcome below.