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A Doggie guide to help you choose the right type and breed for your family!

21 Mar 2013 | by | Posted in: Wag Wiki

Dogs are man’s best ‘Buddies’! Their absolute loyalty and unconditional love has proved this friendly statement over the centuries. There are more than 157 breeds of dogs recognized by The American Kennel Club, each having their own distinctive attributes like size, appearance, health, temperament and grooming needs. Remember, all puppies irrespective of their breed are cute, but develop diverse characteristics as they grow! It is important to know the different types of dogs and their expected personalities as this will help you choose a pet matching your requisite.

Every dog breed has a history of origin and categorized into different groups, for which they were initially developed. As per The American Kennel Club (AKC), please find below the varied types of dog breed groups.

Hound Group

Hounds come under the umbrella of hunting breeds. They are swift, tall and possess a strong vision to sight their prey. They are unique because of their physical stamina and resolve. Some dogs in this breed have a strong sense of smell. The Hounds fall into three subgroups such as hounds developed to hunt by scent; by sight; and a combination of both sight and scent. Norwegian Elkhounds, Afghans, Beagles, Dachshund, Saluki, Pharaoh Hounds, and Basset belong to these groups. They make wonderful pets and fit gracefully into most households. However, the larger breeds need a lot of running and exercise.

Herding Group

The Herding Group of dogs were developed for herding and controlling the movement of other animals. These dogs assist men in maintaining flocks and have the skill to drive the animals in the herd, into groups. The classic example is the Corgi; in spite of being small is fast and nips at their heels to move the herds or keep the animals in line. They are intelligent, quick learners and make excellent companions. German Shepherd, Border Colllie, Puli and Belgian Sheepdog belong to this group. Since they are naturally active, they need to be outdoors and require sufficient exercise.

Toy Group

The Toys are the smallest of dog breeds. They were developed for the sheer delight of their companionship. They appear delicate but are strong and energetic. This group is a mixture of shorthaired dogs such as Pug, shorthaired Chihuahua, Toy Manchester Terrier and Miniature Pinscher; wirehaired dogs such as Affenpinscher and Brussels Giffon; and longhaired dogs such as the English Toy Spaniel, long-haired Chihuahua, Pomeranian, Toy Poodle, Maltese, Shih Tzu and Yorkshire Terrier. They have the ability to guard the owners by alerting them of intruders coming into the house. They make ideal apartment friends and do not require much of living space.

Working Group

The Working Group dogs are large and energetic. Because of their size and intelligence, these dogs were developed to perform jobs such as sledding, guarding and rescuing. The Doberman Pinscher, Siberian Husky, Great Dane, Akita, Mastiff, Rottweiler and Saint Bernard are all included in this group. They are quick learners and highly intelligent. They make great companions, but overall they need a lot of space to run and work in order to keep healthy and happy.

Terrier Group

Dogs under this group were originally bred to hunt and kill vermin. Some dogs have smooth and wirehaired coats, as the Airedale, American Staffordshire, Border, Cairn and Bull, whereas some have standard coats as the Norfolk, Skye, Welsh and the West Highland White Terrier. The wiry coated dogs require extra care in grooming. These dogs are energetic, fun loving and make charming pets. However, owners need to match up to their liveliness.

Sporting Group

The sporting dogs were originally developed to hunt. They are segregated into groups with specific talents. Members of the sporting group include Pointers, which are the German Shorthaired and the German Wirehaired, the Vizsla and the Wirehaired Pointing Griffon; Setters are the English, Gordon, and Irish setters; Retrievers are the Chesapeake Bay, Golden and Labrador retrievers; and Spaniels are the English Springer, English Cocker, Field, Irish Waterand Welsh Springer. These breeds are active, alert and make lovable companions. They need plenty of exercise; hence should be kept in an area where they can be outdoors and stay physically fit.

Non-Sporting Group

The Non-Sporting Dogs are the most diverse of any group and have not been developed with any specific purpose. Within this group are the Dalmatian, Chow Chow, Boston Terrier, Tibetan Spaniel and Keeshond. They come in varied sizes and coats, with different personalities and appearances. They serve as good companion dogs.

Mixed Group

Apart from the above groups, there are also mixed breed dogs that fall under this group. These dogs are crossbreeds and consist of hybrids, designer dogs and the mutt. A 'hybrid' is a mix of more than one purebred. A ‘designer’ is the result of cross breeding two purebred dogs. A 'mutt' is a mixed dog of uncertain ancestry. Some of the favorite in mixed dogs are the Golden Labrador, Labradoodle, Schnauzer, Chihuahua, Pug, Shih Tzu, Yorkie, Papillon, and the Bichon Frise. You will find these dogs in all shapes and sizes, with different traits and characteristics. Mixed dogs are available in many varieties and it is advisable to know something about their parents, as this will help in understanding the personality and behavior your dog will display. Mixed breeds usually benefit from training, exercise and socializing. They make excellent family pets.  

  • Woofy tip to help you find the right type of dog, suiting you and your lifestyle:

It is highly recommended to do an analysis on each type of dog. All breeds come in different sizes, shapes, temperaments, personality and characteristics. You need to give a thought to each of the breed’s characteristics and determine what exactly you are expecting from your dog. In the process of selection, you need to include the size, breed, amount of exercise, health and grooming your dog requires, for which you are ready to comply. Besides these essentials, you need to shower your dog with lots of Tender Loving Care!

Irrespective of type or breed, only YOU can initiate an everlasting bond with your dog. Through proper attention, love, care, training and dog grooming, you can build an excellent rapport with your pooch, resulting in loyal companionship and togetherness for years to come! 

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