Dog Breeds and Their Traits
Do you know how many breeds of dogs there are in total? There are more than 190 breeds of dogs in the world; with every new crossbreeding, a new breed takes birth. So the evolution of new dog breeds is endless. Choosing to take care of someone is a huge step. However, we often lack knowledge about our pets. To have a structural difference and proper understanding of characteristics of each breed, classification of dog breed is necessary.
Here you will find a few of the categories which will help you uncover some interesting facts about the different dog breeds so that you are ready when your dog has a question!
Although there are various other names given to the groups mentioned below, yet they are majorly divided on the common parameters of a) Roles b) Functionality c) Characteristics
The sheepdogs belong to the Herding Group, but according to the British classification it belongs to the Pastoral Group.
The one we have followed and would follow is a classification that differentiates a breed from the other based on guidelines sanctioned by the American Kennel Group (AKC). Initially AKC divided the dog breeds into Sporting and Non-Sporting groups, but over the years they diversified with:
- Sporting Group
- Hound Group
- Working Group
- Herding Group
- Non-Sporting Group
- Toy Group
- Terriers Group
As the name suggests, sporting groups are the ones that are naturally good at sports. They have in-built athletic qualities like being highly energetic and active all the time. These dogs cannot survive in a small space; their body requires energy doing regular, stimulating exercise. They assisted hunters in the capture and retrieval of feathered games. The category of the sporting dogs has four pillars- Spaniels, Pointers, Retrievers and Setters.
Retrievers helped in hunting ducks, as they are good at swimming. Spaniels, Setters and Pointers help in hunting quaint and pheasant. So the group takes care of hunts in woods and water.
Hunting not only requires speed and spontaneity, but a lot of patience, so the prey does not go out of sight. Hence the breed also has a stable temperament.
Hounds were traditionally a part of a sporting group, but they are not as responsive as compared to the sporting breeds. Hence they were named under a separate group. They are versatile if we talk about their sizes because at one point, they are tall as the wolfhound and on the other, they are short-legged like Dachshunds. They are sturdy enough and have excellent stamina.
They are the perfect breeds with a great sense of smell and speed, which gave rise to two types of hounds; Scent Hounds and Sight Hounds.
Scent Hounds generally have long-droopy ears with loose wet lips. They have a large nasal cavity that helps them retain the scents to track stamina or anything they are trained for. They aren’t generally good runners but are a tough breed to train.
Sighthounds rely on explosive speed. They have incredible stamina and wide vision that lets them run as fast as 60kmph. Their size is similar to scent hounds ranging from tiny to giant breeds, also sharing the same colour of brown to tan family.
Working dogs are the most active breeds who fit into the blue-collar jobs of the canine world. They are actively responsive in a furry-human relationship, so they are the most trainable dogs. They are quick learners that showcase a balance of temperament more than spontaneity. This fact provides them with the understanding of when to use their intelligence and power.
They lead in guarding properties, working in farms, military, guidance or navigation, detection, search & rescue etc. They are careful and responsible and also sustains companionship.
As the name suggests, herding groups control the movement of other animals. Herding breeds are naturally responsive and intelligent. They work their way to preserve, gather, herd and protect the livestock and become an aid to human shepherds. They have lived to guard the herd against predators. They have always obeyed commands and performed their job successfully. Their territorial instinct is strong and unmatchable with any other breed. They are problem solvers, showcasing immense confidence and courage.
As mentioned above, this group was born out of the traditional classification of dog breeds. There existed only two groups Sporting and Non-Sporting. All the other groups have either borne out of Sporting or Non-Sporting categories. Dogs that did not find any space in any other dog group continued existing in this group called Non-Sporting.
Terriers are the happy-go-lucky and feisty groups of dog breeds. With either prick or dropped ears; Terriers are generally of medium to small size. They were bred in the British Isles to kill pests or to hunt small animals. They need special grooming, for they have the geographical disadvantage of living in terrains where they are majorly involved with insects. They are naturally confident and courageous breeds of animals that do not think twice before hunting their prey.
According to their size, terriers are of three types:
Short-legged terriers: They dig for rodent and underground insects.
Bull breeds: They were bred for bull-baiting and dog fights.
When we say dogs are a man’s best companion, the toy breeds are exclusively meant and designed for that purpose. Many dog specialists have the same answer to “Which dog breed is best for home?” They prove to be an ultimate partner, who is also suitable for small places and apartments, due to their size and adaptability. They are easy to control, shed less and are easier to maintain. They generally weigh under 20 pounds (9 kgs) which makes them portable.
Now that you have enough knowledge to step up, you can grow yourself into a pet lover if you are not a pet parent yet. Being a pet parent is a journey; you will never understand the psychology of how and when you have built a bond with your pet. These traits make them unique; it is necessary to keep scrounging and educating yourself on nutrition and behavioural inclination, as the more you know, the more you will develop an admiration for them. A pet store online is a great place to have all this information.
Stay tuned for more!
Happy Pet Parenting ☺