Analyzing the dog breed groups
Round them up: the Herding Group
Herding group includes 18 dog breeds. They were bred to help farmers and shepherds, who work long hard days in any weather. Since these dogs were bred to work both independently and in conjunction with their handlers, most Herding breeds are utterly intelligent.
The most common breeds within this group are German Shepherd, Collie, Border Collie, Australian Shepherd, Australian Cattle Dog, Old English Sheepdog, Cardigan Welsh Corgi, Welsh Corgi and Shetland Sheepdog.
Shepherd breeds within the group range from dogs with short legs (as Corgi) to dogs with long, flexible legs (like a Collie).
None of these breeds is short-haired; some of them have dense thick coats, and most tend toward long hair, which is more characteristic of the animals that have been bred to control.
Herding dogs are very energetic. They can move the entire day, and you’ll get tired just watching them. Sheepdogs are in their normal state, if they are allowed to exercise a lot. They even feel better when they receive consistent training day by day – in fact, they just thrive on it. Since these dogs were bred for continuous operation, they need a socket for “charging”, which training activities provide for them.
Herding breeds tend to learn complex tasks faster than any other breed, making them ideal in agility, obedience, herd protection, and in many other professions.
Upon proper training, these dogs can be trusted to criminals catching, as well as full child care and even basic care for elderly people. Since being able to memorize a large number of commands, these dogs are able to bring the right things in the mouths, take away unnecessary stuff and signaling about the critical situation with barking.
However, they are not very good around small children, because they used to chase small moving objects and purposefully bump into them, showing instinct of gathering the flock together. They love children, but can effortlessly try to drive them into the herd. However, they are wonderful pets for people with active way of life.
Do you remember the fluffy character “Lassie”, which has always been faithful to his owner?
Dogs of this group are very beautiful and witted family friends, love to be around people, very loyal and sensitive.
Despite the intense seasonal shedding, they are very clean dogs. Due to heavy shedding these breeds require weekly or daily brushing. Herding breeds are good watching dogs. They are not aggressive, but will bark as warning, and defend in case of attack.
The average life expectancy of the Herding dogs group is 14-16 years.
On hunting: the Sporting Group
Sporting dogs were bred to help hunters in search, retrieving and flushing game. They are able to freeze motionless, trace down, chase and return with the prize. Sporting dogs are great companions for hunters and fantastic pets; they are perfect for active families, as they need constant physical load and stimulation.
The American Kennel Club (AKC) recognizes 26 species in the Sports group. The most popular breeds in this group include: Labrador retriever, Golden Retriever, Chesapeake Bay Retriever, Irish Setter, English Setter, Brittany, Cocker Spaniel, English Springer Spaniel, German Shorthaired Pointer, Pointer, Vizsla and Weimaraner.
Sporting dogs range from medium to large size – from 10 to 40 kg, depending on the breed. They all have ears hanging down. The retrievers have fast drying coats and webbed feet, adapted for swimming. The Setters have a medium length coat with feathering on their legs and tail. Spaniels possess denser coat, also with feathering on their paws and tails. Some members of the group with intensive seasonal shedding require daily care and brushing.
Sporting dogs are very athletic, extremely mobile, intelligent and hardworking. They need a constant job; if they don’t have any, they will drive you crazy trying to find it for themselves. These dogs love to sniff out traces of animals, track them purposefully, until they find the source. Even if the target is in the water or soiled in the mud, be sure, they are easy to find it – and you won’t be able to keep them out of it.
Sporting Group Breeds – are great pets for families with children. They love the bustle around them, putting up with numerous pushing, pulling and emotional excitations that resonate from children, quickly develop a good behavior and memorize new commands.
Owners of these dogs can expect a calm indoor behavior and love for lively outdoor activities, making the Sporting Group ideal to keep the children active and vigorous, without unnecessary mess in the house. They need a family that will give them more than just a quiet walking, as they were originally bred for dynamic hunting. In addition, these dogs are excellent water rescuers. With a little training, you can safely allow your children to swim in the nearby pond or pool; in an emergency, these dogs will help them to get out of water on time.
Dogs are easily accustomed to other breeds of dogs, cats and other small pets.
But being secure with older children, they may be too vigorous for babies, elderly people and for those seeking a quieter lifestyle.
With most large breeds, it is important to train these dogs giving them a continuous load, to protect them from obstinacy, destructive behavior, boredom, stiffness or lack of control.
Dogs are suitable for individuals who are accustomed to the mobile lifestyle, regular exercise, and outdoor training.
The main disadvantage of the group – is their short lifetime of 10-13 years, and only 8 years for large dogs.
Group of hound dog breeds
Although the group of hounds, which according to the AKC consists of 23 different breeds, includes some of the earliest breeds ever created to help hunters, they are not the type that runs to the prey site, flushes, or retrieves their prey, like the Sporting Group. Hounds track odors. They are single-minded when it comes to locate their traced prey.
Hounds are divided into two categories: those who hunt by smell and those who use their sharp sight (grey or sighthounds).
The most common members of the group – Dachshund, Basset Hound, Greyhound, English Mastiff, American Foxhound, Beagle, Norwegian Elkhound, Rhodesian Ridgeback, and several species of Coonhounds. Greyhound is an exception, being a kind of hounds, tracking through smells, remained on the ground.
Many hounds have folding over, silky ears, long muzzles, broad rib cages. Most of them possess predominantly short coats, and only a few, such as the Afghan Hound, have a long fur, which requires a special care.
The Beagle is one of the most popular breeds of hounds. Do not let his pretty look to mislead you – as he is a stubborn and may be hard in training.
Most breeds within the group of Hounds are usually stubborn, single-minded and difficult to teach without the proper motivation.
Showing aggression on the hunt, these dogs are rarely aggressive towards people, although they will try your patience more than once. Bred to help hunters, they cannot get along with other smaller pets around the house, and you might easily get a rabbit or chipmunk as a “surprise”. However, they are wonderful with children.
Their food intake should be carefully controlled to avoid obesity, which, without prevention, comes very quickly in this breed.
Breeds of this group do not have excessive drooling and they are average shedders, which mean certain cleanliness for a pet.
These dogs are affectionate, gentle and loving with children – happy in the company of people, and typically get along well with other dogs. They are loyal and patient even with the small kids. But without adequate exercise and supervision, they can become uncontrollable and over-protective with excessive barking.
Greyhounds are not recommended for families with older children, so in case of accidentally unlocked door or gate, greyhounds are ready to go on the run.
Hounds are more peaceful group of breeds in comparison with Sporting ones. They are more appropriate for individuals and families looking for a quiet long walks, park recreation or hiking in the woods.
The Working Group of Dogs
AKC acknowledges 25 breeds in the Working Group. Most of the dogs in this group are large, strong and hardy. They were bred to work long hours, but not all of them have a high energy level. Working dogs protect, drag heavy loads, herding, and in recent years, they widely involved in search and rescue. The most popular breeds in this group – Saint Bernard, Boxer, Doberman Pincher, Alaskan Malamute, Great Dane, Rottweiler, Siberian Husky, Bernese Mountain Dog, the same popular Akita and Mastiff.
Working dogs have skeleton with large bones, distinguished by strong body and strong will. Many of them were bred to withstand extreme weather conditions, low temperatures, deep snow in the Arctic regions, or the cold in Northern Europe.
Working dogs possess exceptional intelligence and steadfast work ethic. They are hardy, industrious, which makes them excellent pets in case of appropriate guidance. A number of breeds were bred to fight other dogs or to protect people, so they have a pronounced instinct of domination, and frequently they very territorial.
Working breeds often go out of control if left alone or in a closed space for a long time. This might be fraught with aggressive and destructive behavior.
Each representative of the Group requires regular obedience training, and strict scheduling. Otherwise, the dog may realize he is the boss of your household – and you will hardly want to get into situation with a large, powerful dog in charge.
On the other hand, having work to perform, Working Breeds put their entire souls into their job. They need constant approval from their human handlers, although the activity alone is also serves as positive reinforcement.
Breeds are more suitable for service purposes – search and rescue of missing persons, freight delivering (in sledge teams) to the remote inaccessible areas, as attendants for expeditions into impassable places – to the taiga, Far north tundra, icy mountain passes.
Boxers, for example, were often used as guide dogs for the blind people and to support couriers during wars.
It is reasonable to get working dogs as pets, if you are lover of traveling, exploration of mountains with a dog as companion (for road equipment and supplies carrying). These dogs are especially good in protection of the household from the wild animals’ attacks.
Under early socialization Working Breeds are quite patient with other dogs and animal species.
Breeds are characterized by true love for human affection, especially for child attachment. But without prior pet training and constant supervision of adults, it’s extremely dangerous to leave children alone with such dogs.
Due to intensive shedding, drooling and gassiness, produced by individual breeds, they require special maintenance. Breeds poorly adapted to living in the house.
Tenacious terriers: the Terrier Group
The AKC recognizes 27 breeds in the Group of Terriers. Terriers are small game hunters, because of their genetic predisposition to pounce on the most difficult prey. They are tenacious and purposeful while hunting. And, despite the fact that they were often used to protect the household and all its inhabitants, these dogs are used to dominate the rest of the home inhabitants.
The most common breeds are the Pit Bull Terrier, Staffordshire Bull Terrier, Airedale Terrier, Miniature Schnauzer, Cairn Terrier, Jack Russell Terrier, Scottish Terrier, Border Terrier and West Highland White Terrier. Most terriers are small to medium in height.
Their coats are usually short and smooth or hard and rough, with the exception for the Soft-coated Wheaten Terrier, Sealyham Terrier, and Skye Terrier, where each one has a long, silky hair, in contrast to the other representatives.
In fact, there are no structural norms among Terriers. The main threat lies more in their personality. However, the taller Terriers – Kerry Blue Terrier and Airedale Terrier – do possess some structural similarities in their long muzzles, drooping ears, long necks and long legs. American Staffordshire Terrier and Bull Terrier have larger egg-shaped head and very muscular body with short smooth hair. The Scottish, West Highland White, Cairn, Norfolk, Norwich, Australian and Border Terriers have shorter legs, longer bodies, long and medium length muzzles, sharp high-set eyes and short or medium length tails. All these breeds also have a rugged medium length coat.
Terriers are very energetic, difficult to subdue, and more aggressive than any other group of breeds. If to make them angry, they are not always readily back down. However, with a proper motivation, they do learn quickly. Terriers require day by day training and guidance. They are easily excited; if someone touches you in their presence, they can easily attack, no matter human or animal.
The last thing you ever demonstrate a Terriers is your own fear or hesitation. In this case, they start fully dominate over you in every way – from how they prefer to be touched to aggression when approaching and worse.
While these dominating trends do not occur in all terriers, carefully track your dog for such behavior and try to stop it immediately, training the dog to obedience.
Breeds have a tenacious grip; patiently endure pain and rough treatment.
Bull Terriers and Pit Bulls have been bred for a long time as fighting dogs. With the ban, imposed on fighting, they were often used as guard dogs and bodyguards in the police force. However the reputation of vicious attacking dog-killers is still retained by them.
These breeds are more suitable for people, leading a very active lifestyle, with regular jogging, racing, cycling. Jumping, overcoming obstacles, climbing are like cure for these dogs.
Strong Terriers are frequent customers of various sporting events for dogs.
With firm, but gentle education, they are getting well in families with kids, love to play games, and are able to put up happily with rough child’s play. However young children cannot be allowed to come near to Terriers without adult supervision. With adequate physical activity, the breeds are ideal for apartment life, they require minimal care, having average shedding intensity. However, to chain up such dogs is not advisable.
Tenacious terriers are long-lived dogs, with the average life span of 12 to 15 years.
All shapes and sizes: the Non-Sporting Group
Non-Sporting Group includes 17 different breeds, all imaginable shapes and sizes, from the Standard Poodle to the Bulldog from the Dalmatian to the Chow Chow. Non-Sporting dogs are big and small, wide and narrow. All of them somehow connected to other known species, although genetically were bred for specific tasks.
The most popular breed in this group is the Standard Poodle. The reasons for the popularity of this dog in designer breeds are numerous: they are intelligent, loyal and energetic, notable for lively and playful disposition. They may be of any color, although black, white and chocolate are the most common colors – and they do not shed.
Other popular breeds are – Dalmatian, American Eskimo Dog, Chow Chow, Bichon Frise, Chinese Shar Pei, Boston Terrier, Bulldog and Lhasa Apso. Though the initial goal was to improve the performance of these dogs, they rarely have a different purpose than good looks. Dogs that have flattened facial structure include Bulldogs, Shih Tzu, Pekingese, Boston Terriers and Pugs.
Except Standard Poodle, Non-Sporting dogs are brave, challenging, and independent by their nature. They require lots of exercise and consistent leadership.
Being puppies they are full of energy, but become quieter with age, which makes them excellent companions for young children, with the development into more peaceful dogs, as children grow older. Breeds, as a whole, distinguish by moderate shedding, but each breed needs individual care.
Bulldogs, Shar-Peis demand daily wiping with a cloth to keep the folds of skin clean and free from infection. They can overheat in warm weather and should not be left outside. Terriers and Bulldogs can be aggressive towards other dogs or even people – however, it is easy to overcome it by strict and compassionate guidance and training.
Breeds with thick coats need constant washing, brushing and grooming to avoid their hair getting matted or brittle. However, the hypoallergenic lack of shedding of Poodles and most long-haired breeds make these dogs excellent pets for people with allergies.
Most dogs groups cannot always live in the open air outside the house, but should be frequently exercised, have lively games, to keep them from getting bored or irascible.
The Standard Poodle is considered one of the smartest breeds of dogs. They have a steady desire to work and love training challenges. Poodles were bred to retrieve things from water. Now the breed is often used as guide dogs for blind people or as police dogs. Poodle – is the long-living breed. Small breeds can live up to 17 years, the Standard up to 12-15 years, while the average life expectancy of the group – 10-13 years.
Non-Sporting breeds are good for elderly and lonely people who prefer a measured way of life and in need of a companion, a life partner. After all, breeds in the group – are the most affectionate and loving. They are unable to stand alone and entirely devoted to their master.
Big personalities in small packages: the Toy Group
The AKC includes 21 toy breeds in this Group. Their origin emanates from the line of the smallest dogs, which have eventually formed the modern breeds group. Although each breed is individual in its own way, they have kept most of their genetic heritage from breeds they were derived.
Decorative dogs quickly adapt to any environment. This makes them excellent pets for those who have limited living space; they get along perfectly in a tightness of small apartment.
The amount of feed they require is minimal, in comparison to other breeds.
Such crumbs are convenient to take them everywhere together, they are great travelling companions: easy to tolerate trips in the hands of the owner or in a special purse without creating any environmental problems. Short-haired Yorkshire Terriers and Chihuahuas unpretentious in care and safe for allergy sufferers.
However, dogs are well living in the suburban and rural areas, on the condition they are remained primarily indoors when you are not with them.
The Toy Group consists of the following popular breeds: Yorkshire Terrier, Miniature Poodle, Maltese, Pomeranian, Pekingese, Pug, Shih Tzu and Chihuahua. Rarely these breeds more than 35 cm tall at the shoulder, and they frequently weigh less than 9 kg. Because of such a small size they got the Toy dog label.
Besides these attributes, they come in all shapes, lengths of hair, and with different personalities. Some of them are very sensitive to weather conditions, others are pretty hardy. Decorative breeds are excellent companion dogs; you can carry them on hands. By their devotion and naughtiness, the need for constant caress and attention, they can completely replace a child for single people.
Some of them require minimal care, others are time-consuming. Since the main purpose of Toy Dogs – to decorate homes and attract attention to the owner, these breeds are predominantly loved by women.
They are very fragile, sensitive to weather conditions, especially to the cold; most of them have a very delicate stomach, demanding a special low-fat or vegetable diet. Decorative dogs require much effort to keep their coats, legs, eyes, etc. in a good condition. Often, the financial costs of maintaining the appearance of these breeds balance the economy on food.
However being small in stature, the Toy Breeds have a strong personality. Shih Tzu, Pekingese and Maltese dogs, for instance, are quite egocentric, without allowing any child to handle them roughly. In response to the child’s expansiveness, they can easily bite. However, if you train and guide your toy pet properly, he will be a tiny pearl – cheerful, loving and loyal. Despite their small size, they should be treated just like bigger dogs – not like clockwork toys.
To maintain their physical tone, as well as a good psychological state, the Toy Breeds need regular walking. They are still dogs, and have the same need for structure and comprehension of their environment.
Small dogs may easily develop the Small Dog Syndrome when
they begin to consider themselves as leaders of the pack. Breeds can quickly
become snappy, obsessive and form separation anxiety. Special rules should be
worked out in time to stop such behavior.