Getting to Know Dog Breeds and Types

Ever wondered about the specifics of your favourite purebred pooch? It's all in the breed standard – a sort of canine rulebook that defines what makes each breed special. From their swagger to their snout, breed standards paint a picture of perfection that guides breeders, judges, and dog enthusiasts alike.


Who Writes the Rules?

Breed standards are crafted by the American Kennel Club and their affiliates, the ultimate fan clubs for specific breeds. These folks live and breathe their chosen breed, coming together to hash out what makes their pups unique. Once they agree, it's off to the AKC Board of Directors for the final stamp of approval.

But here's the kicker: interpreting these standards isn't always straightforward.

Breed standards come in all shapes and sizes. Some are verbose, detailing every whisker and wag, while others leave room for interpretation. It's like trying to describe your favourite song in just a few words, everyone's interpretation is a little different.


Breed Types

Breed type is like a breed's personality. It's what sets them apart from the pack. At shows these dog breeds are grouped into seven distinct categories, each representing the original purpose for which the breeds were developed.

Sporting Group

Hound Group

Working Group

  • These are the blue-collar workers of the dog world, developed to assist humans in various tasks, such as pulling sledges and guarding flocks.
  • Well-known: Boxer and Rottweiler
  • Lesser-known: Chinook and Kuvasz

Terrier Group

Toy Group

Non-Sporting Group

  • This diverse group of breeds, with no common job description, is sought after mainly as companion animals due to their fascinating histories.
  • Well-known: Bulldog and Dalmatian
  • Lesser-known: Coton De Tulear and Keeshond

Herding Group


A Rich History

Breed standards have been around since the dawn of dogdom. They're like a time capsule, preserving the traits and characteristics that made each breed unique.

Today, organisations like The Kennel Club are tasked with preserving breed standards for future generations. They carefully review and revise standards to ensure that breed health and welfare remain top priorities.


So, the next time you see a fancy dog strutting its stuff at a show, remember that there's a whole story behind that swagger.