Choosing a dog breed

There are over 400 dog breeds in the world, each with their own specific physical characteristics and temperaments. If you're a little overwhelmed by the number of dog breeds to choose from, you're not alone. Don't worry, we're here to help.

13 Jan 2015 By Andrew Clarke Comments

Choosing the right dog breed for you and your family is not as easy as choosing the one that looks good. Dogs not only differ in size, shape, color, and fur length, but also in terms of intelligence and capacity to be trained. Some dogs can be trained for military purposes, some can be employed as therapists or guides for disabled people, some perform in sporting events, while others are completely happy chilling with their human family.

There are seven basic categories of dog breeds:

  • Working dogs
  • Toy dogs
  • Terriers
  • Hounds
  • Herding dogs
  • Sporting dogs
  • Non-sporting dogs

Working Dogs

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These dogs are specifically bred to be working companions for humans. Known for their size and strength, working dogs are conditioned to be constantly operating for their human family. Without this constant exercise and physical activity they can be a little rowdy. Popular working dogs include:

  • Boxer
  • Akita
  • Doberman Pinscher
  • Rottweiler
  • Saint Bernard
  • Siberian Husky

Toy Dogs

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Known for their ultra-cuteness, toy dogs are one of the smallest dog breeds. Their size makes them very popular among people who live in the city or smaller homes, however despite being tiny these little cherubs can be quite a handful. Popular toy breeds include:

  • Chihuahua
  • Pug
  • Shih Tzu
  • Yorkshire Terrier

Terriers

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Terriers are good-looking and intelligent dogs. They’re often very energetic, playful, and quick to bark when excitable. Popular terrier breeds include:

  • Cairn Terrier
  • Miniature Schnauzer
  • Jack Russell Terrier

Hounds

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Their independent nature and high stamina makes these dogs natural hunters. If you are wanting to take your hound hunting remember that hound dogs often zero in on what they are looking for and will need obedience training to come back to you when called. Hounds are an affectionate breed that require a lot of exercise. Popular hounds include:

  • Beagle
  • Bloodhound
  • Grey Hound
  • Afghan Hound

Herding Dogs

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Herding dogs are named so because they are bred to help herd sheep or other livestock. While most of these dogs are no longer bred as farm animals, some of them still exhibit herding behaviour, such as circling and nipping at the ankles of people. Herding dogs are very active, and need a lot of exercise and training. Popular herding breeds include:

  • Welsh Corgi
  • Collie
  • German Shepherd
  • Blue Heeler

Sporting Dogs

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Sporting dogs are bred to assist humans during hunts, usually by retrieving the game animals shot by the hunters. Sporting dogs are usually quiet and very friendly, but some of them might need more space than other breeds. Popular sporting dogs include:

  • Golden Retriever
  • Labrador Retriever
  • Cocker Spaniel
  • English Setter

Non-Sporting Dogs

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Unlike other breeds, non-sporting dogs do not have a distinct look to them. These dogs are very intelligent and make for great companions. Popular non-sporting breeds include:

  • Boston Terrier
  • Dalmatian
  • Poodle
  • Bulldog

13 Jan 2015 By Andrew Clarke Comments

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