The Different Types of Dog Breeds and Their Importance

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Written By Berry Mathew

Dogs are said to be a man’s best friend and rightly so. They are the most domesticated animals alongside cats. They are loving, friendly, smart, caring, loyal, make for good companions, and quite easy to take care of. Some are also useful for work and for security purposes.

All these qualities help to endear dogs to humans. They have been found from the beginning of time in different homes and live with humans in different capacities. Some people even have more than one dog and a variety of breeds. This shows how much importance humans attach to having these animals around them.

There are many breeds of dogs available. At least about 400 are known. A breed is the classification of the different strains of dog types available. It is what determines their various characteristics including their size, color, shape, behavior, etc. You can learn more inthis video.

The best breed of dog to choose is dependent on your purpose of having one. While some are built simply for pleasure and companionship, some are used for work. Still, others are useful for security as in the military, police, rescue operations, or preventing intruders from getting into your home. Some are even used in sports.

While there are pure dog breeds, most are a cross of two or more breeds that were deliberately bred by people. The beautiful thing about these animals is that whichever breed you choose, they are sure to give you their best always. No matter the type, most dogs are friendly, loyal and lovable.  

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Dog Breed Groups

Dog Breed Groups

Dog breeds are classified into some major groups. These groups are based on their purposes, uses and general characteristics. There are seven major groups. Let’s see below what these groups are.

The Working Group

These types of dogs were originally bred for performing practical duties. These include pulling sleds as well as cart, working as watchdogs and so on. These breeds have a diversity of task orientation and appearance.

They are very intelligent, loyal and splendid achievers. Common examples of working group dogs are: 

  • Rottweilers 
  • Great Danes 
  • Doberman Pinschers 
  • Akitas
  • Huskies, etc. 

Some not so common ones include: 

  • Kuvasz
  • Tibetan Mastiff  
  • Giant Schnauzer.
The Hound Group

These dogs were originally bred for catching games. They are swift, powerfully built and strong. They are also intelligent sleek and focused with a strong sense of smell and prey drives.

They are hardworking and strong-willed and their sense of smell makes them useful for law enforcement purposes. Examples are: 

  • Basset Hound 
  • Greyhound
  • Beagle 
  • Salukis 
  • American Foxhounds 
  • Bloodhounds 
  • Whippets, etc. 

Some that are not so common are:

  • Rhodesian Ridgeback 
  • Treeing Walker Coonhound and 
  • Irish Wolfhound.
Terrier Group

Terrier dogs were bred initially to kill vermin as well as guard their owner’s homes. Most of these types of canines originally came from the British Isles. Their duties were based upon the area’s geography and terrain as at that time.

In more recent times, they are used as family pets. Terriers are short-legged, bold and have good instincts. Examples of Terriers are: 

  • American Staffordshire
  • Australian Terriers
  • Bull Terriers
  • Airedale Terriers
  • Border Terriers
  • Scottish Terriers
  • Jack Russel Terriers, etc.

Uncommon breeds are:

  • Lakeland Terrier
  • Bedlington Terrier
  • Wire Fox Terrier.
Toy Group

Toy group canines were typically bred to serve as pets and companions. They are small, portable and may be found sitting on their owner’s laps or they may be carried around. They are suitable for living indoors but not outdoors. 

Toy dogs are affectionate, sociable, and full of energy and they are intelligent. These include breeds such as:

  • Chihuahuas
  • Silky Terriers
  • Pomeranians
  • Maltese
  • Japanese Chins
  • Havanese
  • Miniature Schnauzers
  • Pugs

You can find out more about toy group breeds here

Herding Group

As their name suggests, these dog breeds were bred for livestock herding. They are smart, energetic and have the ability to corral other animals. They are also dutiful and pack-oriented making them useful for farm work.

Example of the herding group include:

  • Australian Shepherds
  • Border Collies
  • Shetland Sheepdogs
  • German Shepherds
  • Belgian Malinois, etc.

The not so common ones are:

  • Cardigan Welsh Corgi
  • Swedish Vallhund and 
  • Belgian Tervuren.

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Sporting Group

Sporting group dogs were bred initially to support hunters in retrieving games. These are high-energy animals who love the outdoors. These dogs often have coats that are water-repellant and their toes are typically webbed. Examples include:

  • Irish Setters
  • American Water Spaniels
  • English Setters
  • English Springer Spaniels
  • Clumber Spaniels and
  • Golden Retrievers.

The not so common sporting group breeds are:

  • German Wirehaired Pointers
  • SpinoneItaliano
  • Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retrievers
Non-Sporting Group

This group comprises a unique set of dog breeds. The group does not classify dogs based on their size or purpose. Rather, it is based on breed types that do not fit into other groups. They all have different traits and characteristics but as usual, they are loving. Prominent examples include:

  • Dalmatians
  • Finnish Spitz
  • Chow Chows
  • Bulldogs
  • American Eskimos
  • French Bulldogs
  • Poodles, etc.

The not so common ones are:

  • Keeshond
  • ShibaInu
  • Lhasa Apso

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Which Breed is The Best for You?

With countless breeds available, you can be overwhelmed when selecting one. All dogs are great and there is no particular best. Choosing the best one for you is ultimately your choice and down to why you need a dog. You can check this Holistapet guide to see various breeds and learn more about them.

In choosing one, it is not about being cute but more about what you need the dog for. If you need it as a pet or companion, you know which group of dogs fit that profile. If you need it for security, sports, or whatever purpose, simply check dogs in such a group. Other factors to keep in mind are how easy they are to care for, how friendly or aggressive they are and so on.

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Dogs are wonderful animals to have around you anytime and every time. They come in a variety of breeds and as such are useful for a variety of purposes. Whichever breed you choose to have, you can be certain that you will get the best of your dog.


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