Thursday, 24 July 2008

Choosing the right breed Dog Groups

Choosing the Right Dog for you!

Before you even consider a specific breed you have research the type of dog that would be suitable for you and your family. Do you want an active dog that wants to go for a run even if it’s freezing outside or a lazy coach potato that will lay at your feet for hours at a time. This is just one of many questions that you have to ask yourself before deciding on a breed. Here you will find the answers to this and much more. There are eight dog groups in total and some are even divided into other subgroups. By understanding where the breed came from and what they were meant to do you will be able to choose the right breed for you.

1) Sporting Group

The sporting group is made up of retrievers, pointers, setters and spaniels. As a general rule, these dogs are very athletic. They run fast, love to swim and are used in many hunting activities. Due to their athletic nature, sporting dogs need a lot of exercise or else they can become destructive. They are very intelligent as they were originally bred to track other animals in a complex environment.

Popular Breeds: Golden Retriever, Labrador Retriever, Cocker Spaniel, English Setter, Vizsla, Weimaraner

2) Hound Group

Most dogs in the Hound Group have an extremely strong sense of smell and are known as Scent Hounds. But there are also those who have enhanced sight and are referred to as Sight Hounds. In terms of exercise level this group has a wide variety. Some are very active while others are lazy. Some love to sprint while others just jog along. One thing is certain; hounds do follow their senses and must have proper training in order to keep them at bay.

Popular Breeds: Beagle, Basset Hound, Bloodhound, Greyhound, Rhodesian Ridgeback, Whippet, Basenji

3) The Working Group

The working group contains breeds that were originally bred to assist humans in labor intensive tasks. These dogs tend to be larger, stronger and more muscular than dogs in other groups. They were, and still today, used for guarding property, transportation, general protection as well as search and rescue. While these dogs make great companions, extra care must be taken for training and socialization as they are usually very large dogs that can cause injury even if by accident while playing, especially with smaller children.

Popular Breeds: Akita, Alaskan Malamute, Boxer, Bullmastiff, Doberman Pinscher, Giant Schnauzer, Great Dane, Husky, Rottweiler

4) Herding Group

The Herding Group can be looked at as a sub-group of the Working Group. Herding dogs are able to control, group and direct other animals. They have a tendency to nip as this strategy was used to herd larger animals. Owners must actively train against nipping or put up with the possibility of these dogs nipping at your guests’ feet. Herding dogs also have a higher tendency to bark as this was also used during the herding process. Training can minimize this tendency.

Popular Breeds: Bearded Collie, Border Collie, German Shepard, Old English Sheepdog

5) Toy Group

Don’t mistaken size for personality! While the dogs in this group are small and make great apartment dogs, many of them have energy you would’t believe. Toy dogs make excellent watchdogs because they tend to bark to alert their owners of any intruders. It is important to note that some of the dogs found in the Toy Group are just smaller versions of larger dogs which may belong to another group. For example, while the Toy Poodle belongs in this group, the Standard Poodle belong to the Non-Sporting group.

Popular Breeds: Chihuahua, Maltese, Miniature Pinscher, Papillon, Pekingese, Pomeranian, Pug, Shih Tzu, Yorkshire Terrier

6) Terrier Group

The Terrier group has been getting more popular. They tend to have a unique facial structure and some have a unique wired coat. A lot of terriers are smaller than breeds in other groups (but not as small as the Toy Group) and this makes them appealing to families and people in smaller homes. Keep in mind that Terriers usually don’t get along with other animals as many were originally bred to hunt other small animals. These dogs can be a little more difficult to train and some may not be suitable for first time dog owners.

Popular Breeds: American Staffordshire Terrier (and Staffordshire Terrier), Bull Terrier (and Miniature Bull Terrier), Miniature Schnauzer, Parson Russell Terrier (formally known as the Jack Russel Terrier), West Highland White Terrier

7) Non-Sporting Group

The Non-Sporting group is not as well defined as the above groups. Many of the breeds found in this group can be traced back to ancestors in other groups but don’t necessarily fit with the others.

Popular Breeds: American Eskimo Dog, Bichon Frise, Boston Terrier, Bulldog, Chow Chow, Dalmatian. French Bulldog

8) Miscellaneous Group

This group can be seen as a waiting period for a breed until they get to the American Kennel Club (AKC) seven other groups. The AKC recognizes that there are hundreds of purebred breeds throughout the world but wants to ensure that a breed is poised for long term success before allowing them into one of the other elite groups.

Popular Breed:Dogue de Bordeaux, Irish Red and White Setter, Redbone Coonhound

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