The Kennel Club uses seven different breed groups to categorise dogs and all breeds belong to only one of these groups. Even if the dogs in a group don’t look alike or have the same temperament, the breeds belonging to each group share some characteristics that makes them suitable for categorisation.
Dog breed groups are the way in which dogs are categorised depending on their type or original use. Defined by the Kennel Club in the UK, they each contain similar dogs and can be quite useful for potential owners when trying to decide which kind of dog they would like.
Working Group: Working Group dogs were initially bred to perform practical duties, including acting as watchdogs and pulling carts and sleds. They are intelligent and loyal and are suited to guarding, guiding and tasks such as search and rescue.
Examples of dogs in the Working Group include Alaskan Malamutes, Siberian Huskies, Great Danes, Doberman Pinschers, Rottweilers, Akitas, Anatolian Shepherds, Huskies, Saint Bernards, Neapolitan Mastiffs, Portuguese Water Dogs, German Pinschers, Great Pyrenees, Giant Schnauzers, Greater Swiss Mountain Dogs, Newfoundlands, Samoyeds, Bullmastiffs, and Bernese Mountain Dogs.
Pastoral Group: Originally bred to herd livestock, dogs in the Pastoral Group are smart, hardy and energetic, and they retain the innate ability to herd other animals.
Examples of dogs in the Pastoral Group include Australian Cattle Dogs, Australian Shepherds, Border Collies, Shetland Sheepdogs, Pembroke Welsh Corgis, Cardigan Welsh Corgis, Old English Sheepdogs, Belgian Tervurens, Canaan Dogs, Briards, Bouvier des Flandres, Belgian Malinois, and German Shepherds.
Hound Group: Originally bred for hunting, dogs in the Hound Group have a powerful sense of smell and sight that makes them ideal helpers for the police and border control. They are affectionate and strong-willed.
Examples of dogs in the Hound Group include Basset Hounds, Salukis, Beagles, Harriers, English Foxhounds, Bloodhounds, Irish Wolfhounds, Dachshunds, Otterhounds, Norwegian Elkhounds, Greyhounds, Italian Greyhounds, Whippets, Afghan Hounds, Borzois Hounds, Black-and-Tan Coonhounds, Rhodesian Ridgebacks, Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen, and Basenjis.
Gun Dog Group: Originally bred to assist hunters in retrieving game, the Gun Dog Group’s high-energy dogs retain a love for the outdoors. These dogs have great noses, hearing and sight.
Examples of dogs in the Gun Dog Group include English Cocker Spaniels, Irish Setters, Labrador Retrievers, English Springer Spaniels, Clumber Spaniels, German Shorthaired Pointers, German Wirehaired Pointers, American Water Spaniels, Weimaraners, Golden Retrievers and English Setters.
Utility Group: The Utility Group is a unique dog group because it doesn’t group dogs by a particular purpose or size; instead, it’s more of a selection of breeds that don’t fit in other groups. As a result, dogs from the Utility Group have the whole range in terms of physical and personality traits, but all make for a loving pet.
Examples of dogs in the Non-Sporting Group include, English Bulldogs, French Bulldogs, Shih Tzus, Miniature Schnauzers, Akitas, Dalmatians, Poodles and Shar Peis.
Toy Group: Dogs in the Toy Group are small in stature but big on brains and affection. They make perfect lap dogs and companions.
Examples of dogs in the Toy Group include Chihuahuas, Pomeranians, Maltese, Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, Silky Terriers, Chinese Crested Dogs, Miniature Schnauzers, Bichon Frises, Yorkshire Terriers, Pekingese, Shih Tzus, Japanese Chins, Havanese, Miniature Pinschers, Brussels Griffons, Papillons, Affenpinschers, and Pugs.
Terrier Group: Terriers were initially bred to kill vermin (which they remain very good at) and are willing to do the ‘dirty work’ but they have also become beloved watchdogs and pets.
Examples of dogs in the Terrier Group include Airedale Terriers, Jack Russell Terriers, Bull Terriers, Fox Terriers, Wheaten Terriers, Cairn Terriers, West Highland White Terriers, Australian Terriers, Border Terriers, Staffordshire Bull Terriers, Bedlington Terriers, Kerry Blue Terriers, Rat Terriers, and Scottish Terriers.
Regardless of their group our dogs all have their own little personality traits which give them their individuality and makes us love them even more!