Dog Breeds & Groups – How We Group Dogs

Dog Breeds & Groups – How We Group Dogs

Dogs are by far the most popular choice when it comes to selecting a house pet. Dog breeds can be divided into various categories on the basis of a set criterion.

While dogs are generally categorised on the basis of size or coat type, another basis for classification can be that of the use that a dog is put into. Depending on the use or work that the dog is put to, dogs can be divided into the following groups:

Sporting Group

Specifically bred for the purposes of hunting, dogs that belong to the Sporting Group enjoy the outdoors. Such dogs require daily vigorous exercise to be healthy as well as happy. Dogs that are a part of the Sporting Group are typically quite fond of fetching games and swimming. Some examples of the Sporting Group dogs are:

  • Chesapeake Bay Retriever
  • Cocker Spaniel
  • Field Spaniel
  • Irish Setter
  • Golden Retriever
  • Pointer
  • Labrador Retriever

A wide range of Spaniels, Setters, Pointers and Retrievers make the Sporting Group.

Sporting Dogs
Sporting Dogs

Non-Sporting Group

All the dogs that form a part of the Non-Sporting Group are in this particular group mainly because they did not make it to the other groups. Such dogs were selectively bred to serve their own unique purpose. Dogs that form the Non-Sporting Group come in a wide range of sizes and varieties. Some of the most popular dogs in the Non-Sporting Group are:

  • Bichon Frise
  • Boston Terrier
  • Chow Chow
  • French Bulldog
  • Lhasa Apso
  • Dalmatian
  • Poodle
  • Tibetan Terrier

As can be seen from the list above, dogs that make up this group vary greatly from each other, and as such, no generalisation can be made about the group members.

Non Sporting Dogs
Non Sporting Dogs

Terrier Group Dog Breeds

The Terrier Group of dogs are highly energised, stamina filled breeds. Originally bred for killing vermin, dogs of this group are fearless. With a marked aggressiveness, the Terrier Group has dogs that are hunters to the core. Usually oozing self-assuredness, even small-sized members of the group have no qualms in challenging a much bigger foe. Some pf the most popular dogs of the Terrier Group are:

  • Border Terrier
  • Bull Terrier
  • Irish Terrier
  • Manchester Terrier
  • Miniature Schnauzer
  • Affenpinscher

Being born hunters, all dogs in the Terrier Group score high on aggression levels.

Terrier Type Dogs
Terrier Group Dog Breeds

Hound Group

A group known for its diversity, the Hound Group indeed has probably the widest range of dogs in terms of physical appearance. With a common ancestry in the role of hunting dogs, the Hound Group includes the diminutive-looking Dachshund on one hand and the exotic Borzoi on the other. A majority of the hounds are known for their loud and distinctive ‘baying’ voices. Popular dogs in this group include:

  • Argentine Dogo
  • Argentine Hound
  • Azawakh
  • Basenji
  • Beagle
  • Bloodhound
  • Borzoi
  • Greyhound

Some of the most majestic dog breeds feature in the Hound Group.

Hound Group Dog Breeds
Hound Group Dog Breeds

Toy Group

To qualify for the Toy Group, a dog breeds has to be quite miniature in size. Dogs of the Toy Group are full of boundless energy. Known for their alertness and watchfulness, Toy Dogs, despite their size, make excellent watchdogs. Such dogs are ideal travel companions as they can be easily carried around. Dogs of the Toy Group also make awesome companions for elderly pet parents, people who might find it difficult to care for an otherwise much larger dog. Some of the popular dogs in this group are:

  • Bolognese
  • Brussels Griffon
  • Chihuahua
  • Chinese Crested
  • Havanese
  • Maltese
  • Japanese Spaniel

Known for their small size, Toy Group dogs are probably the cutest of them all.

Toy Group
Toy Group

Herding Group Dog Breeds

Dog breeds that form a part of the Herding Group can also be referred to as “control freaks”. With an innate tendency of herding, such dogs tend to herd other animals. In case there are no other animals to herd, such dogs end up herding children or even their pet parents themselves. Energetic and filled with stamina, Herding Group dogs are usually excellent in obedience activities and other canine sports. Popular dogs in this group include:

  • Australian Shepherd
  • Belgian Sheepdog
  • Briard
  • Border Collie
  • Beauceron

Dogs of the Herding Group simply cannot contain their natural herding tendency, even if they have never seen a farmland in their lives.

Herding Group

Working Group Dog Breeds

Working Group Dogs, as the name suggests, are the dogs that specifically bred to perform jobs such as guarding, rescuing and pulling. Dogs of this group are large and strong, as they have much work to do. Working Group Dogs generally are not suited as house pets, but can be trained with patience to be valued members of the household. Some popular dogs in this group are:

  • Akita
  • Alaskan Malamute
  • Boxer
  • Bullmastiff
  • Great Dane
  • Komondor
  • Newfoundland
  • Mastiff

As can be seen from the list above, all dogs in the Working Group are fairly large in size.

working group dogs
Working Group

Miscellaneous Group Dog Breeds

The Miscellaneous group of dogs includes dogs that cannot be classified in any of the other group. This group includes dogs such as:

  • Pumi
  • Peruvian Inca Orchid
  • Grand Basset Griffon Vendeen
  • Nederlandse Kooikerhonhdje

Each of the dogs that form part of the Miscellaneous Group has a unique personality of his own.

Mixed Dog Breeds

With selective breeding that involves deliberate crossing of specific breeds, many Mixed Breeds have come into existence. Some of the prominent names in the Mixed Breed Group are:

  • Dorgi – a cross between a Dalmatian and Corgi
  • Pitsky – Pitbull and Husky
  • Chusky – Chow Chow and Husky
  • Dalmashchund – Dalamatian and Dashchund
  • Labsky – Labrador and Husky
  • Chug – Chihuahua and Pug

There are many other Mixed Breeds as well.

With over 400 dog breeds in existence, there is a perfect dog for everyone and for every requirement. In case you might be interested to know about Common Health Problems in Dogs Breeds there is a detailed articles you can browser here –

Andrea Kelly

Andrea Kelly, a reader by choice and a writer by profession. As a mother of 2 under 5, commotion is indeed my middle name. While physical activity – mainly attributed to “helicopter parenting” – leads to fatigue; mental hyperactivity is kept in check by venting out in the written word.