The 7 Types of Dogs
There are few delights that truly parallel the joy of owning a dog. Having a loyal, four-legged best friend makes each day brighter, and as studies show, owning a dog is great for your health.
But the dog-owner relationship is a two-way street, as dogs have differing lifestyle demands just as humans do.
So which dog is right for you?
Finding the appropriate temperament and personality in your future furry friend is a crucial decision, for both you and your adopted dog-to-be. Below are the seven groups of dog breeds, and a rundown of what each one brings to your home as a pet.
Although most breeds in this group run from small to midsize, the common trait that ties these dogs together is their fearlessness. High-energy dogs that were bred to hunt, terriers back down from few adversaries, whether squirrel or human. This stubbornness can be part of their appeal, but it should be noted that oftentimes these traits need to be curbed with training to avoid behavioral issues later down the road.
The smallest of dogs reside within the toy group, which features pets such as the Chihuahua, Maltese, and Miniature Pinscher. Toy dogs are often the favored breeds of city dwellers, as their small size makes them more adaptable to urban living, and they have a lower exercise demand than dogs from other groups. Given their small stature, toy dogs often have longer life expectancies compared to other groups, so owners should be ready to provide care for the long haul.
Home to breeds such as Huskies, Boxers, and Doberman Pinschers, working dogs are highly intelligent, and driven to please their owners. Typically strong and watchful, the working dog is always on alert. Working dogs tend to be larger, and very protective of their owners, so early socialization is vital.
This group can be further broken down into four types of breeds: Spaniels, Pointers, Retrievers, and Setters. Overall, sporting dogs are active, enjoying time out on the trail or in the water. Sporting dogs also tend to be more high-strung, but in a playful way, making them great companions in most household settings, and typically great around children.
A highly diverse group of dog breeds whose biggest common trait is a love for hunting, hounds typically have high endurance, and an excellent sense of smell often superior to dogs from other groups. Another notable difference distinguishing this group is a hound’s propensity for baying, otherwise known as howling. A trait that prospective owners must consider before making a responsible investment in any one of these breeds.
Formerly classified as working dogs, the herding group finally gained its AKC independence in 1983. Dominated by Collies and Shepherds, the herding group is known for their predisposition to high intelligence, expertise in training exercises, and of course, herding. It’s even common for herding dogs to gently corral humans from their own family. Herding dogs also typically have high exercise demands, so an active lifestyle is a must if you’re considering adopting a dog from this group.
Poodles, Dalmatians, Bulldogs, and Chow Chows dominate this group of guard dogs and house dogs. Essentially, non-sporting dogs are the outliers that don’t quite fit into any of the groups above. A diverse group of breeds with diverse personalities, it’s tough to boil this group down to a steady set of characteristics, and it’s best to research dogs within this group by the individual breed before making your decision.
There are many types of dogs, which means there is a dog out there for everyone. But making sure a dog’s lifestyle characteristics align with yours is crucial to welcoming your new four-pawed friend into the best home environment possible.