Dog Breeds

Known scientifically as canis lupis familiaris, the dogs we keep as beloved pets are descendants of the gray wolf and are the number one domesticated animal in the world. Fossilized dog skeletons dating back thousands of years have been found buried with their owners in East Asia and Palestine. Although the exact dating of this domestication is highly controversial, it is clear that since the early days of their breeding, domesticated dogs have remained the most popular working, hunting, and companion animal worldwide. There are currently over 400 different dog breeds, 300 of which are registered with the international umbrella organization for dog breeders known as the FCI (Federation Cynologique), and 161 that are recognized by the AKC (American Kennel Club).

Dog breeds vary greatly in size, looks, longevity, and behavior, but can be classified into groups according to certain similarities. The AKC recognizes sporting dogs, hounds, working dogs, terriers, toy dogs, non-sporting dogs, and herding dogs. Sporting dogs include pointers, retrievers, setters, and spaniels like the Cocker Spaniel, Golden Retriever, Labrador Retriever, and Weimaranar. Sporting breeds are active and lively and often enjoy hunting and other outdoor activities. Hounds were also commonly used for hunting and include the Basset Hound, Beagle, Bloodhound, Greyhound, and Whippet. Working dogs were traditionally used for guarding property, pulling sleds, and other jobs. Alaskan Malamutes, Boxers, Mastiffs, Saint Bernards, and Siberian Huskies are a few of the breeds that are considered to be working dogs. Terriers are often energetic and sprightly and range greatly in size. Norfolk Terriers, Scottish Terriers, and Staffordshire Bull Terriers are all part of this lively group. Toy breeds like the Chihuahua, Italian Greyhound, Maltese, and Shih Tzu tend to be feisty and are popular with apartment dwellers and others with limited space. Non-sporting dogs encompass a very diverse group of breeds whose looks and personalities can be as different as night and day. Non-sporting breeds include Boston Terriers, Bulldogs, Dalmatians, and Poodles. Herding dogs were formerly a sub-set of working dogs, but received their own category from the AKC in 1983. Herding breeds include the Australian Cattle Dog, Belgian Sheepdog, Border Collie, and German Shepherd.

When considering adopting a dog, prospective owners need to carefully consider its required living conditions, future size, personality, life expectancy, need for exercise, and characteristics of the breed. Sporting dogs like the Golden Retriever love to be outdoors and often fare better in environments that allow them to get outsider and run around often. Working dogs like the Alaskan Malamute and Siberian Husky need "purpose" and can become bored and destructive if not provided with meaningful tasks. Herding breeds like Belgian Sheepdogs and Border Collies may have an instinct to "herd" young children and might be a better match for a childless household. Puppies in general require a lot more training time and supervision than an older dog, and certain breeds are easier to handle and better suited to first time dog owners.

Dogs make loyal, intelligent, devoted, and affectionate pets that enrich our lives in so many ways. Studies have shown that dog owners have more robust immune systems, recover more quickly from illnesses, and have lower blood pressure. Walking a dog on a regular basis increases levels of physical fitness and social interaction. Dog ownership provides children with a sense of responsibility and self-esteem. The social intelligence of a dog is unmatched in the animal kingdom, and the companionship and unconditional love it provides increases the emotional well-being of the owner. Once you have made a dog part of your family, you will see why there is no other relationship on earth like that of man and his "best friend".

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Dog Breeds Info

Dog Breeds Info

Find information, pictures, and videos of all the different dog breeds, from A to Z. Find out the pros and cons of a breed before you decide to get a dog.

Category: Dog Breeds

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Choose the best toy breed or other small dog for your lifestyle and learn how to care for him from puppy to senior canine. Visit our website to get more information.

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