May 7, 2014

The 178 Flavors of AKC Breeds. Who Will Fit Into Your Family?

Author: Michele Hatley


What Will Fit Into Your Family? One of the 178 Flavors of AKC or A Mixed Floofin?

Dogs were domesticated thousands of years ago and have been man’s companion for just as long. Over the centuries, dogs have been bred to serve different purposes. The American Kennel Club (AKC) recognizes 178 different breeds in seven groupings: Toy; Hound; Sporting; Non-sporting; Working; Herding; and Terrier. Floofins & Co. dog walkers, pet sitters, and dog trainers work with all sorts of purebreds and mixes and each has special considerations when considering adding them to your family. What characteristics are ideal for your household?

  • The Toy Group includes dogs that are meant to be companions. Some examples are Pugs, Italian Greyhounds, Papillons, and Yorkshire Terriers.
  • The Hound Group is dogs that have been bred to hunt by sight or scent. This includes Basset Hounds, Beagles, Blood Hounds, and Dachshunds.
  • The Sporting Group are dogs that will hunt birds on land and in water. Some of the dogs in this group are Weimaraners, Vizslas, Brittanys, and Cocker Spaniels.
  • As for the Non-Sporting Group, this is a combination group of dogs that are bred for different functions, including companions. Bulldogs, Dalmations and Shiba Inu’s all fit into this group.
  • The Working Group of dogs has been bred to perform functions such as guarding property, pulling carts or even participating in search and rescue. Examples of some dogs in this group are the Siberian Husky, Saint Bernard, and the Mastiff.
  • The Herding Group were bred to do just as the name implies, help ranchers take care of their livestock. Border Collies, Briards, and Collies all fall into this category.
  • The Terrier Group is dogs that have been bred to hunt out vermin. Some examples are the West Highland White Terrier, Border Terrier or Miniature Schnauzer.

There are many more breeds than the 178 recognized by the AKC out there, as well as all kinds of mixed breed dogs with multiple breed characteristics wrapped into one furry dog, which leaves a lot of options to consider when adding one to your family. Factors you should consider when deciding on the breed or mixed breed your interested in adopting include, your activity level, work schedule, or commitment to grooming. Each breed or mixed breed comes with their own unique training challenges and may not have a disposition that fits your lifestyle, even if you like the size and look of the dog.

Are you prepared for a dog who might nip at your heels or try to herd you if you were to bring a Border Collie home? Or would you be okay with a breed that’s not likely to be 100% house broken, like the Italian Greyhound? What about a dog that needs constant grooming, like the Shih Tzu? Are you prepared to work with them becoming comfortable getting brushed, combed and blow dried? When you get home after a long day of work, would you be interested in exercising a high energy dog like a Vizsla? These are only a few questions that you could ask yourself before settling in on adopting a specific breed or mixed breed.

The most important consideration is to make sure the breed you choose it is a good match for both you and the pet. While all purebred dogs might not follow the breed standard’s description, it is not something to be ignored. Research, but also get out to meet some of the breeds to see if it’s a type of dog that will fit in with your lifestyle. Training is important for all dogs, but by researching and getting familiar with breeds ahead of time, you’ll know what to expect and be better prepared. Dogs can add a wonderful dimension to your life. Take the time to make sure you’re adding the one that is just right for you and your family.

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