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Groups Of Dog
Dogs belong to the family Canidae which includes wolves, jackals and foxes. All modern domestic dogs (Species- Canis familiaris) have descended from the grey wolf. There are now more than 300 different breeds of domestic dog and these are often classified into different groups according to the tasks such as hunting, guarding and herding, for which they were originally bred. Each breed of dog has their own special characteristics and belong to a group of similar breeds. Now there are seven standard group of dogs. The recognised breeds and varieties belonging to the seven groups differ in different countries. There are Kennel clubs who are Authorities in their particular country which recognise many breeds and varieties especially for show purposes and who set standards for different breeds. Some of them are AKC ( American Kennel Club), CKC (Canadian Kennel Club) Kennel club in Great Britain and so on. A particular breed recognised by one club may not be recognised by the other. The seven standard groups of dogs are
Hound dogs were originally bred for hunting to hunt game without feathers. They are able to track game by scent. In size, they range from the tall and lanky Irish Wolfhound to the short-legged Dachshund. They hunt mammals like deer, fox and rabbits. This group includes over twenty breeds. They require a significant amount of exercise. There are Pharaoh Hounds, Norwegian Elkhounds, Afghans and Beagles, among others.
This group have been specifically bred for pointing, flushing or retrieving game. Most of these dogs need a lot of exercise. The group includes 24 breeds of dogs and three varieties as recognised by AKC. Some sporting dogs are the Cocker Spaniel, the Pointer, the Irish Setter, the Labrador Retriever, and the Golden Retriever.
Terriers are small dogs of various breeds originally used for turning out foxes, rats, rabbits etc from their earths. The word Terrier in old French literally means 'dog of the earth'. Known for their tenacious temperament, they were also used for guarding and pit fighting. They are admired for their ability to hunt and work relentlessly. They can make good pets with proper training and enough exercise. Some terriers are the West Highland White Terrier, the Norwich Terrier, the Fox Terrier, and the Welsh Terrier, Kerry Blue, Airedale.
Toy dogs can be bred to be companions to people. They are miniaturized dogs with aesthetic appeal whose main task is to get and give love. These tiny, portable dogs did not evolve naturally; humans bred and altered them specifically for their small size to be held and cuddled. These dogs due to their small size and sensitivity to extreme temperatures and environmental conditions have difficulty in surviving without human care. This group includes about 18 breeds: Some toy dogs are the Pug, the Chihuahua, the Pekingese, the Pomeranian, the Toy Poodle, the Yorkshire Terrier, Miniature Pinscher and the Shih Tzu.
Working dogs were used to pull sleds, for rescue work and detection. They make excellent police dogs, war dogs and search and rescue dogs. Except a few, most of these dogs are large to enormous in size. The dogs in this group are usually territorial, strong and confident. They need a strong confident trainer to master their temperament. Some of the dogs in this group also make excellent companions and are commonly used to assist humans for their original purpose. Some working dogs are the Boxer, the Doberman, the Rottweiler, the Alaskan Malamute, and the St. Bernard.
Non-Sporting dogs function primarily as companions with some dogs possibly serving as guard dogs or retrievers. They are very smart and can perform many different kinds of activities. Some non-sporting dogs are the Bulldog, the Chow Chow, the Dalmatian, the Lhasa Apso, Boston Terrier and the Standard and Miniature Poodles.
Herding dogs were originally bred to herd sheep, cattle etc. These dogs are intelligent, active and athletic. Most of these dogs love to work and are eager to please. Some of them like Border Collies have amazing intelligence coupled with controlled aggression and perform near miracles. They can be good watchdogs and can make good house pets with the proper environment and obedience training. This group is a relatively new classification and includes 18 breeds and 2 varieties as recognised by AKC. Some herding dogs are the Border Collie, the Old English Sheepdog, the Shetland Sheepdog, the Welsh Corgi and the German Shepherd.
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