According to the American Kennel Club, it is said that there are 340 dog breeds across the world. Among these, there are both recognized and unrecognized breeds. They are categorized under parent clubs/groups to identify them better.  

In the early days, some dogs were purely used and bred for certain tasks. It ranged from hunting, herding, guarding, and sometimes, just for companionship. But with the evolution of mankind, dogs have also altered to adapt to newer lifestyles. Hence, the dogs are categorized into 7 groups according to their vital functions, roles, and traits by AKC.  

Are you planning on bringing a new dog home? What type of dogs are you looking for? Is it to guard or to guide someone?  Read further to know more about the dog groups and their characteristics before adopting a new dog. 

  1. Working Group:  

To assist humans with various works and tasks like guarding, rescuing, and pulling sleds, working dogs were trained. They have different levels of strengths and capacity but the dogs here are very powerful and can be relied upon for performing tasks. The breeds of this dog group can be seen in the fields of security, police, military, farm, and at homes. Their high loyalty makes them the perfect choice for many pet parents. 

Examples of Working Dogs: Boxer, Mastiff, Siberian Huskies.  

2. Herding Group: 

Before 1983, the breeds belonging to this dog group were part of the Working Group. The dogs here are capable of controlling the movement of other animals. They gather, herd and protect livestock and humans. The dogs from this group tend to have better intelligence in herding, hence they are widely used for protection and police work. Sometimes, they can be seen gently shield the children of the house. Although they are comfortable in urban places, you can mostly see them running around and moving in farms and open areas.  

Examples of Herding Dogs: German Shepherd Dog, Border, and Bearded Collies, Swedish Vallhund 


3. Hound Group: 

Dog breeds belonging to Hound group tend to show strength, speed and stamina to chase their prey. Their long legs and sleek body form help in better and swift movements. They possess sharp vision and nothing can stop them from catching their quarries. Widely used as hunting dogs, the breeds of this group have wide qualities. There are scent hounds, affectionate dogs and guarding dogs in this group. But again, the diversity of the dogs is fascinating.  

Example: Beagles, Greyhound, Dachshund, Bloodhound 

4. Sporting Group: 

Dogs in this group were once trained to be better companions and sidekicks to the hunters. Their purpose was to assist and protect their owners from other animals. There were spaniels, pointers, retrievers, and setters. When new weapons took over, the dogs were seen participating in sports and games like hunting and fishing. The dogs here possess thick and coarse skin coats and hair, hence providing resistance from harsh conditions. They are also easy to be trained and very alert. Breeds of the sporting group are ideal for families and guide dogs. 

Example: Golden Retriever, Labrador Retriever, Cocker Spaniel

5. Non-Sporting Group: 

Non-sporting dogs are breeds that have traits that are not fit for sports. They are different in sizes, appearances and personalities. They are not very special like the other groups. It is harder to generalise their traits. In today’s world, they can be very interactive and compassionate.  

Example: Lhasa Apso, Chow Chow, Dalmation 

6. Terrier Group: 

It is said that a majority of the breeds in Terrier Group originated from the British Isles and had duties concerning the geographical features. They were involved in hunting smaller animals, guarding farms and garages. Terrier dogs have few variations like short-legged and long-legged. They have high self-confidence and they can locate their target amidst mountains and waters. They can be bred as domestic pets but taming their personalities would require more efforts.  

Examples: Bull terrier, Irish Terriers 

Toy Group: 

The dogs in the toy group are bred with one purpose – to serve as companions to humans. They are mostly smaller in size and weigh less. They can be easily carried around and tend to live longer lives than other groups. You can find these dogs roaming inside the yards and apartments, due to their calmer personality and size.  

Example: Pug, Pomeranians, Poodles, Maltese, Shih Tzu 

Now, which is your ideal choice of the group? Leave your answers below in the comments.