Dog Breed Guide to the Seven Main Canine Groups

dog breed

There are so many different types of dogs all over the world. They range in size, color, personality, and place of origin. Because dog breeds can crossbreed, there are many different hybrid species running around on the streets. 

Pet owners should understand that different types of breeds come with their own particular functions and characteristics. Depending on what blood runs through their veins they will either be more prone to herding, leading or relaxing. 

The American Kennel Club (AKC) has identified 190 different dog breeds. Each breed comes with a long line of history that gives us insight into their roles and personalities. Companies like holistapet understand the importance of knowing the different types in order to treat breed-specific illnesses with natural medicine. 

Each breed has been assigned into a specific group, by the AKC, depending on their history, origin, and characteristics. If you want to understand dog breeds and their main roles and characteristics better, then stick around as we discuss the seven main canine croups. 


This group has dogs like the Labrador Retriever, Pointer, Spaniel, Setter, and Golden Retriever within it. Originally bred to help with hunting, the sporting dogs are easily trainable and extremely loyal to their owners. 

What’s great about this group of canines is that they are all equipped with swimming and being really active. They are alert and have stable temperaments making them perfect for families with children. 


On the flipside is the non-sporting group of dogs. This doesn’t mean the group isn’t active or lazy, rather they are the misfits in the pack. Those that don’t quite belong in any of the other categories. They include dogs that don’t have a specific role and are unique in their own existence. 

They include dogs like the Dalmatian, Chow-chow, Bulldog, and Poodle. Learn more about the non-sporters here:


Originally part of the sporting groups, the hounds have earned their own category. They include breeds like the Beagle, Dachshund, Greyhound, and Basenji. In history, hounds have also been used in hunting and then specifically in warm-blooded quarries. This is because of their great sense of smell and hearing. 

Hounds have the skills and talent to trace just about anything from a person to a small critter. 


These wonderful canines are born and bred to protect and guard. Considered as the service canines within the dog community, these pups are excellent workers. Typically used to pull carts or herd a flock back home, they are powerful, intuitive, and smart. 

Today, they are still used within the military and police forces to track down criminals. Dogs within this group are the Mastiff, Boxer, Great Dane, Doberman Pinscher, Leonberger, and Dogo Argentino. 


Specifically bred as miniature canines to serve as companions to their human owners. Toy sized dogs are sociable, friendly, intelligent, and energetic. Their small statures make them perfect to carry around the house and even take along to special events. 

Within this group are Chihuahuas, Havanese, Maltese, and Japanese Chins. 

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Almost all of the canines found within this group originate from the British Isles. Historically, they’ve been bred and train to catch small rodents and pests around the home and guard their families. Unfortunately, up until the mid-1990s, the Bull terrier breed was used in dogfighting and bullbaiting. Luckily, this vicious sport was banned. Learn more about Pitbull terriers in this article

Today, the Boston, Bull, Silky, Dinmont, and Staffordshire terriers are seen as lovable and friendly pets. 


This group includes 30 dog breeds that were bred to protect, gather, and herd livestock on farms and countrysides. Because they are so responsive and intelligent, these canines are easily trainable. That being said, they don’t need much training as they have a natural instinct to guard, control, and herd their own humans or other pets in the home. 

Some herders include the Border Collie, Australian and German Shepherd, and Pembroke Welsh Corgi. 

Understanding different dog breeds will allow us to choose the right kind of pet for our own homes and the environment we have available for them. 

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