The Six Groups Of Dogs

The Sporting Dogs (24 breeds)

The Sporting Dogs are hunters, specifically bird dogs. They hunt, point and retrieve, depending on the breed. Rangy, rugged, with a love of the outdoors, the bird dogs have great stamina in the field. The retrievers are expert swimmers and will leap into icy water to retrieve a duck.

In size, the Sporting Dogs range from 14 inches for the Cocker Spaniel to 28 inches for the Pointer. Weights go from 26 pounds for the Cocker to 75 pounds for the Golden and Labrador Retrievers. The popular breeds among the Sporting Dogs are the American Cocker Spaniel, Springer Spaniel, Brittany Spaniel, Pointer, English Setter, Irish Setter, Labrador Retriever, Chesapeake Bay Retriever and the Weimaraner. Two dogs in this group were developed in America: the Chesapeake Bay Retriever and the American Water Spaniel.

While basically hunting dogs, the Sporting group make good pets. But they are not for the apartment house or hotel suite. An exception here is the Cocker Spaniel. But the rest of the Sporting Dogs are very energetic, requiring plenty of exercise, not just a walk to the curb or down the street.

The Hound Dogs (19 breeds)

The dogs in this group are also hunters, but specialize in animals rather than birds. They are subdivided into sight hunters (or gaze hounds) and scent hunters. Afghans, Salukis and Greyhounds are examples of the sight hunters. These sight hunters are tall, rangy and speedy dogs that chase their quarry by sight. Bloodhounds and Beagles are examples of the scent hunters. They are short, stocky dogs with pendulous ears and keen noses. The scent hunters trail their quarry with noses to the ground, while their long ears flap and stir up the spoor.

Hound dogs have good dispositions, lots of stamina and make good pets. They range in size from the Dachshund at 5 to 9 inches to the big Irish Wolfhound standing at 34 inches. In weight, the hounds vary from 5 to 20 pounds for the Dachshund to 105 to 140 for the Irish Wolfhound. The Dachshund is bred with three coat varieties: short-haired or smooth, wirehaired and long-haired. There is also a miniature Dachshund bred for work in small burrows. The Dachshund was developed primarily to hunt the badger.

Among the popular breeds in the hound group are the Beagle (two sizes: 13 and 15 inches), Basset, Dachshund (three varieties), American Foxhound, Black-and-Tan Coonhound, Bloodhound, Greyhound and Afghan. The hound dogs need space and a chance to hunt. City life is a bore for most of them. The smaller hounds, such as the Dachshund and Beagle, manage to get along in the city.

The Working Dogs (28 breeds)

The Working Dog group contains some of the most useful dogs in the world. Sled dogs, guide dogs for the blind, cattle and sheep dogs, police and war dogs, rescue dogs—all of them render faithful service. We've all read or heard stories about the heroic exploits of these wonderful dogs.

Intelligent, strong, with just enough aggressiveness to make them good watchdogs, the Working Dogs are very popular as house pets. The Cardigan and Pembroke Welsh Corgis are the smallest, standing 12 inches, while the Great Dane is the giant of the group at 34 inches. Weights range from 15 to 22 pounds for the Cardigan Welsh Corgi to 170 pounds for the Saint Bernard.

All of the 28 breeds in the Working Dog group are found in the United States. The most popular breeds are the German Shepherd Dog, Collie (rough), Doberman Pinscher, Boxer, Great Dane, Saint Bernard, Old English Sheepdog, Cardigan and Pembroke Welsh Corgis, and the Belgian Sheepdog. These are big dogs and they need plenty of exercise. You'll find them in the cities, often showing the strain of their confined life. They do better in the suburbs and country.

The Terrier Dogs (20 breeds)

The Terriers are small to medium-sized dogs with plenty of pep and courage. They are also hunters, bred to track down and root out rodents and other burrowing animals. Terriers are very alert and make excellent watchdogs.

The smallest of the Terriers is the Dandie Dinmont at 8 to 11 inches, and the tallest is the Airedale at 23 inches. Heavyweights are the Airedale and Staffordshire Terrier at 50 pounds; the lightweight is the Norwich Terrier at 11 pounds.

Terriers make good house pets and manage to adapt well to city life. The favorite breeds are the Scottish, Welsh, Kerry Blue, Irish, Airedale, Bedlington, Smooth and Wirehaired Fox, Cairn, Skye, Bull, Miniature and Manchester Terriers. The Bull Terrier was developed in the United States.

The Toy Dogs (16 breeds)

The Toys are the world's midget dogs. Tiny, alert, with very keen hearing, these little dogs have the courage and audacity of dogs ten times their size. Some o£ them tend toward nervousness, but respond to affection.

Toy Dogs are all under 12 inches. The smallest are the Chihuahua and Pekingese at 5 inches; the tallest is the Miniature Pinscher at 10 to 12 inches. The Toys are all lightweights, with the Chihuahua weighing 4 pounds and the Pug averaging 15 pounds.

These little dogs make ideal house dogs. Their alertness and keen hearing, plus their small size, qualify them as apartment house or hotel pets and watchdogs. Since they are small and on the delicate side, they can't stand rough handling. Especially the kind o£ play and fondling to be expected from young children.

The most popular of the Toys are the Chihuahua, Maltese, Pug, English Toy Spaniel, Italian Greyhound, Miniature Pinscher, Pekingese, Pomeranian, Toy Poodle, Manchester Terrier, Yorkshire Terrier and Papillon.

The Non-Sporting Dogs (9 breeds)

The Non-Sporting Dogs are the miscellaneous purebred breeds, the odd fellows. Just why this is so, is not clear. Some of the so-called Non-Sporting Dogs have excellent qualifications as hunters and workers. The Dalmatian, for example, is a working dog of ancient lineage. He was used as a draft, war and shepherd dog. He also has hunting prowess and will catch rats and other vermin.

Since this is a catch-all group, there is a wide variation among the 9 breeds. Consequently, no generalization as to characteristics can be made. The Bulldog weighs 40 to 50 pounds and is the heaviest. At the other end of the weight scale is the Miniature Poodle at 12 pounds. The shortest dog in this group is the Schipperke at 12 inches and the tallest is the Dalmatian at 21 inches. One dog in this group, the Boston Terrier, was developed in the United States. The breed is a result of crossing an English Bulldog and a white English Terrier. Most popular among the Non-Sporting-Dogs are the

Boston Terrier, Buldog, Chow Chow, Dalmatian, French Bulldog, Poodle (Miniature and Standard) and the Keeshond.

Breeds not registered with the A.K.C.

Some breeds, while popular, are not registered with the American Kennel Club. The Club recognizes them (ipso facto, they exist and can't be ignored!), but doesn't open its registry to them. However, these breeds are thriving and have many fanciers, so they do not appear to be held back by their exclusion from the Club.

Three of these breeds are American-bred hunting dogs; scent hounds. These are the Bluetick, Redbone and Plott hounds. They are all of Foxhound blood crossed with Bloodhound or other hound stock. Highly prized in the South and Southwest, these three hounds are used to hunt coon.

Included in this group is one of the best shepherd dogs in the world, the Border Collie. Developed on the Scottish border, the Border Collie is used to guard and herd sheep, cattle, pigs and poultry. Border Collie breeders have their own registry. Others in the group are the Drathaar, a German dog; the Spitz and American Toy Fox Terrier.

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