This page gives you access to nine pages on breeds and breed books, grouped
so that they have something in common, though in one case that 'something
in common' is that the breeds don't easily fit into any other category!
The categories used here are similar to those used by the UK Kennel Club,
with some variations. Hounds, Terriers and Gundogs are more or less the same,
though we have put some dogs in different categories. We've put Basenjs and
Rhodesian Ridgebacks in Other Breeds, and Dachshunds in Small Companion Dogs
for example, while the Kennel Club classes them all as Hounds. Basenjis are
unique, often described as 'primitive dogs'. Rhodesian Ridgebacks are often
used as guard dogs as well as hounds. Dachshunds are as much terrier as hound,
and in any case tend to be used as companion dogs today. What we call Small
Companion Dogs are basically the Kennel Club's Toy Dogs, with a few added,
like Shih Tzuh, and Lhasa Apso from the Kennel Club's Utility class, since
they tend to be small companion dogs.
We have used Herders as a category rather than Pastoral Dogs, since herders
behave in slightly different ways from flock guardians, though some herders
were bred to herd and guard, so have dual roles. You will also find Spitz
Dogs, Bull Dogs and Bull Terriers, and Giant Breeds. Dogs in the first two
categories have a lot in common in terms of character, while giant breeds
have common health issues.We haven't used two UK Kennel Club categories: Working
and the Utility, because they are both a bit vague. Many dogs in all categories
could be described as 'working', like gundogs and hounds, and even King Charles
Cavaliers, which have a serious role as lap warmers! The Kennel Club Utility
category, is basically dogs that can't easily be classified. We've just called
dogs we can't easily classify Other Dogs.
You may prefer the UK Kennel Club system, though the UK Kennel Club recognizes
fewer than half the breeds found world wide, and different kennel clubs throughout
the world use slightly different systems. The system used here is just a convenient
way of categorizing breed groups commonly kept as pets in the UK, to be able
to say something general about each group - no classification system is perfect.
How accurate are our breed descriptions? Again, we make no claims to perfection.
Breeds can change over time, and can vary from one country to another. There
can be differences between individuals of the same breed due to upbringing
or genetic quirks, even big differences in litter mates. The breed descriptions
we give are only approximate, though we have used a wide range of sources,
including research papers, information from people who work in breed rescue,
trainers, and others, to give you the most accurate picture possible. The
focus is on the character of the breed, how dogs from that breed get on with
children, and other aspects of breeds likely to be of interest to pet owners.
We have left out detailed descriptions of the breed's looks, and its history,
which are easy to find. Quite often breed guides are eulogies, and we have
tried to be honest and fair. This is because forewarned is forearmed - JRTs
are wonderful little dogs, for example, but don't mix well with small children
- so apologies if we have offended anyone's sensibilities by being a little
blunt about their breed.
Choosing a breed is an important decision. It is well worth checking with
owners of the breed, trainers who know the breed, and vets who can compare
the breed with others they see. Breed guides are not always as informative
as they should be. Often they are written by breeders who no longer notice
little quirks like yapping, or who have an interest in not telling you about
them! Some breeds tend to have short lifespans, like St Bernards, Bernese
Mountain Dogs and Bulldogs. Others are prone to health problems, such as bloat,
which can be fatal, but otherwise they can live long lives. Bloat, which can
be fatal, is a serious risk with some breeds, especially giant breeds and
sighthounds, and there appears to be a genetic component which means that
some lines of a particular breed can be affected worse than others. The more
questions you ask, and the more sources of information you use, the better
prepared you will be for the breed that you finally choose.
The advice here is geared to pet owners, rather than to owners of working
dogs. There are many roles that working dogs can do, such as hunting, herding,
watchdogging, guarding, protection work, sledding, tracking, search and rescue,
and helping disabled people. Owners who want working dogs really need to get
in touch with an experienced, specialist trainer, who can first assess whether
the dog is suitable for that kind of work. Training can take a dog a long
way, but not all dogs have the right genetic inheritance to perform well in
specific working roles, though they may make wonderful pets. You can invest
a lot of effort in training a dog, but if the potential isn't there, it can
be a wasted effort. Some dogs are too nervy by temperament to take on certain
Many dogs will make fine watchdogs, for example, alerting owners by
barking, but not all dogs are suited to being guard dogs, and preventing intruders
from entering premises. Luckily, watchdogs are usually all people need - a
barking dog will deter most burglars, even if it's just a little Yorkie. Service
dogs can save lives, while untrained dogs can accidentally hurt their disabled
owners. Support Dogs in Sheffield is an organization which trains dogs for
people with epilepsy, alerting them when seizures are about to happen, and
training can literally be a matter of life or death in this case. It's well
worth getting in touch with an organization that can help with training, or
providing you with a trained dog, if you are disabled http://www.support-dogs.org.uk/
The pages start with a general overview of the breed group, with breed descriptions
included with the first book on that breed. Please click on one of the links
below to find the breed group you would like to know more about.
here to see some of your favourite breeds on stamps
Sighthounds: (Afghans, Borzoi, Greyhounds, Lurchers, Saluki, and Whippets)
Scenthounds: (Bassets, Beagles, Bloodhounds, and Foxhounds).
(Airedales, Bedlingtons, Black Russians, Borders, Cairns, Dandie Dinmonts,
Smooth and Wire Haired Fox Terriers, Irish Terriers, Kerry Blue Terriers,
Jack Russells, Manchesters, Scotties, Soft Coated Wheatens, Welsh and West
Highland White Terriers).
Retrievers (Chesapeke Bay Retriever, Golden Retriever, Labrador Retriever)
Setters (English Setters, Gordon Setters, Irish Setters) Spaniels (Cocker
Spaniel, English Springer Spaniel, Welsh Springer Spaniel) Other gundogs
(German Shorthaired Pointers, Viszlas, and Weimaraners) General guides to
(Australian Cattle Dog, Australian shepherd, Bearded Collies, Belgian
Shepherds, Border Collies, German Shepherds, Old English Sheepdogs, Pembroke
Corgis, Rough Collies and Shetland Sheepdogs).
(Akitas, Alaskan Malamutes, Chows, Elkhounds, Keeshonds, Samoyeds, Shiba
Inu and Siberian Huskies).
Bull Dogs and Bull Terriers
(Boxers, Bulldogs, English Bull Terriers, French Bulldogs and Staffordshire
Small companion dogs
(Bichons, Cavalier King Charles, Chihauhauas, Dachshunds, Italian Greyhounds,
Japanese Chins, Lhasa Apso, Maltese, Miniature Pinschers, Papillons, Pekinese,
Pomeranians, Pugs, Shih Tzu, Tibetan Terriers, and Yorkshire Terriers).
(Bernese Mountain Dogs, Bullmastiffs, Dogue de Bordeaux, Great Danes, Irish
Wolfhounds, Leonbergers, Mastiffs, Neopolitan Mastiffs, Newfoundlands, Pyrenean
Mountain Dogs, and St Bernards.)
(Basenjis, Dalmations, Dobermanns, Hungarian Pulis, Italian Spinones, Poodles,
Rhodesian Ridgebacks, Rottweillers, Schnauzers, and Shar Pei.)