When you are ready to get a dog, you’ll find that there are many breeds available to you. Whether you go to a breeder or you are curious about the background of some of the lovely dogs you can find at a shelter, you’ll discover that being aware of the different groups of dogs might help you make your pick.
If you are someone who is looking for a dog that will require lots of regular exercise and who has a great deal of natural energy and exuberance, consider sporting dogs. Sporting dogs are very active and alert and do require a fairly constant schedule of activity. Some examples include Cocker Spaniels and Golden Retrievers.
Dogs from the hound group were bred for hunting, whether they hunt with their eyes and with their nose. Like sporting dogs, they do require regular and fairly intense exercise, but they are also quite diverse. Make sure that you know if you are getting a breed that bays, because the sound is quite loud. Beagles and Norwegian Elkhounds are a part of this group.
Working dogs, on the other hand, have been bred to perform certain specific jobs, whether it means that they have instincts to herd sheep or guard property. Siberian Huskies, Boxers and Doberman Pinschers are all members of this group.
Terriers are often distinguished by their small size and their bright and energetic personalities. They are usually not dogs that are friendly with other dogs, and in the past they were bred to kill rats and other vermin. They are quite lively and you may want to think about it before you bring them into a house with small children. Jack Russell Terriers and Welsh Terriers are part of this group.
Toy dogs are, as the name implies, small and bred to be house dogs. They are great for people who don’t have a lot of space and make good apartment dogs. Consider some of the very popular breeds like Chihuahuas or Yorkshire Terriers.
Herding dogs were bred to protect their charges from predators and to make animals move from place to place. Some members of this group might surprise you, like the Welsh Corgis and Swedish Vallhunds who are just about a foot tall and capable of driving cattle into pastures. These dogs are great companions, but do require good socialization and training. Border collies and Pulis are two examples of this type of dog.
Non-sporting dogs are very diverse, and this is something of a catch-all territory. They do not fit into any other group, but they might share characteristics with them. Poodles, Bulldogs and the Japanese Shiba Inu fall into this category, as do the long haired Lhasa Apso and the Keeshond.
When you are thinking about choosing a breed of dog, consider what your requirements are in terms of temperament and think about what the dog itself needs in terms of exercise, space or socialization. This is an important choice for you to make, so think about the options and make sure that you get a companion animal who suits your space and lifestyle.
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