The World Canine Organization recognizes 340 dog breeds. However, this number varies from country to country; in America, only 167 breeds of dogs are recognized. Similarly, Australia and the UK have canine councils which recognize their own breeds and species of dogs.
But the fact is that all breeds of dogs belong to one single species! How this huge variation arose in one group is still being researched.
Dogs are said to have been domesticated some 14000 to 17000 years ago. They come in all colors, coats, sizes, and shapes. From tiny poodles to hounds and bulldogs, there is a dog breed out there for all of us.
Basically, all dog breeds existing today come from the wolf. Through selective breeding, humans created newer dog breeds that we know and love today.
Different Dog Breeds
The American Kennel Club recognizes these seven groups.
This breed of dogs helps hunters in sports to capture and retrieve hunted animals like geese and ducks.
The dogs included in this group are retrievers like spaniels, labradors, and setter breeds such as the Irish Setter.
Hounds are also hunters. However, they are bred to hunt small, warm-blooded quarries such as ducks, birds, jackrabbits, and also large game like deer.
The hound group includes Bloodhound, Afghan hound, the Irish wolfhound, the Beagle, and the scent hound.
Today, humans train Hounds to find earthquake victims under rubbles and missing children.
As the name suggests, this breed of dog has been developed to help humans in some way or another. These could include dogs that guard your home or your flock and those dogs that pull carts or sleds.
The most common working dog breeds are the Siberian Huskies, St Bernard, and the larger Rottweiler breed.
Herd Dog Breeds
These are the kinds of dog breeds that assist people in moving and controlling any kind of livestock, such as sheep and cattle. Herding breeds of dogs are easily trained; they are intelligent, agile, and are extremely responsive to commands given to them by humans.
The German Shepherd is an excellent example of a herding dog and makes for a perfect choice for search and rescue missions and other police work.
The Terrier is a short-legged breed of dog. They were first bred to look for rodents and vermin in the ground.
The most common and popular terrier breeds are the Miniature Schnauzer, the Bull Terrier, and the Scottish Terrier.
Toy Dog Breeds
Because of their tiny size, these breeds make for the perfect pet for people who live in apartments in the city. They offer good companionship to their owners.
The Toy poodle and the Yorkshire terrier both come under this type of dog species. All Toy breeds are usually under 10 pounds in weight.
The breeds in this particular subgroup do not have specific work descriptions. They simply interact with their owners in some capacity or the other.
Some Non Sporting breeds of dogs are the Poodle, the Chow Chow, and the Dalmatian.
Final Thoughts on Dog Breeds
According to the AKC, the most popular dog breed until May 2020 was the Labrador Retriever, with the German Shepherd coming close in second. The English Foxhound was the least popular breed that landed at the bottom of their 193 dog breed list!