Dog breeds: which are there and what are the differences?
If you decide to get a dog, but don’t know which breed yet, you may be in for a surprise. You can choose from hundreds of different varieties. How do you find the right breed of dogs in that jungle? Fortunately, the dogs are divided into a number of so-called breed groups to give you an overview. That way you can make choices faster and find the dog you are looking for!
The number of dog breeds is enormous. There are over 350 different recognized dog breeds. The differences between all those races are considerable. In the first place, of course, in appearance. Sizes vary, as do color schemes and coat types. But there are also huge differences in the behavior and character of the dog breeds.
All dog breeds are divided into ten breed groups. These breed groups often consist of several sections and sometimes even sub-sections. In this way, some structure is created in the enormous range of varieties. We also use this approach to introduce you to the different breeds. That way you get a better idea of what differences there are and what you should pay attention to if you want to buy a dog yourself.
Sheepdogs and other drovers
The sheepdog is perhaps the most famous breed of dog of all. The sheepdog is also often featured in stories, films and television. Just think of the children’s book series Snuf en Wolf and the popular television series Commissioner Rex. These animals have traditionally been used to herd livestock and they are good at that. They need a lot of exercise, so lying around the house all day is not for a sheepdog.
In this group of dogs you will find more than forty different breeds. Among these are, in addition to the German Shepherd, a number of well-known breeds, such as: Border collie, Schapendoes, Malinois and the Bouvier, also known as Flemish cow dog or Flemish Bouvier.
The Pinschers, Schnauzers, Molossers, Mountain dogs and Mountain dogs
A large number of types of dogs fall into this breed group. The group is divided into the following sections:
- Pinchers and Schnauzers
- Molossian and Mountain Dogs
- Mountain dogs
Pinschers and Schnauzers
The pinchers and schnauzers mainly come from Germany. They had a similar purpose to the Terriers in Britain: to help track down and destroy animals such as rats, mice and weasels. Today, like most, this breed is primarily a pet. These dogs are quite easy going and have a friendly disposition. However, the Dobermann also belongs to this group and some consider it a dangerous breed. In practice, that is not so bad. As usual, it mainly depends on how the animal was raised. Other well-known breeds in this group are: German Pinscher and Miniature Pinscher.
Molossian and Mountain Dogs
In this group you will often find large dogs that give the necessary impression. The dogs descend from breeds that also fought in battles. This section is divided into the mastiff and mountain dogs. In the first group you will find breeds such as the Bulldog, Boxer, Bullmastiff, Great Dane, Mastiff and Rottweiler. Lots of well-known names and not the kind of dog breed that is equally popular with everyone. Among the mountain dogs, the two best known breeds are the Newfoundland and the Saint Bernard. Also large dogs, but with a more friendly image than the Molossers.
A relatively small group of only four races. The best known is the Bernese Mountain Dog. The others are the Appenzell Mountain Dog, the Entlebucher Mountain Dog, and the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog. These animals have been used mainly in Switzerland for cattle driving for centuries. They have only been known internationally for a relatively short time, but no less popular for that. The mountain dog has a good character and is therefore very suitable as a family dog.
The terriers are known for being such good diggers. That’s where the name comes from: the word terra means earth or soil in Latin. They were once bred for that purpose. They were used to search the ground for all kinds of animals that humans wanted to get rid of, such as weasels, badgers, polecats, rats, foxes and otters. It is therefore no coincidence that terriers have such a tenacious nature. They are not quick to give up and are not afraid of confrontation. Precisely because they are so small, it often creates a comical situation. They are fierce in character and have a will of their own. The terriers were mainly bred in Great Britain.
The Terriers are divided into four subgroups, comprising a total of thirty different breeds. Well-known examples are Jack Russel Terrier, Norfolk Terrier, Fox Terrier and the Yorkshire Terrier.
In this group you will not find as many breeds as in the previous one. Another name for dachshund is dachshund. They are known for their short legs. Combined with their brave, smart and energetic nature, they are loved by many. They have their own will and willful character, so you as an owner will have to be consistent. The dachshunds or dachshunds are divided into three groups, based on how heavy and size they are:
- Up to five kilos (Kaninchendashond)
- Six or seven pounds (dwarf dog)
- Eight or nine pounds (standard badger dog)
In addition, there are different coat types (short-haired, long-haired and rough-haired) and coat colors (brown / black, red-brown, wild-colored and yellow-brown / blond). Originally, the Dachshund comes from Germany and was used for hunting and as a guard dog. The hunting instinct of many dachshunds clearly emerges when you enter a forest with the dog.
Keeshonden and primeval types
This breed group is characterized by the fact that they are still relatively close to the wolf. You will encounter these dogs mainly in the north (Scandinavia, Siberia, Greenland and Alaska). They were mainly used for hunting, as pack animals and as guard dogs. In this group you will also find the husky, or Siberian husky. The husky is best known as a sled dog. Because the dog likes to work so much and can withstand the cold, he is very suitable for this. The breed group is divided into as many as eight different sections. In addition to the sled dogs, these include the European Keeshonden, Asian Keeshonden and several primal types. In that last section you will find breeds such as Basenji, Canaan dog, and Mexican hairless dog. These primordial types are very old breeds that have been kept by humans for thousands of years.
Running dogs and sweat dogs
In this breed group you will find many different running dogs. These breeds are also called Beagles. There are more than seventy different races. These are divided into three sections, based on size (small, medium and large). Among the small breeds we find names such as Beagle, Drever and the different Basset breeds. We see less well-known names in the medium breeds. For example Dunker, Harrier and the Finnish broke. Among the large walking dogs we see the American foxhound and the bloodhound. These dogs are great for hunting and still have a strong hunting instinct. They are watchful and will bark quickly. That is why they also need the necessary exercise.
Standing dogs have a somewhat strange name. The name comes from the time when they were used for hunting. These dogs search the game, but do not go after it themselves. Instead, they will stand still, directing the hunter in the right direction. Standing dogs are therefore very suitable for training and listen well. This breed group is divided into a number of different sections. Well-known pointing dog breeds are: Stabij, the Setters (English, Irish), Drentsche partridge dog and the poodle pointer. The character of the pointing dogs also makes them very suitable as a competition dog. And of course as a guide dog for the blind. They do need exercise. These breeds also consider them suitable as a family dog.
Retrievers and water dogs
In this breed group we also find two well-known breeds: the Golden Retriever and the Labrador. Popular dogs that are sought after as a family dog. Together with four other breeds, they complete the retrievers section. Then there are two other sections: Chasing Dogs and Water Dogs. The hunting dogs are also called the spaniels. There are the English Cocker Spaniel, Field Spaniel, Kooikerhondje and the German guard dog. With the Water Dogs you will find the Irish and American Water Spaniels, Barbet and Portuguese Water Dog. These dogs are known for their child-friendliness. They have a soft and friendly character, are patient and love people. So they also need the necessary attention. These varieties are also said to have a ‘soft mouth’. This means that they do not bite. This dates back to the time they were used for hunting, but of course it is also a nice idea with children in the neighborhood.
In this group we come across all kinds of dogs. The group is divided into eleven sections, each of which only contains a number or races (sometimes even a single race):
- Bichons: Bichon Frize, Bolognese, Coton de Tulear, Havanese, Lion Dog, Maltese.
- French poodle: further subdivision by size.
- Belgian dwarf dogs: Griffon belge, Griffon bruxellois, Petit Brabançon.
- Hairless dogs: Chinese crested hairless dog.
- Tibetan Breeds: Lhasa Apso, Shih Tzu, Tibetan Spaniel, Tibetan Terrier.
- Chihuahua: short-haired and long-haired.
- English Dwarf Spaniel: Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, King Charles Spaniel.
- Chin and Pekingese: Japanese Spaniel (Chin), Pekingese.
- Continental dwarf spaniels: Epagneul nain continental (butterfly dog, moth dog)
- Dwarf Dogs: Boston Terrier, French Bulldog, Pug
As you can see, a colorful group. The name companion dogs is understandable but a bit misleading. They are mostly dogs that are kept as lap dogs. In the time when kings and other powerful people liked to have a dog around them. However, the character of these breeds is energetic and idiosyncratic. They clearly show what they want and are not easily scared. They don’t need as much space or exercise as most dogs, so that makes them more suitable for some people.
The last breed group is that of the greyhounds. Divided into three sections you will find thirteen varieties here. Those sections are based on coat type: long coat, wire-haired or smooth-haired. The latter varieties are known. There are the Greyhound, Whippet and the Italian and Hungarian greyhounds. The greyhounds have a graceful appearance. They are fast, tough dogs that can run very fast. That also means that they have to get a lot of exercise. You can easily walk many of these dogs by bike. The greyhounds were originally used for hunting, but they do so mainly visually and not based on scent. If they see their goal, they will go there like a rocket and nothing or nobody will stop them from it.