Choose the Right Breed (Part 2)

Choose the right breed by learning more about the American Kennel Club's various groups of dog breeds.

The American Kennel Club (or AKC) is a registry of purebred dog pedigrees in the United States. It is the only non-profit registry and is the largest purebred dog registry in the world. It recognizes 163 breeds. To learn more about AKC Breeds and the purpose of the AKC, visit another page on the Adopt the Right Dog site.

In order to help you choose the right breed, it's helpful to know some of the characteristics of the various breed types.

According to the AKC:

Sporting Group

Naturally active and alert, likeable and well-rounded companions, include pointer, retrievers, setters, and spaniels; these dogs need regular and invigorating exercise.

Hound Group

Originally used for hunting, with acute scenting powers; lots of stamina, known for "baying" Some of these dogs include, the Beagle, the Bloodhound, Dachshunds, the Greyhound and the Whippet.

Working Group

Bred to perform such jobs as guarding property, pulling sleds, and water rescue. They learn quickly and are intelligent, solid companions. These dogs are solid and strong and may not be suitable for the average family. This breed includes the Bernese Mountain Dog, The Boxer, the Bullmastiff, Doberman Pinscher, the Newfoundland, St Bernard and Rottweiler, among others.

Terrier Group

Feisty, energetic dogs. These dogs may have little tolerance for other animals as they were bred to hunt and kill vermin. This breed includes the Bull Terrier, the Miniature Schnauzer, the Russell Terrier, the Staffordshire Bull Terrier and the Welsh Terrier.

Toy Group

Diminutive in size they don't think so! They are tough, too. They make much smaller messes and don't need a lot of space. Included are the the Chihuahua, the Maltese, the Miniature Pinscher, the Papillion, Pekingese, Pomeranian, Pug, and Shi-Tzu.


Sturdy and diverse in looks and personality this breed includes the American Eskimo, Bichon Frise, the Boston Terrier, the Bulldog, the Dalmation, and the Poodle.

Herding Group

This is the newest AKC classification, formerly members of the Working Group. Intelligent, and good with children, and excellent companions. They have a natural instinct to herd. They include the Australian Shepherd, the Border Collie, German Shepherd, Old English Sheepdog,

AKC authorities acknowledge that throughout the world there are several hundred distinct breeds of purebred dogs, not all of which are AKC recognized breeds.

Wow, there are lots of types of dogs, so choosing the right breed may be difficult. On the other hand, you will see lots of different types of dogs by simply visiting a dog pound or shelter. Let the experts there help match you to the right dog!

Breed Selector

Use this handy quiz to help choose the right breed of dog.

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