Kennel Club uses the following
group types for all pedigree dog
have historically been used for hunting whether
it has been through their relentless pursuit of
game which is helped by their enormous stamina
and total dedication, or it might be their highly
tuned sense of smell and amazing ability to follow
usually divided into three sub groups:
dogs who pursue their prey predominantly by using
a combination of speed and acute sight. These
dogs have been bred to be very fast and will catch
and kill game (e.g., hares, gazelles, deer) by
themselves. Characteristics of these hounds is
their body shape; long legs giving them a great
stride length, a deep rib cage holding an exceptionally
large strong powerful heart and lungs, necessary
for the exertion needed when chasing their prey,
they also have a long flexible tail which acts
as a rudder allowing them to corner and chage
direction quickly. Sighthounds are generally lean
and streamlined with long, light, narrow heads
which improves their keen stereoscopic vision
so essential in the pursuit of prey at speed.
Nowadays most dogs referred to as sighthounds
are kept primarily as pets, they have been bred
for thousands of years to detect movement, chase,
capture, and kill prey primarily by speed. They
are physical very active dogs. Some have quiet
personalities making them ideal pets but others
can be watchful and even hostile towards strangers.
The instinct to chase running animals remains
strong which can cause something of a problem
when they are kept as a pet. It is not unusual
to see these pet dogs leashed and only allowed
to run free in safely enclosed spaces. Many of
the dogs that fall into the category of sighthounds
have a long history and there is ample evidence
that the type of dog we now know as Saluki, Afghans
and Borzois have been used for hunting for many
thousands of years
Scent hounds: - tend
to follow prey or other animals and people by
tracking the scent. These dogs possess an acute
sense of smell, have endurance, but are generally
not fast runners. This sub group tend to vary
much more in shape and size and are generally
less aggressive. As they are often used to hunt
in packs the tendency to be violent towards other
dogs has to some extent been bred out of them.
Following (often cold )scents over sometimes great
distance requires a lot of concentration and these
hounds are not easily distracted. Another common
attribute of most of these type of dogs is their
large booming voices, often seen as essential
when hunters follow the dog (packs) on foot.These
traits are seen in dogs used purely for hunting/tracking
and are often in the dogs bred to be kept as a
Other hounds: - these
are the hounds that do not actually fall into
either of the above groups or dogs that have some
of the attributes of both and are not strictly
speaking Sightshounds or Scenthounds; some examples
are, Basenji, Ibizan Hound, Pharaoh Hound, Rhodesian
Ridgeback and Thai Ridgeback.
their name suggests this group are eager participants
in the pursuit and retrieval of game.Over the
years they have been bred to retrieve, in water
or on land, or to "set" , "flush"
or "point" the game for the hunter.
Generally gun dogs hunt by scent usually airborne
not ground scent. They fall into four broad categories
although their skills often overlap:
dogs that find and return game to the hunters.Some
Retrievers are especially equipped, for instance
with a water-repellent coat and webbed feet, for
retrieving downed waterfowl.
Retrievers were bred primarily to retrieve birds
or other prey and return them to the hunter without
damage. Although spaniels and some pointing breeds
routinely retrieve game, and many retrievers are
skilled in finding game, retrievers are distinguished
in that non-slip retrieval is their primary function.
As a result, retriever breeds are bred for soft
mouths and a great willingness to please, learn,
and obey. A soft mouth refers to the willingness
of the dog to carry game in its mouth without
biting into it an essential when retrieving game
The retriever's eagerness to please and its ability
fo be trained has made retrievers such as the
Labrador Retreiver and Golden Retriever extremely
popular as pets and assistance dogs
Pointers have a breed history that dates
back to the early 17th. century they were bred
to stand in front of their quarry, with their
nose and body rigidly still , thus directing (or
pointing) the hunter to its location.
Pointers have a high energy level and will invariably
be thinking about hunting or tracking. They can
be extremely friendly, love to cuddle, play with
other pets, and enjoy the company of other humans,
young or old. They are usually independent, loyal,
and a responsive breed--they take instructions
easily and areusually extremely intelligent.
Setters are dogs that were originally
trained to set, or crouch, in front of the quarry
preventing escape . Originally the hunter would
make the capture with the use of a net. Today
it is more likely to be a gun, hence the name
has evolved from Sporting Dogs to Gundogs.
Flushing Spaniels. Spaniel is a type
of gun dog first used in the British Isles during
Caesar’s invasion (54-55 BC). It is thought
spaniels originated from Spain (hence the name).
Spaniels were originally bred to flush game out
of dense brush. Later, in the late 17th.century
spaniels had become specialised into water and
land breeds and their role was further changed
by the advent of guns, from somewhat all-pupose
roles of retrieving, flushing, setting and springing
of game to that of a more specialsed gun dog.
Spaniels are generally small dogs with long coats
and drop ears.
word terrier has passed into the language as someone
that is game, feisty, tough and likes a fight.
Originally bred to hunt vermin (rats, mice, foxes)
often digging them out of their lairs. They can
have a hard bite but this is offset by small mouths.They
are mostly small dogs but do vary in size from
the small Cairns to the much larger Airedale.
Breeding, over the lifetime of these dogs, has
made this group into dogs that make great pets,
loyal and very good companions, they are family
friendly but they can be their own dogs.When chhosing
a terrire for a family pet it would be advisable
to seek out a Breeder that breeds the dogs as
pets and not as working dogs.
Terriers are by nature alert and lively making
them ideal watchdogs, barking at any sign of strangers,
which may be a problem..
They can be aggressive towards other dogs and
often chase other pets (particularly cats) but
are friendly with thier own "pack" an
other animals they have been brought up with.
a mixture of breeds that do not necessarily fit
into only one of the other groups.
These are probably the "old boys" of
the dog groups, they serve many different purposes
and in truth are not always generally purpose
trained. They can however have specific functions,
acheived mainly through selective breeding
Often described as "non sporting dogs"
they will show individual traits similar to one
or more of the other groups.
The dogs in this group vary in size and shape
enormously and the original reason for breeding
them to perform a specific function may no longer
be valid or required (bulldog and bull-baiting)
think their name tells it all, heroic and dependable,
guarding, rescue, searching----- Doberman Pinscher,
Siberian Husky, Great Dane and St Bernard. Dogs
who have been bred to perform guarding duties,
and physical work/ rescue work. They make great
pets & friends but their size often has to
be a consideration.
dogs (Akita, Boxer, Doberman, Great Dane, Newfoundland)
are born to “work” at a specific physical
job, whether it be guarding, hauling, rescuing
or sledding. Many are not ideal as family pets,
but can be with proper socialisation and obedience
training. Independent, strong willed and physically
overpowering, they must be kept under control
and gets lots of appropriate exercise.
pastoral group of dogs is usually divided into
Dogs that were bred to round up flocks of sheep
or cattle herds and dogs that were bred to live
with and protect flocks and herds of domesticated
Many of the larger dogs in the pastoral group
were bred to protect the herds and flocks of domesticated
animals from the wild hunters - wolves, foxes
and other predators. They tend to be larger an
heavier than other pastoral types often with an
aggressive attitude, useful in their guarding
Bred to herd domesticated animals these pastoral
types are energetic and hard working.
They are usually easily trained and very responsive
to learned commands. Acute hearing and sight make
them good watchdogs. Originally bred to work with
humans they form strong bonds with their owners
usually with close physical contact (always ready
for stroking, patting and general fuss making
dogs were initially owned by the wealthy and were
viewed by others as status symbols - a luxury
item with little apparent purpose. The trend continue
to this day. The references to Toy and miniature
dogs are slowly being exchanged with references
to Teacup dogs - a cute and descriptive name which
is ideal for marketing this diminutive type of
dogs (Cavalier King Charles, Chihuahuas, Yorkshire
Terriers) are bred as companions - they only want
to be with you! But even lapdogs need exercise.
Small and fragile, they can be excitable and yappy,
and can easily get under foot. Children and the
elderly must take extra care around them. Loyal
and intelligent, they love to learn tricks.