everyone knows what breed or mixture of breeds their dog is. However, do
you know what group your dog belongs to? The group indicates general traits
and what the dog was originally bred for. One of the most popular groups
is the sporting group. Originally bred for hunting, they now are commonly
kept as family dogs. They have a good character and demeanor. Frequently
these Retrievers, Spaniels, Setters, and Pointers love water and to find
The terrier group is British in origin. At one time this was the only type
of dog the peasants and the working class were allowed to own. These smaller
dogs were particularly effective in chasing small animals. They are a scrappy
and intelligent group of dogs.
The hound group contains dogs with particularly keen sight and smell. For
this reason, they are adept game hunters. Another distinctive attribute
is their bellowing bark.
One group bred particularly for human companionship are the toys. While
some have terrier heritage they were intended mainly as lap dogs. Their
size adapted well to small living spaces. Often these dogs appear braver
than what their size would indicate.
The herding group obviously was bred for driving livestock. These dogs
have been used in many regions, such as Europe, Asia and Australia. The
work of the herding dogs has been key in the agricultural development of
different areas. This group contains some very bright dogs, including the
The working group has provided a wide range of services to people. They
have been used as draft animal, to hunt and fish, to guard homes, and as
service or guide dogs. These dogs are often large and need training, but
are very loyal, and can be wonderful companion dogs.
Finally, we come to the non-sporting group. This category generally contains
dogs that don't fit well into the other groups. Many have ancestry within
another group, but no longer match enough of that group's traits. Consequently,
their characteristics are more general. This group includes dogs such as
the Poodle, the Bulldog, and the Chow Chow. Each group has characteristics
associated with it that may help you understand some of your dog's behaviors.