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Pedigree Dog Breeds

Most pedigree dogs were originally bred to fulfil a particular purpose such as herding, hunting, guarding or controlling vermin. Many years of selective  breeding has enhanced character or personality traits, or improved physical features and abilities in order to produce dogs better suited to the job they were originally intended to do.

By understanding the jobs that a dog breed was originally developed to do we can better predict its likely personality and character.

There are many different pedigree breeds of dog recognised by national registries such as the Kennel Club in Great Britain. The individual breeds are organised into breed groups according to the jobs they were originally developed to do.

Crossbreed and mixed breed dogs inherit appearance, instincts and character traits from both sides of the family tree, which may or may not be known, consequently their likely canine characteristics are often less easily predicted.



hound dogsHounds are dogs originally used for hunting. There are both scent and sight hounds. Sight hounds such as Greyhounds and Whippets have very sharp eyesight, while scent hounds such as Beagles or Bloodhounds track prey using their keen sense of smell. Scent hounds often require a significant amount of exercise, while many sight hounds will be happy with shorter walks and a daily sprint.



gundogsGundogs were originally bred and trained to track or retrieve live or wounded game. These intelligent, active dogs which include Retrievers, Setters, Spaniels and Pointers, thrive on physical and mental stimulation.



terriersTerriers are natural diggers; they were bred and trained to catch vermin such as rats or foxes. These gutsy and determined dogs have plenty of energy which requires channeling into lots of exercise, mental stimulation and training. Some dogs which are called 'Terrier' are classified into other breed groups such as the Tibetan Terrier which is classified as a member of the Utility Group.



working dogsWorking group dogs were traditionally trained to assist in some way; such as guarding or search and rescue. These tend to be larger breed dogs, which respond well to training and require regular exercise, but often require careful management as puppies to avoid permanent injury.



pastoral dogsThe Pastoral group is made up of herding and livestock moving dogs, originally bred to work with cattle, sheep, reindeer or other animals. These dogs are usually keenly intelligent and brimming with boundless energy which, in a non-working environment, requires regularly channeling into activities such as agility or flyball.



utility dogsUtility group dogs were each bred to fulfil a specific function, but don't fit into the other breed groups. Typically they are non-hunting dogs, however their specific functions and purposes vary enormously.



toy dogsThe Toy group consists of small size, companion or lap dogs which tend to require less exercise than the larger breeds and are typically outgoing, intelligent and friendly. Despite their diminutive size these breeds do need to be properly treated, socialised and trained, just like any other dog, in order to prevent undesirable behaviour developing.


paw-bulletMixed Breed

mixed breed dogsThe terms mixed-breed, mongrel or mutt are often used to describe dogs with an indeterminate heritage, while cross-breed dogs are usually the product of selective breeding between two or more recognised breeds. The physical appearance, temperament and characteristics of mixed and cross bred dogs will vary according to their ancestry.