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Understanding AKC Dog Groups

February 15, 2020

The puparazzi are getting really excited. The Westminster Kennel Show starts February 10th! It’s always fun to see pampered pooches strutting their stuff! As you may know, dog shows typically divide their canine contestants into breed groups. A veterinarian goes over the AKC’s official groups in this article.


S  porting

The sporting group includes some very popular breeds, such as the Labrador Retriever, Golden Retriever, Irish Setter, and the Cocker Spaniel. Typically, these pups were bred to help hunters retrieve birds. As one might expect, many of them love to swim. Many sporting breed dogs have thick coats, which helped them swim out to retrieve fowl from lakes and ponds. Some of them, such as the Labrador Retriever, even have webbed paws!


Hound Group

Elvis may not have thought very much of Hound dogs, but we’re pretty fond of them. Hounds are loyal and curious pups, and they are super lovable. This dog group includes some of the world’s renowned trackers, such as the Bloodhound, as well as sighthounds, such as Greyhounds.


Terrier Group

Terriers were specifically bred to help with hunting, though they’re more suited to rooting out vermin than chasing game. As you may know, terriers love digging! The Bull Terrier and Scottish Terrier are examples from the terrier group.


Working Group

Pups  in the working group traditionally performed many different jobs, from pulling sleds to guarding livestock and homes. The working dog group includes many guard dogs, like the Rottweiler, as well as the Boxer. 


Toy Group

The main thing toy breeds have in common is their small size. Many of these cute and cuddly pups were originally bred as companion animals. As one may expect, toy breeds make very lovable lapdogs. The Chihuahua, Pug, Shih-Tzu, Pomeranian, and Yorkie all belong to the toy group.


Herding Group

The herding group includes many popular pets like the German Shepherd and Border Collie. Many herding dogs are very intelligent, and love to please their owners. If your pet is a herding dog, you may notice him trying to herd your family!


Non-Sporting Group

This group is really a catch-all for pups that don’t fit into any of the other ones. Aside from a love of treats and belly rubs, they don’t necessarily have much in common. Many popular pets, including the Dalmatian and Poodle, fall into the non-sporting group category.


Please contact us, your vet clinic, for all of your pet’s veterinary care needs. We’re here to help!

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