There are many hundreds (if not thousands) of breeds of dogs, and of course not all of them are the same. Along with dogs coming in many shapes, sizes, and colors, they are also bred for various reasons. Dog breeds can be divided up into a number of dog types. These types of dogs breeds are categorized (and subcategorized) depending on what the dog breed is bred to do. Some are meant to be nothing more than pets kept around the house for companionship, while others are meant to work in various fields alongside their human counterparts and owners. Other dog types are outlined by the dog’s size or even family tree. Below, you’ll find numerous dog breeds types and various canines that fit each category and sub category.
A companion dog is one that is bred to be a household pet, good for its companionship and friendliness as opposed to its ability to work at any particular task. Some popular companion dogs include Pomeranians, Poodles, Chihuahuas, and Dalmatians. Companion dogs can fit into several subcategories:
· Lap Dogs: A lapdog is any dog that is able to be comfortably held or rest in its owner’s lap. These are small pets that are generally miniature or toy sized. Some lapdog breeds include Maltese, Shih Tzu, and Yorkshire Terriers.
· Designer Dogs: The term “designer dog” has been around for only a few decades and refers to dogs which are a cross breed of two purebred dogs. The fad started when purebred Poodles where bred with purebreds of other dog breeds, giving the outcome the Poodle’s hypoallergenic coat as well as traits from the other breed. Such designer dogs include Chiweenie (a cross of Chihuahua and Dachshund), Labradoodle (cross of a Labrador Retriever and a Poodle), or even a purebred crossed with a mixed-breed such as a German Chusky (German Shepherd, Husky, and Chow Chow).
A guard dog is a dog who watches out for or protects against unwanted visitors, whether it be an intruder or other danger. A watchdog will just “sound the alarm” of coming danger by barking, where as a full guard dog will actually do something to prevent the danger such as getting in the way, moving their master out of the way, or attacking the unwanted person or thing. A few dog breeds that are often used as guard dogs include German Shepherds, Doberman Pinsher, and Rottweilers.
· Fighting Dogs: A form of guard dog, these animals have also been pitted against each other in contest fighting. Some breeds used as fighting dogs are the American Pit Bull Terrier, Neapolitan Mastiff, Boston Terrier, and the now extinct Dogo Cubano.
· Molosser: These huge dogs are well muscled and used either as search and rescue dogs or guard dogs for their natural protective instincts and loud bark. These include Great Danes, Bandogs, Boxers and St. Bernards.
Hunting dogs assist humans in tracking and hunting wild game. These can range drastically in the type of dog depending on what kind of animal is being hunted. Some hunting dogs are Coonhounds, Otterhounds, German Shorthaired Pointers, and Lakeland Terriers.
· Gundogs: Gundogs are also referred to as Birddogs because they’re purpose is to aid in the capture of birds once they’ve been shot. These include Pointers (who sniff the birds out), Golden Retrievers (who retrieve the dead bird), and Spaniels (that are used to flush the birds out of hiding). Even Poodles were once used for bird hunting.
· Hounds: A hound is a dog used to track the animal being hunted. Their keen sense of smell allows them to quickly pick up an animal’s scent and lead the hunter to it. A few dogs classified as hounds include Basset Hounds, Beagles, Dachshunds, and Whippets.
· Terrier: Terriers are small hunting dogs that are ferocious despite their stature. They will help hunt and often be the cause of death for small prey. Some of these include Fox Terrier, Rat Terrier, and Jack Russell Terrier.
These animals help shepherds tend their flock, and assist farmers in keeping their animals in line. Collies are the most popular of this type of dog.
As the name suggests, these dogs pull sleds. Some more often used sled dogs are Huskies.