Breed of dog

This image shows the difference in sizes, colors, coats, physical constitutions between some of the more than 300 registered dog breeds. From left to right, the following breeds are: Labrador Retriever , Golden Retriever , Cockapoo , Yorkshire Terrier , Boxer , Pomeranian , Beagle , Basset Hound , and Newfoundland .

breed of dog or canine breed is a group of dogs that have very similar or almost identical characteristics in their appearance or behavior or usually both, especially because they come from a select system of ancestors who had the same characteristics. Dogs have been selectively bred for specific characteristics for thousands of years.


A dog breed is represented by a sufficient number of individuals that stably transfer their specific characteristics through generations. Dogs of the same breed have similar characteristics in appearance and behavior, especially because they come from a select system of ancestors who had the same characteristics. 1​ Dogs of a specific breed, or true breed, produce animals very similar to the parents. A dog is named a member of a breed through ancestry testing, using written records ( pedigree ). Without such tests, identification of a specific breed is unreliable. 2 These records, called breed registry , may be held by individuals, clubs or other organizations.

Many traditional dog breeds recognized by major dog registry associations are called “pure breeds.” Only individuals whose parents and ancestors are purebred are considered to belong to that breed. This concept has caused controversy due to the difficulty of regulation and due to the possible genetic consequences of a limited population ( inbreeding ). Recent work has been done to classify the different breeds, with some surprising results regarding breed age estimates and their interrelationships with other breeds.

Generally, before a type of dog is recognized as a true breed, it must be demonstrated that the mating of a pair of that type always produces dogs that have the same characteristics as the parents, both in appearance and behavior. This is known as a positive breed result . There are many questions related to what is considered a positive race result .

The International Cynological Federation (FCI) recognizes 349 breeds and each one is owned by a specific country. The countries that own these breeds establish the breed standard (detailed description of the ideal type of the breed) – in collaboration with the Standards and Scientific Commissions of the FCI – whose translation and updating is carried out by the FCI. These standards are the reference on which all judges rely when examining dogs during shows held in FCI member countries. Currently the breeds are very extensive and popular thanks to dog shows , greyhound racing , and more recently, thanks to sports such as Schutzhund and Agility .

This same international federation has grouped the races into various groups. These are:

  1. Herding Dogs and Cattle Dogs.
  2. Pinscher and Schnauzer type dogs.
  3. Terriers.
  4. Dachshunds.
  5. Spitz and primitive type dogs.
  6. Bloodhound type dogs and tracking dogs.
  7. Show Dogs.
  8. Hunting Retriever Dogs.
  9. Companion Dogs.
  10. Sighthounds.

Development of dog breeds

This image of a Chihuahua and a Great Dane shows the huge size difference between different dog breeds.

The first selections would have initially focused on the domestication and useful behavior of the dog, such as barking at unknown creatures or people, protecting livestock or hunting—as in the case of the Terrier group . Dogs have been selectively bred for specific characteristics for thousands of years. Selection would have initially focused on domestication and useful behaviors such as those enabled for hunting . Later, dogs were also selected for attractive and distinctive morphologies, resulting in a great variety of type. As a working dog, the dog has had many different uses, for example, as a hunting dog , pointing dog , water dogs , retriever dog , sighthounds , sheepdog , cattle dog , police dog , sled dog , etc. Giving rise to very diverse forms, such as the molosser , the mastiff , the bulldog , and as a pet , creating groups of breeds such as pointers , spitz , terriers , retrievers , spaniels , schnauzers , pinschers , etc.

Some dog breeds like the Saluki​ have been bred for thousands of years. Other working dog breeds such as the German Shepherd or Labrador Retriever , were established in recent centuries. Later, dogs were also selected for attractive and distinctive morphologies, resulting in a wide variety of types.

There is much speculation, but little evidence, about why canids came to live with or near humans, possibly for more than a hundred thousand years. At the beginning of agriculture about twelve thousand years ago, humans began to use dogs in various ways, giving rise to physical differences between dogs and their ancestor, the wolf. In previous times, little was written about dogs, although Creole dogs are known – such as the Africanis -, which were developed over time with minimal human intervention to fit with the environment – including human culture – in which they lived. the dogs lived or live. Dog breeds in the modern sense date only from the precise documentation of pedigrees established by the English Kennel Club in 1873, as an imitation of other genealogical records for cattle and horses.

Many dog ​​breeds today are named after the original native breed types, such as the Border Collie . Other types of landraces, such as retrievers, have become more uniform in appearance through selective breeding, resulting in the development of a wide variety of different breeds. 10​ The varieties of purebred dogs in working circles can vary in appearance from the same purebred dogs that are presented at dog shows or are kept as pets.

Semi-wild types and local varieties have been documented, such as the “New Guinea Singing Dog” or Canis lupus hallstromi , which has been registered as a breed for preservation purposes. There is no record of its sighting since 1976, so it is believed that it could have become extinct.​ In 1970, ecologist I. Lehr Brisbin discovered a breed of wild dog called the ” Carolina Dog “.

In recent years there has also been a new movement regarding new “hybrid or designer” dog breeds. 14​ Although these breeds are not officially recognized, they are constantly growing. Among some of the hybrid breeds, which are the crossing of two recognized breeds, we have the Cockapoo (a cross between the Cocker Spaniel and the Poodle) or the Puggle (emerged from the mixture of the Pug and the Beagle).

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