In Britain, dogs are divided into six basic groups. These groups include Terriers, Hounds, Gundogs, Utility, Toy, and Working. In the United States, dogs are divided into seven basic groups. These groups include Terriers, Hounds, Sporting, Toy, Non-sporting, Herding, and Working. Variations often exist between countries and even between kennel clubs.
The Hounds are a group of hunting dogs. Typically, their purpose is to concentrate on their prey or the focus of their chase. Due to this, they often ignore requests to return to their base. Moreover, this type of dog is known to have a good set of lungs, which they are not reluctant to use.
Additionally, the Hounds include a basic division between sight and scent hounds. The sight hounds use their eyesight to conduct their search. This group includes the Greyhound, Afghan Hound, Borzoi, Irish Wolfhound, Saluki, Whippet, and Deerhound. The scent hounds use their sense of smell. They place their noses to the ground in an effort to track their prey. This group includes the Beagles, Bassets, and Bloodhounds.
The Gundogs or Sporting Dogs help their masters to find and catch feathered and furry game animals. This group includes the Setters, Pointers, Retrievers, Spaniels, and a large group of dogs referred to as the HPR or hunt, point, and retrieve breeds. The Setters and Pointers indicate where the birds are, the Retrievers bring back the birds or small game that have been shot, and the Spaniels perform both types of services.
Gundogs are gentle and kind. They are also relatively quiet as dogs go. They make good family pets, but probably do better in rural areas.
The Terriers are good ratters. This group includes the Airedale, which is the tallest of the group, and the Norwich Terrier and the West Highland White Terrier, which are the shortest. Somewhere in between you will find the Fox Terrier and the Lakeland Terrier.
As a whole, this bunch is smart and very sharp to look at. Moreover, they make wonderful pets, although they do make a bit of noise.
The Utility or Non-sporting Dogs are an amiable group that makes quite excellent companions. In fact, for lack of a better group to place them in, they ended up in this group. This group includes the Dalmatian, Poodle, Bulldog, Schnauzer, Chow Chow, Shih Tzu, and the Japanese Akita.
The Toys, as the name implies, is a group of the tiniest dogs. This type of dog makes an excellent pet. This group includes the Yorkshire Terrier, the Japanese Chin, the King Charles Spaniel, the Pug, the Papillon, and the Chihuahuas. These are smart and very obedient dogs.
The Working or Herding Dogs is a large group that covers numerous breeds of dogs. The group includes dogs that are good for guarding and herding. The breeds within this group are trainable, although the level of trainability varies from breed to breed.
Temperaments within this group vary as well. Sizes range from the small to the large. Breeds within the herding or working dog groups include the Border Collies, Boxers, Rottweilers, Bullmastiffs, Shetland Sheepdog, Great Dane, and the German Shepherd. Additionally, dogs within this group make excellent pets.
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