Dog types or classifications are categories of canines based on their role or function and are not to be confused with dog breeds, which are more to do with appearance, lineage, and inherited characteristics.
Several breeds belong to a particular ‘type’. For example:
- Working dog breeds are often used for search and rescue operations, military exercises, law enforcement purposes, to provide assistance to the physically or mentally challenged, etc. German Shepherds, Rottweiler’s, Pit Bull Terriers, and Doberman Pinschers make excellent military dogs, security dogs, and guard dogs, while Bloodhounds and Labrador Retrievers are a popular choice as sniffer dogs and for search and rescue operations. Labrador Retrievers and Golden Retrievers are also trained to become Seeing Eye dogs and assistance canines because of their affable temperaments and very sociable nature. Other breeds like the St. Bernard were once specifically trained to sniff out people who trapped under heavy snow due to avalanches.
- Herding breeds are used to manage livestock like cow and sheep and ward off potential predators in the form of wolves. These breeds mostly live in farm environments and are noted for their supreme intelligence. The most popular herding breeds include Border Collies, Bearded Collies, Lancashire Heelers, Australian Cattle Dogs, and many more.
- Show dogs are mainly trained to take part in various dog shows organized by kennel clubs and are, more often than not, appreciated for either being of an exotic breed, or having attractive physical appearances. Notable mentions include Borzois, Salukis, and Afghan Hounds.
- Hunting dogs were once exclusively trained to hunt down foxes, squirrels, and other small animals, or to retrieve these animals after they were shot down or hunted in other ways. Spaniels, for one, were used to locate, retrieve or hunt down birds. Other traditional hunting breeds include the Dachshund, English setter, Jack Russell Terrier, Beagle, and Basset Hound.
- Sporting dogs like Greyhounds and Whippets are prime candidates in any racing event since they are the fastest dog breeds of them all and are renowned for their grace and agility.
Regardless of the dog type, it is always advisable to look up information and do some research on the dog breeds that would be most apt for your situation. A knowledgeable and well-informed owner is always better equipped to care for a dog and ensure that it is trained in keeping with its known dog behavior tendencies and lineage. Guard dog breeds in particular require diligent and impeccable training since they have inherent aggressive personalities that can be brought to the surface if there’s even a slight mistake in the trainer’s approach.
Another point to consider is whether the dog type you select is known to exist without any hiccups in your kind of environment. For instance, herding breeds don’t always cope well in urban areas, while larger breeds don’t do well in an apartment setting.
Interestingly, there is a growing demand for mixed breed dogs that are a handy combination of two or more dog types since they offer the best of multiple worlds in terms of personality and are also healthier or more robust compared to purebred canines.
Jessie from Next Level Canine’s note:
In many cases I have seen people choose a breed based on size and this is a disaster! Jack Russell terriers are small and compact but FULL of nonstop energy. Seems perfect for an apartment but nothing could be further from the truth. English mastiffs are big and intimidating but drool and are lazy. You would think that they would be a perfect protection dog for a house with a big yard. Again nothing could be further from the truth. With "the talking dog method" you can create the perfect dog regardless of type.
Jessie Suarez, the creator of " Talking Dog Complete DVD Training Series"