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7 Canine Cliques

Posted by Ideal Pet Products on

People have been known to roll in separate circles – but did you know dogs belong to particular packs, too? Seven of them, to be exact. Thankfully, these aren’t akin to the cliques we humans formed in high school – they’re based off distinctions the American Kennel Club (AKC) made in order to fairly judge dogs during competitions.

Back in the 1920s, the AKC split dogs into only two groups: Sporting and Non-Sporting. Over time, as parameters became more precise, this number expanded to include the following:

  • Working
    St. Bernards, Siberian Huskies, Mastiffs, Akitas, Great Danes – these big guys are born to serve. Made for tasks ranging from property protection to sled-pulling, they’ve even been known to save lives and assist humans with police work. Due to their size and energy levels, many members of the Working class aren’t well suited for family life.
  • Sporting
    To breeds like the Golden Retriever, Irish Setter and Cocker Spaniel, nothing’s greater than the great outdoors. Sharp instincts paired with natural tracking abilities make them useful hunting and fishing companions.
  • Toy
    According to Jen Reviews, Toys are known for small stature and appealing appearance. “Don’t be fooled by these looks, though,” Jen warns, “Many of these breeds bark ferociously and they’re as tough as leather.” Examples: Maltese, Pomeranians and Yorkshire Terriers.
  • Herding
    Ever noticed your Corgi trying to corral your kids? You can blame instinct for that. Members of the AKC’s most recent category (created in 1983) have an inherent impulse to manage the movements of other animals – and they’re pretty great at it, too. Other Herding pups include the Bearded Collie, German Shepherd, and Old English Sheepdog.
  • Hound
    Smell that? No? Well, your Beagle does. The powerful snout on this dog (and Basset Hounds, and Bloodhounds) means you won’t regret taking it on a hunting trip and some Hounds bay (aka howl) in lieu of barking, but aside from that this group is quite diverse.
  • Terrier
    If you know dogs, you know that Terriers have a bit of a reputation. Feisty? Yep. Headstrong? Absolutely. These dogs were bred to hunt and kill vermin, and they don’t mess around. They’re not particularly interested in the company of other animals, but can make great pets – provided their owners can keep up, that is.
  • Non-Sporting
    What do Chow Chows, Dalmatians and French Bulldogs have in common? Not much, actually, aside from their Non-Sporting classification. This diverse group of varied sizes, coats and characters is essentially formed of pups that didn’t fit into any other category.

Does your dog fit its AKC-approved profile? (For a full list, see here.) Let us know in the comments section!

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