The 7 Different Dog Types

Do you know what the 7 officially recognized dog breed groups are? Learn more about the different dog types, and find out which group your buddy resembles!

Dog breeds may be assorted into 7 officially recognised different dog types, considering their characteristics, origin and intrinsic traits. Having a better knowledge of each cluster helps us understand our buddies’ behavior and needs, and therefore provide all they need to maximize their happiness and well-being! Nevertheless, each dog has their unique personality that is built based not only on their inherited features but also on their experiences when interacting with the environment and ourselves. 

“And what about mutt dogs”, you may be wondering? Well, some are such miscellaneous breeds that actually it is quite difficult to guess their ancestors. You have to go with the flow and let your best friend express their nature and temperament… And then you may somehow become a canine detective and try to fit them in one of the seven boxes!

The nomenclature for each group may vary depending on the country, but in the end they’re pretty much always the same. Therefore you can easily ascribe your buddy to one of the different dog types I am going to mention further ahead!

Working dogs

Such strong-willed, confident and robust dogs! Whether they are guarding homes, protecting their family or pulling sleds, they will always try to perform exquisitely in order to achieve excellence and get the job done. 

When you think about this group, a large or giant breed immediately pops-up. But that does not mean they are not capable of being gentle and lovely, like the Newfoundland is known to be. 

Pastoral or Herding dogs

Moving on to the second entry on our different dog types list. Hard-working, active and constantly wagging their tails – does this ring a bell? Yes indeed! Those are the main features of the popular Collies and Sheepdogs, that we all know to have been originally bred to herd livestock such as sheep, cattle or even reindeer. As a result of their diversified background, pastoral breeds come in all sizes and coat types, from the smaller heelers, like Corgis, to the giant breeds who are guardians and herders.

Pastoral dogs are high maintenance in terms of exercise, required training and grooming. But at the end of the day their ultimate desire is just to be included in their owners everyday life!

Gundogs or Sporting dogs

In this group the crown goes undoubtedly to the Labrador Retriever – one of the most popular breeds in the world! That is because they are friendly, active, happy and perfect family members. Fortunately, these features are common among the group’s three primary types of breeds: the retrievers, the flushing and the pointing dogs!

Originally bred to help their owners hunt game, nowadays they are reliable and loving companions. Still we all are well aware that they might easily look for trouble if they are bored or lack enough exercise.

Hound dogs

There is plenty to be said regarding these wonderful breeds, but one thing fits them all… They know exactly when the chicken is out of the oven due to their powerful sense of smell! And I can assure you that they won’t ask for permission to steal a wing or two!

The miscellaneous sizes and shapes are so wide that we can actually fit the miniature Dachshund and the giant Irish Wolfhound on this same group. They were bred to help humans with hunting, either on horseback or on foot, using two very distinctive traits – their keen eyesight and their foraging skills.

Terrier dogs

Despite their rather small stature, terriers will fill up the house with their energy and love of life. Miraculously, you won’t have a boring moment ever again! Generally speaking they have a feisty and strong personality which might be quite demanding as well.

Just as a matter of curiosity, all the Terrier breeds are small with one exception, the gorgeous Airedale.

Toy dogs

By now you already have an idea of just how much the characteristics of the different dog types can vary… What can we say about Toy dogs, then? Tiny little buddies, these ones are! Perfectly fitted for your purse, miniscule apartment or urban lifestyle in general. They are kings and queens in melting our hearts with such tremendous cuteness. 

Unlike most of the other groups, toy breeds were not generally bred to work. Instead, they have arisen from the desire of wealthy ladies or royalty to have a four-legged best friend. Curious fact is that a few of these micro pooches actually come from originally working ancestors!

Utility dogs or Non-sporting dogs

Let’s face it… Us humans have made such a mess crossing different breeds, that the need to define a group to which all the other strains fit into was mandatory. And so the Utility group was born! Comprising specimens from the French Bulldog to the Akita, it is understandable that there is no pattern whatsoever here.


Bear in mind that within every breed and type there are always individuals who do not fit the mould… Especially as we now generally breed for looks and not working ability. If you ever find yourself wondering if your buddy’s behaviour is normal and adequate, you may reach out to the Findster Care vet team to get some insight 🙂


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