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Be Sure You Choose The Right Dog Breed For You

Nov 16, 2007
Each year, more and more new dog breeds are added to the already growing list. Currently, the American Kennel Club, or AKC, recognizes over 150 different breeds and has seven different groups to categorize them. These groups include; sporting, working, toy, terrier, hound, herding, and non-sporting breeds.

The working category of breeds refers to those canines who aren't merely pets or companions for humans, but rather are working animals that are now or have been trained to perform certain tasks. The working breed category includes: border collie, boxer, german shepherd, great dane, labrador retriever, rottweiler, st. Bernard, siberian husky.

Terriers are a lively group of dogs that were originally bred for hunting small animals such as rabbits and foxes, with most types coming from the British Isles. This category includes some well known dog breeds such as: american pit bull, australian, boston, bull, cairn, fox, jack russell, rat, scottish, welsh, west highland.

Also called teacup or tiny, the Toy category features the smallest of dogs who generally weigh under 20 to 25 pounds and include: Bichon Frise, Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Chihuahua, Dachshund, Havanese, Maltese, Papillon, Pekingese, Pomeranian, Pug, Shih Tzu, Toy and Miniature, Poodles, Yorkshire Terrier.

There are also categories that use other criteria to describe dogs, such as those that are considered hypoallergenic or non-shedding. Some of these include: Airedale, Basenji, Cairn, Kerry Blue, Norfolk, Tibetan, and Welsh Terriers; Chinese Crested, Poodle, Schnauzer

A growing number of 'designer dogs' that mix certain breeds are becoming popular. These include many dogs that are part Poodle:

- Labradoodle (Labrador and Poodle)
- Cockapoo (Cocker Spaniel and Poodle)
- Goldendoodle (Golden Retriever and Poodle)
- Maltipoo (Maltese and Poodle)
- Schnoodle (Schnauzer and Poodle)

Dog breeds may also be grouped by the size and weight of the dog.

- Toy breeds are 10 pounds or less.
- Small breeds are 10 to 25 pounds.
- Medium breeds are 25 to 50 pounds.
- Large breeds are 50 to 75 pounds.
- Extra large breeds are over 75 pounds.

While any dog can be trained to be good around children and toddlers, there are those who seem to have an extra affinity and tolerance for kids. And of course, any dog who is not trained or poorly socialized will not do well with children. Some of the breeds known for being good for families with children include:

- Basset Hound
- Bulldog
- Collie
- English Setter
- Golden Retriever
- Newfoundland
- Samoyed
- Standard Poodle

How to Choose the Right Dog Breed for You

There are many different variables to consider when trying to decide on the right breed of dog for you and your family. Before trying to pick which type of dog would do best in your home, ask yourself the following questions:

Training: All dogs require some type of obedience training and house training, but some need a bit more work than others. Do you have the time and patience necessary to train certain types of dogs?

Size: Do you have the room in your home and yard to accommodate a dog, and if so, what size?

Exercise/walking requirements: Do you have the time and energy it takes to see that a dog has the proper amount of exercise they need to stay happy and healthy?

Grooming and shedding: Is anyone in your home allergic to animals? Do you have the resources and time to devote to grooming your dog on a regular basis?
About the Author
Alex Olson is an experienced journalist. Being interested in dogs, dog training and different breeds of dogs , she wrote higly popular articles on these topics.
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