Dog owners need to know all they can about their dogs so that they can give their pets the best life possible. Some dogs require high energy exercises, while others require moderate exercise to stay healthy. Some dogs require specialized grooming, while others require only light grooming to look good. One way to know what to expect from your dog and the best way to care for them is to understand the American Kennel Club’s (AKC) dog groups. The AKC categorizes dogs into seven groups based on behavior and temperament.
The dogs in the terrier group were initially bred to kill vermin for their masters. These dogs vary in size from very small to large breeds. However, most of them share the characteristic trait of wiry fur that requires a specialized type of grooming known as stripping. Terries are aggressive in nature. They are gutsy and don’t stand down in a fight or argument. Sometimes they are even confrontational. They need an owner who is equally stubborn and one who doesn’t mind putting them in their place.
The toy group is made up of cute, cuddly and tiny dogs. A Chihuahua comes to mind when this category is mentioned. The dogs were bred as lap dogs that owners can cuddle in cold weather and carry around with ease. Today, these dogs are preferred in apartments because of their small size that makes them easy to maintain. They require less time grooming, less food, and if they ever need physical restraining, their small size makes it easy to handle them.
- The herding group is made up of dogs that are naturally good at controlling the movement of animals such as sheep and cows. These dogs look after sheep and cows in the fields without harming them and in the evening herd the flock back to the shelter. The dogs either bark at the animals in their care or nip at their heels to guide them safely home. Dogs in this group include the Australian Kelpie, the Australian Shepherd, the Australian Stumpy Tail Cattle Dog, the Basque Shepherd Dog and the Bearded Collie. As pets they still exhibit the caring herding habit with their owners.
- Dogs in the working group were bred to perform specific tasks such as guarding, pulling sleds and rescue work. Most dogs in this group are large and extremely intelligent. Examples include the Great Dane, Doberman Pinscher, the Samoyed, and the Rottweiller breeds. Thanks to their intelligence, the dogs are easy to train to perform special jobs and also easily learn basic obedience training. However, due to their large size, they are high maintenance in terms of food and require regular exercise stay healthy.