How Many Dog Breeds In The World-Brief Knowledge


Shaking tails, Lolling tongues, spreading love from hearts, wandering around you, caring for you, these are the best characteristics of a dog. That’s why they are assumed as the best friends to humans. Dogs are in different shapes, sizes, and personalities. Well the first question arise in our mind is that “How many dog breeds in the world? As of now, there are around more than 340 breeds around the world. The canine kingdom has incredible diversity in the world. Here we will explore the history of dog breeds, different dog breeds that are considered by various major kennel clubs and breeding clubs, and many more. So, are you interested to know about fascinating types of dogs, let’s get started on our journey here.

A Brief History of Dog Breeds

Origins of Dog Domestication

Before knowing about how many dog breeds are there in the world let’s discuss the history of dog breeds that is connected to their beginnings as domesticated pets. As it is well known, wolves and early humans formed a special affinity that eventually led to the development of contemporary canines. The charming progression of canines from the wild to the enormous variety of dog breeds we have today is evidence of the long-standing relationship between people and dogs. Dogs are domesticated by a human because of their various needs and some time to help them in their work.

Early Breed Development

As time passes, the mentality of humans and preferences are also changed. Early breed developments were influenced by the needs and demands of particular abilities. Dogs were bred to excel in particular jobs like guarding, hunting, or herding animals. This was the reason for dog breed history because of which we see the enormous variety of dog breeds. But now dogs are also bred to be a cuddling companion too for our family.

The Role of Breeding Clubs and Kennel Clubs

Do you know how dog breeds have developed over time? Well, let’s thank these awesome breeding and kennel clubs that have been created for making these things active! They’ve basically set the standard for what each breed should be like, given us guidelines for breeding, and made sure people take ownership to adopt them. These institutions have made various efforts so that it helped to shape the distinct identities of various breeds while ensuring their genetic health and well-being.

How Many Dog Breeds In The World Recognized Officially?

So getting confused about “how many dog breeds are there in the world, Well, it depends totally upon your definition! If you stick to officially recognized breeds by major kennel clubs, the number falls between 200 to 360. The number of dog breeds is different according to various clubs and kennels. These Kennel clubs have their own standards set for recognisation process. They usually put each breeds into some groups based on their traits and temperaments. These groups have defined as per specific clubs. However, If we acknowledge various dog populations and unrecognized breeds it pushes the numbers significantly higher. Before getting into the numbers and names lets understand what are the definition of these groups where a recognized dog breed will put in.

A. FCI (Fédération Cynologique Internationale) Groups: FCI, the largest international federation of National Kennel Clubs and purebred registries recognizes over 340 dog breeds based on their functionality, physical Characteristics, and temperaments and is divided into 10 different groups. This number of dog breeds is usually considered the “official” number of dog breeds. Want to know about which dog breeds are recognized by FCI?

  1. Sheepdogs and Cattle dogs: This group of dogs includes those breeds that are traditionally used for herding sheep and cattle. These dog breeds are intelligent, agile, and possess strong herding instincts. For example, German Shepherd, Border Collie, Australian Cattle Dogs. 
  2. Pinscher and Schnauzer – Molossoid and Swiss Mountain and Cattle dogs: This group is a more comprehensive group that consists of several sub-categories 
    • Pinscher and Schnauzers: This subcategory includes those types of breeds that are originally working and ratting dogs.
    • Molossoid breeds: Those dogs that are powerful and have a big body with a history of guarding falls in this group like Mastiffs and Bullmastiffs.
    • Swiss Mountain and Cattle dogs: This group includes those herding and working dogs that came from Switzerland like the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog and the Bernese Mountain Dog.
    • Other breeds: This group may include some other breeds which are not clearly fit into other categories like the Boxer.
  3. Terriers: Those Breeds that are agile and small in size, originally bred to hunt like rats and foxes. These dog breeds are known for their feistiness, independent behavior, and high energy. For example, Yorkshire terriers, Jack Russell terriers, and Bull terriers.
  4. Dachshunds: This group solely consists of the Dachshund breeds which are hound dogs having long bodies a short legs. They are bred for hunting badgers and other burrowing animals.
  5. Spitz and primitive types: This group includes spitz breeds which have thick furs, erect ears and often curled tails. These dog breeds originated from northern regions like Siberian Husky, Japanese Spitz, and Pomeranian. In this group, some primitive types of dogs are also included which resemble their wild ancestors, for example, Shiba Inu, and Basenji. 
  6. Scent hounds and related breeds: This group includes those dogs that have a strong sense of smell, they are traditionally used for tracking prey while hunting. For example, Beagle, Bloodhound, and Basset Hound.
  7. Pointing Dogs: This group consists of those dog breeds that assist hunters by pointing out birds and other prey. These breeds are intelligent and have the ability to give signals of the target’s location like Pointer, English Shetter, Brittany.
  8. Retrievers – Flushing Dogs – Water Dogs: This group combines those dog breeds that are bred for various hunting tasks related to retrieving games (Retrievers), Golden Retrievers, Labrador Retrievers, flushing out birds (Flushing Dog breeds) like Cocker Spaniel, Springer Spaniel, and also those dog breeds which can work in water (Water Dogs) like Poodle, Portuguese Water Dog.
  9. Companion and Toy Dogs: This group includes those dog breeds that are primarily bred for providing companionship to humans. They are small in size and have an affectionate personality which makes them a perfect cuddling companion to humans like Chihuahua, Pug, Maltese.
  10. Sighthounds: This group includes those dog breeds which are bred to hunt by sight. These dogs are fast and agile with a keen sense of vision, relying on speed and having a coursing technique to catch the prey like, Greyhound, Afgan Hound, and Saluki.

B. American Kennel Club (AKC): As per AKC, the United States-based registry recognized 200 dog breeds based on their characteristics and various groups. The groups of dog breeds AKC are as follows. Want to know about which dog breeds are recognized by AKC?

  1. Sporting Group: This group includes dog breeds which are excel in various hunting tasks like retrieving game birds and waterfowl, flushing out prey, and pointing birds for hunters. For example, Golden Retriever, Labrador Retriever, and German Shorthaired Pointer.
  2. Hound Group: In this group, dog breeds are included that have a strong sense of smell abilities. This ability of dogs helps hunters in tracking their prey. For example, Beagle, Bloodhound, and Basset Hound.
  3. Working Group: This group consists those dog breeds that are bred for specific working tasks like herding livestock, pulling sleds, guarding property, or assisting law enforcement. For examples Siberian Husky, Doberman Pinscher, Rottweiler.
  4. Terrier Group: This group includes those dogs that are known for their feistiness and agility. These breeds are originally bred to hunt small prey like rodents. For example Yorkshire Terrier, Jack Russell Terrier, Bull Terrier.
  5. Toy Group: This group includes those dogs that are small in size and primarily bred for providing companionship to humans like Chihuahua, Pug, and Maltese.
  6. Non-Sporting Group: Some other dog breeds which are not perfectly fit into other groups may be considered into this group like Bulldog, Poodle, Chow Chow.
  7. Herding Group: This group includes those dogs that are bred for protecting and managing livestock like Australian Shepherds, German Shepherds Dog, and Collies.

C. United Kennel Club (UKC): UKC recognized more than 300 breeds according to various groups which are mentioned below. These groups are mainly created for dogs based on their original functions and purpose. Want to know about which dog breeds are recognized by UKC?

  1. Pastoral Group: In this group mainly those herding dogs are kept that are meant for protecting cattle, sheep, reindeer, and other cloven-footed animals. For example, Anatolian Shepherd Dog, Bearded Collie, and Belgian Shepherd Dog (all varieties).
  2. Gundog Group: In this group, dogs are kept that are originally trained for hunters to find live game birds and to find those game birds that had been shot or wounded. For example, Bracco Italiano, Brittany.
  3. Hound Group: This group consists of dog breeds that are originally used for hunting purposes either by smelling ability or sight ability. For example, the Afghan Hound, Basenji.
  4. Utility Group: In this group, those dog breeds are included which are bred for a specific purpose or functionality are not included in the sporting and working groups. For example, Akita, Bulldog.
  5. Terrier Group: In this group, those dog breeds are included which are originally bred and used for hunting purposes. For example, Airedale Terrier, Australian Terrier.
  6. Working Group: This group consists of those dogs that are bred to protect and rescue dogs like,  Alaskan Malamute, Bernese Mountain Dogs, and Boxer.
  7. Toy Group: This group mainly consists those lap dogs that are bred for providing companionship. These dogs are small in size and have the ability to become perfect companions. For example Affenpinscher, Australian Silky Terrier.

The Significance of Breed Recognition

Breed recognition doesn’t mean just putting a label on a group of dogs, it’s a complete process that includes the unique qualities, standard key points, and history of every dog breed. Some major kennel clubs follow their own criteria and standards for recognizing a dog breed and putting it into several groups. The best advantage of recognition of dog breeds is to preserve their integrity and maintain genetic diversity. That’s why it is crucial to understand the importance of breed recognition to appreciate the world of dogs.

Unrecognized and Emerging Breeds

A. Rare and Unrecognized Breeds

While the major kennel clubs acknowledge various dog breeds in the world still there are many rare and unrecognized dog breeds also available in the world. It might be the reason behind this is their limited population, or they haven’t met the specific criteria of major kennel clubs for official recognition.

B. Developing and Emerging Breeds

Dog breeding become dynamic and many enthusiasts are continuously working in the process of refining and developing a new breed. This results in emerging breeds representing a blend of traits and characteristics to meet specific needs and preferences. These developing breeds can bring a new fascinating look into the future of canine companionship.

C. Challenges in Breed Recognition

The process of breed recognition is not so simple, it comes with various challenges. Breed enthusiasts have faced various challenges and hurdles in the process from defining breed standards, and gaining support and recognition from major kennel clubs to getting the Official recognition of the dog breed.

The Classification of Dog Breeds

By Origin: 

This classification is considered on the basis of the geographical region where the breed of dogs was historically developed.

  • Landrace breeds: These kinds of dog breeds developed naturally over time in specific regions, and are adapted to local conditions and specific tasks. Like, the Siberian Husky, the Akita Inu, and the Chinese Shar-Pei.
  • Designer breeds: These kinds of dog breeds are created by humans intentionally by crossing two or more established breeds like the Goldendoodle, and labradoodle. If you are interested in exploring the most popular poodles in the world, click here. (Link-most popular poodle)
  • Mixed breeds: These kinds of dog breeds are created by humans with unknown ancestry. The purpose of this is just to create wonderful companions as purebred dogs. But their appearance and temperament can be more unpredictable.

By Function:

This classification is considered on the basis of the functionality for which they historically bred, like hunting, herding, guarding, and performing various tasks to help humans. Types of Dog breeds according to functionality are categorized under dog breed groups. There are several dog breed groups that we will cover in the Types of Dog Breeds section. So continue reading to know everything about the kinds of dogs available in the world.

By Size:

This classification is considered on the basis of the weight of the dog breeds.

  • Toy: Less than 9 pounds (e.g., Chihuahua, Maltese)
  • Small: 10-25 pounds (e.g., Beagle, Pug)
  • Medium: 26-49 pounds (e.g., Beagle, Cocker Spaniel)
  • Large: 50-99 pounds (e.g., Golden Retriever, Labrador Retriever)
  • Giant: Over 100 pounds (e.g., Great Dane, St. Bernard)

The Role of Crossbreeding

A. The Purpose of Crossbreeding

Crossbreeding is the process where breeders intentionally mate two different dog breeds to create a new breed that has the qualities of both two dog breeds. Well, the purpose of crossbreeding is to create a new dog breed that will be perfectly fitted according to the pet lovers’ needs and requirements. As we know dogs are the most popular animals considered as pets, so many pet lovers want to adopt a dog as a pet but they are confused about which dog breed will perfectly fit their requirements. Crossbreeding is an experiment that can enhance the breed’s traits, health, and temperaments.

B. The Creation of Designer Breeds

Crossbreeding is not entirely new. Many recognized breeds that are also resulted from crossbreeding. The actual goal of crossbreeding is to create new designer breeds as companions that have the desired traits from each parent breed. For example, Labradoodle is a new designer breed that combines the low shedding coat of a Poodle with the friendly behavior of a Labrador Retriever. While there are certain benefits of these designer breeds like hybrid vigor and combining strengths, it also raises concern about the ethics of breeding for trends and highly unregulated breeding practices.

C. Controversies Surrounding Crossbreeding

Crossbreeding is not so simple it also has controversies. It creates debates on the purity of a breed, health issues, and potential for exploitation. These controversies make us understand the complexities involved in crossbreeding and its impact on the canine world.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Are all dog breeds recognized by kennel clubs?

No, not all dog breeds are recognized by kennel clubs. Each kennel club has its own set of criteria and standards for breed recognition. Many rare or recently developed breeds may not yet meet these criteria and, therefore, remain unrecognized by official kennel clubs.

What is the rarest dog breed in the world?

Telling about the exact rarest dog breed can be tricky because exact numbers can be elusive. But some dog breeds are there which are considered the rarest dog breeds. For example, the New Guinea Singing Dog, Telomian, and Norwegian Lundehund.

How does geography affect dog breed development?

Different regions have different climates, terrain, and cultural preferences, which are directly related to the creation of dog breeds that can easily adapt to their specific local needs. For example, in the Northern region, they develop sled-pulling breeds, while in desert regions their development of breeds is different they develop a dog breed that is agile and can survive in hot climates.

What are the oldest known dog breeds?

Some dog breeds are known as the oldest dog breeds. But based on genetic evidence the Basenji is considered as the top in the list of oldest dog breeds. These dogs originated in central Africa and can be traced back thousands of years. Some other dog breeds which are also known as old dog breeds are Saluki, Siberian Husky, Afghan Hound, and Alaskan Malamute.

What types of dogs are hypoallergenic?

There is not any dog breed that is truly 100% hypoallergenic, while some breeds are much less likely to trigger allergies than other dog breeds. This happens because these breeds have distinct characteristics like a Non-Shedding coat, Hairless, or single coat. For example, Poodles, Bichon Frises, Portuguese water dogs, American Hairless Terrier, Xoloitzcuintli, Maltese, Shih Tzus, and Yorkshire Terriers.

What types of dogs have webbed feet?

Many dog breeds have some kind of webbing between their toes, but some are known for having particularly well-developed webs, which help them in swimming and other water activities. Here are some prominent examples: Newfoundland, Labrador Retriever, Chesapeake Bay Retriever, Golden Retriever, Portuguese Water Dog, American Water Spaniel, Irish Water Spaniel, Dachshund, German Shorthaired Pointer, and Otterhound.

What types of dogs are police dogs?

Several dog breeds are known as Police dogs due to their strong physical temperaments and intelligence. Here are some breeds name which are known as Police dogs – German Shepherd, Belgian Malinois, Dutch Shepherd, Labrador Retriever, Bloodhound. At the same time, some breeds are occasionally used in police work named as Doberman Pinschers, Rottweilers, and Giant Schnauzers.

What types of dogs have blue eyes?

Several types of dogs have blue eyes like Siberian Husky, Australian Shepherd, Border Collie, Weimaraner, and Dachshund.


Dogs the best companions to humans have a rich history of relation with humans. In this article we have seen the history of domestication, how it started, and how it became so popular in today’s time. We have also explored the wide world of dogs. There are so many different types of dogs that are used and bred for various purposes. We also explore the role of kennel clubs and the number of dog breeds that are recognized by various kennel clubs. Hope you will love this article and also have some deep knowledge about dog breeds and the importance of dog breed recognition. Do share your thoughts in the comment section.

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