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Welcome to the Breeds Section. Each breed recognized by the AKC has its own special traits and characteristics. Follow the links below for more information.

Sporting Group
Dogs in the Sporting Group were developed to work closely with people hunting birds. These dogs like to be around people and are active and alert.
AKC eNewsletter
Hound Group
Dogs in the Hound Group were developed to hunt by scent or by sight. Hounds are generally sweet and loving with people.
Working Group
Dogs in the Working Group were developed to perform a wide variety of tasks, such as herding, carting, and guarding. These dogs are large, intelligent, and protective of their owners.
Terrier Group
Dogs in the Terrier Group were developed to hunt vermin. Terriers are determined, clever and brave.
Toy Group
Dogs in the Toy Group were developed to be companions. Toys are small, charming dogs that love to be around people.
Dogs in the Non-Sporting Group do not fit the criteria of the other breed groups, or may no longer perform the tasks they were originally bred for. These dogs all make wonderful family companions.
Herding Group
Dogs in the Herding Group were developed to work with livestock. These dogs are highly intelligent and require lots of exercise.
Miscellaneous Class
Dogs in the Miscellaneous Class are working toward full AKC recognition. These dogs can compete in some AKC events and earn selected titles.
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There are 150 breeds eligible for AKC registration. Every breed is assigned to one of seven groups or Miscellaneous Class, based on the uses for which the breeds were originally developed.

A breed is a "relatively homogeneous group of animals within a species, developed and maintained by man." All dogs, impure as well as pure-bred, and several wild cousins such as wolves and foxes, are one family. Each breed was created by man, using selective breeding to get desired qualities. The result is an almost unbelievable diversity of purebred dogs which will, when bred to others of their breed, produce their own kind. Through the ages, man designed dogs that could hunt, guard, or herd according to his needs. Admission of a new breed to AKC's Stud Book is determined by the Board of Directors. Today, new breeds admitted for registry must have been well established in other countries for a significant period of time by registry organizations in those countries.


A variety is a division of a breed for show purposes, based on coat type, size or color. Members of different varieties of the same breed may be interbred and the offspring registered with AKC. Varieties are not indicated on registration certificates.

  • Cocker Spaniels: Black (including black with tan points), ASCOB (Any solid color other than black), Parti-Color.
  • Beagles: Not exceeding 13 inches, Over 13 inches but not exceeding 15 inches.
  • Dachshunds: Longhaired, Smooth, Wirehaired.
  • Collies: Rough, Smooth.
  • Bull Terriers: Colored, White.
  • Manchester Terriers: Standard (Shown in the Terrier Group), Toy (Shown in the Toy Group).
  • Chihuahuas: Long coat, Smooth coat.
  • English Toy Spaniels: Blenheim and Prince Charles, King Charles and Ruby.
  • Poodles: Toy (Shown in the Toy Group), Miniature and Standard (Shown in the Non-Sporting Group).

The official standards of all the breeds AKC recognizes are compiled in its official publication, The Complete Dog Book. A breed standard is a word description of what the ideal dog of that breed looks like. It is an attempt to describe "perfection." The standard is the "model" breeders use in their efforts to breed better dogs. Judges use the standard as a guide when evaluating dogs at a show. Each animal in competition is compared with the judge's mental image of the perfect dog described in the standard.