Understanding AKC Dog Groups

The puparazzi are getting pretty excited. The Westminster Kennel Show starts February 10th! It’s always fun to see these pampered pooches strutting their stuff! As you may know, dog shows typically divide their furry contestants into breed groups. A veterinarian goes over the AKC’s official groups below.


The sporting group contains some very popular pups, such as the Labrador Retriever, Golden Retriever, Irish Setter, and the Cocker Spaniel. Typically, these pooches were bred to help hunters retrieve birds. As one might expect, many of these dogs love to swim. Many sporting breed dogs have thick coats, which helped them swim out to retrieve waterfowl from lakes and ponds. Some, such as the Labrador Retriever, even have webbed paws!

Hound Group

Elvis may not have thought much of Hound dogs, but we’re pretty fond of these loyal and curious pups ourselves. This group includes some of the world’s renowned trackers, such as the Bloodhound, as well as sighthounds, such as Greyhounds.

Terrier Group

Terriers were also bred to help with hunting, though they’re more suited to rooting out vermin than chasing game. As you may know, terriers love to dig! The Bull Terrier and Scottish Terrier are a few examples from the terrier group.

Working Group

Dogs in the working group traditionally performed a variety of jobs, from pulling sleds to guarding livestock and homes. The working dog group includes guard dogs, like the Rottweiler, as well as the Boxer.

Toy Group

The main thing toy breeds have in common is their small size. Many of these adorable little guys were bred as companion animals. As one may expect, toy breeds make very lovable lapdogs. The Chihuahua, Pug, Shih-Tzu, Pomeranian, and Yorkie all belong to this group.

Herding Group

The herding group includes popular pets like the German Shepherd and Border Collie. Many herding dogs are extremely intelligent, and love to please their owners. If your pet is a herding dog, you may notice Fido trying to herd your family!

Non-Sporting Group

This group is basically a catch-all for pups that don’t fit into any of the other categories. Aside from a love of treats and belly rubs, these pooches don’t necessarily have much in common. Many popular pets, including the Dalmatian and Poodle, fall into this category.

Please contact us, your vet clinic in Suwannee County, FL, for all of your pet’s veterinary care needs. We’re here to help!

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