Of the more than 300 breeds of dogs that exist worldwide, 150 are recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC), the primary kennel club in the United States. Since its founding in 1884 the AKC registers purebred dogs—dogs whose parents and ancestors were of the same breed since the breed was first recognized. More than one million such dogs are registered annually. Kennel clubs in other countries, such as the Canadian Kennel Club, the Kennel Club of England, and the Japanese Kennel Club, use their own standards in recognizing dog breeds.
Dogs in the hound group are distinguished by their ability to aid in hunting. The breeds are characterized by stamina, acute sense of smell, and distinctive baying. Some breeds of hounds are shown here. Encarta Encyclopedia
The AKC organizes the 150 breeds it recognizes into seven groups (plus a miscellaneous category), based on physical and temperamental characteristics and the purpose for which the breed was originally developed. The club classifies breeds as terrier, working, sporting, hound, herding, toy, and nonsporting.
Nonsporting dogs comprise a wide variety of breeds that vary in size, coat, personality, and overall appearance. Some nonsporting dogs are shown here. Encarta Encyclopedia
The terriers often have wiry coats and possess a feisty personality, which reflects their original use in catching prey such as foxes, badgers, and rabbits. Working dogs, such as the boxer or Alaskan Malamute, are muscular, even-tempered, and obedient, a necessary quality in dogs that serve as working partners with humans. Many of the sporting dogs, such as pointers and retrievers, are active dogs that respond instinctively when spotting game. Hounds such as the beagle are known for their stamina, acute sense of smell,...
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