Dog Breeds Vs Groups
Wednesdays are sometimes breed days here, but today, searching for a breed to discuss, I thought it might be nice to set the ground work for what we’re discussing. I love the AKC website, which is where I start my breed hunts. When you find yourself there, you’re asked to search for either a breed or a group. What if I’m looking for a particular size? Or a specific breed? GAH! So dog breeds vs groups is our focus today.
Breeds – Australian shepherds, Boxers, Pugs, Shih Tzu, Beagles, etc. – come in all shapes, sizes and colors. Groups – well, do y’all remember high school freshman year biology? Don’t even tell me you were checking out the cute football player or shy bookworm instead of paying attention. If so, it’s time for a refresher course.
About a billion years ago, some guy named Linneaeus, developed a system for classifying all known living things. Kinda like the menu at Taco Bell, but with more items. Y’know – taco section, burrito section, desserts, drinks, all with different items in each section. Great. Now I want a chalupa. I love their Baja chalupas.
Dogs fit in Linneaeus’ system as animal>mammal>carnivore>canine>lupus>familiar. I skipped a few, but these are the ones which are most familiar to me, in order. So in Taco Bell lingo: food>fast food>psuedo Mexican>taco>soft shell.
How does this apply to breeds and groups? We break it down further than Linneaeus did. We still begin with animal>mammal>carnivore>canine>lupus>familiar, but we add Pug. Or we add Schnauzer>miniature. I’m not being scientific here. I’m just trying to make sense of it all.
Where do groups come in? Here’s where my taco system breaks down. Man! I really want a chalupa. Someone bring me a chalupa? Groups are ways to tell us not what the dogs ARE, but what they are bred to DO. Breeds simply tell us what the dog is, where it comes from, what its genetics are. Meat, lettuce, tomato, corn flour tortilla, sour cream – that is a taco, isn’t it? Fluffy, double coat, pointed nose, pert ears, medium height, sharp eyes – that is a Collie, right?
For instance, the group of sporting breeds include primarily setters, spaniels and retrievers. Multiple breeds in one group. Sporting dogs make good companions. They’re fond of water and woods. They make great hunting dogs. But they’re not limited to one breed or size.
Some groups, though, lend themselves to a particular size or body type. The working dogs are primarily large, dogs like Akita, Boxer, Bernese Mountain Dogs, Great Pyrenees. Big, beautiful dogs. Dogs which all want to come live in my yard when I get a house out in the country and a yard full of chickens needing protecting. They’ll get JNC Jumbo bones before bed every night.
The toy group is all small. The name gives them away. Pekingese, Maltese, Havanese. Beautiful. Little. Some of them, like the toy poodle, are diminutive versions of themselves.
Herding dogs, however, come in sizes medium-small to large. At one point I thought the Polish Lowland Sheepdog would be a super cool dog to have. Too much hair. It’s too hot where I live.
So. Recap. Many different breeds. A handful of groups. My favorite breed? Australian shepherd. They’re herding dogs. My favorite group? Working dogs. That’s where we find the Great Pyrenees.
And my work here is done. I hope that I haven’t confused you further, and that you’ve learned from dog breeds vs groups. And when you get up, could you please bring me a chalupa? Thanks.
Well, I’m not quite done. Y’all will want to enter our Bully N Bacon giveaway. It’s not a chalupa, but it’s a Jones Natural Treat for your dog, so it’s better than a chalupa. To enter to win, simply click this sentence, scroll down in the new window and click on the Rafflecopter for easy directions. Your dog will thank you. And THEN you can bring me a chalupa, yes?
Spreading the good chews …
P.S. Today’s post is gently recycled.