Over many years, different breeds of dogs have been bred by man for different purposes. Dog breeds are usually divided into four specific groups, here are a few facts about each group.
Dogs in the Non-Sporting Group are a diverse group which do not fit the specified criteria of the other breed groups. In addition, the Non-Sporting Group may no longer perform the tasks they were originally bred for. These dogs vary in every conceivable way from size, temperament, features and coats.
Some are well known and some are less common. There is no unifying theme with these dogs. Times, fashions and societies have changed and so have the need for breeds to assist in what was once considered entertainment, or sport. Non-sporting dogs include: Poodles, Bulldogs and Chow Chows.
The sporting dogs, or sporting breeds, are very friendly dogs and great companions. They are also excellent hunting dogs, gun dogs, gamedogs, and bird dogs.
Sporting dogs are popular among hunters, and owners of these breeds group understand that their dogs need regular invigorating exercise. These pets are well-rounded companions that are active and alert.
Sporting dogs generally have natural instincts in water and woods and will actively hunt with their owner. Sporting dogs also include: Clumber Spaniels, English Spaniels and American Water Spaniels.
Small companion or lap dogs are referred to as ‘Toy Dogs’. Many of the Toy breeds were bred for this catergory although some have been placed into this category due to their small size. Toy dogs were usually owned by the wealthy and were referred to as a ‘status symbol’, a luxury item with practically no apparent use.
Toy dogs have very friendly personalities and will give their owner lots of love and attention. Toy Dogs do not need a large amount of exercise and some can be fussy eaters. Other Toy Dogs include: Yorkshire Terriers, Pug Dogs, English Toy Terrier and the Japanese Chin.
Dogs in the Working group, were developed to perform a wide variety of tasks, such as herding, droving, pulling, hauling, herding, hunting, rescuing and guarding. The very nature of many of these tasks require a big, strong dog. Working dogs have always been viewed as real assets to their owners and have worked with man replacing larger animals such as horses when none such animals were available.
Over the centuries these dogs were selectively bred to become guards and search and rescue dogs. Arguably, the working group consists of some of the most heroic canines in the world, aiding humans in many walks of life, including the Boxer, Great Dane and St Bernard.
Characteristics and features of Working Dogs have been introduced and strengthened by breeding with animals who already demonstrated the desired traits. Breeding for appearance was only introduced in the 19th Century. Before this time dogs and puppies were bred to increase useful abilities and traits helpful for the duties they were intended for. Therefore, the various working breeds were introduced to help man according to his specific requirements such as herding other animals such as cattle and sheep, guarding premises, pulling various carts and sleds and rescuing people from water and moutains
Today, dogs are still employed as:
Dogs play a vital role in modern police work and are used by every force in the country. There are approximately 2,500 police dogs in England and Wales. Their naturally powerfully sense of smell and agility are used by the police for finding drugs, explosives and human remains. Police dogs are also trained to track and catch criminals, for crowd work, and in prisons.
The most popular breed of dog for police work is the German Shepherd, chosen for its intelligence and highly developed senses, they also tend to be more instinctively suspicious of strangers than other breeds. Dogs need to have the right temperament to be suitable for police work – those who may make unsuitable pets, because they are too energetic and demanding, are often ideal.
So there you have it. As well as being loving, faithful, loyal pets, dogs are very hard-working and an invaluable animal to the human race.
A dogs work is never done!