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How Many Breeds of Dogs Are There? | Dog Breeds Guide

If you are a dog lover, the multitude of dog breeds out there must seem fascinating. Have you ever wondered what exactly comprises a breed and How Many Dog Breeds Are There? A breed is a particular strain of dogs modified to serve a particular purpose. Over the years, several dogs breeds have come and gone, each with unique characteristics. Dog breeds have also played a pivotal role throughout human history. Here, we look forward to discussing many topics associated with dog breeds.

Who are the Governing Bodies of Dog Registry?

Certain bodies and establishments worldwide are responsible for governing the registration of dog breeds. Most of these bodies are generally confined to one individual country, with some having an extended presence worldwide. An example would be the American Kennel Club, responsible for handling dogs registrations in the United States. Some other examples of such bodies would include the Federation Cynologique International, Britain’s Kennel Club, and Europe’s Continental Kennel Club. There will also be another emotional support animal registration, which means the health professionals will issue pets to people facing mental issues.

Each of these groups has its governing mechanism for identifying and determining breeds. It often makes it difficult to put it on the record, as the official number tends to differ. The American Kennel Club further illustrates it recognizes only 195 breeds. However, European bodies can fully identify up to 360 breeds. Sometimes there’s an inherent issue with mixed or experimental breeds as well. The numbers globally for accepted dog breeds can range from 100 to 500.

The Steps Involved in Establishing a New Dog Breed

If you go back to prehistoric times, it might surprise you that only a handful of dog breeds existed. They mostly governed these due to the changes in their physical attributes based on their geographical location. However, starting from the 1800s, people’s fascination with dog breeds sharply increased. They can create a dog breed as easily as crossing two different breeds. However, establishing a new strain as a breed takes a lot of work. Below are some factors that are considered while establishing a new breed.

  • Before starting the paperwork, your breed must meet some basic popularity and population criteria. If your breed is not very prevalent, they will not consider it for the next steps of the registration process.
  • A first-generation dog breed will not qualify as well. To be considered, the dogs must have existed for over three generations to start classifying them.
  • Some of the registration bodies even have specific qualifying criteria set in store. For instance, the akc registration demands the presence of 100 of those dogs across 20 American states.
  • Meeting these criteria does not officially make your dog a recognized breed. They would now be put in the miscellaneous category and sent for further classification.
  • To officially get your dog recognized, you must participate in various dog shows. They must take these under the miscellaneous category and last for 3 years.
  • After reviewing the performance and attributes through these dog shows, it will finalize whether a new breed can be classified.

What are the Dog Breed Groups?

#1 Hound Group

Dogs under this group were originally called sporting dogs. However, it changed the terminology of the 1930s. This group contains a plethora of canines who specifically trained to chase games. They can further distinguish hound dogs based on their capabilities. Sighthounds depend on their agility and stamina to bring down prey, while scent hounds are used to track from afar. Some popular hound dog breeds are beagles, grey hounds, Basenjis, and dachshunds.

#2 Non-Sporting Group

This group often serves as a means to classify those breeds that don’t quite fit anywhere else. As a result, they encompass a wide number of breeds under them. These dogs come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and colors. They generally make for good pets and can be great watchdogs as well. This breed can contain dogs as diverse as poodles and French bulldogs. Some common names that come under this breed include many household names like Chow Chow, Dalmatians, and bulldogs.

#3 Working Group

They highly trained the dogs in this group to perform particular functions. Initially, they formed a major chunk under the non-sporting group. But over the years, they have now been classified into a group of their own. Since immemorial, they have used working dogs to perform functions like guarding flocks and carrying out rescue missions. These dogs do not generally share any common physical traits. However, they are extremely intelligent and adaptable. Most of the best service dog breeds fall into this category. This big dog breeds group comprises species like Boxers, Great Danes, Dobermans, and Mastiffs.

#4 Toy Group

The motive for breeding the toy group was to bring a sense of comfort and companionship to their owners. These are the proverbial lap dogs, owing to their small stature. These best small dog breeds are generally quite friendly and ideal to live with if space is an issue. Chinese crested, chihuahua, Havanese, Japanese chin, and Maltese are some of the most recognizable breeds under this category.

#5 Herding Group

The herding group was once part of the working dog category. Post-1930s, it deemed them to be a separate group of their own. It has bred herding dogs, keeping a specific job role in mind. They are responsible for handling livestock, guiding it, and providing protection. These canines are extremely the most intelligent dogs and have a great response mechanism. They also make for great pets, especially children. These dogs do not have any marked physical characteristics of their own. Some of the most popular dog breeds, like Border Collies, corgis, and German Shepherds, come under this category.

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#6 Terrier Group

It is one of the groups that has been classified based on geography. They have said most of these breeds originate from the British Isles. They are hunters, in a sense. It can use them to kill and track down smaller prey. Terries have a differentiating factor among them. Some are short-legged, while others meant for digging have longer limbs. Terriers are an extremely confident breed. They can also make for wonderful pets. However, at times, it might need a bit of training. Some of the terriers included in this group are American Staffordshire, Bull, and Boston.

#7 Sporting Group

This particular kind of the dog breed groups was specifically bred to provide the assistance during hunting feathered games. The group is further classified into four major groups: spaniels, pointers, retrievers, and setters. These breeds make for excellent swimmers as well. The dogs have a sweet temperament. These dogs make noble companions and are ideal as the best family dog breeds. The name retriever comes from their natural ability to track down prey and bring it back—two of the most popular breeds of house dogs, the Golden and Labrador Retrievers.

How Many Dog Breeds are There in the World?

The answer to this question is there are different types of dog breeds, which are about 190 breeds that are recognized in the United States alone and 360 worldwide. These official breed lists do not contain any new or designer breeds. No matter how aesthetically pleasing a new group might be, they must pass certain clean health bills before they are considered. With new breeds or strains popping up now and then, it is safe to assume that this is a forever-growing field. People tend to crossbreed and declare new breeds on a fairly regular basis. Since 2010, the American Kennel Club has approved some 25 new breeds.

What are the Latest Dog Breeds?

One of the newly recognized breeds would be the Dogo Argentino, recognized just last year in 2020. Some other breeds in the official register include Azawakh, Grand Basset Griffon Vendeen, Nederlandse Kooikerhondje, and American hairless terriers.

Some of the most popular dogs breeds in USA areAkita, Shih Tzu, Pomeranian, and bloodhounds. The rottweiler, Maltese and golden retrievers closely followed these.


Hope the whole information above helps you with knowing how many dog breeds are there in the world. All the wonderful different breeds of canine might put you in a spot, especially if you are looking for a dog yourself. While they might naturally incline you towards some breeds, it is important to consider various factors. You have to first consider the space and surroundings you have to offer the dog. Secondly, how would the dog’s inherent personality get with yours and your family’s? Then there are concerns with ethical breeding to ensure your dog does not come out of a puppy mill. Most of these dogs tend to have inherent physical issues. Considering all the above factors, you are bound to find a breed that best fits you.