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Dog Breed Selection Tips

Pick a breed that suits your personality and your idea of the perfect dog.

American Kennel Club, Inc. (c) 2011

Here are some characteristics that are typical of dogs in certain groups, however, keep in mind that these are generalizations that may not apply to all dogs within a group. Your best bet is to consult a breeder of any specific breed.

Sporting Group: Naturally active and alert, Sporting dogs make likeable, well-rounded companions. Potential owners of Sporting dogs need to realize that most require regular, invigorating exercise.

Working Group: Dogs of the Working group have been bred to perform such jobs as guarding property, pulling sleds and performing water rescues. Quick to learn, these intelligent, capable animals make solid companions. Their considerable dimensions and strength alone, however, make many Working dogs unsuitable as pets for average families. And again, by virtue of their size alone, these dogs must be properly trained.

Hound Group: Generalizations about hounds are hard to come by, since the group encompasses quite a diverse lot. Some hounds share the distinct ability to produce a unique sound known as baying. You'd best sample this sound before you decide to get a hound of your own to be sure it's your cup of tea.

Herding Group: All Herding breeds share the fabulous ability to control the movement of other animals. The vast majority of Herding dogs, as household pets, never cross paths with a farm animal. Nevertheless, pure instinct prompts many of these dogs to gently herd their owners, especially the children of the family. In general, these intelligent dogs make excellent companions and respond beautifully to training exercises.

Terrier Group: These are feisty, energetic dogs. Terriers typically have little tolerance for other animals, including other dogs. Many continue to project the attitude that they're always eager for a spirited argument. In general, they make engaging pets, but require owners with the determination to match their dogs' lively characters.

Toy Group: The diminutive size and winsome expressions of Toy dogs illustrate the main function of this group: to embody sheer delight. Don't let their tiny stature fool you, though -- many Toys are tough as nails. They make ideal apartment dogs and terrific lap warmers on nippy nights.

Non-Sporting Group: Non-Sporting dogs are a diverse group. Here are sturdy animals with varying personalities and appearances. The breeds in the non-Sporting group are a diverse collection in terms of size, coat, personality, and overall appearance.

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