There are over 300 dog breeds recognised worldwide. With so many breeds, there is a multitude of different characteristics, stereotypes, body shapes and purposes out there. I am going to try and narrow it down to 26 breeds using the alphabet. I have provided a little bit of background on each breed so you can get a better understanding of the many variations of each breed. Let’s go!
The Alaskan Malamute is a powerful and energetic breed. It looks similar to a Siberian Husky but has some differences in appearance. They are a long-standing breed and they have a thirst for working and playing. This breed may be big, but most will agree that they can be some of the friendliest dogs around.
The Boxer! Your friendly neighbourhood German dog. Boxers are considered brachycephalic breeds which means that their nose looks smashed in. While their faces are the most noticeable or, at least, most recognised characteristic of being brachycephalic, they can actually have a multitude of other ailments and illnesses that can arise because of this deformity.
Cavalier King Charles Spaniel (CKCS)
These cute little guys originate from England. Back in the day, they were considered to be a great remedy if someone was in need of some comfort. The CKCS is a small breed with long hair, and like many other breeds, are prone to list of health problems, but don’t worry too much, if they get regular visits to the veterinarian, they can live a long and happy life.
Dogue de Bordeaux
This big breed comes from the land of the croissant AKA France. They were originally hunting dogs and guard dogs but more and more are being kept as family pets. They need lots of time and love as they will have a close bond with you. These dogs can be aggressive if they or their family is threatened, but not to worry, this also means that they will protect you and your kids, as well as other pets in the home, as long as they have been introduced to each other at a young age.
As you can probably guess, this breed is from England. The English Setter is another large breed and can weigh around 30kgs. They are friendly and happy dogs but can get a bit carried away sometimes. They are also a little high maintenance as they need to be groomed a few times a week and taken for walks multiple times a day. They can be known to wander off if they are not getting the appropriate amount of exercise so securing your garden or property is super important.
You might expect this breed to hail from France but you would be mistaken. The French Bulldog comes to us from England. These small yet adorable dogs are intelligent and a little bit silly but come with a long list of common ailments. Keep in mind that with proper care and check-ups, these pups can be healthy and happy without any issues. Like the boxer, Frenchies are also brachycephalic and can experience some breathing troubles along with over-heating, dislocating knee joints and problems with their soft palate.
As you can probably guess, the German Shepard originates from Germany. This breed has a long-standing line, tracing back to the 7th Century. They were originally used as herding dogs but have since taken up other roles like guarding, guiding and policing. While most German Shepherds are usually in good health, there is one main ailment that can affect them and that is hip dysplasia. Many larger breeds are also susceptible to this condition but it can be treated and it can be prevented.
The Vizsla is primarily a gundog or hunting dog, although in recent years more and more people are adopting them into their families and keeping them as a regular pet. These dogs have a lot of energy and need to be kept on their feet as much as possible. They are noble dogs and will become close to you very quickly. They also have one of the longer lifespans for a large breed with 14 to 15 years being average.
The Irish Wolfhound is an Irish breed, originally used as a wolf hunter. Many have speculated that this breed is extremely old and could date back to the first century. Over the years they have been used for a multitude of different jobs, like herding; hunting deer, boar and Irish elk. During this time, the boar and wolf actually became extinct in Ireland and thus were not used as much and the population began to decline. They are quite gentle natured dogs and have been held in high honour during different times, with that being said they were often being gifted to royalty or fought over by many.
The Akita. This Japanese breed is the largest of the breeds that originate from Japan. They were named after the province of Akita in the 1600’s where they were originally bred. This breed is a hunting breed, hunting the likes of boar, deer and black bear. You can now find Akita’s as in show, guarding or as general companions. They can be a bit aggressive, especially when trained incorrectly and are not a good match for families with young children.
These Hungarian dogs look quite flopping and could be mistaken for a mop head. There is not much known about this breed except that are very loyal and confident dogs. They can be territorial and would be a great guard dog.
Our first Tibetan breed on the list. This breed was considered a respected breed due to the belief that they were the reincarnation of the holy lamas. They were owned mainly, by monks and the nobility. They are one of the longer living breeds, where they can live up to 18-years-old if cared for properly.
The Maltese is a very cute and almost proud looking dog, but underneath they are hardy little dogs. They were favoured by royalty back in the day, with the women choosing to love these dogs and sometimes have them sleep in their beds. They are not big eaters and would rather have food available to them at all times rather than at set times each day. They do require daily walks but they are also happy to have a run around the garden with you/
This big boof hails from the home of the maple, AKA Canada. The Newfoundland breed is a hunting breed and is very well behaved. They were originally owned by Native Americans and only the most obedient dogs were allowed to live when the first white settlers arrived. Due to their large bodies and strong frame, they were bought by the poor who couldn’t afford horses during the early 1800’s. Elbow and hip dysplasia are common in this breed due to its large size.
Old English Sheepdog
One of my favourite breeds, these big guys are a working breed from England. They have shaggy coats and they almost trot when walking. They are a longer living breed as they can live up to 13 years which is impressive for ‘giant’ breeds. These strong-willed dogs are great companions and very energetic. They need a bit of training and a lot of exercise, although care should be taken with exercise when they are puppies and their bones are still growing as over-exerting them can cause issues with bone development.
The pug was brought to us by the Chinese over a thousand years ago. This breed has had its fair share of inbreeding over the years which has caused a few health problems for them, including being brachycephalic like the French Bulldog and Boxer. Now, to be fair, they were always brachycephalic but the inbreeding caused the soft palate to become damaged or mutated in a way that makes it even harder for pugs to breath, which in turn can worsen some other health issues. They are lovely dogs but don’t get scared away when they grunt or make other weird and wonderful noises at you.
They may look scary but they can be loyal and friendly dogs, with the right socialisation and training of course. These working dogs come from Germany and were primarily used for herding. These big dogs are quite agile and are at ease when running and jumping despite their large and compact bodies. They can be very temperamental and should be screened for both temperament and health issues prior to breeding or buying/adopting.
Staffordshire Bull Terrier
Another cute but stereotyped breed. The Staffy as most call them comes from England and are very rambunctious, full on and strong dogs. They are very obedient, loving and are great companions. They need loads of exercise and a ton of love, so another dog or fewer hours away from them is the best medicine. They can become bored when left alone so stimulation is key is making sure they don’t become destructive or difficult.
Our second Tibetan breed, the Tibetan Mastiff. Another long-standing breed, this dog has been around for many centuries and is still going strong. Alexander the Great actually took many of these dogs with him around the world. This breed is pretty healthy with only hip dysplasia being the main concern, other than that all they need is a good diet and room to grow. They are a working breed and were originally used to guard villages, cattle, and churches.
The royal pup! Well, the Corgi part. There are two recognised breeds of Corgi, Pembroke, and Welsh, which is what we will be focusing on. There originated from Wales of course but were possible brought over by the Celts. The main things to look out for with these dogs, with regards to their health, is obesity and back and joint problems brought on by the obesity.
Lucky last, the Yorkshire Terrier. These tiny little guys also come from England and are a relatively new breed. This breed is considered a working dog, or was during the time when rats were a lot more common in England. The Yorkie was a ratter and a couple of these dogs would watch over you at night, one at your head and one at your feet, to stop any rats from biting you.
Ok, so I lied and there are actually a couple of letters that didn’t have a corresponding breed, so I will throw in a couple of bonus breeds below.
The Afghan Hound hails from Afghanistan. They are a large breed dog and their coats are medium to long in length. Unlike most larger breeds, Afghans can live to be more than 14-years-old, which is pretty impressive. They have high energy and tend to get along with other people and dogs pretty well. They are intelligent dogs, but that usually means they can be stubborn and very set in their ways so training can be a bit difficult.
The Basenji joins us from The Congo. They are medium sized dogs and look like pretty normal dogs, except they have one big difference, they don’t bark. It’s a unique characteristic of this breed, although, while they don’t bark, they do make all of the other doggy sounds that you can come across. They have a lot of energy which can sometimes lead to their downfall as it can cause them to be aggressive.
Dalmatians are ancient dogs, from as far back as 2000BC. They originated from a town in Yugoslavia called Dalmatia, hence the name, Dalmatian. They have fewer common ailments than many other breeds but are usually pretty happy and healthy dogs with regular veterinary visits. They are very energetic and need good training and regular exercise as they can get pretty hyper if they are left stagnant.
The Italian Greyhound is a small breed and holds the reputation for being the first breed to be bred for companionship rather than work. That being said, they were used to hunt rabbits for a time. These dogs are great companions who love to cuddle and socialise, both as a show dog and as a bit of a social butterfly.
Another breed from the lovely China, these dogs are very old and is essentially a cross breed between a mastiff and Northern European breeds. This breed should be screened or ‘chosen carefully’ when shopping or adopting as they can have a few different ailments. The Shar Pei was actually originally bred to fight but have more recently been used for hunting, herding and guarding. Fun fact! The plural for Shar Pei is Shar Pei.
So, there are my 26 dog breeds, which ones do you love?