AKC Dog Breeds
When you shop for a purebred dog, you will probably notice that many breeders use the initials AKC when they
talk about their purebred puppies. What exactly is the AKC? These initials stand for the American Kennel Club, a
registry for purebred dogs born in the United States. The AKC holds dog shows and obedience competitions, helps
maintain breed standards, and registers puppies of recognized breeds. The AKC registers dogs from over a hundred
different dog breeds.
The dog above is my sheltie (shetland sheepdog) named Luke. When looking for
another dog, I had three rules, not too young, preferably not male, and definitely not with long
hair. This mutt failed all three rules, at eleven months old and living in a mobile home, he was a
hyper yapping pain. But, we took him when he needed a home, and with a yard and some socialization he
has redefined my opinion of just how good a dog can be. And completely revised my expectations of
just what a dog is capable of.
For a dog to be registered with the AKC, the breeder needs to have AKC papers for both parents. Each litter is
registered as a group shortly after the puppies are born. When the puppies are eight weeks old, the breeder gets a
registration application for each puppy. This form goes with the puppy to his new home. The new owner chooses a
name to register the puppy under and sends the application in to the American Kennel Club.
The AKC has divided the dog breeds it recognizes into eight different groups. These groups are the Sporting
Group, the Hound Group, the Working Group, the Terrier Group, the Toy Group, the Non-Sporting Group, the Herding
Group, and the Miscellaneous Class. Each dog breed recognized by the AKC is placed in one of these groups and will
compete in its breed and then its group in the show ring.
Dogs in the Sporting Group are an active, hard working bunch. These dogs need plenty of exercise, since they
were bred to spend long hours spotting and retrieving game. Some popular members of the Sporting Group are the
Golden Retriever and the Cocker Spaniel.
The Hound Group also is made up of dogs that work with hunters to catch game, but these guys are all about the
chase. Hounds can be slow and methodical, like the Bloodhound, or fast and impatient, like the Greyhound.
If you are more concerned about protecting your home, you will want to take a look at dogs in the Working Group.
These big dogs are powerful animals with strong protective instincts. Doberman Pinschers and Rottweilers are just
two of the dog breeds in this group.
Dogs in the Terrier Group love to hunt mice and rats. This group includes the dour Scottish Terriers and the
personable Miniature Schnauzers.
The Toy Group may be made up of dogs that are small in size, but their hearts are just as big as those of any
other dogs. The Yorkshire Terrier and the Miniature Pinscher are both Toy dogs.
Dogs in the Herding Group have a strong herding instinct. The Collie and the German Shepherd are members of this
The Non-Sporting Group contains dogs that don't quite fit anywhere else. The Boston Terrier and Standard Poodles
are members of the Non-Sporting Group.
The final group, the Miscellaneous Class, is where the AKC puts breeds that are still proving themselves. The
Redbone Coonhound is a member of this group.
While the AKC may be the most popular kennel club in America, it is far from being the only kennel club. If your
dog is not registered with AKC, you may be able to still register it with another group. The United Kennel Club,
the American Canine Association, the Canine Kennel Club, and the North American Purebred Dog Registry are a few
other American kennel clubs.
Of course, foreign born dogs have ancestors, too. There is some type of dog registry in most countries. Most
dogs born outside of the United States must be registered with their country's breed registry and then brought to
the United States before the AKC will consider registering them.
British dogs are registered through the Kennel Club, while dogs born in Australia are registered by the
Victorian Canine Association, which is part of Australia's National Kennel Council.
The Canadian Kennel Club, or CKC, is Canada's version of the AKC. Dogs registered with the CKC do not have to
come to the United States to be registered with the AKC.
As you look into the different registries available, just remember that even if you can't register your dog, the
most important thing about him is not his pedigree. Enjoying his loving, loyal companionship is more important than
knowing who his ancestors are!