How many dog breeds are there?
Dogs are the most varied mammal on the planet, with literally hundreds of different breeds out there in every shape, size, colour, and coat you could possibly imagine. With so much variety, it can be hard to remember that in terms of DNA, all dogs are nearly identical. If you want to know exactly how many dog breeds are there, and how they were developed, we’re here to explain how your furry friend came to be and share all there is to know about why we have such a vast selection of furry friends.
How many dog species are there?
It’s a common misconception that different breeds of dog are different species, but despite their many differences, all dog breeds are the same species. That means whether you have a tiny Chihuahua or a giant furball of a St Bernard, they are still the same species.
All pet dogs are from the species “Canis Lupus Familiaris”, known to you and me as the domestic dog. Dog breeds are not considered subspecies either, and no matter their difference in size, coat, or colour all dogs are the same species and genetically nearly identical.
How are dog breeds developed?
As we mentioned, dog breeds are all still the same species. So how did we end up with such a huge variety in our furry friends? Dogs are the most variable mammal on earth, and that is all thanks to us humans.
Different breeds of dog were created through artificial selection, which means that humans selectively bred specific dogs together to ensure certain traits were more likely to be inherited by puppies. Over time, these traits would survive within the pup-ulation and become more common within that breed.
A good example would be if you owned a Dalmatian with red spots, and you wanted to make sure their puppies also had red spots. You would deliberately mate your Dalmation with another dog with red spots, so the puppies have a greater chance of inheriting the genes responsible and therefore be more likely to have red spots too.
Selectively breeding dogs so their offspring would inherit certain characteristics was a method of creating different dogs that were adapted to certain tasks or environments. In other words, humans started making new dogs that would be very good at performing certain jobs, like pulling sleds, herding sheep, or helping humans to hunt. To this day dog breeds are still organised in categories based on their original job.
Dachshunds are a paw-some example of a breed created through selective breeding to make a new dog that was better at a certain job. In this case, chasing badgers out of underground dens.
Because Dachshunds were bred to hunt in small spaces they needed little legs, a lot of courage, and a strong hunting instinct. Humans began deliberately breeding hounds with dwarfism, because they had tenacity and a desire to hunt but also happened to have smaller legs thanks to a genetic mutation. This meant that puppies and future generations of dogs would be more likely to inherit little legs, creating a compact hunter that could squeeze in tight spaces. Eventually, the sausage shape Doxies are famous for became the norm within this pup-ulation of dogs, and they could be identified as a separate breed because they were characteristically different to the hounds they had originally been bred from.
How does a dog become a recognised breed?
The rules on having a new breed recognised depend on where you are in the world and what governing body determines doggy recognition where you live. But these governing associations and clubs all follow similar rules. Here in the UK, the Kennel Club is the main breed association.
The Kennel Club will only recognise a new purebreed of dog once it has an established pup-ulation within the UK, usually with several generations of dogs that can be accurately traced back through time. The Kennel Club then conducts a lot of research into the history of the new breed, and the general health, temperament, and traits within the population of pooches to establish that they are a viable, healthy group of dogs with common characteristics.
A breed standard will also need to be drawn up. This is basically a description of the dog’s specific appearance and character they inherit by being part of that breed, and all breeders agree that this description is fitting to how that breed of dog should typically look and behave if they are purebred. At this point, the Kennel Club might grant them recognised status as a breed.
However, the new breed still won’t be a fully-fledged purebreed. When a new breed is first given recognition by the Kennel Club, they are placed on the “Imported Breeds Register” for a while until they are deemed “eligible” to be moved onto the Breeds Register. The Breeds Register is the official registry of all purebreed dogs recognised by the Kennel Club.
Can crossbreeds become recognised breeds?
Crossbreeds are very common and pup-ular pets. For some though, they want to make sure people recognise their particular crossbreed as a recognised pedigree breed.
For example, the charming and rapidly pup-ular Cockapoo is a crossbreed dog bred from a Cocker Spaniel and a Poodle, but a number of breeders are pushing for it to become a recognised breed of its own. There is now a Cockapoo Club and several generations of dogs in the UK, so it’s paw-sible they might be recognised by the Kennel Club in the future.
How many dog breeds are there in the world?
The Fédération Cynologique Internationale, also known as the World Canine Organisation, has the largest list of dog breeds and recognises about 350 different breeds of dog. The World Canine Organisation is a federation of multiple countries and their kennel clubs, but it excludes the United Kingdom, Australia, and the United States who all have their own national Kennel Club or Council.
Basically, no one really knows exactly how many dog breeds there are because all of these clubs recognise different breeds and the number of dog breeds on each list varies. But if you keep reading, we’ve done our best to check out most of the major Kennel Clubs in the world and have created the biggest list of dog breeds ever!
How many dog breeds are there in the UK?
The UK Kennel Club currently recognises 221 breeds.
What is the newest dog breed in the UK?
The newest breed recognised was the Black and Tan Coonhound back in June 2018. It’s been a recognised breed by the American Kennel Club since 1945, but it’s never been pupu-ular enough here across the pond to be given the same recognition. Even when the Black and Tan Coonhound was finally given recognition here with the Kennel Club, there were only 70 Black and Tan Coonhounds in the UK!
There have only been 11 new breeds recognised since 2008 and some of these “new” additions might surprise you. For example, they include the Jack Russell Terrier which was only given official breed status back in 2016!
Are there any endangered breeds?
Whilst some breeds surge to pup-ularity, others fall out of favour or are absorbed into new breeds that eventually replace them. This means that many dog breeds have gone extinct in the past, and other breeds become vulnerable or endangered.
The Kennel Club has a list of vulnerable native breeds which is made up of British born and bred dogs that are declining in pup-ularity. For example, the beloved Bloodhound famed for its su-paw-powered nose is extremely vulnerable, and only 32 Bloodhounds were registered with the Club in 2020. The handsome and clownish Otterhound, which can resemble a big Cockapoo, is one of the most vulnerable dog breeds around and only 7 dogs were registered last year.
How many dog breeds are there in the UK - All 221 dog breeds
Just like the breed register and dog shows, we’ll organise all the different breeds of dog into the 7 categories based on the job they were bred for. These categories are Working, Gundog, Pastoral, Hound, Utility, Terrier, and Toy.
Working = 26 breeds
|Alaskan Malamute||Bouvier Des Flandres||Boxer|
|Bullmastiff||Bernese Mountain Dog||Canadian Eskimo Dog|
|Dobermann||Dogue de Bordeaux||Entlebucher Mountain Dog (Entlebuch Cattle Dog)|
|Great Dane||Great Swiss Mountain Dog||Giant Schnauzer|
|Greenland Dog||German Pinscher||Hovawart|
|Neapolitan Mastiff||Pyrenean Mastiff||Portuguese Water Dog|
|Russian Black Terrier||Rottweiler||St. Bernard|
|Siberian Husky||Tibetan Mastiff|
Gundogs = 38 breeds
|American Cocker Spaniel||American Water Spaniel||Barbet|
|Bracco Italiano||Brittany||Braque D’Auvergne (Auvergne Pointer)|
|Chesapeake Bay Retriever||Cocker Spaniel||Clumber Spaniel|
|Curly Coated Retriever||English Setter||English Springer Spaniel|
|Field Spaniel||Flat Coated Retriever||German Longhaired Pointer (Deutsch Langhaar)|
|German Shorthaired Pointer||German Wirehaired Pointer||Golden Retriever|
|Gordon Setter||Hungarian Vizsla||Hungarian Wirehaired Vizsla|
|Irish Setter||Irish Red and White Setter||Irish Water Spaniel|
|Italian Spinone||Korthals Griffon||Labrador Retriever|
|Lagotto Romagnolo||Large Munsterlander||Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever|
|Portuguese Pointer||Pointer (English Pointer)||Slovakian Rough Haired Pointer|
|Small Munsterlander||Spanish Water Dog||Sussex Spaniel|
|Weimaraner||Welsh Springer Spaniel|
Pastoral = 39 breeds
|Anatolian Shepherd Dog||Australian Cattle Dog||Australian Shepherd|
|Bearded Collie||Beauceron (Berger De Beauce)||Belgian Shepherd Dog (Groenendael)|
|Belgian Shepherd Dog (Laekenois)||Belgian Shepherd Dog (Malinois)||Belgian Shepherd Dog (Tervueren)|
|Border Collie||Briard (Berger De Brie)||Bergamasco|
|Catalan Sheepdog||Estrela Mountain Dog||Finnish Lapphund (Finnish Lapponian Dog)|
|German Shepherd Dog||Hungarian Pumi||Hungarian Puli|
|Hungarian Kuvasz||Komondor||Lancashire Heeler|
|Maremma Sheepdog||Norwegian Buhund||Old English Sheepdog|
|Picardy Sheepdog||Polish Lowland Sheepdog||Pyrenean Mountain Dog|
|Pyrenean Sheepdog (Smooth Faced)||Pyrenean Sheepdog (Long Haired)||Rough Collie|
|Samoyed||Shetland Sheepdog||Smooth Collie|
|Swedish Lapphund||Swedish Vallhund||Turkish Kangal Dog (Kangal Shepherd Dog)|
|Welsh Corgi (Cardigan)||Welsh Corgi (Pembroke)||White Swiss Shepherd Dog|
Hound = 37 breeds
|Afghan Hound||Azawakh||Basset Bleu De Gascogne|
|Basset Fauve De Bretagne||Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen||Grand Basset Griffon Vendeen|
|Basset Hound||Basenji||Bavarian Mountain Hound|
|Beagle||Black and Tan Coonhound||Bloodhound|
|Borzoi||Cirneco Dell'Etna||Dachshund (Long Haired)|
|Dachshund (Miniature Long Haired)||Dachshund (Smooth Haired)||Dachshund (Miniature Smooth Haired)|
|Dachshund (Wire Haired)||Dachshund (Miniature Wire Haired)||Deerhound|
|Finnish Spitz||Foxhound||Grand Bleu De Gascogne|
|Greyhound||Griffon Fauve De Bretagne||Hamiltonstovare|
|Ibizan Hound (Podenco Ibicenco)||Irish Wolfhound||Norwegian Elkhound|
|Otterhound||Pharaoh Hound||Portuguese Podengo (Portuguese Warren Hound)|
Utility = 30 breeds
|Chow Chow||Canaan Dog||Dalmatian|
|Eurasier||French Bulldog||German Spitz (Klein)|
|German Spitz (Mittel)||Japanese Akita Inu||Japanese Shiba Inu|
|Japanese Spitz (Nihon Supittsu)||Keeshond||Jindo (Korean Jindo)|
|Kooikerhondje||Lhasa Apso||Miniature Schnauzer|
|Poodle (Miniature)||Poodle (Standard)||Poodle (Toy)|
|Schnauzer||Shih Tzu||Shar Pei|
|Schipperke||Tibetan Spaniel||Tibetan Terrier|
|Xoloitzcuintle (Miniature)||Xoloitzcuintle (Standard)||Xoloitzcuintle (Toy)|
Terrier = 27 breeds
|Airedale Terrier||Australian Terrier||Bedlington Terrier|
|Bull Terrier||Bull Terrier (Miniature)||Border Terrier|
|Cairn Terrier||Cesky Terrier||Dandie Dinmont Terrier|
|Fox Terrier (Smooth Coat)||Fox Terrier (Wire Coat)||Glen Of Imaal Terrier|
|Irish Terrier||Jack Russell Terrier||Kerry Blue Terrier|
|Lakeland Terrier||Manchester Terrier||Norfolk Terrier|
|Norwich Terrier||Parson Russell Terrier||Scottish Terrier|
|Sealyham Terrier||Skye Terrier||Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier|
|Staffordshire Bull Terrier||Welsh Terrier||West Highland White Terrier|
Toy = 24 breeds
|Affenpinscher||Australian Silky Terrier||Bichon Frise|
|Bolognese||Cavalier King Charles Spaniel||Chihuahua (Long Coat)|
|Chihuahua (Smooth Coat)||Chinese Crested||Coton De Tulear|
|English Toy Terrier (Black & Tan)||Griffon Bruxellois (Brussels Griffon, Griffon Belge)||Havanese|
|Italian Greyhound||Japanese Chin||King Charles Spaniel|
|Lowchen (Little Lion Dog)||Miniature Pinscher||Maltese|
|Pomeranian||Pekingese||Papillon (Continental Toy Spaniel)|
|Pug||Russian Toy||Yorkshire Terrier|
How many dog breeds are there in the rest of the world?
There are many dog breeds that are recognised by breed clubs like the American Kennel Club, Australian Kennel Club, and the World Canine Organisation that are not recognised here in the UK. So how many other dog breeds are there that aren’t listed in the UK Kennel Club?
We’ve sniffed out 171 breeds amongst these other clubs that are not recognised in the UK. So combined with the breeds that are listed in the Kennel Club, that means there are at least 392 dog breeds in the world! So what are those other breeds we don’t see over here?
How many dog breeds are there outside the UK include:
|Alaskan Klee Kai||Alpine Dachsbracke||American Bulldog|
|American English Coonhound||American Eskimo Dog||American Foxhound|
|American Hairless Terrier||American Leopard Hound||American Staffordshire Terrier|
|Appenzeller Sennenhund (Appenzell Cattle Dog)||Ariegeois||Ariège Pointer (Braque de l'Ariège)|
|Artois Hound||Atlas Mountain Dog (Aidi)||Austrian Black and Tan Hound|
|Austrian Pinscher||Australian Kelpie||Australian Stumpy Tail Cattle Dog|
|Barak (Bosnian Broken-haired Hound)||Barbado da Terceira||Basset Artésien Normand|
|Beagle-Harrier||Berger Picard||Biewer Terrier|
|Billy||Blue Picardy Spaniel||Bluetick Coonhound|
|Boerboels||Bohemian Shepherd||Bohemian Wirehaired Pointer (Český Fousek)|
|Boykin Spaniel||Bouvier des Ardennes||Braque du Bourbonnais (Bourbonnais Pointer)|
|Braque Français Gascogne||Braque Français Pyrenean||Braque Saint-Germain (Saint Germain Pointer)|
|Brazilian Mastiff (Fila Brasileiro)||Brazilian Terrier||Brazilian Tracker|
|Briquet Griffon Vendéen||Broholmer||Bucovina Shepherd|
|Ca de Bou (Majorca Mastiff, Mallorquin, Perro de Presa)||Cane Corso||Carolina Dog|
|Carpathian Shepherd Dog||Catahoula Leopard Dog||Caucasian Shepherd Dog|
|Central Asian Shepherd Dog||Chinook||Cimarrón Uruguayo|
|Croatian Sheepdog (Hrvatski Ovcar)||Czechoslovakian Vlcak (Czechoslovakian Wolfdog)||Danish-Swedish Farmdog|
|German Spaniel (Deutscher Wachtelhund)||Dogo Argentino||Dutch Partridge Dog (Drentse Patrijshond)|
|Drever||Dunker (Norwegian Hound)||Dutch Shepherd|
|Dutch Smoushond||East Siberian Laika||Finnish Hound|
|French Spaniel||French Tricolour Hound||French White and Black Hound|
|French White and Orange Hound||Gascon Saintongeois||German Hound (Deutsche Bracke)|
|German Hunting Terrier||German Roughhaired Pointer (Deutsch Stichelhaar)||Great Pyrenees|
|Greek Harehound (Hellenic Hound)||Griffon Bleu de Gascogne||Griffon Nivernais|
|Halden Hound||Hanoverian Scenthound||Harrier|
|Istrian Short-haired Hound||Istrian Wire-haired Hound||Jagdterrier|
|Japanese Terrier (Nihon Teria)||Kai Ken||Karelian Bear Dog|
|Karst Shepherd||Kishu Ken||Kooikerhondje (Kooiker Dutch Spaniel)|
|Magyar Agár (Hungarian Greyhound)||Majorca Shepherd Dog||Miniature American Shepherd|
|Montenegrin Mountain Hound||Mountain Cur||Mudi|
|Nordic Spitz (Norrbottenspets)||Norwegian Lundehund||Old Danish Pointer|
|Perro de Presa Canario (Presa Canario)||Peruvian Hairless Dog (Peruvian Inca Orchid)||Petit Bleu de Gascogne|
|Picardy Spaniel||Plott Hound||Podenco Canario (Canarian Warren Hound)|
|Poitevin (Chien de Haut-Poitou)||Polish Greyhound||Polish Hound|
|Polish Hunting Dog (Gończy Polski)||Pont-Audemer Spaniel (Epagneul Pont-Audemer)||Porcelaine|
|Portuguese Cattle Dog (Castro Laboreiro)||Portuguese Podengo Pequeno||Portuguese Sheepdog|
|Posavac Hound (Posavatz Hound)||Pudelpointer||Pyrenean Shepherd|
|Rabbit Dachshund (Smoothhaired, Longhaired, Wirehaired)\||Rafeiro do Alentejo||Rat Terrier|
|Redbone Coonhound||Romanian Mioritic Shepherd Dog||Russo-European Laika|
|Russkaya Tsvetnaya Bolonka||Saarloos Wolfhond (Saarloos Wolfdog)||Saint Miguel Cattle Dog|
|Sarplaninac||Schapendoes (Dutch Sheepdog)||Schiller Hound (Schillerstövare)|
|Segugio Italiano (Italian Hound)||Serbian Hound||Serbian Tricolour Hound|
|Shikoku||Slovakian Wirehaired Pointer||Slovak Cuvac (Slovensky Cuvac, Tatransky Cuvac)|
|Slovensky Kopov (Slovakian Hound)||Smaland Hound (Smålandsstövare)||South Russian Shepherd Dog|
|Spanish Greyhound (Galgo Español)||Spanish Hound||Spanish Mastiff|
|Spanish Pointer (Burgos Pointer, Burgalese Pointer)||Stabyhoun (Stabij)||Styrian Coarse-haired Hound|
|Swedish Elkhound (Jämthund)||Small Swiss Hound (Schweizerischer Niederlaufhund)||Swiss Hound (Schweizer Laufhund)|
|Taiwan Dog||Tatra Shepherd Dog (Owczarek Podhalanski, Polish Mountain Sheepdog)||Teddy Roosevelt Terrier|
|Tenterfield Terrier||Thai Ridgeback||Tornjak (Croatian Shepherd Dog)|
|Tosa||Toy Fox Terrier||Transylvanian Hound|
|Treeing Tennessee Brindle||Treeing Walker Coonhound||Tyrolean Hound (Tyrol, Tiroler Bracke)|
|Volpino Italiano||Weimaraner (Longhair)||Wetterhoun (Frisian Water Dog)|
|Westphalian Dachsbracke||West Siberian Laika||Wirehaired Pointing Griffon|
|Wirehaired Slovakian Pointer||Working Kelpie||Yakutian Laikas|