How many dog breeds are there?

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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.

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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 an excellent 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 possible 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 super-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



Bernese Mountain Dog

Canadian Eskimo Dog


Dogue de Bordeaux

Entlebucher Mountain Dog (Entlebuch Cattle Dog)

Great Dane

Great Swiss Mountain Dog

Giant Schnauzer

Greenland Dog

German Pinscher





Neapolitan Mastiff

Pyrenean Mastiff

Portuguese Water Dog

Russian Black Terrier


St. Bernard

Siberian Husky

Tibetan Mastiff


Gundogs = 38 breeds




Bracco Italiano


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


Welsh Springer Spaniel


Pastoral = 39 breeds




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)


Catalan Sheepdog

Estrela Mountain Dog

Finnish Lapphund (Finnish Lapponian Dog)

German Shepherd Dog

Hungarian Pumi

Hungarian Puli

Hungarian Kuvasz


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


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




Basset Fauve De Bretagne

Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen

Grand Basset Griffon Vendeen

Basset Hound


Bavarian Mountain Hound


Black and Tan Coonhound



Cirneco Dell'Etna

Dachshund (Long Haired)

Dachshund (Miniature Long Haired)

Dachshund (Smooth Haired)

Dachshund (Miniature Smooth Haired)

Dachshund (Wire Haired)

Dachshund (Miniature Wire Haired)


Finnish Spitz


Grand Bleu De Gascogne


Griffon Fauve De Bretagne


Ibizan Hound (Podenco Ibicenco)

Irish Wolfhound

Norwegian Elkhound


Pharaoh Hound

Portuguese Podengo (Portuguese Warren Hound)

Rhodesian Ridgeback






Utility = 30 breeds


Chow Chow

Canaan Dog



French Bulldog

German Spitz (Klein)

German Spitz (Mittel)

Japanese Akita Inu

Japanese Shiba Inu

Japanese Spitz (Nihon Supittsu)



(Korean Jindo)


Lhasa Apso

Miniature Schnauzer

Poodle (Miniature)

Poodle (Standard)

Poodle (Toy)


Shih Tzu

Shar Pei


Tibetan Spaniel

Tibetan Terrier

Xoloitzcuintle (Miniature)

Xoloitzcuintle (Standard)

Xoloitzcuintle (Toy)

Terrier = 27 breeds




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



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)


Italian Greyhound

Japanese Chin

King Charles Spaniel

Lowchen (Little Lion Dog)

Miniature Pinscher




Papillon (Continental Toy Spaniel)


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:




American English Coonhound

American Eskimo Dog

American Foxhound

American Hairless Terrier

American Leopard Hound

American Staffordshire Terrier

Appenzeller Sennenhund (Appenzell Cattle Dog)


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


Berger Picard

Biewer Terrier


Blue Picardy Spaniel

Bluetick Coonhound


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


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


Cimarrón Uruguayo

Croatian Sheepdog (Hrvatski Ovcar)

Czechoslovakian Vlcak (Czechoslovakian Wolfdog)

Danish-Swedish Farmdog

German Spaniel (Deutscher Wachtelhund)

Dogo Argentino

Dutch Partridge Dog (Drentse Patrijshond)


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




Icelandic Sheepdog

Istrian Short-haired Hound

Istrian Wire-haired Hound


Japanese Terrier (Nihon Teria)

Kai Ken

Karelian Bear Dog

Karst Shepherd

Kishu Ken

Kooikerhondje (Kooiker Dutch Spaniel)



Lapponian Herder

Magyar Agár (Hungarian Greyhound)

Majorca Shepherd Dog

Miniature American Shepherd

Montenegrin Mountain Hound

Mountain Cur


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)


Portuguese Cattle Dog (Castro Laboreiro)

Portuguese Podengo Pequeno

Portuguese Sheepdog

Posavac Hound (Posavatz Hound)


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


Schapendoes (Dutch Sheepdog)

Schiller Hound (Schillerstövare)

Segugio Italiano (Italian Hound)

Serbian Hound

Serbian Tricolour Hound


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)


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