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How many dog breeds are there?

How many dog breeds are there?
Learn About Dogs

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.

Two Dachshunds

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.

Close up of Cockapoo

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 MalamuteBouvier Des FlandresBoxer
BullmastiffBernese Mountain DogCanadian Eskimo Dog
DobermannDogue de BordeauxEntlebucher Mountain Dog (Entlebuch Cattle Dog)
Great DaneGreat Swiss Mountain DogGiant Schnauzer
Greenland DogGerman PinscherHovawart
Neapolitan MastiffPyrenean MastiffPortuguese Water Dog
Russian Black TerrierRottweilerSt. Bernard
Siberian HuskyTibetan Mastiff

Gundogs = 38 breeds

American Cocker SpanielAmerican Water SpanielBarbet
Bracco ItalianoBrittanyBraque D’Auvergne (Auvergne Pointer)
Chesapeake Bay RetrieverCocker SpanielClumber Spaniel
Curly Coated RetrieverEnglish SetterEnglish Springer Spaniel
Field SpanielFlat Coated RetrieverGerman Longhaired Pointer (Deutsch Langhaar)
German Shorthaired PointerGerman Wirehaired PointerGolden Retriever
Gordon SetterHungarian VizslaHungarian Wirehaired Vizsla
Irish SetterIrish Red and White SetterIrish Water Spaniel
Italian SpinoneKorthals GriffonLabrador Retriever
Lagotto RomagnoloLarge MunsterlanderNova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever
Portuguese PointerPointer (English Pointer)Slovakian Rough Haired Pointer
Small MunsterlanderSpanish Water DogSussex Spaniel
WeimaranerWelsh Springer Spaniel

Pastoral = 39 breeds

Anatolian Shepherd DogAustralian Cattle DogAustralian Shepherd
Bearded CollieBeauceron (Berger De Beauce)Belgian Shepherd Dog (Groenendael)
Belgian Shepherd Dog (Laekenois)Belgian Shepherd Dog (Malinois)Belgian Shepherd Dog (Tervueren)
Border CollieBriard (Berger De Brie)Bergamasco
Catalan SheepdogEstrela Mountain DogFinnish Lapphund (Finnish Lapponian Dog)
German Shepherd DogHungarian PumiHungarian Puli
Hungarian KuvaszKomondorLancashire Heeler
Maremma SheepdogNorwegian BuhundOld English Sheepdog
Picardy SheepdogPolish Lowland SheepdogPyrenean Mountain Dog
Pyrenean Sheepdog (Smooth Faced)Pyrenean Sheepdog (Long Haired)Rough Collie
SamoyedShetland SheepdogSmooth Collie
Swedish LapphundSwedish VallhundTurkish Kangal Dog (Kangal Shepherd Dog)
Welsh Corgi (Cardigan)Welsh Corgi (Pembroke)White Swiss Shepherd Dog

Hound = 37 breeds

Afghan HoundAzawakhBasset Bleu De Gascogne
Basset Fauve De BretagnePetit Basset Griffon VendeenGrand Basset Griffon Vendeen
Basset HoundBasenjiBavarian Mountain Hound
BeagleBlack and Tan CoonhoundBloodhound
BorzoiCirneco Dell'EtnaDachshund (Long Haired)
Dachshund (Miniature Long Haired)Dachshund (Smooth Haired)Dachshund (Miniature Smooth Haired)
Dachshund (Wire Haired)Dachshund (Miniature Wire Haired)Deerhound
Finnish SpitzFoxhoundGrand Bleu De Gascogne
GreyhoundGriffon Fauve De BretagneHamiltonstovare
Ibizan Hound (Podenco Ibicenco)Irish WolfhoundNorwegian Elkhound
OtterhoundPharaoh HoundPortuguese Podengo (Portuguese Warren Hound)
Rhodesian RidgebackSloughiSaluki

Utility = 30 breeds

AkitaBoston TerrierBulldog
Chow ChowCanaan DogDalmatian
EurasierFrench BulldogGerman Spitz (Klein)
German Spitz (Mittel)Japanese Akita InuJapanese Shiba Inu
Japanese Spitz (Nihon Supittsu)KeeshondJindo (Korean Jindo)
KooikerhondjeLhasa ApsoMiniature Schnauzer
Poodle (Miniature)Poodle (Standard)Poodle (Toy)
SchnauzerShih TzuShar Pei
SchipperkeTibetan SpanielTibetan Terrier
Xoloitzcuintle (Miniature)Xoloitzcuintle (Standard)Xoloitzcuintle (Toy)

Terrier = 27 breeds

Airedale TerrierAustralian TerrierBedlington Terrier
Bull TerrierBull Terrier (Miniature)Border Terrier
Cairn TerrierCesky TerrierDandie Dinmont Terrier
Fox Terrier (Smooth Coat)Fox Terrier (Wire Coat)Glen Of Imaal Terrier
Irish TerrierJack Russell TerrierKerry Blue Terrier
Lakeland TerrierManchester TerrierNorfolk Terrier
Norwich TerrierParson Russell TerrierScottish Terrier
Sealyham TerrierSkye TerrierSoft Coated Wheaten Terrier
Staffordshire Bull TerrierWelsh TerrierWest Highland White Terrier

Toy = 24 breeds

AffenpinscherAustralian Silky TerrierBichon Frise
BologneseCavalier King Charles SpanielChihuahua (Long Coat)
Chihuahua (Smooth Coat)Chinese CrestedCoton De Tulear
English Toy Terrier (Black & Tan)Griffon Bruxellois (Brussels Griffon, Griffon Belge)Havanese
Italian GreyhoundJapanese ChinKing Charles Spaniel
Lowchen (Little Lion Dog)Miniature PinscherMaltese
PomeranianPekingesePapillon (Continental Toy Spaniel)
PugRussian ToyYorkshire 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 KaiAlpine DachsbrackeAmerican Bulldog
American English CoonhoundAmerican Eskimo DogAmerican Foxhound
American Hairless TerrierAmerican Leopard HoundAmerican Staffordshire Terrier
Appenzeller Sennenhund (Appenzell Cattle Dog)AriegeoisAriège Pointer (Braque de l'Ariège)
Artois HoundAtlas Mountain Dog (Aidi)Austrian Black and Tan Hound
Austrian PinscherAustralian KelpieAustralian Stumpy Tail Cattle Dog
Barak (Bosnian Broken-haired Hound)Barbado da TerceiraBasset Artésien Normand
Beagle-HarrierBerger PicardBiewer Terrier
BillyBlue Picardy SpanielBluetick Coonhound
BoerboelsBohemian ShepherdBohemian Wirehaired Pointer (Český Fousek)
Boykin SpanielBouvier des ArdennesBraque du Bourbonnais (Bourbonnais Pointer)
Braque Français GascogneBraque Français PyreneanBraque Saint-Germain (Saint Germain Pointer)
Brazilian Mastiff (Fila Brasileiro)Brazilian TerrierBrazilian Tracker
Briquet Griffon VendéenBroholmerBucovina Shepherd
Ca de Bou (Majorca Mastiff, Mallorquin, Perro de Presa)Cane CorsoCarolina Dog
Carpathian Shepherd DogCatahoula Leopard DogCaucasian Shepherd Dog
Central Asian Shepherd DogChinookCimarrón Uruguayo
Croatian Sheepdog (Hrvatski Ovcar)Czechoslovakian Vlcak (Czechoslovakian Wolfdog)Danish-Swedish Farmdog
German Spaniel (Deutscher Wachtelhund)Dogo ArgentinoDutch Partridge Dog (Drentse Patrijshond)
DreverDunker (Norwegian Hound)Dutch Shepherd
Dutch SmoushondEast Siberian LaikaFinnish Hound
French SpanielFrench Tricolour HoundFrench White and Black Hound
French White and Orange HoundGascon SaintongeoisGerman Hound (Deutsche Bracke)
German Hunting TerrierGerman Roughhaired Pointer (Deutsch Stichelhaar)Great Pyrenees
Greek Harehound (Hellenic Hound)Griffon Bleu de GascogneGriffon Nivernais
Halden HoundHanoverian ScenthoundHarrier
HygenhundHokkaidoIcelandic Sheepdog
Istrian Short-haired HoundIstrian Wire-haired HoundJagdterrier
Japanese Terrier (Nihon Teria)Kai KenKarelian Bear Dog
Karst ShepherdKishu KenKooikerhondje (Kooiker Dutch Spaniel)
KromfohrlanderLandseerLapponian Herder
Magyar Agár (Hungarian Greyhound)Majorca Shepherd DogMiniature American Shepherd
Montenegrin Mountain HoundMountain CurMudi
Nordic Spitz (Norrbottenspets)Norwegian LundehundOld Danish Pointer
Perro de Presa Canario (Presa Canario)Peruvian Hairless Dog (Peruvian Inca Orchid)Petit Bleu de Gascogne
Picardy SpanielPlott HoundPodenco Canario (Canarian Warren Hound)
Poitevin (Chien de Haut-Poitou)Polish GreyhoundPolish Hound
Polish Hunting Dog (Gończy Polski)Pont-Audemer Spaniel (Epagneul Pont-Audemer)Porcelaine
Portuguese Cattle Dog (Castro Laboreiro)Portuguese Podengo PequenoPortuguese Sheepdog
Posavac Hound (Posavatz Hound)PudelpointerPyrenean Shepherd
Rabbit Dachshund (Smoothhaired, Longhaired, Wirehaired)\Rafeiro do AlentejoRat Terrier
Redbone CoonhoundRomanian Mioritic Shepherd DogRusso-European Laika
Russkaya Tsvetnaya BolonkaSaarloos Wolfhond (Saarloos Wolfdog)Saint Miguel Cattle Dog
SarplaninacSchapendoes (Dutch Sheepdog)Schiller Hound (Schillerstövare)
Segugio Italiano (Italian Hound)Serbian HoundSerbian Tricolour Hound
ShikokuSlovakian Wirehaired PointerSlovak Cuvac (Slovensky Cuvac, Tatransky Cuvac)
Slovensky Kopov (Slovakian Hound)Smaland Hound (Smålandsstövare)South Russian Shepherd Dog
Spanish Greyhound (Galgo Español)Spanish HoundSpanish 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 DogTatra Shepherd Dog (Owczarek Podhalanski, Polish Mountain Sheepdog)Teddy Roosevelt Terrier
Tenterfield TerrierThai RidgebackTornjak (Croatian Shepherd Dog)
TosaToy Fox TerrierTransylvanian Hound
Treeing Tennessee BrindleTreeing Walker CoonhoundTyrolean Hound (Tyrol, Tiroler Bracke)
Volpino ItalianoWeimaraner (Longhair)Wetterhoun (Frisian Water Dog)
Westphalian DachsbrackeWest Siberian LaikaWirehaired Pointing Griffon
Wirehaired Slovakian PointerWorking KelpieYakutian Laikas

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