Dog Breeds

Affenpinscher

The diminutive Affenpinscher is a lot of dog in a small package. Known as the “monkey dog” for its distinctive appearance, it is a comical character that nonetheless takes itself quite seriously, being a fearless guard dog. It is easy to care for in terms of exercise and grooming requirements, and can adapt to indoor living, but it does not enjoy the company of children.

Afghan Hound

The reserved and elegant Afghan Hound is one of the oldest of the dog breeds still in existence, having been prized for its abilities as a hunter in the rugged terrain of Afghanistan for many centuries. Today, the breed is among the most visually striking of the breeds, but requires a great deal of time in grooming and exercise.

Airedale Terrier

The Airedale Terrier is the largest of the terrier breeds and originates from Yorkshire as a multi-purpose farm, hunting and guard dog. It has a strong, independent character and is courageous and extremely loyal and protective of its family. The Airedale is an active dog and requires plenty of exercise and experienced handlers, but is generally a healthy breed.

Akita Inu

The Akita Inu is a strong, brave, and loyal dog originally from Japan. Akitas are protective of their family and are a trustworthy companion, being both docile and affectionate. They are reserved with other people and can be dominant and aggressive toward other animals. They require an early an effective socialization and a firm hand to keep their strong and wilful temperament under control.

Alaskan Husky

The Alaskan Husky is not a pedigree breed, but rather a type of dog, normally used for competitive dog sledding in North America. Hugely energetic, they require a very active owner to satisfy their exercise requirements. They are known as very affectionate dogs, but can be difficult to train, and have a tendency to excessive vocalisation.

Alaskan Malamute

Built to survive and thrive in Arctic conditions, the Alaskan Malamute has adapted to living as a loving, friendly and outgoing companion dog. Not dependable with small pets or other dogs, but will fit well into life with an active family, as long as the owner is experienced enough to provide the strong pack leadership the breed requires.

American Cocker Spaniel

Unlike its close relation, the English Cocker, the American Cocker Spaniel has been bred primarily as a pet and for the show ring. It is a clever, cheerful, and gentle companion, but is also sensitive and easily stressed. Unfortunately, decades of reckless breeding practices have also burdened it with a large number of inherited illnesses.

American Pit Bull Terrier

The American Pit Bull Terrier is a sturdy dog of imposing looks but gentle and friendly nature towards humans. They are true companion dogs, they love children, and are active dogs that need both mental and physical stimulation. Confident and strong, Pit Bulls are great athletes and working dogs, performing brilliantly as police, search and rescue, and service dogs.

Anatolian Shepherd

The large and imposing Anatolian Shepherd is a devoted, capable, and fierce protector, traditionally of sheep and goats, but now more often of people and property. Its strong instincts and stubborn nature can make it difficult to control in the presence of strangers, and it is not a dog that should be taken on by an inexperienced owner.

Australian Cattle Dog

The Australian Cattle Dog is a highly intelligent dog, bred to herd wild cattle with tenacity and courage. As a pet, it makes a devoted and fiercely loyal companion, bonding very strongly to one individual. The breed has a strict requirement for hours of daily exercise, and will quickly become bored and destructive if under-stimulated. It has a natural tendency to mouthiness and biting, which must be discouraged from puppyhood.

Australian Kelpie

Developed as farm dogs from a mix of collies and the occasional dingo, Australian Kelpies are among the most clever of the modern breeds, and are ideally suited to working as herders, assistance dogs, and in the emergency services. They make great pets for active owners and are adaptable to many different living situations, but need constant company and vast amounts of exercise.

Australian Shepherd

Despite its name, the Australian Shepherd was first bred on the farms of the Rocky Mountains. It has since become a hugely popular pet for its intelligence and personality, but it retains a working dog’s need for a lot of exercise and a sense of purpose. If adequately stimulated, it makes a wonderful family pet, but it is prone to boredom, which can lead to problem behaviours.

Australian Silky Terrier

The Australian Silky Terrier is a toy breed in stature, but a big dog at heart, and its origins as a vermin hunter have endowed it with a typical terrier attitude. This little dog enjoys being at the centre of family life, though it prefers the company of adults, and is a vocal and effective watch dog.

Azawakh

An extremely rare dog outside its native Africa, the Azawakh is an ancient breed, prized by nomadic tribes for its capabilities as a guardian and a hunter. It is reserved and aloof by nature, and tends to be suspicious of strangers. It enjoys the company of adults and older children who will indulge its need for exercise.

Basenji

A hunting dog, not far removed from the wilds of Africa, the Basenji is a unique pet in many respects. While not capable of barking in the manner of other dogs, Basenjis are quite vocal and expressive. Suited to families or individuals with the time and space to deal with high energy levels, but care must be taken to contain their drive to wander and to hunt.

Basset Bleu de Gascogne

An enthusiastic hunter with great stamina and an extremely sensitive nose, the Basset Bleu de Gascogne is a very old breed that originated in France, where it was used by peasants on foot to hunt a range of game. A very rare breed in the United Kingdom, it makes a playful and amiable pet that gets along very well with people and other dogs.

Basset Fauve de Bretagne

This typically low-slung small Basset breed hails from northern France, where it is extremely popular as a rabbit hunter, working either individually or in pairs through thick vegetation. However, it is also gaining popularity as a pet because of its cheerful disposition and sociability. The Basset Fauve de Bretagne is a perfect choice of dog for children, and it can mix with other non-canine pets, despite its hunting background.

Basset Griffon Vendeen

With its comically abundant eyebrows and twitching moustache, the Basset Griffon Vendeen’s appearance gives some clues as to its friendly and jovial personality. Originally a hunting dog, it has now become a sought-after pet, but it retains a strong hunting instinct and must be watched around cats and other small pets. Petit and Grand variations exist, and both need plenty of exercise.

Basset Hound

The Basset Hound is a medium sized breed with a placid and affectionate temperament. It was originally bred in France for tracking animals during hunts over large distances and has an exceptional sense of smell. It has a short coat, which requires minimal grooming, but can be prone to skin problems due to excessive wrinkles in addition to some other health problems. The Basset Hound is exceptionally good with children and other animals.

Bavarian Mountain Dog

A brave, tenacious hunter with a keen nose for blood, the Bavarian Mountain Dog is finding its way from the wilds of southern Germany into increasing numbers of homes because of its devotion to its owner, coupled with its calm and poised manner. Though famously reserved around strangers, it is never shy or aggressive, and it has the patience and stoicism to tolerate even the rowdiest of children.

Beagle

The Beagle is small sized hound, which is gentle, intelligent and good natured. The modern Beagle was developed in Great Britain but has since proved enormously popular in the USA and Canada, as well as around the world. Beagles are exceptionally good with children and make good family pets, but can suffer from separation anxiety. They need a medium amount of exercise and do not require any specialist grooming. They suffer from some inherited health problems so selection of a healthy family line is important.

Bearded Collie

The Bearded Collie is a medium sized breed of herding dog that was developed to work with sheep and cattle in Scotland. It is charismatic, bouncy and intelligent and extremely quick to learn. The Bearded Collie is an active dog and requires plenty of exercise. It has a long coat which needs regular brushing to keep it in good condition.

Beauceron

Although it has long been used as a hunting and guardian dog in its native France, the Beauceron is an unfamiliar breed to many. Highly intelligent and easily trainable, this is a dog that can reward a confident owner with unfailing loyalty and protection, but it needs discipline, intense socialisation, and plenty of exercise. It does not mix well with other pets.

Bedlington Terrier

Despite its appearance, the Bedlington Terrier is more wolf than lamb, and remains true to its working origins as a hunter. While keeping the home free of rats and mice, it will also be a loyal companion, a vigilant watch dog, and enthusiastic playmate. It gets along with other easy-going small breeds, but its headstrong, fearless nature means it should not be left unattended with larger or aggressive dogs.

Belgian Shepherd

The Belgian Shepherd is sometimes considered not one, but four breeds, and can be seen with a variety of coat types and colours. This large, intelligent dog is highly energetic, and is popular with police forces around the world for its trainability and bravery. It makes a loyal and obedient pet, but needs an experienced owner with the time to give it the vigorous exercise it needs.

Bergamasco

Those that can look past its tangled, matted mess of hair will find the Bergamasco to be a very intelligent, gentle dog with the independence and determination that might be expected from a herding dog expected to work on its own initiative. The bizarre coat is a triumph of function over appearance, and is amongst the easiest to care for in the canine world.

Bernese Mountain Dog

The Bernese Mountain Dog is a large, docile breed with an extremely good nature. Originally developed in Switzerland as an all round farm dog the breed has a thick coat, which can shed heavily but does not require specialist grooming. It is very loyal and likes to be part of the household, getting on well with children and other pets. The Bernese Mountain Dog can suffer from several health problems and lives on average for around 7 - 8 years.

Bichon Frise

The Bichon Frise is a small breed, which belongs to the toy group. The breed is intelligent with a happy, lively and extremely sociable character. It was originally from the island of Tenerife but was later developed in France. The Bichon Frise is fantastic with children and makes an excellent companion but can suffer separation anxiety. The breed ideally needs professional grooming and can suffer from some inherited health problems so selection of a healthy family line is important.

Bloodhound

Bloodhounds are gentle and loving dogs with a distinctive appearance due to their wrinkles, long, droopy ears, and hanging eyes. They are famous for their impressive sense of smell and are used by the police for tracking people, being able to follow a scent for a long time and over long distances. At home, they are excellent pets, very fond of children, and friendly towards other animals.

Bolognese

One of the original lapdogs, the Bolognese has a long history that can be traced back through the aristocratic families of Italy. It is a playful, but serene, toy breed that rewards a loving owner with loyalty and devotion. Very sociable with other pets, and good with older children, it will fit well into most homes.

Border Collie

The Border Collie is an English dog breed characterized by its tireless energy and stamina, and incredible intelligence, that puts it in the top list of the smartest dogs. They flourished as herding dogs, and are known for their staring gaze and herding tendencies, but they also make wonderful family pets. They are affectionate, loyal, and easily bonded to people. They require a large amount of both mental and physical stimuli in order to develop their full potential and be happy dogs.

Border Terrier

The Border Terrier is a friendly, active, hardy, small breed of dog, with a wheaten, red, grizzle or blue-coloured, rough-textured outer coat. The Border Terrier loves to do all of the things you would expect a dog to do – dig, run, jump, bark, eat and chase cats. The Border Terrier is a loving, cheerful companion, and an excellent playmate for children.

Borzoi

The Borzoi is a large, quiet and sensitive breed of dog developed by the Russian aristocracy as a sighthound used to hunt many types of small wild game. It is independent in nature and training must be kept varied to ensure it does not become disinterested. The breed can find young children overwhelming and has innate hunting instincts, which mean it can be prone to chasing small animals. It does not require specialist grooming but does need regular brushing. Generally, the breed is healthy and does not suffer from breed specific health problems.

Boston Terrier

The Boston Terrier is a small, lively breed with an exceptionally sociable nature which makes them excellent companions. Originating from the USA, the Boston Terrier was influenced by several other bull and terrier breeds. It has minimal grooming requirements and lives to around 12 years old. It has some health problems and is a brachycephalic breed which can have problems breathing so care should be taken to avoid hot or stressful conditions.

Bouvier des Flandres

The Bouvier des Flandres is a large, sensible breed of dog who is both brave and extremely loyal. Originally developed in the Flanders region of Belgium as an all-round farm dog with excellent herding capabilities, the breed now fulfills other working roles and is kept as a companion. The breed has a thick, profuse coat, which requires regular brushing, but does not shed. The Bouvier des Flandres is an energetic breed that needs an experienced owner and plenty of exercise. The breed can suffer from some inherited health problems so carefully selecting a puppy from a healthy line is important.

Boxer

The Boxer is a medium sized dog that originates from Germany where it was originally used for hunting and then by the army in World War I. The Boxer has a playful, happy character but is, at the same time, fearless and protective of its family. Boxers are energetic dogs and need consistent training and plenty of exercise. They can suffer from some health problems, so careful selection of healthy family lines is important.

Bracco Italiano

The Bracco Italiano is a large breed of dog that was originally used as a pointer and retriever during shoots in Italy. The breed is very active and requires around two-hours of exercise a day. It has a gentle, docile character and is affectionate and good with children. Its coat is short and it does not require any specialist grooming.

Braque d’Auvergne

Unknown to most people outside the hunting community, the Braque d’Auvergne is a long-established French pointer that can offer a great deal as a pet. Its innate responsiveness, eagerness to please, and intelligence mean it is generally very obedient, while it is remarkably affectionate and gentle, making it a great fit for homes with children. It needs a lot of exercise, and should not be kept with smaller pets.

Briard

The Briard is a large breed of dog, which was originally used as a multipurpose farm dog and has excellent herding skills. It was developed in the Brie region of France and is very active, requiring about two-hours of exercise a day. It is a happy, lively breed, is extremely intelligent, and thrives on mental stimulation. The Briard is very loyal and highly protective of its family, meaning it makes an excellent guard dog.

Brittany

The Brittany is a clever, biddable dog from northern France that has traditionally been used as a pointer by hunters. Although its sweet disposition and sociability can make it a terrific choice for families with children or other dogs, it has extremely high energy levels that need to be managed through regular, intensive exercise.

Bull Terrier

The Bull Terrier and Miniature Bull Terrier are physically very similar but are differentiated by their size. They are fun loving, charming dogs which can be independent and stubborn. They were originally developed as a fighting dog in England, but despite this, they do not look for trouble. They require minimal grooming and get on well with children. The breed does suffer from some health problems so selection of a healthy family line is important.

Bulldog

One of Britain's oldest native breeds the Bulldog is now primarily a companion dog. A stout, thick-set dog, the Bulldog was bred for bull-baiting, but after this was banned, a more affectionate, gentle nature was selected for. Bulldogs are good with children and do not require lots of exercise but are prone to some health problems, so careful selection of healthy family lines is key.

Bullmastiff

The Bullmastiff is a powerful, fearless guardian, but also a loyal and affectionate pet. Dependable with children and other pets, and reserved with strangers, the breed is an excellent choice of family pet for those with the space to accommodate them. They require little grooming, but produce a lot of drool! A moderate amount of exercise is required to keep them in good shape.

Cairn Terrier

The intrepid and brave Cairn Terrier was bred in the Scottish Highlands for its tenacity and hardiness while pursuing prey, but it has a special place in any family home as a sweet, intelligent, and charming companion, suitable for adults and young children alike. The characteristic wiry coat requires little effort to maintain, and sheds very little, making the Cairn suitable for indoor living.

Canaan Dog

With a history that can be traced back through the Bible, the Canaan Dog is one of the oldest breeds, and has hardly changed in the past 4000 years. Having spent centuries as a pariah, and only being domesticated again the 1930s, it has a well-developed suspicion of strangers and can be aggressive with other dogs, but is loving and loyal with its family.

Canadian Eskimo Dog

Intelligent, affectionate, and obedient, the Canadian Eskimo Dog has many fine qualities, but is seldom kept as a pet. As well as being an extremely rare breed, it is a true workaholic, with massive exercise requirements, having adapted to its difficult life hauling people and goods within the Arctic Circle over many hundreds of years.

Catalan Sheepdog

Mild-mannered, gentle, and obedient, the Catalan Sheepdog is as well-suited to life as a pet as it is to its traditional sheep-herding duties in Spain. This intelligent breed is great with children and a natural guardian, being suspicious of strangers, but it needs plenty of exercise to keep its mind and body active.

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is a modern breed modelled on a toy hunting spaniel beloved of Charles II. The breed is dependably good-natured, cheerful and eager to please, making it an ideal family pet. It thrives on human contact, and should not be left alone for long periods, but is very adaptable to many different living situations.

Cesky Terrier

The Cesky Terrier is a small, cheerful terrier that was originally developed in Czechoslovakia for use as a hunting dog. The breed is relatively long-lived and generally healthy and differs from other terriers as its coat is clipped. The Cesky Terrier is intelligent and quick to learn, making training easy, although the breed can have a stubborn streak. It requires a medium amount of exercise and is reasonably good with children.

Chesapeake Bay Retriever

The Chesapeake Bay Retriever is a large breed of dog originally developed in the USA by crossing the Newfoundland with the Labrador to make an exceptional duck hunting dog. It is a very active breed and is highly trainable but needs handling by an experienced owner. The breed can be prone to suffering from separation anxiety and does not need any professional grooming but can shed heavily.

Chihuahua

The Chihuahua is the smallest breed of dog which originates from Mexico. It has recently risen to popularity due to its small size and ability to make a good companion. They come in two coat types and do not require any specialist grooming. Chihuahuas enjoy company and can be prone to separation anxiety. They are not an appropriate dog for families with small children as they can be snappy. Chihuahuas have a long life span but can still suffer from some health problems.

Chinese Crested Dog

The Chinese Crested Dog might look like an attention-grabbing fashion accessory, but in fact is an ancient breed used to control rats and mice in its native China. Clever and nimble, it is an able competitor in canine sports, and also an affectionate dog that needs constant companionship. Its unique coat requires regular grooming to prevent skin problems.

Chinook

A very rare breed, especially outside the United States, the Chinook is a sled dog bred for Arctic exploration that has become an exceptionally good pet. Its calm disposition and sociability make it suitable for a range of owners, including those with other dogs. It is gentle with children, and does not have onerous grooming or exercise requirements.

Chow Chow

Fierce and stubborn, regal and fearless, the Chow Chow is an ancient breed originating in the Far East. While not necessarily the dog for everyone, this unique breed offers experienced owners unfailing loyalty and protection. Chows require early and ongoing socialisation and firm handling to ensure their strong temperaments do not lead to behavioural problems.

Cirneco dell’Etna

The lean and muscular Cirneco dell’Etna is a native of Sicily, where it is known as a keen and hardy hunter. Though it is a rare breed throughout the rest of the world, its sociable, friendly nature, good health, and trainability make it an attractive option as a pet. It is a clean dog that sheds little, and may appeal to apartment dwellers.

Clumber Spaniel

The largest of the spaniel breeds, the Clumber Spaniel is a mellow and easy-going dog, bred to work in a slow and steady manner that it applies to every aspect of its life. Sometimes called the “retired gentleman’s dog”, the Clumber rarely gets overly excited, but it is an affectionate and cuddly breed at home, while being reserved with strangers.

Collie

Collies are medium to largesized dogs with a long muzzle and light head, originally used as sheep herding dogs in Scotland. There are two varieties of Collies: a long-haired version (Rough Collie) and a short-haired variety (Smooth Collie). Collies are sensitive and intelligent dogs, naturally protective of their family, having a strong intuition for anticipating troublesome situations. Collies are active dogs and excellent athletes.

Coton de Tulear

The Coton de Tulear is a toy breed, which is extremely sociable and affectionate, making a good companion. The breed has a distinctive fluffy ‘cotton’ like coat and originates from Madagascar. It does not shed but requires regular brushing. The breed can suffer from some health problems so choosing a healthy family line is important.

Dachshund

The Standard and Miniature Dachshund are small dogs and can both come with 3 different coat types – none of which require large amounts of grooming. The breed originates from Germany and was developed for hunting but it now a popular companion dog around the world. Dachshunds are intelligent but can be stubborn and sometimes difficult to train and require plenty of mental stimulation in addition to exercise. They can suffer from some health problems but special care should be taken to protect their backs as they are prone to spinal problems.

Dalmatian

Dalmatians are a friendly, intelligent, athletic breed of dog with a distinctive spotted coat, that make for excellent family pets as long as they are given plenty of opportunity to exercise. The Dalmatian does not require a large amount of grooming, and suffers from relatively few health problems, however, the most common health problems are deafness and urinary stones.

Dandie Dinmont Terrier

The Dandie Dinmont Terrier is a lively, affectionate and determined little dog that was originally developed in the border country for hunting. It is generally healthy and does not shed, requiring regular brushing and stripping a couple of times a year. It is versatile and can adapt to different lifestyles as long as it has plenty of exercise and mental stimulation.

Doberman

The Doberman is a medium-large dog with an imposing posture and alert attitude. Dobermans are loyal guard dogs, with a natural protective instinct towards their owners. They are very intelligent, learn quickly, and are kind and gentle, despite their bad reputation. They are used by the police and the military, but they also make excellent therapy dogs and, of course, wonderful family pets.

Dogue de Bordeaux

The Dogue de Bordeaux is gentle giant with his family, but a fearsome protector when required. These huge dogs are docile and calm around the home, and are usually dependable with children, but need a firm and confident owner to channel their instincts as guard dogs in a healthy direction. They are generally easy to care for, but are heavy droolers.

English Cocker Spaniel

The English Cocker Spaniel is a small sized, energetic, gentle and affectionate breed, developed in England to flush Woodcocks out of undergrowth during shoots. A highly trainable breed, which is willing to please the Cocker Spaniel requires plenty of exercise and is good with children. It has a coat that can shed heavily so requires frequent brushing and may require the odd visit to the groomers. The breed can be affected by some health problems so selection of a healthy family line is important.

English Foxhound

The English Foxhound is a long-established hunting dog with incredible stamina, courage and tenacity. It is a very sociable breed that will fit well into homes with large families or other dogs. The Foxhound is energetic, and makes an excellent companion for exercise enthusiasts, though it can cope with a less active lifestyle as long as access to a garden is provided.

English Mastiff

The Mastiff is the largest of all the dog breeds, but is as gentle as he is big. The breed is remarkably patient with children, and protective of its family members, with a long history as a guardian and “dog of war”. They do not require much exercise, and so can learn to live indoors, despite their large size.

English Pointer

The English Pointer, known for its characteristic “pointing stance”, is a tireless and courageous hunting dog, which requires a large amount of exercise. However, it is also an intelligent and easy-going companion, affectionate and attentive, and very well-suited to life as a pet in an energetic family. Pointers require little grooming and usually mix well with other animals and people.

English Setter

English Setters are gun dogs initially used for hunting birds. Active and highly energetic, English Setters are great dogs for those who enjoy the outdoors, as they are the perfect mates for hiking and running. The English Setter is kind and gentle, a good family dog that is fond of children and other pets. They can smell exceptionally and are also known for their good memory.

English Shepherd

The English Shepherd is a versatile working dog native to the United States. It excels in many different jobs, including herding, hunting, search and rescue, and agility. The breed’s high intellect and energy levels mean it can be difficult to provide the necessary stimulation when it is kept as a pet, but it is a loyal and devoted companion in the right setting.

English Springer Spaniel

English Springer Spaniels are gun dogs that were initially bred for hunting. They are attached to their owners, to whom they are devoted and loyal. They are loving and charming dogs, although they may be dominant and not always very fond of other pets. They are an active breed and need frequent exercise and playful activities to stimulate them and keep them happy and healthy.

English Toy Terrier

Closely related to the larger Manchester Terrier, the English Toy Terrier is a rare breed today, though it was found in many urban homes of the Northwest of England from the 1600s, when it was first bred to control rat populations. A lovable, affectionate family pet, it is also a vocal and alert watch dog.

Entlebucher Mountain Dog

The Entlebucher Mountain Dog is a medium sized breed originating from Switzerland. It was originally an all round farm dog used for driving cattle and guarding. It has a devoted, affable character and is extremely loyal, which means it can suffer from separation anxiety. The Entlebucher is an active dog and requires plenty of exercise. It is generally a healthy breed.

Estrela Mountain Dog

A large pastoral breed from the Serra da Estrela in Portugal, the Estrela Mountain Dog is a large guardian dog with a protective attitude towards its people and their property. With appropriate training and handling, it is a loyal and even-tempered pet, but it needs plenty of space, can bark a lot, and is too strong-willed for the novice dog owner.

Eurasier

The Eurasier is one of the youngest breeds to have gained international recognition. It is a highly intelligent companion dog that is intensely loyal and devoted to its family, with whom it needs constant contact. Though reserved with strangers, it is rarely aggressive, and is very reliable with other pets. It needs relatively little exercise, and is a well-mannered dog within the home.

Finnish Lapphund

Soft and submissive, the Finnish Lapphund is nonetheless a hardy dog with a strong working pedigree, having spent centuries herding reindeer in the frozen fields of Finland. A clever and responsive dog, it is the perfect pet for active families who can provide the hours of daily exercise it requires – and can tolerate the thick trail of hair it leaves in its wake!

Finnish Spitz

The Finnish Spitz is a small fox-like dog that is intelligent, independent and has a lively and determined character. It was originally used for hunting all sorts of game in Finland and barks to mark its prey. The Finnish Spitz has a strong character and learns quickly but bores easily, so must be kept well-stimulated. The breed needs plenty of exercise, so is not suited to city environments.

Flat Coated Retriever

The Flat Coated Retriever is a large breed of dog that was originally used to retrieve game during shoots on both land and in water. The breed is extremely active and requires around two-hours of exercise a day. It has a bright, kind and affectionate character and is good with children. The breed's coat does not require any specialist grooming but regular brushing is required.

Fox Terrier

There are two types of Fox Terrier, the Smooth Fox Terrier and the Wire Fox Terrier, the main difference being, of course, their coat type. They are small dogs with a big personality, requiring plenty of exercise. Both breeds have a long lifespan and are affected by relatively few health problems. Fox Terriers are intelligent and learn quickly, but must have a stimulating environment, as they become bored quickly.

French Bulldog

The French Bulldog is sociable and small but sturdy looking dog with a playful and friendly nature. They originated from the Toy Bulldog but were subsequently developed in France and America. Today they are an immensely popular companion dog, which does not require large amounts of exercise and has a coat which is easy to care for. The breed does suffer from several health problems so careful selection of healthy lines is important.

French Spaniel

The French Spaniel is a calm, docile, and extremely loyal dog with a long and noble history. An adaptable and intelligent breed, it is a versatile hunter and a loving family pet that is extremely sociable and good with other dogs. It is an energetic breed, and needs regular exercise and outdoor space to explore.

German Pinscher

The German Pinscher was a vermin-hunting farm dog in its native Germany, and is an intelligent, confident, and assertive companion. With its strong character, it may not be the ideal choice for a novice owner, but with sufficient commitment to training and socialisation, it can become a devoted pet and a very capable guard dog.

German Shepherd

The German Shepherd is a large, athletic and intelligent breed of dog that has impressive versatility in its ability to be trained for a variety of purposes, including as a police dog, as guide dog for the blind, and as a faithful family pet. The German Shepherd is an active dog and requires more than 2 hours of exercise per day.

German Shorthaired Pointer

Stylish and regal, German Shorthaired Pointers are all-purpose dogs developed for hunting. They are highly energetic and need tons of outdoors exercise. They are also attentive towards their family, developing a strong bond with their owners, to whom they are loyal and affectionate. The German Shorthaired Pointer gets along well with other dogs, but has a strong prey drive towards small pets.

German Spaniel

The German Spaniel is unlikely to be kept as a pet by virtue of its insatiable desire to hunt. This tireless and cheerful dog remains popular in its homeland as a versatile hunter, but is rare in other parts of the world. It is extremely sociable with other dogs and humans, but cannot be trusted with smaller pets.

German Spitz

In Europe, the German Spitz has been man’s indispensable canine companion for thousands of years, and has spawned many of our modern breeds. It is a watchful and alert dog with plenty of energy, and bonds strongly with its owners, needing to be in their company at all times. It has a natural wariness of strangers that needs to be managed through socialisation training.

Golden Retriever

The Golden Retriever is a large, friendly, affectionate, gentle dog which was originally bred for retrieving during shoots. It has an exceptionally good character and is highly trainable, and great with children. The breed is very active and requires lots of exercise. It has a medium length coat, which can shed heavily and also suffers from some health problems.

Gordon Setter

The Gordon Setter is a confident and self-assured dog originating from Scotland. The largest of the setter family, it is an independent-minded and stubborn dog that rewards consistency with affection and loyalty. While it is often not keen on the company of other dogs, it is good with children and very protective of them. This breed needs a lot of exercise.

Great Dane

The Great Dane is a giant dog breed developed around the 16th century in Germany and refined until today to be the graceful, noble-like, and gentle dog we know. They were initially bred to hunt wild boars, but its function disappeared over time, as well as the aggressiveness required for the task. Today, they are a popular breed among dog lovers, with its huge size but sweet temperament. They are great with children and they love being around people, always snuggling with their owners and even other pets.

Great Swiss Mountain Dog

The Great Swiss Mountain Dog is a versatile working dog and a gentle giant in the home. It is a calm and even-tempered dog, though it is slow to mature and can be difficult to train as a pup, traits that can test the patience of an ill-prepared owner. Fond of children and a natural protector, it lives for its family and is intensely loyal.

Greenland Dog

A Spitz breed that has been adapted over thousands of years to life in the Arctic, the Greenland Dog is a hardy and athletic workhorse, but also has some appeal as a pet. While not suited to a novice owner, those with the experience to handle the breed’s strong will and huge exercise requirements will be rewarded with a mild-mannered and loyal companion.

Greyhound

The Greyhound is a large, gentle, loyal dog which is extremely athletic. They are thought to have originated from the Middle East but have since been developed in Europe and in particular in Great Britain. They have minimal grooming requirements and can make good pets, although their sensitive nature can mean they are prone to suffering from separation anxiety.

Griffon Bruxellois

Unlikely to be confused with any other breed, the Griffon Bruxellois has a self-assuredness and sense of importance that are quite out of proportion with its tiny size. Loving and affectionate, this breed is ideal for someone who can keep a dog by their side all day, but is not suitable for young children, as it can be intolerant of disturbance.

Hamiltonstövare

The Hamiltonstövare is a Swedish hunting breed that is a rare sight outside of its homeland. Its high energy levels and potential for stubbornness mean it needs an experienced owner, but in the right hands it can be a devoted and obedient family dog. It is generally very good with children, but unreliable with non-canine pets.

Harrier

The Harrier has a long and distinguished history as a fox and harehunting dog, but is now more likely to be found as a good-natured, sociable pet. It is great with children and other dogs, but not reliable with smaller pets. Its great capacity for exercise and stubborn nature can make it a challenge to manage for owners without a lot of spare time.

Havanese

Havanese is a toy dog breed originally from Cuba but popular all over the world. The Havanese is a cute, playful dog with a long, silky coat that may come in all colours. They are active and friendly, sometimes overly attached to their owners, being prone to separation anxiety. They are great companion dogs and are also used as therapy and assistance dogs.

Hovawart

This guardian breed has been protecting people and their property in its native Germany since the Middle Ages, and it can fill the role of family protector like few others. The Hovawart is a strong-willed dog that respects firm leadership, and this, combined with its suspicion of strangers, means it is not suitable for a novice owner.

Hungarian Puli

The mop-haired Hungarian Puli has a long history as a sheep-herder, but is rarely used for this purpose today. Instead, it protects its human “flock”, and is a clever and independent family pet that is gentle with children and sociable with other dogs. It is highly energetic and needs lots of exercise, as well as considerable effort to maintain its trademark coat.

Ibizan Hound

The Ibizan Hound’s aloof and reserved demeanour is appropriate, given it is descended from the royal dogs of ancient Egypt. Despite this façade, it is an affectionate and sensitive breed that will get along with any humans or other dogs in the family. Smaller pets are another matter, for this energetic dog, which needs lots of exercise, is a capable hunter.

Irish Setter

Developed as a hunting breed with many talents, the Irish Setter is a stunning, aristocratic-looking breed with a fabulous personality. Cheerful, affectionate, and mischievous, they make perfect family pets, as long as their humans have the energy to provide the necessary hours of exercise each day. They require a moderate amount of grooming, and need access to a good-sized garden.

Irish Terrier

The Irish Terrier is a medium sized, fiery, loyal and intelligent dog, originally used as an all-round farm dog in Ireland. The breed has few health problems, with a long lifespan of 13-14 years old. Day-to-day grooming is minimal, and they barely shed, although once to twice yearly stripping is necessary. They require lots of mental and physical stimulation and are affectionate with people but can be prone to getting into scraps with other dogs.

Irish Water Spaniel

The Irish Water Spaniel is a fun-loving, intelligent breed that is popular with hunters for its versatility and stamina. It is alert and naturally eager to please, though its mischievous streak can make it a handful for an inexperienced owner. With discipline and training, it makes a great family pet. Although its unusual coat needs some special care, it sheds very little.

Irish Wolfhound

While its great size means that many would-be owners do not have the space in their home for it, there are few who could not find room in their heart for this gentle, laid-back giant. Despite its long history as a war dog and slayer of wolves, it has a benign nature and lives to befriend everyone it encounters.

Italian Spinone

Hailing from the Piedmont region of north-western Italy, the Italian Spinone has been a hunting breed for many centuries, but is becoming an increasingly popular pet because of its friendly and docile manner and its fondness for children. Its strong hunting drive means it does not mix well with cats, but it gets along extremely well with other dogs.

Jack Russell Terrier

The Jack Russell Terrier is a small, feisty, loyal and intelligent working dog, originally developed in England, which is generally healthy and has minimal grooming requirements and a long lifespan. It is highly versatile and can adapt to different environments as long as it has sufficient environmental stimulation and is well exercised.

Japanese Spitz

The Japanese Spitz is a bold, energetic and affectionate breed with a magnificent long thick pure-white coat. They make excellent companions and are good around children and other pets. Because this breed is highly intelligent they respond readily to training and are eager to please. Despite their small size this breed is a keen protector and make a good watchdog.

Kangal

The Kangal is a courageous guardian of sheep flocks in its native Turkey. Bred to tackle wolves, bears, and even lions, it has a gentler side that can be seen in its protective and gentle nature when kept as a pet. It needs a firm and confident owner, but with the right guidance, it is a steady and good-natured companion and protector.

Keeshond

This fluffy and friendly breed has lived with traders and barge-dwellers in the Western and Central Europe for centuries, and was once implicated in a popular uprising in the Netherlands. Despite its thick mane, it is easy to care for, and is extremely gentle with children and other pets. If ignored or under-stimulated, it is known to be very vocal.

Komondor

Classed as a national treasure in Hungary but rarely seen elsewhere, the Komondor is a loyal working dog. They are renowned for their intelligence and physical strength, which they use to protect their family and flock. They are excellent guard dogs, but these traits could prove problematic for inexperienced owners.

Kooikerhondje

A hunting dog from the Netherlands, the Kooikerhondje is a rare breed in much of the world at this time, though its popularity is growing. Quiet, reserved, and gentle, it is a dog that enjoys a peaceful, low-stress home and plenty of exercise. Genetic illness has been a problem in the past, and prospective owners need to do their research when sourcing a Kooikerhondje puppy.

Korean Jindo

The Jindo is famous for its loyalty and hunting prowess, both of which are woven into the folklore of its native Korea. Its classification as a national treasure has hampered its spread to other countries. Cautious of strangers but friendly and affectionate to their master, the Jindo is an active and intelligent companion.

Labrador Retriever

The Labrador Retriever is a medium sized, outgoing, friendly and intelligent dog, originally from Canada but developed in England, to retrieve fowl during shoots. An exceptionally lively but popular and highly trainable breed, which requires plenty of exercise to combat weight gain and is exceptionally good with children. The Labrador has a weather-proof coat, which sheds but does not require specialist grooming. Selection of a healthy family line is important to avoid some inherited health conditions.

Lagotto Romagnolo

The Lagotto Romagnolo is thought to be the ancestral breed of other European water retrievers. Originally kept to retrieve ducks from the swamps in Romagna, Northern Italy, the Lagotto Romagnolo nearly disappeared forever. However, a renewed interest in the breed kept this hard-working breed alive. Active, intelligent and playful, the Lagotto will certainly keep you on your toes!

Lakeland Terrier

The Lakeland Terrier is a sturdy and intelligent small dog, developed in its native Lake District to hunt and kill foxes bigger than itself. Far removed from this setting, the breed makes an excellent family dog, particularly for households without other pets. Its wiry coat does not shed, however, its tendency to bark means it may not be suitable for densely populated urban areas.

Lancashire Heeler

Bred as a nimble and brave drover’s dog in the Northwest of England, the Lancashire Heeler is a rare breed with a loyal following. It is an active, clever, and spirited breed that needs plenty of exercise and a firm owner. Its tendency to nip at ankles makes it unsuitable for very young children, and it may not always get along with smaller pets.

Large Münsterländer

Few non-hunting homes can provide the exercise and stimulation that this versatile and energetic German gundog requires. However, for hunters looking for an all-rounder that will double as a cheerful and tractable family pet, the Large Münsterländer may be the perfect breed. With its very strong prey drive, it does not mix well with smaller animals, but is very sociable with other dogs.

Leonberger

The Leonberger was bred to resemble a lion, but its temperament is anything but fierce. This gentle giant is renowned for its affectionate and submissive nature with its owners, and is sweet enough to make a suitable pet for children of all ages, despite often weighing over 60 kg. The breed is playful and energetic, needing a moderate amount of exercise and regular brushing.

Lhasa Apso

Lhasa Apsos were bred by the monks of ancient Tibet to be brave and confident sentinel dogs. As a result, this is a small dog with a big attitude! Distrustful of strangers, but loyal to his family, the Lhasa requires plenty of socialisation, and is not a dog for young children. The breed’s coat requires a lot of grooming, but they do not require much exercise, and can adapt to indoor living.

Löwchen

The Löwchen is a small dog with lots of personality. Inquisitive, intelligent and affectionate, they were the lap dog of choice for European aristocracy for many centuries. Traditionally, they were clipped to appear like lions, and while they will bravely announce the approach of a stranger the resemblance ends there. They are playful little dogs who love attention and company.

Maltese

Frisky and fearless, the Maltese is a charming small dog with a big-dog personality. The breed thrives on affection and human contact, and can do very well in the confines of an apartment. However, if left alone for long periods they may become stressed and destructive. Their striking, elegant coat needs regular grooming, but they do not require excessive amounts of exercise.

Manchester Terrier

Lively, keen and assertive, the Manchester Terrier has been keeping homes and businesses free of rats and other pests for the past two hundred years. An able watch dog and a loyal companion, it needs regular exercise and discipline to manage its strong personality. Despite its many fine qualities, it is best-suited to homes without young children or small pets.

Maremma Sheepdog

Having protected Italian livestock from thieves and predators for the past 2000 years, the Maremma Sheepdog is a guardian breed that is still used for this purpose. Its strongly ingrained guardian instinct means that although it is loyal and gentle towards its family, it may see strangers as threats, and is quick to show aggression.

Neapolitan Mastiff

The gigantic Neapolitan Mastiff’s fearsome appearance gives a clue as to its history as a guardian breed. Fiercely protective of its people and property, the Neo’s power and strong instincts make ownership an onerous responsibility. As it can be aggressive towards other dogs, it is not suitable for multi-pet households, and it is too large and clumsy to be suitable as a children’s companion.

Newfoundland

Truly a gentle giant, the Newfoundland has been credited with saving many lives at sea. Docile and intelligent, the breed is easily trained and very trustworthy with other pets and children. Newfies need a fair amount of grooming, and produce a lot of drool, which may be an issue for house-proud owners.

Norfolk Terrier

The Norfolk Terrier is a big character in a very compact frame. The breed was developed to control vermin in the farmyards of East Anglia – a task which it still performs well to this day. However, it is an affectionate and sociable pet, approaching life with a fearless and cheerful demeanour. It has modest exercise requirements, and is a great companion for children and other dogs.

Norwegian Buhund

The Norwegian Buhund is a hardy herding dog who was used to move sheep and other livestock to summer grazing grounds. They are cheerful, affectionate dogs and love to please their owners. They prefer a highly active lifestyle with plenty of opportunities to get out and about in a variety of environments.

Norwegian Elkhound

National dog of its homeland, the Norwegian Elkhound has a history as a moose hunter that goes back to Viking times, but nowadays, it is most often kept as an entertaining and loyal family pet. Naturally protective, it makes an excellent watch dog, but does bark a lot, and its owners need to be able to provide it with plenty of exercise.

Norwich Terrier

Like its cousin the Norfolk Terrier, the Norwich Terrier is a small dog with a big personality. Its background as a ratter and fox hunter gives it plenty of spark, and its affectionate, eager-to-please nature makes it a pleasure to be around. This is a highly sociable breed that gets along well with everyone and will happily integrate into a family with other dogs.

Old English Sheepdog

The Old English Sheepdog is an affectionate, intelligent family dog that thrives on companionship. Despite their shaggy appearance, these dogs are athletic, having been originally bred for working, and have high exercise requirements, as well as needing frequent and intensive grooming. They make excellent pets for young children, and are compatible with other smaller animals.

Otterhound

The Otterhound is a large and shaggy dog and is listed as vulnerable by the Kennel Club, as demand for its otter-hunting skills evaporated after it almost drove its prey to extinction in the 1970s. It is a jovial, good-natured breed that is almost uniquely independent, and its strong odour and sometimes unruly behaviour lead many owners to keep it as an outdoor pet.

Papillon

The Papillon is a very clever, confident, and energetic member of the Toy group of dogs. Coming from an aristocratic background, the breed can be aloof with strangers, but is affectionate and responsive to its family. Papillons are relatively easy to train, require surprisingly little grooming, and have moderate exercise requirements, making them ideal indoor companions.

Pekingese

Don’t let the Pekingese’s small stature fool you; this royal dog of ancient China has a big heart and a personality to match. Brave, bold, intelligent and stubborn, the breed has much to recommend it. However, it has intensive grooming requirements, can be difficult to train, does not enjoy the company of boisterous children, and may bark too much for some owners’ liking.

Pharaoh Hound

A truly royal breed, the Pharaoh Hound made its way out of Ancient Egypt around 300 years ago, and became a popular rabbit-hunting hound in Malta. Today, it is kept as a striking-looking, gentle companion that socialises well with other dogs and is great with children. It is sensitive, and will bark incessantly if left alone or locked out of the house.

Picardy Sheepdog

Claimed by some to be one of the oldest of the European herding breeds, the Picardy Sheepdog, or Berger Picard, remains relatively unknown outside of France. A high-energy dog, it needs an active home and an experienced owner who can handle its dislike of strangers. The characteristic shaggy coat needs very little grooming and sheds only lightly.

Polish Lowland Sheepdog

The Polish Lowland Sheepdog is a medium sized, energetic, bright and intelligent breed thatf was developed in Poland to herd and protect sheep from predators. It is extremely clever and quick to learn but needs to be kept busy with plenty of mental stimulation. It can be strong willed and is not a breed suited to inexperienced owners. The breed has a long coat, which requires brushing almost daily.

Pomeranian

Pomeranians are toy dogs with a plush coat and foxy-like appearance that makes them irresistibly cute. They are friendly, lively, and curious dogs that enjoy being the centre of attention. They make good pets, as they are the happiest when next to people, but are still independent enough not to be too clingy. Though they can be headstrong, they are always loyal and affectionate.

Poodle

The Poodle is an elegant, intelligent and happy breed of dog that comes in a variety of sizes. The Poodle is an excellent companion animal, as it is easy to train, and is eager to please. The curly Poodle coat requires frequent grooming, as it grows continuously and can turn into cords and mats. Poodle cross breeds are currently very popular.

Portuguese Pointer

The Portuguese Pointer is a medium sized, lively, but loyal and affectionate breed developed in Portugal to point and mark game during hunts. It is highly trainable and is intrinsically eager to please. The breed is best suited to an active household and is good with children. It has a short easy to care for coat, although it does shed throughout the year. The breed is very healthy and does not suffer from any breed specific health problems.

Pug

The Pug is a small charismatic, happy, playful dog of extremely old oriental origins. Solely bred as a companion the Pug can make an excellent family pet. It has a short, stout appearance and does not require large amounts of exercise. Their coat requires minimal grooming, although it does shed. The breed is prone to several health problems, so careful selection of the healthiest family lines possible is important.

Pyrenean Mastiff

The Pyrenean Mastiff is an ancient guardian breed, long used by the Aragonian shepherds of Spain to protect their flocks from large predators like wolves and bears. The breed has retained a strong protective instinct, and despite its normally docile and gentle nature, is quick to put itself in harm’s way when it feels its family is threatened.

Pyrenean Mountain Dog

The Pyrenean Mountain Dog is a gentle, affectionate companion that is particularly good with children and smaller pets. However, it is also a loyal and fierce protector. Originally bred to guard livestock from predators and thieves, it is suspicious of strangers, and needs socialisation and persistent training to overcome any tendency to shyness or aggression.

Rat Terrier

Rat Terriers are smart, energetic, and cheerful dogs that crave human companionship and love to be praised. They can be quite stubborn and tend to go vocal when they are ignored. Still, they are affectionate pets and are very lively and intense, requiring lots of exercise and an active, playful life. They are good with children but wary of strangers, thus they make good watchdogs.

Rhodesian Ridgeback

The Rhodesian Ridgeback was developed as a cross between native South African dogs and various European breeds, producing a loyal and courageous hunter and guardian, capable of withstanding hunger, drought, and extremes of temperature. Ridgebacks are intelligent, reserved dogs, which make wonderful family pets, although their strength and power may make them unsuitable for young children.

Rottweiler

The Rottweiler is a powerfully built, energetic, large breed, originally developed as a cattle droving and guard dog. In the right hands, Rotties make loyal and affectionate pets, but require firm leadership and early training to channel their strong instincts to defend their owners and property. This is a breed which is not suitable for novice dog owners.

Russian Black Terrier

The Russian Black Terrier is a large breed of dog which was originally bred as a specialised guard and service dog by the Russian military. It requires experienced handling and plenty of exercise and is happiest when it has a purpose in life. The breed does not shed but requires regular brushing. The Russian Black Terrier can suffer from several health problems so careful selection of a healthy family line is important.

Saluki

Noble and elegant, the Saluki is an extremely old breed with its origins in the Fertile Crescent, where its prodigious speed has allowed it to hunt gazelles for millennia. It is a quietly affectionate dog with family, but aloof and reserved with strangers. Its drive to pursue anything that runs means it should never be homed with cats or other non-canine pets.

Samoyed

The Samoyed is a cheerful, fun-loving dog that is great with children. It originated as a hunting and herding dog in the frozen tundra of Siberia, but has secured its place as a lovable family pet. Its thick coat requires a lot of work, and the breed has high energy levels, so needs to be exercised regularly.

Schipperke

Bold, brash, and brave, the Schipperke is a Belgian breed with a hugely entertaining personality. As a family pet it is extremely loyal and loving, but it is equally a courageous guardian, and very distrustful of strangers. Its strong personality means it does not always mix well with other dogs and can be difficult to train.

Schnauzer

The Miniature, Standard, and Giant Schnauzer are three different breeds of varying sizes, which share many characteristics, such as appearance and character. They originate from Germany are intelligent, tolerant dogs, which are very loyal and easy to train, although they need plenty of exercise. They are good with children and require little grooming on a daily basis but need stripping or clipping a few times a year. The health problems which can affect the Schnauzer vary depending on the type.

Scottish Deerhound

An imposing but sweet-natured hunting dog, favoured by the Scottish aristocracy for their deer hunts, the Scottish Deerhound has a wonderful nature that makes it a very appealing pet. It requires a lot of outdoor space, and unfortunately has a short lifespan, but can offer endless good humour and affection to those in the right setting to accommodate it.

Scottish Terrier

The Scottish Terrier is a serious and independent-minded character, befitting its origins as a working dog which kept farms around its native Aberdeen free of rodents. As a companion, it is lively and entertaining, as well as being an able guard dog. It often does not mix well with other pets, and may not be patient enough for small children.

Sealyham Terrier

The Sealyham Terrier was first bred to hunt badgers and otters in the Pembrokeshire countryside, but despite its tenacity in the field, it is the mildest-mannered of the terrier breeds. It is an affectionate and easy-going dog that gets along with pets and humans alike. Though it enjoyed a period of popularity in the mid-twentieth century, it is now something of a rarity.

Segugio Italiano

An ancient Roman scent hound, the Segugio Italiano is still a very popular hunting and companion dog in its native Italy, but is exceptionally rare in much of the rest of the world. Despite its stamina and high energy levels in the field, it is a kind, gentle, and laid-back character that mixes well with other dogs.

Shar Pei

The Shar Pei is a long-established breed from China that was valued for its abilities as a guard dog and fighter. Almost extinct 40 years ago, the breed has become a very popular pet, although it is not easy to integrate with other dogs. Shar Peis are prone to several significant health problems, and puppies should be sourced from reputable breeders.

Shetland Sheepdog

There are few dogs as attractive and graceful as the Shetland Sheepdog. Though it looks like a miniature Rough Collie, the breeds do not share a common history. Shelties are very devoted to their people, from whom they do not like to be separated. They are hugely popular pets for their loyalty and intelligence, and make excellent companions for active owners.

Shiba Inu

The Shiba Inu is a brave, intelligent dog originally bred in Japan to hunt small birds and mammals in mountainous regions. It can make a good pet, but is best suited to homes without other small pets and young children. An ancient breed, Shiba Inus have strong personalities and high energy levels, and require regular exercise and firm training.

Shih Tzu

The Shih Tzu is a toy dog breed originated in the region of Tibet and bred to be a companion pet. It has a peculiar short muzzle and a long, silky coat. Despite its self-important, snobbish looks, the Shih Tzu is a friendly and affectionate dog, fond of people, children, and other animals, that lives its life in seek of love and attention.

Siberian Husky

The Siberian Husky is the smallest of the sled dogs and originates from the Soviet Arctic. The Chukchi Indians bred them as a multipurpose dog, providing a means of transport, as well as assistance hunting. They have a gentle, friendly character and a strong pack instinct. Their coat can shed heavily, but does not require any specialist grooming. The breed requires a lot of exercise to keep them happy and healthy and suffers from relatively few health problems.

Sloughi

Also known as the Arabian Greyhound, the Sloughi is a North African hunting breed that exudes elegance and grace. Its aloof and haughty attitude to strangers belies its loyal and affectionate relationship with its owners, but it needs a calm, mature household in which to thrive, for it is a sensitive character. As a sighthound, it should not be homed with smaller pets.

Small Münsterländer

A highly trainable and responsive dog, the Small Münsterländer is a very capable all-round hunting dog, skilled in tracking, pointing, and retrieving. When not working, it is a cheerful and affectionate companion, and it enjoys socialising with other dogs and new people. Plenty of exercise is vital to prevent it becoming excessively boisterous and excitable.

Spanish Water Dog

The Spanish Water Dog is a versatile working dog that has only ventured beyond the farmyards of its homeland in relatively recent times. It is a very intelligent, energetic breed with a cheerful disposition, though it is reserved around strangers, and needs plenty of socialisation from a young age. Health problems are common, and puppies should only be bought from reputable breeders.

St. Bernard

The St. Bernard is an enormous, docile dog with a gentle nature. It was originally developed in Switzerland and rose to fame as a rescue dog. Today the breed can suffer from several health issues so selecting a healthy family line is important. The St. Bernard is best suited to cooler climates, as it has a think, dense coat, which requires regular brushing and the breed has medium exercise requirements.

Staffordshire Bull Terrier

Strong and fearless, Straffordshire Bull Terriers are also playful dogs with a fun-loving character and a keen desire to please their owners. Intelligent and very active, Staffies, as they are lovingly nicknamed, love to exercise and play, and they are particularly good with children. They are, however, dominant and not always friendly towards other animals, which is why they require firm leadership from an early age.

Swedish Lapphund

This hunting and reindeer-herding dog is extremely rare, even in its native Sweden. Although the demand for its services as a working dog has all but died away, the Swedish Lapphund also has many appealing traits that allow it to happily live as a companion breed. Energetic and clever, it is a capable agility and obedience competitor, and it also makes an excellent watch dog.

Tibetan Mastiff

An extremely vigilant and territorial giant breed, the Tibetan Mastiff may be too much of a handful for many owners. While it will do anything to protect its family, it is also stubborn and independent-minded, and requires a great deal of effort to train. Excessive barking, especially after dark, is a common complaint of Tibetan Mastiff owners (and their neighbours!).

Tibetan Terrier

An intelligent, adaptable little dog from the mountains of Tibet, the Tibetan Terrier is a charming character that is suited to a wide variety of living circumstances. Although it is reserved with strangers, and an excellent watch dog, it is also an affectionate, gentle, and biddable family pet. While it originated as a working dog, it does not require a huge amount of exercise, and its long coat is actually quite easy to groom.

Tosa Inu

The Tosa-Inu is a breed of fighting dog still used in its native Japan for this purpose. It is a large, powerful breed, with the potential for aggressiveness in the wrong hands. It is not a suitable dog for a first-time owner or for families with children or other pets. Ownership of Tosas is very strictly controlled, and the breed is rare in the United Kingdom.

Vizsla

The Hungarian Vizsla and the Hungarian Wire Haired Vizsla are extremely active but loyal, gentle and affectionate dogs which originate from Hungary and have been bred as multi-purpose hunting and gundogs. They require plenty of time to provide sufficient mental and physical stimulation to keep them happy and healthy but need little grooming. Both breeds can suffer from some health problems so it is important breeding dogs are tested for inherited illnesses.

Weimaraner

Weimaraners are large and elegant dogs with a distinctive blue coat and unusual eyes that give them a regal appearance. They are loyal and extremely attached to their owners, which can result in separation anxiety. They tend to be strong-willed and somehow challenging to train, as they are very intelligent and have a mind of their own. They love to run and they are great hunters.

Welsh Corgi

There are two different types of Welsh Corgi: the Cardigan Corgi and the Pembroke Corgi. They are both small dogs with long bodies and short legs. Originally bred in Wales for herding and driving cattle, Corgis are active dogs and require plenty of mental stimulation and socialisation from a young age. They have a short-to-medium length coat, which is dense and requires regular brushing.

Welsh Sheepdog

This rare breed is long-established as a versatile herding and guard dog on Welsh farms, but suffered a fall from favour in the past two hundred years from which it has not recovered. Like other working breeds, it has very high energy levels, and can be a handful when kept solely as a pet. It is highly intelligent and very protective, but is not the most suitable dog for children.

Welsh Springer Spaniel

The Welsh Springer Spaniel is one of the lesser-known gundog breeds, but is a gentle and cheerful character and makes a great companion. However, its very high energy levels mean that it requires a committed and energetic owner to keep it fit and healthy. Welsh Springers can be wary of strangers, but mix well with other animals.

Welsh Terrier

The Welsh Terrier was bred as a stoic and hardy small dog to pursue and kill foxes and badgers after they had ‘gone to ground’. This working origin yielded a tough, independent thinker that is full of personality. The breed can be a challenge for novice owners, but they make very good family pets, being tolerant of children.

West Highland White Terrier

The West Highland White is a medium sized, white terrier that is energetic, sociable, playful and independent. The Westie, like all terriers, will chase cats and other small animals, and will likely dig holes, chew and bark, but with the right training can make the perfect companion. The Westie is good-looking and fun dog, but as with most breeds, it is occasionally prone to health problems.

Whippet

Whippets are smart, very alert, and docile, loving both exercise and curling up next to their owner. They make good pets to live in an apartment and are reliable companions, getting along well with both adults and children, despite their independent temperament. Because their hunting instinct was encouraged and kept over the years, they have a strong prey drive, and may chase other small pets – especially cats.

White Swiss Shepherd

A little more mellow than the German Shepherd, the breed from which it was recently derived, the White Swiss Shepherd is nonetheless a highly active and intelligent dog with a strong protective instinct. With training and a capable owner, it makes an obedient and loyal pet, but it has high energy levels that need to be channelled into exercise and/or work.

Wirehaired Pointing Griffon

The Wirehaired Pointing Griffon was developed in the nineteenth century by a huntsman who wished to create the ideal gundog. While many would argue that he succeeded in his aim, he may also have created the ideal pet. With a gentle, sociable nature and an eagerness to please, the breed is a pleasure to own – though it does need lots of exercise.

Xoloitzcuintli

The first domesticated dog of the Americas, the Xoloitzcuintli, or Mexican Hairless Dog, is a highly unusual breed. Its personality is almost as unique as its almost alien appearance, which belies its tough, protective attitude. At home, however, it is a cuddly character, highly intelligent and devoted to its owners. It is a robustly healthy breed, but despite its lack of hair, it does require a good grooming routine to maintain the condition of its skin.

Yorkshire Terrier

The Yorkshire Terrier is a small, intelligent dog which is extremely affectionate. They are very quick to learn and easy to train, but can be overprotective. Yorkies do not require large amounts of exercise and can therefore make ideal pets for people living in cities. If left long their coat can require extensive grooming. Despite having a long lifespan, they can be prone to some health problems.

Dog Breeds