Dog Breeds: A

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.

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.

A ferociously protective breed, this North African working dog is still used today in the Atlas Mountains to protect livestock, by acting as a lookout for predators. Now, more than ever, this loyal dog is being kept as a family pet in rural areas, and is particularly suited to an outdoor lifestyle where it can roam the land.

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.

The Akbash Dog is an ancient livestock guardian breed from Turkey and is thought to have been formed by crossing mastiffs with sighthounds. It is a large breed and has a distinctive white coat, which is thick and can shed heavily, but does not require specialist grooming. The breed has a unique personality and is brave and observant, whilst at the same time being affectionate, loyal and calm.

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.

The Alano Español is a large brachycephalic mastiff type breed found in Spain, which was originally used as a bullbaiting dog and for herding wild cattle, as well as hunting. It needs plenty of exercise and an active lifestyle but is a sociable breed and usually gets on well with other dogs, as well as being highly trainable and quick to learn. The Alano Español has a short coat that requires little or no grooming.

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.

The striking Alaskan Klee Kai is a miniaturised relative of the Siberian Husky. Bred as a companion dog, he is loyal to family but nervous in unfamiliar situations. His wanderlust and strong prey drive mean he is best suited to an experienced owner and can be unreliable with children.

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.

The Alpine Dachsbracke is a medium-sized breed belonging to the scenthound group, originating from Austria. It was used to track and hunt game and is capable of covering very rough mountainous terrain. The breed requires plenty of exercise and gets along well with other dogs and children. It has a characteristic deer red coat that sheds but only needs brushing at home to keep it healthy.

The Alusky is a mix breed that results from crossbreeding an Alaskan Malamute and a Siberian Husky. They are stunning, playful, and charming dogs that get along well with children and other pets. They need to exercise a lot and may be wanderers, so fenced yards are a must. They are healthy dogs and their wolf-like appearance is one of their most desirable traits.

Although well-known in the US, the American Bulldog is little known in the UK. With origins in the 17th century protecting settlers from wild pigs, the breed is surprisingly gentle. The American Bulldog’s strength means socialisation is vital, so he learns bite inhibition. Plus, he needs an experienced owner since he can be a hazard if badly behaved.

A newly invented breed, the American Bully naturally emerged over the last 30 to 40 years within the USA. Fans of the breed argue that it is both less aggressive and easier to manage than the dogs from which it is derived. With its muscular body and very wide stance, the American Bully has an intimidating appearance that belies its heart of gold.

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.

One of the six American Coonhounds, the American English Coonhound is best known for being a hot-nosed dog that tracks nearby racoons and foxes. With impressive endurance, this dog can follow a scent for hours without tiring and will never refuse an outing. Their booming bark is essential on the hunt but can become a headache for some owners.

A vibrant and sweet bundle of fur, the American Eskimo Dog is known for its ability to excel at obedience training, even featuring in circus acts in the 1900s. While small, this breed does require quite a bit of attention, as they crave exercise, mental stimulation and lots of human company. Great with kids, they’ll fit right into an active family household.

The American Foxhound was created around 200 years ago by breeding English, French and Irish Foxhounds. They have an improved sense of smell and are faster than other Foxhounds. Displaying fantastic hybrid vigour they are a breed which highlight the advantage of cross-breeding. A mild-natured and energetic dog, they can make a great pet for an active family.

The American Hairless Terrier is a newly-developed breed of dog, created by chance due to a genetic mutation in a litter of Rat Terrier puppies. The hairlessness of these lively and intelligent dogs makes them a great option for an allergy-suffering owner, although means that care must be taken to ensure they keep warm in cold weather and avoid excessive sunlight exposure.

An American dog with a big brain and even bigger heart, the American Leopard Hound excels in many areas. A tenacious and brave hunter, this dog will tree its prey and can follow a cold scent for miles and miles. When at home, this sweet hound makes an affectionate and sensible pet (just as long as those exercise needs are met).

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.

A versatile dog with a lot to offer, the American Staffordshire Terrier has historically been very misunderstood. While powerful and protective, they are also incredibly affectionate and kind. They enjoy spending time with their family and goofing about with the kids. These gentle giants are loyal to their owners, always eager to do what they ask of them.

The American Water Spaniel is an enthusiastic, active, yet even-tempered breed developed in the Midwestern United States as a flushing and retrieving dog. This spaniel retrieves and swims naturally, loves to romp and play in large, open areas, and thrives in a family environment with outdoor enthusiasts that enjoy vigorous activities.

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.

A typical hunting breed, rarely spotted outside of its native Spain, the Andalusian Hound is a slim and elegant dog that its known for its speed and endurance. With a light coat colour, and large-pointed ears, this dog can come in a variety of sizes and coat types. While not yet recognised as a breed internationally, this handsome hound is sure to increase in popularity in the near future.

A handsome hound dog, the Anglo-Français de Petite Vénerie is used to hunt small game within their native France and is rarely spotted anywhere else in the world. Often kept outdoors and in a pack, this breed is not suited to life as a pet dog within a small home. They have a strong prey drive and should not be housed alongside small pets.

The Appenzeller Sennenhund is one of four well-recognised Swiss mountain dogs, known both for its athleticism and the steadfast dedication it displays towards its owner. Demanding at times, and with large exercise requirements, this is not a breed for the inexperienced or fainthearted. However, when provided with the correct environment, the Appenzeller Sennenhund can make a richly rewarding family pet.

A French gundog, the Ariege Pointer was developed around 100 years ago as breeders desired a light and athletic hunting dog that could run at pace. A true working animal, it is rare for the Ariege Pointer to be kept as a pet or show-dog. With a good work ethic and independent nature, this breed enjoys the freedom to track game over long distances.

A scent hound developed in the south of France in the early 1900s, the Ariegeois is used within France, Italy and Spain to hunt prey including rabbits and boar. They are widely praised for their speed, endurance and tracking abilities, and are also said to make affectionate and good-natured family pets. Incessant barking can be an issue in some individuals.

A tri-colour scent hound, the French Artois Hound has a talent for hunting. While once employed by French nobility, over the years this dog was largely replaced by other more ‘desirable’ hunting breeds, such as the English Foxhound. Despite this fall from grace, their sweet nature and hunting prowess has meant that there have been real efforts to conserve the breed.

Aussiedoodles are the geniuses of the designer dog world, inheriting intelligence from both their Poodle and Australian Shepherd parents. They are gentle, affectionate, and playful dogs with a very high energy level, and need plenty of exercise as well as constant companionship to be happy and healthy. They are very dependable with children and easily trained.

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.

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.

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.

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.

The Australian Stumpy Tail Cattle Dog or Stumpy is a medium-sized, active type who needs plenty of exercise. Part herding dog and part dingo, these canine characters do best as working dogs rather than family pets. The Stumpy is considered relatively free from hereditary diseases and has a physical endurance, especially of heat, which is second to none.

The Australian Terrier is an old and distinguished breed from working origins. Bold and intelligent, this terrier also loves his people and is empathetic to their moods. He can adapt to apartment life, but like all terriers requires a lot of exercise. However, a strong prey instinct and tendency to bossiness mean he’s best kept as a lone pet.

A black and tan scent hound developed in Austria, the Austrian Black & Tan Hound, or Brandlbracke, is largely unknown internationally, though is a popular working dog in its homeland. Rarely, if ever, kept as a companion animal, this breed is used as a hunting dog and is prized for its ability to pursue small game in high altitudes.

A fun and versatile breed, the Austrian Pinscher not only makes a good companion animal but is also a wonderful farmyard dog, capable of catching mice, patrolling the land and working with the livestock. An intelligent dog with bundles of energy, the Austrian Pinscher needs a home with a lot of land and dedicated owners who have time to spare.

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.