Dog lovers will tell you that there is no better greeting when you get home than a wagging tail and slobbery kisses. Dogs have been our companions for centuries. Since prehistoric times, they have been by our side. Throughout history, we have taken on a responsibility to bring out the best of their traits and fit their abilities to our needs.
The first dog breeders bred wolves to domesticate them. From then on, people have continued breeding dogs to perform tasks. They also changed their physical features and brought out their distinctive traits. From shepherding, guarding, hunting, to saving lives and leading the blind, dogs have been bred to be the best.
In the beginning, dogs were bred for protecting livestock. As humans progressed, so did the breeds. With more dogs required for specific jobs, more different breeds started to emerge. Today, there are more than 340 dog breeds documented by the Fédération cynologique internationale (the FCI, or World Canine Organization) and 167 dog breeds documented by the American Kennel Club (AKC).
A breed is recognized by its movement, temperament, and physical traits. These traits are set down in a document called the “breed standard.” Each standard is unique, so recognition of the breed is evident and easy to understand. Each originates from the AKC-recognized club or FCI, devoted to that specific breed. Once the American Kennel Club or FCI approves the breed, the standard becomes their blueprint. Judges use this standard to evaluate dogs at dog shows.
You can continue reading about the 50 most popular dog breeds in the infographic below. Here you can learn about what makes each dog unique, what kind of valuable traits they possess, and where they originate from. It’s incredible how far we’ve gone from breeding wolves to protect us and help us hunt, to a variety of breeds we now have as companions, therapy dogs, lap dogs, working dogs, and much more.