A Breed Standard is the guideline which describes the ideal characteristics, temperament and appearance of a breed and ensures that the breed is fit for function. Absolute soundness is essential. Breeders and judges should at all times be careful to avoid obvious conditions or exaggerations which would be detrimental in any way to the health, welfare or soundness of this breed. From time to time certain conditions or exaggerations may be considered to have the potential to affect dogs in some breeds adversely, and judges and breeders are requested to refer to the Kennel Club website for details of any such current issues. If a feature or quality is desirableit should only be present in the right measure.
Breeds originally used for hunting either by scent or by sight. The scent hounds include the Beagle and Bloodhound and the sight hounds such breeds as the Whippet and Greyhound. They require a significant amount of exercise and can be described as dignified, aloof but trustworthy companions.
Over the centuries these dogs were selectively bred to become guards and search and rescue dogs. Arguably, the working group consists of some of the most heroic canines in the world, aiding humans in many walks of like, including the Boxer, Great Dane and St. Bernard. This group consists of the real specialists in their field who excel in their line of work.
Dogs that were originally trained to find live game and/or to retrieve game that had been shot and wounded. This group is divided into four categories - Retriever, Spaniels, Hunt/Point/Retrieve and Setters although many of the breeds are capable of doing the same work as the other sub-groups. They make good companions, their temperament making them ideal all-round family dogs. It is said that they are perhaps the most intelligent of the breeds, resulting in their wide variety of uses and their ease of training. They are active dogs requiring plenty of exercise and attention.
Dogs originally bred and used for hunting vermin. 'Terrier' comes from the Latin word Terra, meaning earth. This hardy collection of dogs were selectively bred to be extremely brave and tough, and to pursue fox, badger, rat and otter (to name but a few) above and below ground. Dogs of terrier type have been known here since ancient times, and as early as the Middle Ages, these game little dogs were portrayed by writers, and painters. It is commonly believed that the British Isles are the origin of most terriers.
Originally, these game canines were bred to best fit the purpose of which they were used, and looks did not particularly matter. Nowadays however, thanks to the efforts of breeders over the decades, the terriers have become attractive, whilst still retaining jovial, comical and in some cases fiery temperaments.
This group consists of miscellaneous breeds of dog mainly of a non-sporting origin, including the Bulldog, Dalmatian, Japanese Akita and Poodle.
The name "Utility" basically means fitness for a purpose and this group consists of an extremely mixed and varied bunch, most breeds having been selectively bred to perform a specific function not included in the sporting and working categories. Some of the breeds listed in the group are the oldest documented breeds of dog in the world.
Herding dogs that are associated with working cattle, sheep, reindeer and other cloven footed animals.
Usually this type of canine has a weatherproof double coat to protect it from the elements when working in severe conditions. Breeds such as the Collie family, Old English Sheepdogs and Samoyeds who have been herding reindeer for centuries are but a few included in this group.
Small companion or lap dogs. Many of the Toy breeds were bred for this capacity although some have been placed into this category due to their size. They should have friendly personalities and love attention. They do not need a large amount of exercise and some can be finicky eaters.
They are intelligent companions but owners must be discretionary with their attention as spoiled dogs can become protective of their owners. Ideally these dogs are extroverted companions and not untouchable ornaments.