Dog Breeds Directory

What is a dog breed?

Since prehistoric times, people have bred dogs specifically to perform various tasks.

Hunting, guarding and herding were among the first tasks that the animal we now call “man’s best friend” performed with great zeal.

For thousands of years, people bred dogs with physical and mental characteristics best suited to the work expected of them. Whether brawny mastiffs used as guard dogs and warriors or lithe greyhounds bred to hunt their prey light-footedly, these are just two examples of ancient dog breeds that were bred specifically for certain tasks.

As people’s demands increased, the variety of dogs evolved. In the course of time, special dog breeds were bred to meet the needs of dog owners and local conditions. The basis for the more zealous Italian greyhound and the Irish wolfhound, for example, was the original greyhound. They all have a distinct similarity within the family, yet you would never confuse them.

So how do you distinguish a breed from not just one species or type of dog? Probably the easiest way to define a breed is to say that it is always “purebred”. This means that when a purebred Australian Shepherd is crossed with another purebred Australian Shepherd, dogs are always born that are immediately recognisable as Australian Shepherds.

Choosing a purebred dog is one way to get to know a dog’s appearance and character, but it is not a guarantee!