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Dogs have been the human's best friends for thousands of years, because of their intelligence, loyalty, and affection they give us. Love, company, tenderness, and happiness are some characteristics of this animal, which most of the times acts as the best medicine.
Similarly, some studies prove that living with a dog promotes self-control, independence, and self-esteem. Because of the attachment relationship that is generated, people who live with dogs can develop greater control over their stress, have greater confidence in themselves and relax more easily, among many other benefits.
In this article, we're going to describe some of the most popular dog breeds by region, and which are the main characteristics of each one of them.
The dog is known in the scientific field by the name of Canis lupus familiaris. It is a carnivoran mammal that belongs to the family Canidae (subspecies of the wolf).
Human's best friend usually lives an average of 12-15 years, although it is known that the smaller breeds can live up to 20 years or more while the biggest ones don't get over 9 or 10.
Dogs have been animals that coexist with humans for more than 10 thousand years now, and they have been next to us in our development throughout life. The dog is an animal to which we owe a lot: they keep us company, help save lives and watch over our safety, guide us when our senses fail us, work as shepherds and never ask for anything in return.
For these and more reasons dogs have been appreciated by their canine intelligence, characterized by their ability to learn orders, solve problems, and adapt to any context they find themselves in.
Dogs are known by their loyalty. In relation to this, some studies show that dogs also show attachment behaviors, that is, search and proximity behaviors when separated from their owners -a type of conduct similar to the one between human babies and chimpanzees. A dog can mourn the loss of its owner and even console others around it.
It has also been proved that the kind of relationship between the human and the dog can determine the levels of stress and mental health perceived by the first one. Those who consider the dog a member of a family do more activities with it and have more significant benefits in their physical and mental health, as well as in the perceived level of stress.
Dogs also have an essential role in therapy; in particular in animal-assisted therapy, which is used for psychological, physical and social purposes and which helps to maintain or improve the quality of life.
In general, we can say that dogs are advantageous for humans. We can say that this type of animals can improve our life, helping us to:
Improve and create a social relationship
Reduce mental and psychological stress levels
Promote physical exercise
Benefit our physical and psychological health
Help people with disabilities (known as assistance dogs)
Increase immunity levels
Increase independence, self-esteem, and confidence
At present, there are more than 350 dog breeds, and these vary in behavior, size, color, and physiognomy. Dog breeds have existed for hundreds of years, and they represent the result of the artificial selection created by the human being.
The breeds are the result of crosses that we have made for some specific reason, that is to say, that they can be classified by the function for which the type of dog was "created." In this sense, we could distinguish between companion dogs, watch dogs, working dogs, and hunting dogs, among others.
On the other hand, some dogs are associated with a specific country or more than one. However, there are some that have an uncertain origin, and they might relate to more than one country. In the following list, you can find the 45 most popular dog breeds in the world. We divide them into 9 different regions, and we include domestic-type dogs, hunters, and working dogs.
Traditionally, American dogs have been hunting, sportive and guard animals, although nowadays, most of them are used as company dogs.
Most of them are originally from the United States and can range from tiny dogs to others weighing up to 40 kg. Here are 5 of the most famous American dog breeds.
This was one of the most popular dog breeds in 2011 in the US. The Labrador is considered a very kind, pleasant and intelligent dog. It is a family dog breed, agile and obedient.
They originated in Newfoundland in the XIXth century as a water dog. Its temperament is stable and extroverted. Its hair falls seasonally and requires regular care. Most of them are trained mainly to be assistance animals for blind people or with other disabilities.
The most decorated dog of the First World War (Stubby, who was awarded the rank of sergeant) was an American Staffordshire. This dog breed is characterized by its muscular physiognomy and its large size; it usually weighs from 25 to 30 kg, in the case of a male, and from 18 to 26 kg for a female. It has short hair; it has energy, it is agile, obedient, and courageous.
The American Staffordshire is the result of crossing a Bulldog with a Terrier. Although they are considered a dangerous dog breed, they are friendly, loving, intelligent, and loyal. They are excellent guards, and they require regular daily exercise.
Originally destined to be a guard or a hunter, and even for fighting, this middle-size dog is used nowadays as a family dog. However, in the south of the United States, it continues doing sportive events, cargo, and hunting.
It doesn't have much fur, and it is usually white, sometimes mixed with brown or dark gray. It is big, and it can weigh up to 45 kg. It is docile, although it is recommended to socialize it with adults and children since it is a puppy if its destiny is to live in a house.
These dogs have short hair, and they are small with pug-nosed, big eyes and short extremities. It is usually black and white. It is also known as Bull Terrier or Boxwood, and it is a crossing between a French and English bulldog.
Although it was initially a breed of fighting dogs, it is now recognized for being a particularly friendly, affectionate, and sociable animal. It also stands out for being an easy dog to train and easy to groom.
The American cocker spaniel originated from the crossing with English cockers in the XVIIth century. They were used originally as hunting dogs, although they are currently pets.
It is an especially playful, lively, and intelligent dog. Although it could be a bit aggressive sometimes, this depends fundamentally on how it's been treated since it was a puppy.
Its texture is soft; it has floppy ears and a small body. It can be black, brown or honey color.. and it weighs between 9 and 13 kg, depending on whether the dog is male or female.
Latin-American dogs are mainly pets, although some of them can also be used for hunting and fighting. Most of them are originally from central Europe, and they got to the Latin-American region during the colonization process. However, some remain from the prehispanic period.
We will see below 5 of the main breeds of Latin-American dogs and their characteristics.
The Chihuahua is one of the best-known dog breeds, and it comes from Central America. It is unusually small, and it usually weighs 3 or fewer kilograms. Its hair can be short or long and, although it is generally white, there are other colors and combination chihuahuas.
It is an elegant breed, obedient, with medium energy and very intelligent. This type of dog is an excellent pet for families with children and the ideal companion for a flat because in general requires little exercise and doesn't need too much space. However, the chihuahua is very sensitive to low temperatures.
As its name indicates, this dog is originally from Argentina. Being a dogo type dog, it is primarily a hunting or fighting animal, it is big and has very short hair. For this reason, it is a dog that should not be exposed to the sun for long.
Most of the times, these dogs are trained as animals for police or military assistance, and in some countries, their possession as a pet is legally regulated. This is because it is considered to be one of the potentially dangerous dog breeds.
However, it is possible to train them as family dogs if they are socialized from an early age between adults and children.
Also known as Mexican hairless dog, the Xoloitzcuintle is really traditional in the prehispanic culture in Mexico. It can be small, medium or big and it generally doesn't have hair. They are tall, very thin and it is a dark gray color.
They have been traditionally companion dogs, very noble, agile and playful. In fact, in prehispanic myths, these dogs are considered sacred because they accompanied human beings on the road to the hereafter.
They can weigh up to 20 kg, and they are very similar to other dogs, such as the dog with no hair from Peru, and the Spanish greyhound.
Also known as Brazilian mastiff, this dog is originally from Brazil. This breed has been created from the crossing with dogs from the Mediterranean, and it was used as a support in the process of colonization.
It is big, its hair is very short, its ears are drooping and the skin of his face too. It can weigh up to 50 kg and measure up to 80 cm high. The Fila Brasileiro is known as a protective dog, which does not trust strangers and it is especially very faithful and obedient. For the same reason, it is valued as a family dog.
Sometimes known as Havana silk dogs, this animal is originally from Cuba, this dog is small, noble and playful. It is also considered one of the best breeds of companion dog, especially when it comes to children or older adults.
It can weigh up to 7 kg and measure up to 30 cm high. It has a lot of hair, and it is white, sometimes combined with brown or black. This kind of dog frequently has cardiac and eye diseases, such as cataracts.
Dog breeds from Switzerland are primarily mountain or molosser type of dogs. That is to say, dogs destined to the conduction of the cattle, by its musculature and its protective instinct.
However, they are noble dogs that can be trained easily for a domestic company. Here you have the 5 most popular swiss dog breeds.
It was first known as white german shepherd. This dog is mainly a companion dog. It is a medium size breed, which measures up to 65 cm tall and is characterized by short, white hair, with pointy ears and light eyes.
It is an obedient, easy to train, playful, noble, active and not competitive dog. It needs a large space and some time to play outdoors every day.
This dog breed is characterized by its long and blooping ears, its brown color mixed with white and its pointed nose. It is not the only type of hound that exists; there are also other types of small hounds.
The difference between the different types is the size of its legs and its body. Like all hounds, it is a hunting dog, created at the beginning of the XXth century especially for rural areas. Another type of very popular Swiss dog and similar to this one, but a lighter color, is the Schweizer lafhund.
It is a mountain dog. The Appenzeller is an animal used initially for the handling of bovine animals. It is a medium-big size dog (it measures up to 60 cm high) and weighs up to 32 kg. It has short hair, short, drooping ears and it is black with white and a bit of brown (in its extremities).
This is a working dog that requires large spaces and open air. It can be held as a companion dog, although for this it is necessary for them to socialize with many adults from an early age.
Just like the previous dog, the Bernese mountain dog is a working dog which was created to lead the cattle. It is a big dog that measures up to 70 cm high and can weigh up to 50 kg. It is a brilliant and noble animal that has also been trained as an assistance dog.
It has a lot of short hair, and it is black with white and brown on its extremities. It tends to be more cautious than other mountain dogs. Among the latter are the Entlenuch mountain dog and the Great Swiss mountain dog.
The St. Bernard is another type of mountain dog, it comes from the Swiss Alpes. It is a muscular dog, and with a large head, it is especially guardian and protector. The latter are the characteristics of a molossers type of dog, where many mountain dogs belong to.
Its name comes from a French shepherd from the VIIIth century. It is currently a companion dog who has a very calm and defensive temperament. It is also trained as an assistance dog and watch dog. As it is a big animal, it is necessary for it to live in large spaces.
Many of the most popular dogs around the world are those from the west part of the Mediterranean. They are characterized for being trained as guard or hunting dogs, although nowadays are used as excellent pets. These are the most popular Mediterranean dog breeds.
The Spanish Greyhound is a special dog for races. This is because its physical constitution is ideal for agile and high-speed tasks. It is a tall, thin dog with a wide abdomen. Its muzzle is pointed and its ears raised and fallen.
Its hair is hard and rough, and it can be a sand colour, grey, black or brown. Before it was used as a small hunting dog (it hunted small animals), but now it is a company and contest dog.
The Greyhound does not only exist in Spain, but there is also an Italian and an English Greyhound, among others. There is also a miniature version of this dog breed.
The Maltese is a small Italian dog especially raised as a companion dog. It is characterized by having a lot of long, straight and soft hair. It is nearly always white, and sometimes it has an off-white tone.
It does not weigh more than 4 kg, and it measures less than 25 cm high, and it is a very docile and affectionate dog breed. It is also considered one of the most intelligent dogs in the world
This dog molosser is also from Italy. It is very big and its body is muscular with a big head and drooping ears. It can weigh up to 100 kg, and it is not very agile, so it was initially used as a guard dog.
Its hair is rough, and it can be grey, black or reddish. Despite its imposing appearance, the Neapolitan Mastiff is considered a noble dog, docile and peaceful, so it is currently bred as a dog for families.
The water dog is the typical dog from the south of Spain. It is a medium dog, with a slender body and slightly long legs. It weighs up to 22 kg and measures up to 50 cm tall. Its hair is curly, soft and plentiful and it can be a honey or black colour, sometimes combined with white.
El perro de agua es típico de la zona sur de españa. Tiene un tamaño mediano y cuerpo esbelto con patas ligeramente largas. Pesa hasta 22 kg y mide hasta 50 cm de alto. Su pelo es rizado, suave y abundante, y puede tener un color miel o negro, a veces combinado con blanco.
It was traditionally trained as a sheepdog, although it is currently considered one of the best pets. It has a kind, docile temperament, it is not very expressive, and it is an independent dog.
This is a very popular dog breed, especially after the Disney movie (101 Dalmatians). Its name comes from the Croatian coast known as Dalmatia. The dalmatian has very short hair; it is white with black spots. It is a medium-big dog, and its physical constitution is slender.
Females can weigh up to 24 kg and males up to 32 kg. It was originally used as a carriage dog, guard dog, and sometimes small hunting dog. Today it is more used as an assistance dog for firefighters and also as a companion dog.
French and German dogs are very diverse. The Rotweiller, the great Dane and the Doberman are some of the examples of dog breeds from Germany.
Some are very big, and they are excellent guards, while others are small and destined to s domestic life. Here you can read about five of the most popular French and German dogs.
The French Bulldog is a small breed that usually weighs 12 kg or less. It is a favorite dog among Hollywood celebrities such as Lady Gaga, David Beckham or Hugh Jackman.
This breed became famous in France after the French Revolution. It is valued because it is intelligent, polite, playful, and affectionate. It requires minimal exercise but not moderate intensity.
The basset hound is a hound type of dog, popular because of its physical appearance. It is small; it has short legs, a long body, a pointed tail, and very long and drooping ears. It has rough hair, and it is white with brown or black spots.
This dog is from France (one of the oldest ones), and it was created for it to be a small hunting dog. Nowadays they are meant to be companion dogs, and they are characterized by a loyal yet stubborn temperament.
This dog is also known as "the king of the toy dogs" (small dogs). It usually weighs between 3, and 5 kg and it has short hair, usually black with brown chocolate colour spots. It is a very obedient, fast and energetic dog.
It is a German dog, and it was created to free farms from the rodent infestations. It is a very loyal and brave breed, which defies intruders with its insistent barking.
However, the pinscher is also a perfect family companion and suitable to live in a flat. It is intelligent but very obstinate, and daily walks and games are necessary to meet its needs.
The German shepherd is one of the most popular dogs in the world. Although it has been a dog used for shepherding, nowadays it is trained as a watch dog and assistance dog, for people with disability and the police.
It is a very obedient, intelligent, strong and easy-to-train dog, so it can also be trained as a pet. It measures up to 65 cm high and weighs from 20 to 40 kg, depending on whether it is a male or a female.
The Pomeranian is a German dog of the Spitz type; it is considered a mini toy dog because of its size. It is characterized for having very fluffy and soft hair, which can be white, sand colour or black. Its muzzle is pointed and its ears small but raised.
They are mainly pet dogs that do not weigh more than 3.5 kg, and they have a happy, affectionate, and energetic temperament. But they can also react unexpectedly aggressively when they feel invaded or threatened, like all Spitz-type dogs, which are tiny dogs with two layers of hair.
The dogs from the east of the Mediterranean are characterized by being watchdogs and guard dogs. Most of them were originally trained as hunting dogs and even fighting dogs, but nowadays they are used as pets and also for some beauty contests.
Some of the main dogs from this region are:
The Central Asian Shepherd dog is a big dog, with short and white hair, and small ears stuck to its head. It is muscular and especially destined to be a guard dog, so it is considered a molosser-type dog.
It is from Kazajistan, and most of the dogs from this breed are from that region. It is actually considered the most popular dog in that area. It is a dog that is used for driving the cattle, but also for human companionship.
This dog is from Pakistan, and it is a descendant of the bull terrier. It was originally used for dog fighting, although as it is easy to train, this dog is nowadays found as part of many families.
It is a medium-size dog, it can get up to 45 cm tall and weigh up to 45 kg, it has no hair, and it is white with black spots. It is not only trained as a watch dog but also as a pet, especially those who know how to take care of a guardian dog.
The Canaan dog is a feral type of dog; in other words, it can abandon their masters and easily adapt to wildlife. It is a big independent animal. It measures up to 60 cm and weighs up to 25 kg.
It is also trained as a watch dog that is not characterized by being aggressive. It requires a lot of space as it is an animal with a lot of energy and can be easily distracted.
The Kangal, also known as Kangal Shepherd Dog, it is a dog from Turkey, very similar to the mastiff. It is an ideal herding dog, and it is also a protector dog which is very useful to defend the sheep from some predators.
It is a very loyal and obedient dog breed that can be trained easily to accompany and protect families. It is a sand colour, and its face is black, as its ears. Like other watch dogs, it is a medium-big size dog.
It is from Afghanistan; the Afghan hound is one of the most popular dogs in the Middle East. It is big, with a lot of long and straight hair. Its tail is long and pointed, its ears are long and drooping, its neck is long, and it has a pointed nose.
It is one of the most intelligent dogs in the world, and even though it was used as a watch dog and a hunting dog in the past, nowadays the Afghan hound is a pet and contest dog, because of its peculiar aesthetics.
The dogs from the United Kingdom are traditionally small hunting dogs. They are usually medium size, and they are very docile. Nowadays they are also used as pet dogs. In the following lines, you will read about the 5 most popular dog breeds from the UK.
The Welsh sheepdog is considered a type of working dog due to its abilities in herding. It is a collie-type dog (medium size, pointed nose, small but raised ears, hairy and tricolored -white, black and red or brown).
It is an intelligent and very active and energetic dog breed. They need big spaces and constant stimulation, both physical and mental.
As other Spaniel-type dogs, the Welsh Springer is a hunting dog. It is a dog that picks up its prey to give it to its owner, so it is known as a retriever dog.
It is small and short, it measures up to 46 cm high and weighs between 16 and 20 kg. Its fur is soft and not very abundant, brown with white. It has long and drooping ears, and it has a short tail.
They learn easily, and they are generally obedient, although they are usually dogs that entertain themselves by destroying things.
It is one of the oldest dog breeds in the area. Originally bred as a hunting animal, the Welsh terrier is now used as a companion dog and in exhibition or canine contests.
It is a short dog, with a wide head, pointed and half-drooping ears, and a pointed tail which is usually amputated. Its fur is soft and silky, a bit curly, and its brown with some black. It is quite friendly, intelligent, and calm.
There are two main types of Corgi: Pembroke and Cardigan. They are both small dogs with a long body and very short legs, although they are slightly distinguished by its size. Their ears are pointed and small, like its muzzle. They also have a robust constitution, short but smooth hair, and its color can be red, beige or black, combined with white.
They are an affectionate and active breed that was originally used as working dogs, especially for herds. Nowadays they are used as pets.
This dog breed is small or medium; it usually weighs between 8 and 11 kg, and it has three colour fur. It is one of the oldest dog breeds because it was used as a hunting dog by English knights in the 16th century. It is characterized by being intelligent, hunter, and obedient.
The Beagle enjoys the company of other dogs and people because it is a friendly and happy breed, and it is also a great family companion. In general, we can say that it is a very active dog breed that needs daily exercise.
Most of the Japanese dogs were created as hunting dogs, that is, to catch bears, moose, wild boars, among other large animals. They have a particular aesthetics: they have a lot of hair and a friendly appearance.
In the following lines, you will read about the 5 most popular Japanese dog breeds.
The Shiba Inu is becoming more and more popular on social media. It is an agile, energetic, brave dog with an affectionate personality.
It is a Japanese dog, and it was developed to hunt birds and small animals in mountain areas. It must be brushed regularly, and it also needs daily exercise of moderate intensity.
The Akita Inu, which is from the north of Japan, is a defense dog that was bred for hunting (big animals). They measure up to 67 cm high and can weigh between 49 and 53 kg. It looks like the American Akita, but there are some physical differences.
They are strong dogs with soft fur, and they are reddish and white. They are trained easily, and they can be watch and assistance dogs or pets. They are big, and they have a lot of energy, so they require wide spaces and moments dedicated to playing and physical exercise.
The Hokkaido is also known as Shita, it is a popular dog because of its loyalty and bravery. It's a medium-size dog (it measures up to 48 cm tall and weighs around 20 kg), and it has short and strong hair. It is usually a sand colour with some white, although there are some that are black and grey.
It was destined to hunting big animals, such as bears, although today, they are used as pets and family protectors. They need a lot of space and constant exercise.
It is a Spitz-type of dog, so it is characterized by having a short and fluffy layer of fur, and another layer of straight hair. Moreover, it has a small head with pointed and raised ears, similar to those of a fox. It is also a little dog, and it sheds its hair easily.
It is similar to the Pomeranian, although it has longer legs. It enjoys the family company, and it does not need much space.
The Kishu is one of the most traditional Japanese dogs. It is a medium-size dog, and it is very similar to the Akita, the Shiba, and the Hokkaido, but this one comes from the mountainous area called Kishu. It measures up to 55 cm high and weighs up to 27 kg.
Initially, it was used as a hunting dog, by its agility, gentleness, and intelligence, which made its training easy. However, nowadays, it is currently bred as a family dog and as an assistance dog.
Chinese dogs are unique breeds for company. Some of them were originally watch dogs. However, the vast majority was always educated as a companion. There are different sizes, and many of them are characterized for its abundant fur. In the following lines, you will read about the 5 most popular Chinese dog breeds.
Originally from Tibet, the Shih Tzu -which means "lion"- is considered a sacred dog of the Pekingese type. This breed is small, and it is characterized by long and straight hair, which can be black, white or combined. Its tail is as furry and rolled-up.
It measures up to 27 cm tall and weighs no more than 8 kg. It is a dog made for company and tied to the Buddhist spirituality. It is very affectionate, dependant and it can be mistrustful with strangers or with other dogs. Due to its amount of hair, the Shih Tzu requires a lot of care. It can live up to 15 years.
This dog is also from the Tibet and similar to the Shih Tzu but a bit bigger and heavy, and it has even longer hair. It is also an ideal dog to live in cold temperatures.
This dog breed can be a sand colour, black, grey or white, and it is characterized by its playful, happy and watchful temperament.
The Pug is also one of the oldest breeds that exist. Napoleon's wife, Josephine, used her pug to send secret messages to her husband while she was imprisoned.
It is a small dog that weighs around 5 kg with a calm temperament, a playful, extrovert and affectionate personality, ideal for family life. It is an Asian dog, and it is considered a very funny, lively and adaptable dog, suitable for children.
The chow chow is one of the Chinese breeds that are becoming more and more popular recently. It is also one of the oldest breeds not only from China but from the world. They are companion dogs, very friendly, independent, and not very energetic.
It is a medium-size dog with a sturdy body completely covered with soft, fluffy hair. This is especially evident on its big head, from which protrude its small, pointy ears. Its jaw is large, and its tongue is purple.
The shar pei is an ancient and symbolic dog from the Chinese culture. At first, it was a defender of graves, then it was used as a fighting dog and is now a pet dog.
It has a rough, hairless skin and a body full of folds that require special care. It is small, with short legs, pug-nosed and drooping ears. It weighs between 18 and 30 kg and it is affectionate, independent, and sometimes mistrustful.
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