An Illustrated guide to dog breeds

Which breed is right for me?

An illustrated guide to dog breeds

Knowing which canine companion will suit you best may be a challenge. Different dog breeds have their own personalities and they can either complement you perfectly or you might drive each other crazy.

We’ve created an illustrated guide to help distinguish the differences between different dog breeds so you can make the right decision.

Shiba Inu

The Shiba Inu dog breed was originally bred to flush birds and small game and was occasionally used to hunt wild boar. They are one of Japan’s six native breeds: Akita (large), Kishu, Hokkaido, Kai, Shikoku (medium), and Shiba (small). He is known for his spirited personality, small upright ears and cat-like agility. Today he serves primarily as a companion dog.

Temperament and personality traits:
Shiba Inus are alert dogs with fiery personalities. They are dominant dogs who like to be in charge and will make you work for your position as leader. Owning a Shiba Inu means committing to plenty of exercise and lots of intensive training and socialization. These three ingredients are essential to raising a well-adjusted Shiba with good manners. They prefer the company older kids who understand how to behave around dogs.

Shiba Inus require a lot of vigorous activity to maintain health and even temperament. They are sometimes known to be dog-aggressive and a bored Shiba can also become a destructive Shiba. Their minds are just as active as their bodies so they will require lots of exercise, interactive games and early socialization.
The Japanese have three words to describe the essence of a Shiba. Kan-i refers to the breed’s alertness and bravery; this awareness and confidence makes the Shiba a perfect watchdog. Ryosei means being good-natured, loyal, and obedient. Finally, soboku describes their easy, natural good looks.

Fun fact: One of the most unique characteristics about Shiba Inu puppies is the infamous “Shiba scream.” They have this odd and high pitched scream that’s incredibly loud. It’s usually produced when they’re mistreated, unhappy, provoked or just plain old happy! It can be a bit off-putting, scary, and funny at times, depending on the situation.

Golden retriever

Originally bred as gun dogs, the Golden Retriever is a smart, trainable and friendly companion. Because of their intelligence, they make great working dogs and can be seen performing a number of different roles including seeing-eye dogs, hearing dogs, hunting & detection dogs, and search and rescue dogs.

Temperament and personality traits:
One of the world’s friendliest family dogs, the Golden Retriever is cheerful, demonstrative, trustworthy with everyone, and forgiving of any mistakes made by inexperienced owners. They are friendly with everyone (strangers, children, dogs, cats, smaller pets), his bark is welcoming rather than protective. A Golden Retriever remains enthusiastically puppy-like for many years, so early obedience training is required to instill calmness and good manners.

Doberman

A German named Louis Dobermann is credited with developing the Doberman pinscher breed in the late 1800s. The Doberman pinscher has a long head and a sleek, muscular body. The ears are often cropped to stand erect, and the tail is usually docked short.
The Doberman pinscher has a short, sleek and shiny coat that is black, dark red, blue or fawn with rust-colored markings on the face, body and tail.

Temperament and personality traits:
Dobermans are extremely intelligent with active minds and bodies with a strong desire to please. They must be properly trained as a bored dog will develop behaviour problems and a big, strong dog, of any breed, must know where it belongs in the pack hierarchy. Socialised early with other dogs, pets and children, the Dobermann can make a lovely family pet. It is loyal and affectionate and will certainly protect the home. They are known to be a one-man dog and will not tolerate teasing so children must be taught how to behave around the dog.

Fun fact: They were first bred by a tax collector. Herr Karl Louis Dobermann was a man with many jobs: He was a tax collector, who would sometimes work as a police officer, night guard, and dog catcher. Because of his career, Dobermann often found himself traveling with bags of money through dangerous parts of town at late hours; it left him feeling uneasy. With his access to the pound, breeding a canine bodyguard to keep him—and his money—safe seemed like a natural decision. He wanted a medium sized dog that was refined but intimidating. The resulting dog is lean and muscular with dark fur and brown markings.

Pug

The pug possesses physically distinctive features of a wrinkly, short-muzzled face, and curled tail. The breed has a fine, glossy coat that comes in a variety of colours, most often fawn or black, and a compact square body with well-developed muscles.

Temperament and personality traits:
Pugs are known to be sociable and gentle companion dogs. They are very childlike and have sweet, comical and charming personalities. Though stubborn, Pugs seldom get into real mischief. Adults spend much of the day sleeping.

Fun fact: The perfect pug tail has two curls: pugs are known for their curly tails that curve up towards their bodies and according to the AKC, “the double curl is perfection”

Chihuahua

The Chihuahua is the smallest breed of dog and is named after the state of Chihuahua in Mexico. They come in a wide variety of colours and two coat lengths.

Temperament and personality traits:
Chihuahuas are loyal, friendly and good family pets when treated respectfully. They can get all the exercise needed in the house or apartment.

Fun fact: They’re little geniuses. Relative to their bodies, Chihuahuas have the biggest brain in the dog world. They’re quick-witted and easy to train. They’re not, however, easy to housebreak as a result of a tiny bladder and a willful personality. As desert dogs, they’re also not too keen on the rain or cold.

Poodle

The poodle is skillful is many dog sports and activities, including agility, obedience, tracking to herding, circus performers and assistance dogs. The poodle has been bred in at least three sizes, including Standard, Miniature, and Toy and they exist in many coat colours. The poodle is an active, intelligent and elegant dog, squarely built, and well proportioned.

Temperament and personality traits:
Elegant, proud and clever, poodles are impressive dogs as many best-in-show winners from this dog breed can attest. The Poodle is also known for what their fans call “an air of distinction”, a dignified attitude that’s hard to describe, but easy to spot in the dog. An outstanding trait of the Poodle is his intelligence. He is often said to have human-like intelligence, an amazing cleverness that astounds his owners. Of course, smart dogs can be difficult to live with. They learn fast — good habits and bad — and they remember everything.

Fun fact: Despite their French reputation, poodles hail from Germany, where they were called pudel, which is German for “puddle.”

Scottish Terrier

The Scottish terrier is one of five breeds of terrier that originated in Scotland, the other four being the modern Skye, Cairn, Dandie Dinmont, and West Highland White Terriers. The Scottish Terrier is a small, compact, short-legged, sturdily-built terrier of good bone and substance. They have a hard, wiry, weather-resistant coat and a thick-set, cobby body which is hung between short, heavy legs. They are territorial, alert, quick moving and feisty and is known to be independent and self-assured, playful and intelligent.

Temperament and personality traits:
Scottish terriers are often described as a big dog in a little dog’s body and are informally and fondly known as “Scotties”. They are feisty, independent, and sometimes excitable. As adults, their behavior can become moody. Some Scotties take to only one person. Scotties can be aggressive with other pets and stubborn about training.

Fun fact: They get cramps when they’re too excited. When Scotties get too excited, they might experience something known as the Scottie Cramp. This neurological disorder causes the muscles to tense up, making it difficult to walk. Dogs experiencing this cramp exhibit “a goose-stepping gait” and might somersault or fall over. Luckily, these episodes don’t last long and do not appear to be painful for the dogs.

Miniature Pinscher

The Miniature Pinscher dog breed was originally bred in Germany to hunt vermin, primarily rats, in homes and stables. It is a small domesticated dog, muscular and full of energy.

Active, curious and entertaining, the Miniature Pinscher is not for the peaceful household. Full of bounding energy for a dog their size, the Miniature Pinscher needs a great deal of exercise. A small to medium-sized backyard is the best place for this breed as they love to explore and run. Known to be talented escape artists, it’s essential that any outdoor area be secure. Miniature Pinschers will dig under fences if given the opportunity. The breed requires a great deal of exercise and human attention to remain happy and healthy.

Temperament and personality traits:
Known as the “King of Toys” for his stately appearance and self-assured attitude, the Miniature Pinscher is a fearless, energetic, and alert companion dog who enjoys the company of his family and has a love of toys.

Fun fact: They make good guard dogs – Miniature Pinschers are eager to sound the alarm and love the sound of their own voice, regardless of whether or not anyone else does. Their bark is predictably shrill and sharp, and belted out with gusto. A Miniature Pinscher’s bark reflects their confidence and natural suspicions, but could indicate anxiety or stress-related behaviors. Since they are highly sensitive to separation anxiety, they shouldn’t be left alone if managing their barking is a high priority.

American Eskimo

The American Eskimo dog or “Eskie” is a striking fellow with a white coat, sweet expression and black eyes and comes in three sizes – standard, miniature and toy. Distinctive features include a dense, sparkling white coat with a lion-like ruff around the chest and shoulders; a smiling face, black nose, lips and eye rims that convey a keen, intelligent expression and plumed tail carried over the back.

He’s a Nordic dog breed and are lively, active companion dogs who love to entertain and join the action on family activities.

Temperament and personality traits:
They are very loyal and need to be around their owners. They are highly intelligent but can be stubborn at times and are sometimes prone to excessive barking if not properly socialized with people. They are an intelligent breed and are capable of escapes if not adequately confined.

Fun fact: They became circus dogs and an eskie was the first dog known to walk a tightrope. Today, they are still known for the wide variety of tricks they can perform.

Beagle

Beagles are scenthounds and will follow a trail with unbroken determination. They’ve got about 220 million scent receptors in their noses, compared to about 5 million in humans

Temperament and personality traits:
Beagles are smart, affectionate, curious, friendly and playful. They are ideal family pets because of their size, groomability, and easy going nature with children. Couch potatoes will want to steer clear of beagles; this breed loves constant activity and the outdoors.

Fun fact: Snoopy is a beagle – The “Peanuts” character Snoopy is arguably the most famous fictitious Beagle. Snoopy was silent for the first few years of the comic strip, but later was given an active imagination and inner monologue.

Bull terrier

The Bull Terrier was originally developed in the 19th century as a fighting dog and, later, a All puppies should be checked for deafness, which occurs in 20.4% of pure white Bull Terriers and 1.3% of colored Bull Terriers and is difficult to notice, especially in a relatively young puppy.fashionable companion for gentlemen, but these days he’s a family companion and show dog.

Bull Terrier’s most recognizable feature is its head, described as ‘shark-head-shaped’ (sometimes confused with egg-shaped) when viewed from the front; the top of the skull is almost flat.

Temperament and personality traits:
They are a goofy, lovable breed whose personality is as unique as it looks. They have the tenacious spirit and agility of the terrier mixed with the brute force of a bulldog (this was originally bred to create the ultimate fighting pit dog) although the personality of today’s bull terrier is clown-like, active and silly.

Fun fact: You can get a small one. Although technically a different breed, miniature bull terriers exist – they only grow to be about 14 inches tall, while their larger cousins can be up to 21 inches. They are hypoallergenic and shed much less than their larger counterparts.

Dalmatian

The Dalmatian is a medium size dog noted for its unique black, liver spotted coat. Over the years Dalmatians have been used as dogs of war, border patrols, cart pullers, sheep herders, dogs of the hunt, circus performers and, of course, coaching dogs. Their outline is square, showing them to be well-balanced, strong, muscular dogs. They have wonderful freedom of movement taking long strides, showing smooth, powerful and rhythmic action. Due to the publication in 1956 of the book 101 Dalmations, have become very popular pets and show dogs.

Temperament and personality traits:
Dals are outgoing and friendly, free from nervousness and aggression although puppies can become hyper if not carefully reared or disciplined as puppies. They are mild-mannered, affectionate dogs who enjoy company and clowning about. They are dedicated and loyal and always want to please but because of their determined natures will easily form bad habits. Because of their hunting instincts they love to run, jump and climb so caution should be taken at all times to ensure their safety.

Fun fact: Dalmatians are born white. Despite being covered in spots in adulthood, puppies are born snow white. Pups generally don’t grow their trademark spots until about four weeks.

Boston Terrier

A playful, fun breed, the Boston is a great choice for people who are looking for a cheerful and energetic companion. They can move very fast and should never be let outside unless they are in a secure, fenced-in yard or on a leash. They are compact, well-proportioned, handsome little dogs. They have broad chests. Their heads are square and rather flat on top; the muzzle is short, square and broad. The Boston’s appealing eyes are round, large and dark.

Temperament and personality traits:
Bostons are good-natured, playful dogs and make cheerful companions. Bostons are considered intelligent and can be well trained, but they can be stubborn. In other words, they may know “sit” and “stay,” but they may not always obey when you want them to. They generally get along well with other pets especially if they are raised together.

Fun fact: They were originally bred to be fighters. Coachmen crossbred their wealthy employers’ dogs to create this pooch. They combined the English Bulldog with the (now-extinct) white English terrier. Originally, they were considerably larger and used as fighting dogs. After dog fighting became illegal, the breed shrunk in size.

Russell Terrier

The Russell Terrier is a predominantly white working terrier with an instinct to hunt prey underground. They originated in England but the country of development was Australia.

Temperament and personality traits:
They are spirited terriers, fearless and sassy with minds of their own and aren’t above causing mischief to get a laugh. They are highly trainable and are famous for their high jumping antics.

Fun fact: They have expressive faces perfect for television. There were more than 100 candidates for the role of Wishbone, a time-traveling canine literature expert on a children’s show of the same name. Despite the stiff competition, Soccer, a Jack Russell terrier, got the job. The little dog got his name thanks to the small dots on his ear resembling a soccer ball. He went on to star in more than 50 episodes of Wishbone and even a movie called Wishbone’s Dog Days of the West.

Pembroke Corgi

Known for their quick intelligence and forceful will, Pembroke Welsh corgis are active, hardy and want to be part of the family. Regular exercise is a must. They are identifiable by their short stature, prick ears and foxy face. Corgis have weatherproof coats — double but short. The color ranges from a rich red or fawn to black or sable with white markings. The blacks usually have white and tan to make them tri-colored with heads varying from red to black. Occasionally a fluffy corgi will appear in a litter. These puppies have a longer, softer, fluffier coat than is typical.

Temperament and personality traits:
Pembroke Welsh corgis are known for their quick intelligence and forceful will. They are active, animated dogs and do not ever want to be left out of the action. Corgis can be prone to excessive alarm barking and to digging or chewing if left alone too much or not exercised enough. Most corgis are fine with other pets and children if they have been raised with them. Beware that they will sometimes chase and nip at the heels of small running children because of their herding instincts.

Fun fact: There is a massive corgi meet-up in Southern California. SoCal Corgi Beach Day started as a humble meet-up event at Huntington Beach in 2012. The first event attracted just 15 dogs; the last one had more than 1100 corgis in attendance. The event happens three times a year.

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