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How Many Dog Breeds Are There

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Sure you know many breeds of dogs, but would you know exactly how many dog breeds are there? The truth is that this question is not so easy to answer, since there are more than 300 breeds of dogs gathered in 10 different groups.

Despite being a great lover of dogs, these figures have surely surprised you. Therefore, if you want to know how many dog breeds there are in the world, their classification, and their origin, keep reading and we will explain everything!

how many dog breeds are there
how many dog breeds are there in the world

How Many Dog Breeds Are There In The World

The dog is the most diverse animal species in terms of the great variety of breeds around the world. No other species enjoy such diversity. Furthermore, scientists estimate that the numbers are increasing every year.

Although more than 800 canine breeds are calculated, those officially recognized by the International Canine Federation so far total 343. 

Those that are really considered official are those that have not altered their physical characteristics in many generations.

However, the official ones are also crosses of dog breeds that have remained the same over the years and whose characteristics are not the product of chance but are the result of selective breeding by humans during years.

Breed Diversity And Europe

The plurality of dog breeds on the planet has occurred mainly during the last 200 years and in very specific places.

According to the map produced by illustrator artist Lili Chin, Dogs of the World, most breeds come from the European continent.


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Specifically by country, France and Great Britain have 57 registered dog breeds and Germany 47. Furthermore, Eurocentrism is visible even on the other side of the pond, where Cuba’s official dog, or “Havanese,” also has European origin.

However, other continents, such as the American and Asian, despite having fewer official dogs, have the honor of having the most exotic and interesting breeds, such as the Mexican Xoloitzcuintle, the Shiba Inu from Japan, or the Inca Orchid from Peru.

Thus, although Europe conquers the map with more than 80% of the official dog breeds, each geographical location has contributed its grain of sand to the enormous diversity of dog breeds globally.

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Classification Of Dog Breeds Into Groups

Of the almost 400 breeds of dogs globally, each one has a unique character, size, and coat that is different from the rest. Here is a list of ten groups of all the breeds of dogs in the world, classified according to their similarities.

  • Group 1: Sheepdogs and Cattle Dogs. The smartest breeds are found here, such as the Border Collie, the Golden Retriever, and the German Shepherd.
  • Group 2: Pinscher and Schnauzer dogs. Swiss mountain molosser and cattle herders.
  • Group 3: Terriers.
  • Group 4: Dachshunds.
  • Group 5: Splitz type dogs and the so-called primitive type.
  • Group 6: Bloodhound and sniffer dogs.
  • Group 7: Pointers and setters.
  • Group 8: Retrievers, hunters, and water dogs
  • Group 9: Pet dogs and toys
  • Group 10: Sighthounds (like the greyhound)
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Origin Of Dog Breeds

Despite the great differences in sizes, behaviors, and other characteristics, scientific studies have shown that all dog species belong to one lineage. The dog, Canis lupus familiaris, is descended from Canis lupus, that is, from the Central Asian gray wolf.

The origin of the dog breeds is estimated to have occurred after a process of domestication of the wolf more than thirteen thousand years ago. From there, the dogs began to migrate to other regions, always accompanied by their friend, the man.


The oldest known groups of dogs are the Asian and African breeds, also the most similar to their ancestor, the wolf. Dogs have the ability to rapidly mutate in a few generations, which has facilitated the multiplication and expansion of breeds.

However, despite being born as a species thousands of years ago, approximately 80% of the races have originated from the 19th century, since it has been the human being who has caused this proliferation of races for their service and benefit.


Why Are There So Many Breeds Of Dogs In The World?


As we have explained, the answer to why there are breeds of dogs is because humans have wanted and designed it that way. As is often the case, people modify their environment and natural resources as they please to meet their needs.


At first, the physical and behavioral changes between the races were inconsequential until they were increasing over the years. Thus, dogs’ species have come to have enormous diversity in terms of breeds and specifications at present.

If you want to read more about how many dog breeds are there, and a lot more about dogs you can read that here.

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