How many dog breeds are there in the world? Here’s what you need to know. Choosing a canine companion for you or your family can feel overwhelming. This is because there are so many dog breeds in the world to choose from.
You want to make sure that you are researching and coming up with a breed that will be well-suited to your lifestyle. The real question is, how many dog breeds are there in the world?
No matter your lifestyle, you can almost certainly find a breed that will work well for you. Here is a bit of research on how many dog breeds exist globally and where you can find them.
Before scrolling down this guide, “How Many Dog Breeds Are There in the World,” you can check out these other dog-related articles: Healthiest Dog Breeds That Don’t Shed and Funny Dog Breeds That Will Make Your Day.
Dog Breed Organizations
The answer of how many dog breeds exist in the world might be easier to answer if there was just one dog breed governing body. Many people refer to the Federation Cynologique Internationale, the FCI, or the World Canine Organization.
This governing body is the international federation of kennel clubs worldwide. Therefore, it does exclude those from the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia.
The latter three countries each have their kennel clubs for determining dog breeds and their standards. In the United States, most people are familiar with the American Kennel Club (AKC).
The United Kingdom has the British Kennel Club (KC). Meanwhile, Australia has the Australian National Kennel Council (ANKC). Each organization sets its standards for how dog breeds are recognized.
It makes sense that there are different totals for how many dog breeds each recognizes. It is estimated that there are more than 350 different dog breeds globally when you don’t consider the strict criteria set forth by these kennel clubs.
Related: Most Aggressive Small Dog Breeds.
How Breeds Qualify for the AKC
The American Kennel Club is the North American body that recognizes various dog breeds. It should be noted that this organization recognizes not all breeds. If a breeder wants their dog to be recognized by this large kennel club, there are very strict requirements.
As a result, only about 200 dog breeds are recorded with the AKC. New breeds are added to the registry all the time. Some of the breeds recently been added have been around for centuries.
However, it can take quite some time for these breeds to gain traction. First, a breed must have a population of 300 to 400 dogs that span at least three generations.
Avid lovers of the new breed must also form a national kennel club devoted to the breed with no fewer than one hundred members. In addition, they must live in at least twenty different states of those one hundred members.
Additionally, the kennel club must have a written set of standards for the breed. If all of the above criteria are met, you can petition the AKC for breed status.
An approval means that the breed may now compete in the various class at dog shows. After three years, the AKC will again review the breed to see if it is eligible and decide whether to grant it an official breed status.
Once the official status is granted, the AKC will group it into one of its seven categories:
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Dog Designer Breeds
According to the American Kennel Club, the only breeds recognized are purebreds. This means that the ever-popular designer breeds flooding the market will not have official status.
Breeds like the Cavachon and the Goldendoodle will not earn their place on the AKC’s official breed list, even though their parents may be on this registry.
Mixed breeds have no given standards for health or appearance. Some may favor one breed, even within the same litter. As a result, it isn’t easy to pin down breed specifics. This leaves them ineligible to be considered.
Because of this, there may be far more breeds of dogs than what is considered on the official list of any registry or kennel club. Mixed breed dogs are certainly rising in popularity despite their lack of recognition.
Related: Best Quiet and Small Dog Breeds.
How Many Dog Breeds Are There?
The FCI may include a more comprehensive list of the breeds available worldwide. While the American Kennel Club recognizes just under 200 dogs, the World Canine Organization (FCI) recognizes between 390 and 400. You may wonder why the number is not more exact.
This is because the list is constantly in flux. Some breeds are being deleted from the list while others are being added. So it is a living document that changes from year to year, just as the list from the AKC does.
Similarly, it also grants provisional status to new breeds as they are just getting started on the path to consistent breed characteristics and measurements. The FCI also divides dogs up differently based on breed characteristics.
Instead of seven categories, they include ten:
- Companion and Toy Dogs
- Pinscher and Schnauzer, Molossoid Breeds, Swiss Mountain and Cattle Dogs, and Other Breeds
- Pointers and Setters
- Retrievers, Flushing Dogs, and Water Dogs
- Scenthounds and related breeds
- Sheepdogs and Cattle Dogs (excluding Swiss Cattle Dogs)
- Spitz and Primitive Types
While the classifications may be different, there are still strict criteria for each one. You will find a thoroughly vetted system, regardless of whether you research the FCI or the AKC. Each kennel club and governing body may have its criteria, but that does not mean that dogs not included are bad breeds.
Related: Best Dog Breeds with Big Paws.
Conclusion For “How Many Dog Breeds Are There in the World”
As you can see, classifying dog breeds can be a bit of a tricky business. The final judgment depends on the governing body’s kennel club or dog breed.
There are have to be some standards about what is acceptable for a given breed and a certain population count. Understanding each governing body’s criteria can help you determine which of the breeds is best for you and your family.
If you enjoyed reading this guide, “How Many Dog Breeds Are There in the World,” check out these articles:
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You can learn more about this topic by watching “All Dog Breeds in the World” down below:
Andy is a full-time animal rescuer and owner of a toy doodle. When he’s not saving dogs, Andy is one of our core writers and editors. He has been writing about dogs for over a decade. Andy joined our team because he believes that words are powerful tools that can change a dog’s life for the better.
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