How do Dog Breeds Differ and How to Identify Them?

Dog Breeds Differ

You’ve been yearning to get an adorable dog from the dog shelter, and finally, a cute doggie decides to select you. However, if you don’t have a list of dog breeds handy, establishing your dog’s breed is challenging. Tracing the origin of dog breeds can be an exciting exercise, given that they walked beside humans tens of thousands of years ago.

How To Know What Breed Your Dog Is?

Out of the hundreds of breeds of dogs out there, a few have been set apart as rare breeds. However, unless you’ve spent a considerable part of your life with dogs, it is challenging to establish which breed a particular dog belongs to.

Some distinct body parts of dogs help identify the breed, including:

  • Ears
  • Head
  • Color
  • Coat
  • Tail

Dogs’ heads have three unique skull types:

  • Dolichocephalic or long-nosed is one type. These dogs have long heads, and the two popular breeds include the Collie and the Afghan Hound.
  • Brachycephalic or flat-faced. The dogs of this breed have short muzzles, and widespread species include the French bulldog, the Pug, the Shih Tzu, and the Boxer.
  • Mesocephalic or the in-between types, including the Dalmatian, the Labrador, and the German Shepherd, are easy to identify.

Identifying Dogs by their Ears

Besides identifying dogs by looking at their heads, the ears tell you a lot about the particular dog. For example, dogs like the West-Highland Terrier and the German Shepherd have erect ears ending in a point. Then you have the adorable Beagle and the short Dachshund with floppy ears that are unique to them.

On the other hand, hounds tend to have long ears, especially the Scent hounds that can easily smell and track their prey.

The Coat Makes the Difference

While looking at a list of dog breeds, the coat of some species is distinctive and helps tell them apart. The breeds of dogs that spend most of their time working exposed to the elements have double coats. The inner coat helps keep them warm. The furred coat helps protect them from rain or snow.

Breeds like the German Shepherd, Labrador, and Alaskan Malamute have double coats, whereas terriers have wiry coats with thick undercoats to keep them warm. The poodle is predominantly an indoor pet as it has only a single layer to protect itself. Dogs with smooth coats like the whippet or greyhound have smooth coats that don’t weigh them down when they run or swim.

The Color Tells You a Lot

The coloring of a dog tells you a lot about it. For example, Cocker Spaniels may be bi-colored or tri-colored, while the Dalmatians are known for their spots. In addition, some dog breeds have the merle effect and appear dappled.

These unique patches of color may appear as an odd eye or irregular skin pigmentation anywhere on the body. While dappling is quite common, it is easier to sport a dappled Dachshund.

A Dog’s Tail Tells Its Tale

Dogs’ tails can be straight, curly, short, or even missing. Of course, working dogs’ tails are docked or surgically removed to prevent injuries. Dogs like terriers and spaniels have their tails docked for their safety. A German Shepherd’s tail is always raised when it is moving. A Labrador’s tail is thick and tapers towards the end.

Summing it Up

It is easy to identify a dog by its breed, provided you know what to look for. However, it takes a bit of practice to learn about the distinct physical characteristics of a particular breed of dog.

Read also: Top 10 Most Dangerous Dog Breeds in the World


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