Fetch Your Breed
This section contains in depth information on all AKC recognized dog breeds. In addition to the more serious information about dog breed characteristics, care, and history, we have also included pictures and reader-submitted stories so you can have some fun while you do your research.
Meet the Basenji! This little guy isn’t going to be the tallest pup in the dog park, but don’t let their size fool you. Basenji dogs originated from Central Africa. Although they’re a hunting dog, they are technically classified as a hound by the AKC and a Sighthound and Pariah Dog by the UKC. As a hunting dog in Africa, the Basenji was used for controlling vermin and chasing prey toward the hunters’ nets.
Square in the body, but tall in the limbs, t... read more about the Basenji.
The Basset Hound is a short-legged, strong boned dog bred to track and hunt. The head is of medium width with the length being longer than the width. The skin on the head is loose and floppy. The muzzle is deep, strong and not at all sniped. Eyes are sunken, with a prominent haw. Eye color ranges from light to dark brown. Ears are very long and set low with slightly inward curled ends. The teeth are even and strong, and there is a very prominent dewlap around the mouth. The body is markedl... read more about the Basset Hound.
The Beagle is a small hound bred for hunting rabbit and hare. The head is somewhat lengthy and is domed at the occiput. Eyes are hazel or deep brown in color, large and set apart with a soft, "pleading" expression that is common to most hounds. The finely textured ears are long, low set and gently rounded at the tips. The medium-length muzzle is square and straight with a somewhat defined stop. The shoulders and chest are broad and muscular, without being bulky. The well-muscled back is sh... read more about the Beagle.
The Bearded Collie is a medium-sized working dog with an air of strength and hardiness. The head is proportional to the body with a moderate stop and a flat, broad skull. The foreface is the same length as the distance between the occiput and stop, and the muzzle is full and sports a square-shaped nose of large size. Eyes are wide-set, their color depending on the tone of the coat, framed with arched brows that blend into the coat. The expression is one of soft affection and intelligence.... read more about the Bearded Collie.
The Beauceron is a large French herding dog that is strong, tall and noble. The long, well-chiseled head is proportionate, with the muzzle and skull being equal in length. The eyes are oval shaped and horizontal, dark brown, with an expression of alert confidence. The high set ears can be natural or cropped, depending on the breeder's preference. Natural ears are short and flat, while cropped ears are erect and pointed gently forward. The muzzle is strong and fairly wide with a pure black... read more about the Beauceron.
The Bedlington Terrier is a graceful medium-sized dog of good proportion. The head is well-rounded yet narrow, with a short skull and long jaw. On top of the head is a thick topknot which is lighter in shade than the rest of the coat. The almond-shaped eyes are set high on the head, and range in color from hazel to dark brown depending on coat color. The expression is one of courage and energy. The low-set triangular ears sport rounded tips and are three inches at their widest point. The n... read more about the Bedlington Terrier.
Loyal, regal, and confident, the Belgian Malinois (pronounced mal-in-wah) is often confused for both the German Shepherd and the Belgian Shepherd. While the German Shepherd is a different breed, the Malinois in one of four types of Belgian Shepherd.
The Malinois is a highly intelligent breed who is often used as a working dog. In fact, the Belgian Malinois is used by Secret Service at the White House as a guard dog. They are also used by international... read more about the Belgian Malinois.
The Belgian Sheepdog is a muscular and sturdy medium-sized dog with a well-proportioned body. This dog sports long, straight guard hairs that are neither wiry nor silky, with a moderately harsh texture. The undercoat is thick and dense, although its density can depend on the climate in which the dog lives. A lush fringe of hair protects the neck, and the ears are protected by tufts of hair as well. The hair on the head and lower part of legs is shorter than on other parts of the body. Colo... read more about the Belgian Sheepdog.
The Belgian Tervuren, which is sometimes spelled “Tervueren,” is one of the four varieties of Belgian Shepherd. The Malinois, Groenendael (also called the Belgian Sheepdog), and Laekenois are the three cousins of the Tervuren. Although each dog has similar features, the four breeds of Belgian Shepherd have distinctive, individual coats. This make... read more about the Belgian Tervuren.
Bernedoodles are a mix between the hypoallergenic Poodle and the sturdy Bernese Mountain Dog. Bernedoodle puppies come in three sizes, as do Poodles. The Standard Bernedoodle weighs approximately 50 lbs and stands at 23 - 29 inches at the withers. The Mini Bernedoodle ranges from 25 - 49 lbs and stands at 18 - 22 inches. The Tiny Bernedoodle weighs 10 - 24 lbs and is 12 - 17 inches at the shoulder. Like the Poodle, Bernedoodles are hypoallergenic with a wavy and low to non-shedding coat. Bern... read more about the Bernedoodle.
The Bernese Mountain Dog is a large, beautifully colored working dog. Its head is broad and flat, with a gentle furrow and distinct stop, and a muzzle that is straight and long. Gently oval shaped eyes are brown in color. The ears are triangular, medium in size, set close to the head with softly rounded ends. A long, muscular neck leads to a topline that is even from withers to croup. The chest is deep and well-muscled, and the back firm and wide. The tail is long, bushy and carried low un... read more about the Bernese Mountain Dog.
The Bichon Frise is a small, stocky dog of balanced proportions. The gently rounded skull features a lightly accentuated stop and well-balanced muzzle. The round eyes are dark brown or even black in color, with a curious yet soft expression. Surrounding the eyes are dark brown to black skin known as halos which serve to accentuate them. The drop ears are high-set and covered with long hair, and frame the face well when the dog is alert. The Bichons nose is sensitive and always black, while... read more about the Bichon Frise.
The Black and Tan Coonhound is a medium sized, powerful hunting dog. It has a large oval head with low set ears, smooth skin over its face and round hazel to dark brown eyes. Its expression is eager, friendly and alert, and it has a scissors bite. A long, muscular neck slopes into a strong, level back, rounded out by a deep chest and well sprung ribs. Its tail is based slightly below the topline and carried at an approximate right angle to the back when in action. Powerful shoulders give w... read more about the Black and Tan Coonhound.
Large and powerful, the Black Russian Terrier is known for its courage and strength. Its blocky head is basically two parallel planes made of the skull and the muzzle, giving an impression of strength. The small, triangular ears and set high, and lay close to the cheek. The black rimmed, dark oval eyes are medium sized. Its lips and nose are black. The thick and powerful neck is approximately as long as the length of the head. A deep, wide chest arches upward to a well tucked up abdomen. T... read more about the Black Russian Terrier.
The Bloodhound is a member of the Sagaces canine group, which means it hunts via scent in groups. The narrow yet long head tapers gently from the temples to the end of the muzzle. The diamond shaped eyes are very deep set, with the bottoms sunk down by heavy flews; color can be anywhere from yellow to deep brown and often depends on the coat color of the dog. Ears are very long and low-set, soft and thin. Because the skin is so loose, the head can take on a wrinkled appearance. Around the... read more about the Bloodhound.
The Border Collie is a medium size dog renowned for its unique herding techniques. The head is well proportioned, with a muzzle that tapers slightly toward the nose. Eyes are wide set, medium in size and oval shaped color is typically brown but may be blue in merle dogs. Ears are set apart and carried erect or semi-erect; it is common to see one ear erect and the other semi-erect in some dogs. The Border Collies expression is intelligent and interested. The body is substantially muscular... read more about the Border Collie.
The Border Terrier is an active dog of long leg and narrow shoulders and body. Its head is often described as otter-like, with a flat and broad skull and small, v-shaped ears that are set well apart. Dark hazel eyes are also set far apart, and are medium in size. Strong, scissors bite teeth are housed in a short, whiskered, darkly colored muzzle. The body is athletically muscular and conveys speed and agility over brute force; shoulders and rib cage are narrow. The tail is fairly short, ta... read more about the Border Terrier.
The Borzoi, also called the Russian Wolfhound, is a large sighthound with a slim, waspish body, a narrow skull, and long limbs. Their ears lie flat against the head, and the coat can be long and wavy, curly, or silky. The standard Borzoi colors are golden, white, tan, or grey wit... read more about the Borzoi.
Small and stately, the Boston Terrier has a number of features that add to its rather unique appearance. The skull is square with a pronounced stop, and is topped by erect, bat-like ears. The eyes are large, dark and round, and give the dog a kind expression that exudes intelligence. The body is strong and compact, with a straight back, muscular hindquarters, and a very short tail. The feet are small and round. The coat is short and smooth, and is either black or brindle with white marking... read more about the Boston Terrier.
Also known as the Belgian Cattle Dog, the Bouvier des Flandres is a compact yet muscular herding dog. The large head features both a moustache and beard. The oval eyes are dark brown with black rims, and give the dog a facial expression that is brave and alert. Ears are high set and often cropped. The skull is slightly longer than it is wide and the muzzle is strong and broad with no snipiness, ending with a nose that has rounded edges and flared nostrils. The neck widens gently into stron... read more about the Bouvier des Flandres.
The Boxer is a powerful, squarely built dog of medium size, easily recognized by its distinct muzzle and face. The head is clean, with a noticeable stop and wrinkles on the forehead and the sides of the muzzle. Ears are set high on the sides of the skull, long and generally cropped. The eyes are dark and, along with the forehead, primarily responsible for giving the Boxer an intelligent, highly expressive visage. The muzzle is blunt and broad, and topped with a nose that is wide and black.... read more about the Boxer.
The Briard is a strong, powerful dog bred for herding. The head is fairly long with moderate width, and the skull and muzzle are both rectangular in shape. Eyes are large, level, and set far apart. They are either dark brown or black in color depending on the color of the coat. The expression is one of confidence and curiosity. Ears are thick and leathery, set high and slightly lifted. Some owners and breeders choose to crop the ears, others do not. The muzzle is wide and adorned with a mu... read more about the Briard.
The Brittany, formerly known as Brittany Spaniel, is an athletic and sturdily built dog of medium size. Their ears are short and triangular, lying flat against the skull, which is rounded and medium length. The Brittany’s face is intelligent and expressive, and their eyes are various shades of amber or hazel. The dog’s frame is strong and leggy, with their height at their shoulders equal to their length. The tail is naturally short but is generally docked to a length of about f... read more about the Brittany (Brittany Spaniel) .
The Brussels Griffon is a short, thick Toy breed. Prominent black eyes are set far apart, large and wide, with what has been described as almost a humanlike expression of intelligence and energy. The high-set ears are small and high on the head. Whether or not they are cropped is the owner or breeder's choice. The skull is round and the forehead is domed. The nose is short and black, with large nostrils. Jaws are undershot, which means the lower incisors protrude over the upper. The gently... read more about the Brussels Griffon.
Strong and handsome, the Bull Terrier is a dog of muscular symmetry and sweet disposition. The head is long and deep, curving from nose to the top of the skull; when viewed from the front, the head should resemble an oval. Eyes are close and deep set, small and triangular. Ears are small, erect and close set; teeth meet in a scissors bite. The body is muscular and big boned, though never coarse. The tail is short and carried horizontally. Feet are round, compact and catlike. The Bull Terri... read more about the Bull Terrier.
The Bulldog is a medium sized dog whose build suggests strength and vitality. It is a stocky dog with broad shoulders and a large, short head. The eyes are moderately sized, round and dark, and set wide apart and low away from the ears. The ears are small and thin, placed wide and far back on the skull. The head is broad and square, held high with a short profile and flat forehead. The nose is large and black, with the tip set deeply angled towards the eyes. The muzzle is extremely short a... read more about the Bulldog.
The Bullmastiff is a large, powerful breed with an alert and intelligent appearance. The dog has a muscular body covered by short hair. The tight coat is red, brindle, or fawn in color and the chest may have a small white marking. The breed has medium-sized, dark eyes and a broad, square shaped head with moderate stop. The ears are V-shaped and rest against well-built cheeks on either side of a flat forehead. The muzzle is approximately a third the length of the entire head and should be d... read more about the Bullmastiff.