Understanding Pure Breed Dogs

Border Collie Herding goatsBorder Collie Herding goats

Pure breed dog breeds have been developed by breeding dogs over a period of time to fulfil some specific purpose. The record of the dogs parents and in turn grandparents that have successfully performed his job over a specific number of generations is called a pedigree. Today, to be recognised as a pure breed dog this pedigree must then be issued by a recognised Kennel Club. The Kennel Club also publishes a Breed Standard which describes the dogs physical and mental breed idiosyncrasies. To this end, pure breed dogs are then divided into groups which are characterised by the function for which the dog was originally designed to perform.

This function varies from dogs required to do a particular job for example herding sheep and goats like like the Border Collie pictured, hunting for food like the ancient Hound and more modern Gundog and Terrier breeds,  protection dogs like Mastiffs and Livestock Guardian dogs or simply companion dogs or Toy breeds like the Cavalier King Charles Spaniels.

Companion Ancient Greek

What defines Pure Breed Dogs

In 350 BC, Greek philosopher Aristotle described 'high-bred' and 'thoroughbred' domestic animals as: »» Read more...

Silky pair

Breed Standards

By the mid-1800's men who worked their dogs in a variety of ways formed themselves into breed associations which drew up the original Breed Standards based on the physical traits required for dog to do the job it was bred for. This shifted the focus from function to physical characteristics. »» Read more...

Stud Book Irish Setter

Kennel Clubs and Stud Books

Today, along with the definition of a pure breed dog, for this to be global there must be arrangements for world-wide recognition. Firstly, pure breed dogs must have a formal pedigree issued by a Kennel Club and secondly they must have their breed's physical description and function classified within their Breed Standard. »» Read more...

Jane in Library

Creating Australia's Stud Book

This section reveals how our dog world grew without any identification system or Stud Book in place to define or record details of our Australian pure breed dogs. Consequently, unlike the British who we attempting to emulate, we did not have any framework which would clearly separate 'a good dog from a useless cur'[1]. Consequently for 145 years, the breed ... »» Read more...


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