There are seven groups of dogs that are recognized by the AKC.
Herding: Herding is a natural instinct in dogs, and their purpose is to serve ranchers and farmers by moving livestock from one place to another.
Hound: These dogs are hunters that bring down game themselves, or hold it at bay until the hunter arrives, or locate game by tracing its scent. Sighthounds hunt by sight, Scenthounds by tracking with their superior olfactory senses.
Non-Sporting: A diversity of traits not fitting the standards of the Herding, Hound, Sporting, Terrier, Toy, or Working group.
Sporting: These are gun dogs that were developed to assist the hunter, and generally have high energy and stable temperaments. Pointers and Setters point and mark the game, Spaniels flushed the bird, and Retrievers recover the game from land or water.
Terrier: “Terrier” comes from the Latin word, terra (ground) as these courageous dog must be small enough and agile enough to “go to ground” to pursue their quarry (rats, foxes, and other vermin).
Toy: Toy dogs are bred to be companions for people. They are full of life and spirit and often resemble their larger cousins.
Working: These dogs are generally intelligent and powerfully built, performing a variety of tasks, including guarding homes and livestock, serving as draft animals, and as police, military and service dogs.