The Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI) (English: International Canine Federation) is the largest international federation of national kennel clubs. There are hundreds of dog breeds worldwide (approximately 300 !), each with their own unique traits. However, for convenience, the FCI places several breeds into distinct groups. This allows dog owners and enthusiasts to more easily identify and compare breeds that share certain characteristics. More information can be found here http://www.fci.be/en/nomenclature/
When choosing a dog, and you can’t find a puppy of particular breed you may look for similar breeds inside the same FCI Group. We hope this guide will help you find a puppy that suits both your lifestyle and activeness needs.
List of FCI Breed Groups
Note: Some groups are in this list multiple times based on the different sizes of the dogs that go into that group. While there are 10 main Groups, there are further broken down to 20 key listings.
- Sheep and Cattle Dogs – Group 1
- Pinchser and Schnauzer – Group 2
- Mastiff Type – Group 2
- Mountain Type and Swiss – Group 2
- Terriers, Large and Medium – Group 3
- Terriers, Small – Group 3
- Terriers, Bull Type and Toy – Group 3
- Dachshunds – Group 4
- Nordic Spitz – Group 5
- European and Asian Spitz – Group 5
- Primitive Type and Native Non-FCI – Group 5
- Scent hounds, Large – Group 6
- Scent hounds, Medium – Group 6
- Scent hounds, Small – Group 6
- Leash Hounds and Related – Group 6
- Continental Pointing Dogs, Braque – Group 7
- Continental Pointing Dogs, Spaniel and Griffon – Group 7
- Pointers and Setters of the British Isles – Group 7
- Retrievers, Flushing and Water Dogs – Group 8
- Toy – Group 9
- Sight hounds – Group 10
Sheep and Cattle Dogs – Group 1
The dogs in this group typically weigh between 45 and 75 pounds and are 22 to 30 inches tall. They usually have shaggy, longer coats. Breeds in this group include the Australian Shepherd, Border Collie, Shetland Sheepdog, and Australian Cattle Dog.
Pinchser and Schnauzer – Group 2
The Pincher, Schnauzer, and Black Russian Terrier breeds usually have a dark, smooth coat. Some of these breeds can be grey or tan in colour. The weight for dogs in this category varies. Some of the larger breeds in this group can weigh up to 85 pounds to 135 pounds. The miniature breeds in this group usually only weigh between 8 pounds and 15 pounds.
Mastiff Type – Group 2
Dogs in this category usually have a short, smooth, and thick coat. They typically weigh between 75 and 130 pounds, and are 22 to 30 inches tall. Breeds in this group include the Boxer, Bulldog, Mastiff, Rottweiler, and Dogue de Bordeaux.
Mountain Type and Swiss – Group 2
Different dog breeds come in a variety of coat coluors. The coats of some dogs are resistant to damage from weather. Newfoundland dogs and Landseer dogs are some of the breeds that fall into this category. These dogs usually weigh between 80 and 140 pounds and range in height from 22 to 34 inches.
Terriers, Large and Medium – Group 3
Most terriers have wiry or curly coats, with tan and black being among the most common colours. Terriers in this category generally weigh between 17 and 25 pounds, but some of the larger breeds can reach up to 40 pounds. Terriers rarely grow larger than 20 inches, with many being around 15 inches tall. Dogs in this group include the Irish Terrier, Fox Terrier, Welsh Terrier, and Irish Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier.
Terriers, Small – Group 3
The most common colours for Terriers are sandy or tan, with some black or pepper. They usually weigh between 12 and 14 pounds, but some, such as the Skye Terrier, can weigh up to 25 pounds. Terriers’ height usually ranges from 8 to 14 inches. Dogs in this group include the Cairn Terrier, Norfolk Terrier and West Highland White Terrier.
Terriers, Bull Type and Toy – Group 3
The Bull Type Terrier is a medium sized dog breed that is most commonly black and white in color. They typically weigh between 40 and 80 pounds, and grow to be 17 to 22 inches tall. They have short, smooth coats, and their tails were traditionally docked*. Bull Type Terriers are intelligent and playful dogs that make great family pets. They are also relatively easy to train.
Note: * the practise of docking tails is now illegal in Ireland.
Dachshunds – Group 4
Dachshunds are a popular breed of dog, especially among city-dwellers. They are known for being loyal and protective of their families. Dachshunds are relatively easy to train and make great house pets.
Nordic Spitz – Group 5
The Finnish Spitz is a breed of dog that is usually black, white, or a mixture of both. They weigh between 55lbs and 80lbs and grow between 15″ and 23″. Dogs in this category include the Finnish Spitz.
European and Asian Spitz – Group 5
The Spitz is a family of dogs that come in a wide variety of colours and sizes. The most common colours are white, black, and brown, but they can also be red, sable, fawn, or a mixture of any of these colours. The Spitz family includes the German Spitz, the Japanese Shiba Inu, and the Pomeranian. These dogs range in size from 11-22 inches and in weight from 3-75 pounds.
Primitive Type and Native Non-FCI – Group 5
Colours can vary among Primitive Types, with weight ranging between 21lbs and 59lbs. The coats of Native Non-FCI Types, a category containing just the Australian Dingo and Australian Stumpy Tail Cattle Dog, range from red to blue, weigh 30-42lbs and grow to 20-23.5″. Dogs in this section include the Canaan Dog, Thai Ridgeback Dog, Pharaoh Hound and Podengo Portugueso.
Scent hounds, Large – Group 6
The American Foxhound is a large scent hound that stands 23-28 inches tall and weighs 62-110 pounds. They have a short, dense coat that is typically red, copper, or white in colour. Other large scent hounds include Poetevin, The Otterhound, English Foxhound and the Black and Tan Coonhound
Scent hounds, Medium – Group 6
The most common scent hounds are the medium Scent hounds, namely Basset Hound, Tyrolean Hound, Beagle Harrier, Swiss Hound, and Blood hound.
Scent hounds are a type of hunting dog that is used to track down prey by following its scent. These dogs have a keen sense of smell and are able to track an animal for miles. Scent hounds are used in a variety of hunting situations, from deer hunting to rabbit hunting.
There are a number of different breeds of scent hound, each with its own unique set of qualities. Some of the most popular breeds include the Basset Hound, Beagle, and Bloodhound. These dogs are all medium-sized, with short, dense coats. They range in height from 18 – 24 inches and in weight from 35 – 55 pounds.
Scent hounds are gentle, affectionate dogs that make great family pets. They are intelligent and trainable, but can also be stubborn and independent. They need plenty of exercise and love to be outdoors.
Scent hounds, Small – Group 6
Small Scent hounds have short, smooth coats, usually a tricolour mix of black, white and tan. They typically weigh between 30 – 60lbs and are less than 14″ tall. Dogs in this section include the Basset Griffon Vendéen, and the Beagle.
Leash Hounds and Related – Group 6
The dogs in this section generally have white, red, or black coats. They often have a mix of each color. They have short, dense hair. Their weight varies from 30lbs to 77lbs. Their height ranges from 19″ to 27″. The dogs in this section include the Bavarian Mountain Hound, Dalmatian, and Rhodesian Ridgeback.
Continental Pointing Dogs, Braque – Group 7
The coat of a short-haired dog can range from fine to thick, and is mostly white, black, or chestnut in appearance. Short-haired dogs typically weigh between 40 and 62 pounds and stand 22 to 27 inches tall at the shoulder. Breeds in this category include the Bracco Italiano and Hungarian Vizsla.
Continental Pointing Dogs, Spaniel and Griffon – Group 7
The wirehaired pointing dogs’ coats range from wiry and dense to smooth and thin, with a mixture of black, white, and liver common. They weigh between 28lbs and 55lbs and grow to 18 – 25″ in height.
Pointers and Setters of the British Isles – Group 7
The Pointer is a breed of dog developed in England, mainly used for hunting. The English Setter is a breed of dog used mostly for hunting, developed in England. The Irish Setter is a breed of dog used mostly for hunting, developed in Ireland. The Irish Red and White Setter is a breed of dog used mostly for hunting, developed in Ireland.
Retrievers, Flushing and Water Dogs – Group 8
These dogs are often called “spaniels.” Spaniels are a type of gun dog and were originally bred to flush game out of hiding and into the open so that hunters could more easily shoot them. Spaniels are divided into two categories: the “land spaniels” and the “water spaniels.” The land spaniels include the Cocker Spaniel, English Springer Spaniel, Sussex Spaniel, and Welsh Springer Spaniel. The water spaniels include the American Water Spaniel, Irish Water Spaniel, and the Spanish Water Dog. Spaniels are generally good-natured dogs that are good with children. They are active dogs that need plenty of exercise.
Toy – Group 9
These dogs often have silky, straight and long coats, with colours varying, although some, such as the Bolognese are pure white. Weight ranges from 5lbs to 30lbs, and height from less than 10″ to 16″. Dogs in this section are the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Maltese, Chinese Crested, Pug and Poodle.
Sighthounds – Group 10
The dogs in this category have smooth and silky coats that come in a variety of colors. The Deerhound and Irish Wolfhound are exceptions and have coarser coats. Most of these dogs weigh between 70 and 120 pounds and grow to be 23 to 34 inches tall. The Deerhound, Afghan Hound, Irish Wolfhound, and Italian Greyhound are all examples of dogs that fall into this category.
Some other groupings that you may come across are more based on what they traditionally did, e.g hunting, sporting, etc. This is also a great way to group breeds together. Here are some of dogs in these categories.
The sporting group includes dogs that were bred to help humans in various ways such as hunting, retrieving, and pointing. Most of these dogs are medium to large in size, with some of the smaller ones falling into the toy category. The sporting group consists of the following breeds: American Cocker Spaniel, American Water Spaniel, Barbet, English Cocker Spaniel, English Setter, English Springer Spaniel, Field Spaniel, German Shorthaired Pointer, German Wirehaired Pointer, Golden Retriever, Irish Red and White Setter, Irish Setter, Irish Water Spaniel, Labrador Retriever, Nova Scotia Duck-Tolling Retriever, Pointer, Spinone Italiano, Sussex Spaniel, Vizsla, Weimaraner, Welsh Springer Spaniel, and Wirehaired Pointing Griffon.
This is the smallest of the IKC groups and includes breeds that were bred as companion dogs. All of the breeds in this group are small, with most ranging in size from 4lbs – 12lbs. The toy group includes the following breeds: Affenpinscher, Australian Terrier, Brussels Griffon, Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Chihuahua, Chinese Crested, English Toy Spaniel, Havanese, Italian Greyhound, Japanese Chin, Maltese, Manchester Terrier, Miniature Pinscher, Papillon, Pekingese, Pomeranian, Toy Fox Terrier, and Yorkshire Terrier.
The working group includes dogs that were bred for various jobs such as guarding property, pulling sleds, and guarding flocks of sheep. These dogs are large and strong, with most weighing over 50lbs. The working group consists of the following breeds: Akita, Alaskan Malamute, Anatolian Shepherd Dog, Bernese Mountain Dog, Boerboel, Boxer, Bullmastiff, Doberman Pinscher, Giant Schnauzer, Great Dane, Great Pyrenees, Greenland Dog, Komondor, Kuvasz, Leonberger, Mastiff, Neapolitan Mastiff, Newfoundland, Portuguese Water Dog, Rottweiler, Samoyed, Siberian Husky, Standard Schnauzer, and Tibetan Mastiff.
The non-sporting group is a catch-all category for breeds that do not fit into any of the other groups. This group is the most diverse, with dogs of all shapes, sizes, and colors. The non-sporting group includes the following breeds: American Eskimo Dog, Bichon Frise, Boston Terrier, Bulldog, Chow Chow, Dalmatian, French Bulldog, Keeshond, Lhasa Apso, Lowchen, Norwegian Lundehund, Poodle (all sizes), Schipperke, Shiba Inu, Tibetan Spaniel, and Tibetan Terrier.