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All You Need to Know About Purebred Dogs (+ a complete list!)

Profile picture of the author - Anna Lengacherby Anna Lengacher

A purebred puppy or dog is a dog whose parents and ancestors are members of the same breed.

With a purebred dog, both parent dogs conform to a specific breed standard.

(A breed standard is a written document in which is outlined the ideal physical traits, body movements, and temperament for a specific breed.  For example, the traits recorded as the German Shepherd breed standard are today what determines if a dog is truly German Shepherd or not.)

Not to mention, the purebred dog has a detailed and well-documented pedigree.


Years ago, purebred dogs were created by humans to complete specific tasks.  Breeders were very intentional to purposefully mix differing dog breeds in order to create a breed that was skilled in completing a specific task.

For example, there were breeds who excelled in working while others thrived in herding.  Some breeds enjoyed sporting activities, and others made fantastic watchdogs.


Today for various reasons, the price tag for a purebred dog is typically higher than that of a mixed breed.  This will, of course, vary depending on which breed or breeds both parent dogs belong to.

Before we go on, it is important to note that a purebred dog is not necessarily synonymous with a high-quality dog.  While this is often the case, unfortunately not every purebred dog breeder is intentional to raise high-quality canines.

In addition, no matter how meticulous a breeder is, there are always strengths and weaknesses to any purebred dog, regardless of the breed.


So in today’s post, we’ll be talking about the positives and negatives associated with purebred dogs.  For a bonus, we’ll also dive into a current list of 274 purebred dogs.


What’s Bad About Purebred Dogs?

Let’s start with the negative first.


1. Inbreeding

First, to create a purebred puppy, a breeder needs two dogs from the exact same gene pool.

Combining a Poodle with a German Shepherd simply won’t do when you are breeding for a purebred.

Instead, it is important to find both a male and female German Shepherd who meet the breed standard in order to create more purebred German Shepherd puppies.

In addition, many dog clubs today require that dogs within the club are bred with other dogs within the same club.

As you can imagine, this drastically limits the available gene pool and concurrently spikes the risk of genetic defects with any given purebred breed.


Unfortunately, breeding within a particular dog club is not the only problem.  Sometimes dogs will be bred to others within the same family.

The result creates a pressing issue of inbreeding.

Defects of inbreeding place purebred dogs at a higher risk for

  • cancer
  • tumors
  • joint and bone disorders
  • skin, immune system, and neurological diseases
  • epilepsy
  • heart disease
  • eye disease
  • endocrine system diseases
  • digestive disorders, and more.

Say hello to inbreeding and after a few generations, the results can feel catastrophic.

If you are looking for a purebred dog, always talk to the breeder first to learn your puppy’s bloodlines and if there are any genetic disorders known in your puppy’s ancestry.


2. Frequent Visits to the Dentist

This is certainly not true of every purebred dog.

Still, thanks to inbreeding and the risks involved in selecting dogs from a limited gene pool, many purebred dogs do suffer from negative health conditions passed down from their parent dogs.

The result?  More visits to your local veterinarian and increased vet bills.


3. Behaviors are Hardwired

No matter how hard you might train your dog otherwise, there are some dog traits and behaviors that simply appear hardwired within a particular purebred dog breed.

For example, Siberian Huskies will forever have a love relationship with cold weather.

Border Collies were born to herd and today they still are fond of chasing and nipping at things.

And you’d be totally joking if you tried converting your Cocker Spaniel into a forever lazy couch potato.


The truth is, Huskies were born for cold weather.  Border Collies were made to help around the farm and herd livestock, and Cocker Spaniels are still members of the sporting dog group.

You may be able to remove a purebred from his original environment and demands.  However, it’s not that simple to reconfigure the behaviors and traits that are hardwired deep within.


4. Many Purebreds are “Working” Dogs

white working dog with black vest herding

Today dogs are divided into seven categories:

  1. Herding
  2. Sporting
  3. Non-sporting
  4. Working
  5. Hounds
  6. Terriers
  7. Toy Breeds

Thanks to their origins, each of these groups has different strengths and weaknesses.

However, according to Welton, a skilled dog trainer and breed selection consultant, many purebred dog breeds are actually members of group number four, the working dog category.

Breeds from this group were created with the intention of herding, hunting, protecting livestock, rescuing, guarding estates, retrieving, and thriving in police and military work.

These beauts are no couch potatoes.


It’s true.  Many purebred dogs make terrific companions.  However, it’s not because of their love for lying about and being lazy.

Working purebred dogs are on the move.

They boast large energy tanks, sometimes aggressive behavior (if not properly trained), and independent minds.  Purebred working dogs love a good dose of action, they are not afraid to bark, and they can often appear wary or even suspicious towards strangers.


What’s Good about Purebred Dogs?3 Reasons a Purebred Dog is Right for You Infographic

Enough of the negative.  Now let’s dive into why, decade after decade, people continue flocking to the stunning purebred dog.

What is it about these dogs that keep people coming back again and again?


1. They are Predictable.

Okay, mostly.

Unlike their cross-bread and mixed-breed pals where you never know for sure what you are bargaining for, purebred dogs are highly predictable.

For most purebred dogs, while they are still just small puppies, dog lovers can get a pretty good idea of how large they will grow in adulthood.

Breeders will also have a good idea of what a puppy’s physical and behavioral characteristics will be, along with overall dog health.

While some behavioral traits are learned from a dog’s environment, many are also passed along from both parent dogs.


Because a puppy is so much a product of his or her parents, and because both parents belong to one particular breed, it becomes subsequently much easier to predict what a puppy will be like as an adult purebred dog.

In fact, because results can be so predictable, many responsible breeders will actually match prospective dog breeding pairs based on their temperaments and physical appearances.  This way breeders can increase their chances of providing puppies with the best chances of success.


2. Each Breed has a Unique Set of Genes

Running tandem with the previous point, every breed has a unique set of genes that determines their size, coat type, and color, etc.

Perhaps you struggle with dog allergies and are searching for a hypoallergenic dog.  Or maybe you call a tiny city flat your home and can only handle a small dog in your life.

Whatever the case, when browsing purebred dogs, you can simply speak with a breeder to learn reliable and set traits in your desired breed.


3. Can be Part of a Club

Whether it’s a breed club or kennel club, you’ll find purebred dogs in both.

Purebred dog clubs and registries include:

This means that any dog who is a member of any of these groups is considered a purebred dog.  A dog is simply considered “registered” if he or she is registered with any particular breed club.

When talking registration, it’s important to note that there are two types of registration: closed studbook and open studbook.

A closed studbook is when all the included dogs descend from a known and registered set of ancestors.  As you can imagine, there is quickly a loss of genetic variation and the resulting dogs create a highly identifiable breed type.  Closed studbooks are common in the arena of sport and conformation showing.  It is not uncommon for breeders to inbreed in an attempt to enhance desired characteristics.  Unfortunately, such inbreeding can quickly result in increased genetic-based diseases.

The second type of registration is an open studbook.  Within the open studbook, some outcrossing is acceptable as breeds are created with the intent of working (therapy dogs, police dogs, etc.) rather than for mere appearance.  Dogs included inside an open studbook are often healthier thanks to increased diversity in the gene pool.  In addition to working, dogs strong in herding and hunting are also frequently included in an open studbook. 

Unfortunately, within both the open and closed stud books, breeders will occasionally overuse one particular stud dog because of a desired trait which he carries.  Again this results in a narrowing of genetic diversity and a subsequent increase of genetic diseases among purebred dogs.

Simply remember to talk with the breeder first to ensure you are getting a happy and healthy purebred dog who is not a victim of inbreeding.

Now that you know both the good and the bad, let’s dive into an alphabetical list of breeds who are considered purebred today.


Purebred Dog Breeds

Rottweiler laying dog in a field. Believe it or not, there are over 340 dog breeds in the world today.  However, the American Kennel Club currently only recognizes 274 breeds.

Thus, the following is a list of 274 dog breeds who, in America, are considered purebred dogs.

  1. Affenpinscher
  2. Afghan Hound
  3. Airedale Terrier
  4. Akita
  5. Alaskan Malamute
  6. American English Coonhound
  7. American Eskimo Dog
  8. American Foxhound
  9. American Hairless Terrier
  10. American Leopard Hound
  11. American Staffordshire Terrier
  12. American Water Spaniel
  13. Anatolian Shepherd Dog
  14. Appenzeller Sennenhund
  15. Australian Cattle Dog
  16. Australian Kelpie
  17. Australian Shepherd
  18. Australian Stumpy Tail Cattle Dog
  19. Australian Terrier
  20. Azawakh
  21. Barbet
  22. Basenji
  23. Basset Fauve De Bretagne
  24. Basset Hound
  25. Bavarian Mountain Hound
  26. Beagle
  27. Bearded Collie
  28. Beauceron
  29. Bedlington Terrier
  30. Belgian Laekenois
  31. Belgian Malinois
  32. Belgian Sheepdog
  33. Belgian Tervuren
  34. Bergamasco Sheepdog
  35. Berger Picard
  36. Bernese Mountain Dog
  37. Bichon Frise
  38. Biewer Terrier
  39. Black and Tan Coonhound
  40. Black Russian Terrier
  41. Bloodhound
  42. Bluetick Coonhound
  43. Boerboel
  44. Bohemian Shepherd
  45. Bolognese
  46. Border Collie
  47. Border Terrier
  48. Borzoi
  49. Boston Terrier
  50. Bouvier des Flandres
  51. Boxer
  52. Boykin Spaniel
  53. Bracco Italiano
  54. Braque du Bourbonnais
  55. Braque Francais Pyrenean
  56. Briard
  57. Brittany
  58. Broholmer
  59. Brussels Griffon
  60. Bull Terrier
  61. Bulldog
  62. Bullmastiff
  63. Cairn Terrier
  64. Canaan Dog
  65. Cane Corso
  66. Cardigan Welsh Corgi
  67. Carolina Dog
  68. Catahoula Leopard Dog
  69. Caucasian Shepherd Dog
  70. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
  71. Central Asian Shepherd Dog
  72. Cesky Terrier
  73. Chesapeake Bay Retriever
  74. Chihuahua
  75. Chinese Crested
  76. Chinese Shar-Pei
  77. Chinook
  78. Chow Chow
  79. Cirneco dell’Etna
  80. Clumber Spaniel
  81. Cocker Spaniel
  82. Collie
  83. Coton de Tulear
  84. Croatian Sheepdog
  85. Curly-Coated Retriever
  86. Czechoslovakian Vlcak
  87. Dachshund
  88. Dalmatian
  89. Dandie Dinmont Terrier
  90. Danish-Swedish Farmdog
  91. Deutscher Wachtelhund
  92. Doberman Pinscher
  93. Dogo Argentino
  94. Dogue de Bordeaux
  95. Drentsche Patrijshond
  96. Drever
  97. Dutch Shepherd
  98. English Cocker Spaniel
  99. English Foxhound
  100. English Setter
  101. English Springer Spaniel
  102. English Toy Spaniel
  103. Entlebucher Mountain Dog
  104. Estrela Mountain Dog
  105. Eurasier
  106. Field Spaniel
  107. Finnish Lapphund
  108. Finnish Spitz
  109. Flat-Coated Retriever
  110. French Bulldog
  111. French Spaniel
  112. German Longhaired Pointer
  113. German Pinscher
  114. German Shepherd Dog
  115. German Shorthaired Pointer
  116. German Spitz
  117. German Wirehaired Pointer
  118. Giant Schnauzer
  119. Glen of Imaal Terrier
  120. Golden Retriever
  121. Gordon Setter
  122. Grand Basset Griffon Vendeen
  123. Great Dane
  124. Great Pyrenees
  125. Greater Swiss Mountain Dog
  126. Greyhound
  127. Hamiltonstovare
  128. Hanoverian Scenthound
  129. Harrier
  130. Havanese
  131. Hokkaido
  132. Hovawart
  133. Ibizan Hound
  134. Icelandic Sheepdog
  135. Irish Red and White Setter
  136. Irish Setter
  137. Irish Terrier
  138. Irish Water Spaniel
  139. Irish Wolfhound
  140. Italian Greyhound
  141. Jagdterrier
  142. Japanese Chin
  143. Japanese Spitz
  144. Jindo
  145. Kai Ken
  146. Karelian Bear Dog
  147. Keeshond
  148. Kerry Blue Terrier
  149. Kishu Ken
  150. Komondor
  151. Kromfohrlander
  152. Kuvasz
  153. Labrador Retriever
  154. Lagotto Romagnolo
  155. Lakeland Terrier
  156. Lancashire Heeler
  157. Lapponian Herder
  158. Leonberger
  159. Lhasa Apso
  160. Lowchen
  161. Maltese
  162. Manchester Terrier (Standard)
  163. Manchester Terrier (Toy)
  164. Mastiff
  165. Miniature American Shepherd
  166. Miniature Bull Terrier
  167. Miniature Pinscher
  168. Miniature Schnauzer
  169. Mountain Cur
  170. Mudi
  171. Neapolitan Mastiff
  172. Nederlandse Kooikerhondje
  173. Newfoundland
  174. Norfolk Terrier
  175. Norrbottenspets
  176. Norwegian Buhund
  177. Norwegian Elkhound
  178. Norwegian Lundehund
  179. Norwich Terrier
  180. Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever
  181. Old English Sheepdog
  182. Otterhound
  183. Papillon
  184. Parson Russell Terrier
  185. Pekingese
  186. Pembroke Welsh Corgi
  187. Perro de Presa Canario
  188. Peruvian Inca Orchid
  189. Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen
  190. Pharaoh Hound
  191. Plott Hound
  192. Pointer
  193. Polish Lowland Sheepdog
  194. Pomeranian
  195. Poodle (Miniature)
  196. Poodle (Standard)
  197. Poodle (Toy)
  198. Porcelaine
  199. Portuguese Podengo
  200. Portuguese Podengo Pequeno
  201. Portuguese Pointer Portuguese Sheepdog
  202. Portuguese Water Dog
  203. Pudelpointer
  204. Pug
  205. Puli
  206. Pumi
  207. Pyrenean Mastiff
  208. Pyrenean Shepherd
  209. Rafeiro do Alentejo
  210. Rat Terrier
  211. Redbone Coonhound
  212. Rhodesian Ridgeback
  213. Romanian Mioritic Shepherd Dog
  214. Rottweiler
  215. Russell Terrier
  216. Russian Toy
  217. Russian Tsvetnaya Bolonka
  218. Saint Bernard
  219. Saluki
  220. Samoyed
  221. Schapendoes
  222. Schipperke
  223. Scottish Deerhound
  224. Scottish Terrier
  225. Sealyham Terrier
  226. Segugio Italiano
  227. Shetland Sheepdog
  228. Shiba Inu
  229. Shih Tzu
  230. Shikoku
  231. Siberian Husky
  232. Silky Terrier
  233. Skye Terrier
  234. Sloughi
  235. Slovakian Wiredhaired Pointer
  236. Slovensky Cuvac
  237. Slovensky Kopov
  238. Small Munsterlander Pointer
  239. Smooth Fox Terrier
  240. Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier
  241. Spanish Mastiff
  242. Spanish Water Dog
  243. Spinone Italiano
  244. Stabyhoun
  245. Staffordshire Bull Terrier
  246. Standard Schnauzer
  247. Sussex Spaniel
  248. Swedish Lapphund
  249. Swedish Vallhund
  250. Taiwan Dog
  251. Teddy Roosevelt Terrier
  252. Thai Ridgeback
  253. Tibetan Mastiff
  254. Tibetan Spaniel
  255. Tibetan Terrier
  256. Tornjak
  257. Tosa
  258. Toy Fox Terrier
  259. Transylvanian Hound
  260. Treeing Tennessee Brindle
  261. Treeing Walker Coonhound
  262. Vizsla
  263. Weimaraner
  264. Welsh Springer Spaniel
  265. Welsh Terrier
  266. West Highland White Terrier
  267. Whippet
  268. Wire Fox Terrier
  269. Wirehaired Pointing Griffon
  270. Wirehaired Vizsla
  271. Working Kelpie
  272. Xoloitzcuintli
  273. Yakutian Laika
  274. Yorkshire Terrier


Purebred Dogs FAQ

Are purebred dogs really purebred?

Today new designer and purebred dogs continue to emerge.  However, the term ‘purebred dog’ is used to refer to any dog who has known pedigrees with any standardized breeds.

Are purebred dogs bad?

Like designer breeds, there are both pros and cons to owning a purebred dog.  Purebred dogs can have a variety of health problems and sometimes become victims of inbreeding.

How much does a purebred dog cost?

Prices for purebred dogs typically vary between $400 and $3,000.  While the exact price can fluctuate above or below this estimate, factors influencing price include bloodlines, appearance, and health.

Where can I get a purebred dog?

You can find happy and healthy purebred dogs at  In addition, you can browse from local rescues and shelters, reputable dog breeders, newspaper adds and trusted on-line forums.

How can I tell if my dog is a purebred?

You can speak with a vet to get a good idea of your dog’s breed.  Alternatively, folks use DNA testing to better predict if a dog is truly purebred.

Can I register my dog without papers?

Yes, however, where you register your dog is limited.  Registry eligibility can depend on if your dog is a purebred, as well as what breed both parent dogs are.


Summing It Up

Now that you know both the positives and negatives of getting a purebred dog, you now have all you need to make the best decision for yourself.

Always remember to speak with the breeder, be aware of risks in your prospective breed, and enjoy choosing a breed whose ancestry you know.

Or, if you are getting cold feet about getting a purebred puppy, don’t miss these 39 designer dog breeds.


And always, when you are ready to bring home your very own puppy that is just right for you, have fun browsing available puppies for sale here.


Until next time,

VIP Puppies


P.S. Which purebred dog is your favorite?  Let us know in the comments below.



Dog Breeds (n.d.). Retrieved 2019, from

Mixed Breed Dogs vs Purebred Dogs (2014). Retrieved 2019, from

Mixed or Purebred Puppy: Which is Better? (n.d.). Retrieved 2019, from

Problems Common to Purebred Dogs (n.d.).  Retrieved 2019, from

Purebred Dog (n.d.). Retrieved 2019, from

Welton, M. (2019). Retrieved 2019, from




Profile picture of the author - Anna LengacherAs the Editor in Chief, Anna Lengacher helps dog lovers learn the ropes of finding, raising, and caring for their dogs so they can enjoy many happy memories together.



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