By American Kennel Club rules, there are 207 breeds and varieties eligible for conformation competition as of January 1, 2020.
A division within a breed based upon size or coat or color.
There are 9 breeds with varieties that are divided for competition (i.e., there are representatives of each variety in the Group). Those 9 breeds, with varieties, send 21 dogs forward into the groups. In competition, those 21 winners are called Best of Variety (BOV) rather than Best Of Breed (BOB).
3 Cockers (Black, ASCOB, Parti-color)
2 Beagles (up to 13” and over 13”, under 15”)
3 Dachshunds (Longhaired, Wirehaired, Smooth)
2 Bull Terriers (White, Colored)
2 Standard Manchester Terrier and Toy Manchester Terrier – in Toy Group
2 Chihuahuas (Long coat, Smooth coat)
2 English Toy Spaniels (Blenheim and Prince Charles, King Charles and Ruby)
3 Poodles (Standard, Miniature, Toy – in Toy Group)
2 Collies (Rough, Smooth)
Naturally active and alert, Sporting dogs make likeable, well-rounded companions. First developed to work closely with hunters to locate and/or retrieve quarry. There are four basic types of Sporting dogs; spaniels, pointers, retrievers and setters. Known for their superior instincts in water and woods, many of these breeds enjoy hunting and other field activities.
With the newly-eligible Barbet joining the Sporting Group as of Jan. 1, 2020, there are 34 breeds and varieties in the Sporting Group. https://www.akc.org/dog-breeds/sporting/
Most hounds share the common ancestral trait of being used for hunting. Some use acute scenting powers to follow a trail. Others demonstrate a phenomenal gift of stamina as they relentlessly run down quarry. Some hounds share the distinct ability to produce a unique sound known as baying. You’d best sample this sound before you decide to get a hound of your own to be sure it’s your cup of tea.
There are 35 breeds and varieties in the Hound Group. https://www.akc.org/dog-breeds/hound/
Quick to learn, dogs of the Working Group are intelligent, strong, watchful, and alert. Bred to assist man, they excel at jobs such as guarding property, pulling sleds and performing water rescues. They make wonderful companions but because they are large, and naturally protective, prospective owners need to know how to properly train and socialize a dog. Some breeds in the Working Group may not be for the first-time dog owner.
With the addition of the Dogo Argentino as of Jan. 1, 2020, there are 31 breeds in the Working Group. https://www.akc.org/dog-breeds/working/
Feisty and energetic are two of the primary traits that come to mind for those who have experience with Terriers. Bred to hunt, kill vermin and to guard their families home or barn. Prospective owners should know that terriers make great pets, but they do require determination on the part of the owner because they can be stubborn; have high energy levels, and require special grooming (known as “stripping”) to maintain a characteristic appearance.
There are 32 breeds and varieties in the Terrier Group. https://www.akc.org/dog-breeds/terrier/
Toy breeds might be short on size, but they are definitely not short on personality! Breeds in the Toy group are affectionate, sociable and adaptable to a wide range of lifestyles. Just don’t let their size and winsome expressions fool you: they are smart full of energy and many have strong protective instincts. Toy dogs are popular with city dwellers because they make ideal apartment dogs and terrific lap warmers on nippy nights.
There are 23 breeds and varieties in the Toy Group. https://www.akc.org/dog-breeds/toy/
Non-Sporting dogs are made up of a diverse group of breeds with varying sizes, coats, personalities and overall appearance. They come from a wide variety of backgrounds so it is hard to generalize about this group of dogs. Most are good watchdogs and house dogs.
There are 21 breeds and varieties in the Non-Sporting Group. https://www.akc.org/dog-breeds/non-sporting/
These breeds were developed to gather, herd and protect livestock. The herding instinct in these breeds is so strong that Herding breeds have been known to gently herd their owners, especially the children of the family. In general, these intelligent dogs make excellent companions and respond beautifully to training exercises.
There are 31 breeds and varieties in the Herding Group. https://www.akc.org/dog-breeds/herding/