Throughout the world, there are more than 400 purebred dogs. However, the American Kennel Club only recognizes and accepts breeds with a lineage, as well as those with an active breed group to perpetuate and develop the breed. For that reason, the AKC does not recognize many breeds. Once recognized by the AKC, the breed appears in the AKC Stud Book. Each breed is placed in a specific category, based on temperament, physical appearance and function.
When the American Kennel Club was founded in 1884 (then called the Philadelphia Kennel Club), it haphazardly listed its original 29 different breeds. Breeds as different as the dachshund and the mastiff were lumped together on the list.
As the list of purebreds slowly grew, club officials realized they needed to organize the many different purebreds into distinct groups. In 1923, the AKC organized the breeds into five categories: Sporting Dogs (including hounds), Working Dogs, Toy Breeds, Terriers and Non-sporting Dogs.
Today, there are 161 breeds divided into eight categories: Sporting, Hound, Herding, Toy, Working, Terrier, Non-sporting and Miscellaneous.
Initially, the parent club of a breed asks to be accepted by the AKC. Once accepted, the breed is placed in the Miscellaneous Breed group. This classification allows the breed to compete in AKC obedience trials and earn obedience titles. The breed may also compete at conformation shows but is only allowed to compete in the miscellaneous class. At this point, the breed is not eligible to earn championship points.
Once the AKC Board of Directors is satisfied that there is adequate interest in continuing the breed and the parent club is devoted to expanding the breed, it is admitted for registration in the AKC Stud Book. The breed is then placed in the appropriate class and is allowed to compete in regular classes.
Currently, the following breeds are in the Miscellaneous Breed group:
BlueTick Coonhound – The Bluetick Coonhound is a breed with which most dog lovers are fairly familiar. A famous Bluetick Coonhound is Smokey, the sports mascot at the University of Tennessee. By far, the breed is most popular for its keen hunting skills.
Boykin Spaniel – The Boykin Spaniel is a friendly compact breed developed in the United States for its hunting abilities. They can be described as agile, reasonably fast with a good endurance for a full day of hunting.
Cane Corso – The cane corso is an intimidating dog that looks like a mastiff but does not have the typical loose skin of other mastiff breeds. This dog is a powerful and effective guard dog.
Cesky Terrier – Gaining popularity in the Unites States, the Cesky Terrier is a dog that was developed in Czechoslovakia by Frantisek Horak. The Cesky Terrier is also referred to as the Czesky Terrier, the Czech Terrier, and the Bohemian Terrier.
Entlebucher Mountain Dog – The Entlebucher Mountain Dog (Shepherd Dog from Entlebuch, or Dog of the Alpine Herdsman) is a strong compact dog that was used historically to move cows from pasture to pasture in its native Switzerland. They can be used to herd other breeds as well. These wonderful dogs can be described as loyal, smart and determined.
Icelandic Sheepdog – The Icelandic Sheepdog is a Nordic herding breed that has developed from hundreds of years of hash climate. This well muscled dog has a thick double coat and a friendly confident personality.
Leonberger – Leonbergers are gaining reputation all over the world as a wonderful companion dog. They can be expensive to obtain, and most breeders are careful about who they will sell to, but the right owner will have a most loyal and affectionate companion in a Leonberger. Considered to be a giant breed, the Leonbergers' size can be intimidating.
Norwegian Lundehund – The Norwegian Lundehund was developed on remote islands of Norway to retrieve puffin birds from steep cliffs. These dogs have well defined muscles developed to climb, descend and retrieve from complicated terrain. These flexible and agile dogs have six toes on each foot and elongated footpads.
Redbone coonhound. This coonhound is an American creation. An excellent scent hound, the redbone originated in Georgia and looks a little bit like a Vizsla. As with other coonhounds, the redbone has a natural ability to tree game. Through diligent breeding programs, the redbone is most often completely red in color.
Treeing Walker Coonhound – The Treeing Walker Coonhound is a wonderful athletic breed bred to track and tree raccoons. They are smart, competitive and athletic. They have a wonderful smooth and easy gait.