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Tips & Advice

Know your breeds - Part 1

Did you know that there are seven official breed groups of dog in the UK?  Here at Muddy Paws we’ll bring you all the lowdown on all the breed groups as well as highlighting the most popular dogs within those and giving you a bit more info on breed types.

Introducing the Toy group

The PugThe Toy breeds are a fantastic group of little dogs that make lovely, affectionate companions.  Don’t be fooled though as what these dogs lack in stature, they make up for with big personalities and plenty of spirit.  Billed as the perfect dog if space at home is an issue, the Toy group has long had a reputation as being ideal for those who live in flats and apartments or don’t have long walks in mind. 

From the more stocky Pugs to the lovable King Charles Spaniels, cheeky Chihuahuas and even Toy Poodles, it is easy to see why these pooches have become so popular with their pint-sized frames and unique characters ranging from the energetic Yorkshire Terrier, playful puffball Pekingese or the fluffy Bichon Frise.  Whilst some of the Toy group could be considered more high maintenance when it comes to grooming, others such as Pugs require very little in the way of doggy hairdressing so if moulting is an issue for you, then do a bit of research on which toy breeds might be more manageable for your lifestyle.  Weighing up to 9kg, the Toy group breeds tend to be no bigger than the size of an average cat so you certainly won’t have enormous food bills.  However, it can be rather too easily to overfeed these breeds so too many treats on the lips could mean a lifetime on the hips!  Fun, friendly and full of charm, the Toy group has a lot going for it.

Introducing the Utility group

The Utility group consists of a variety of breeds with non-sporting origins, generally those whose jobs no longer exist or where the breed is no longer suitable for a particular type of work.  For example, did you know that our spotty friend, the Dalmatian, was bred for stamina to run alongside horse-drawn carriages as a status symbol but also to protect the horses from potential prey?Dalmatian - a member of the Utility Group


Wide ranging in size and shape from the silky Shih Tzu to the altogether larger proportions of the Japanese Akita, these breeds can make great family pets as well as guard dogs and companions, given the right amount of exercise and training to keep them healthy and happy.  Your doggy food bill could be large or small depending on which Utility breed you choose but mostly this group consists of higher energy breeds who like a good walk.  From the fabulous British emblem, the endearing Bulldog and his French cousin, to the hardy Schnauzer, more high maintenance but elegant Afghan Hound and popular Poodle, these dogs all differ greatly in nature as well as characteristics but what they have in common are their playful, energetic temperaments.  

Rebecca Fletcher

Rebecca is a freelance writer who finally upped sticks to rural Hampshire after over a decade in London.  She lives with her husband, 2 daughters, 2 cats, a motley crew of hens and her beloved working cocker spaniel Monty, general gundog dunce and probably the most spoilt dog in Hampshire.  With the phrase 'the more the merrier' being embraced as part of their new rural life, a bundle of joyful furriness named Isadora joined the family just before Christmas 2015 and life has not been the same since. 

They say that you can never have too much of a good thing!  Good job too as now there are two cocker spaniels at home to train, walk and play with, when they are not curled up at Rebecca's feet waiting for her to finish writing for the day!

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Rebecca Fletcher

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