With all the cross-breeding of dogs occurring in modern time, it’s not surprising that the number of breeds would vary country to country, in addition to world-wide. For instance the Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI), the world governing body of dog breeds [also known as the World Canine Organization] recognizes 340 breeds, while the American Kennel Club just rose to 192 distinct breeds this month.
There is also question as to the origin and the timing of the first domestic dogs. While most will agree that closest living relative to genus Canis is the extant wolf, archaeological records show the first were buried next to humans 14,700 years ago.
In 2017, a study showed that 9,000 years ago the domestic dog was present at what is now Zhokhov Island, arctic north-eastern Siberia. These dogs eventually evolved into into today's modern day Siberian Husky. In Egypt, distinctive breeds of greyhounds appeared 3-4000 years ago, but other studies found that the ‘Pharaoh Hound’ was really the combination of multiple breeds including its Scandinavian origins dating back 5000 years.
While selective cross-breeding has been conducted since the earliest of breeds first appeared, the practice has accelerated during the 19th and 20th centuries.
Over time, because of natural mutations, climate and human preferences, "breeds became ever more numerous and specialized until they reached the point of modern classification," according to "Guide to Dogs." This classification is based on the aptitude of a breed in five skills: hunting, shepherding, guarding, work and company.
The number of deliberately crossbred or "designer dogs" has been growing exponentially. These include the labradoodle (a cross between a Labrador and a poodle), the cockapoo (a cross between a cocker spaniel and a poodle) and the puggle (the offspring of a pug and a beagle) — just to name a few.
The Latest Breeds
Two new dog breeds were just added to the American Kennel Club’s listing bringing their tallies to 192. Announced on February 5, 2018, the AKC recognized the Nederlandse Kooikerhondje and Grand Basset Griffon Vendéen (GBGV).
According to an AKC release, the Nederlandse Kooikerhondje (pronounced Netherlands-e Coy-ker-hond-tsje) is a spaniel-type dog that originated hundreds of years ago in Europe as a duck hunter. They are known to be energetic, friendly and alert dogs that have a moderate activity level and are in need of regular mental and physical activity to be happy.
As for the Grand Basset Griffon Vendéen (GBGV, pronounced Grahnd Bah-SAY Grif-FON Vahn-DAY-ahn), this breed belongs more to the hound group. They were bred as rabbit and hare hunters in France, the release states, and come with a lot of stamina and speed. This is a laid-back, intelligent, friendly breed that gets along well with other dogs. GBGVs are also courageous and passionate, with a high activity level — which means they need vigorous exercise.
Both breeds are said to make great companions. “We’re excited to welcome these two breeds into the AKC family,” says Gina DiNardo, AKC’s executive secretary, in the release. “These are two very different dogs—a duck hunter and a scent hound—and they make wonderful companions for a variety of people.”
Primary Source: The Incredible Explosion of Dog Breeds