Dog and cat breeds and markings


This module will take you 30 minutes to 3 hours depending on previous knowledge. 

Knowing your dog and cat breeds is vital. Breed affects disease prevalence, expected behaviours and many other things. If you do not know the dog breed then don’t be shy to ask as owners usually love telling you! But some knowledge in this area will convince most owners that you are a competent vet!

Information sources

UK dog breeds

The go-to source is probably the Kennel Club

There are also some useful sites through the nutrition companies, for example Purina and Pedigree

Breed crosses

Breed crosses are very popular at the moment - there are more than 300 already listed! It is worth spending some time looking at these as they will be presented to you. There are few reputable sources that cover them all.

The most popular are Cockapoo, Labradoodle, Cavachon, Cavapoo, Maltipoo, Sprocker, Golden Doodle, Jug, Puggle, Shorkie, Schnoodle, Cavapoochon, Yorkipoo.

See https://vcahospitals.com/know-your-pet/dog-breeds

Dog conformation

Canine Feline Sector Group Advice on dog conformation

Cat breeds

For cat breeds the best source is the Governing Council of the Cat Fancy. However, only a small proportion of cats are pedigrees so a useful (though not exhaustive) list of cat coat colours and markings is available from the University of Florida

Guidance on legislation affecting dog and cats

The Canine and Feline Sector Group (CFSG) is a not-for-profit body made up of influential organisations including charities, the veterinary sectors and the pet industry who advise Government on behalf of the sector on strategically important dog and cat health and welfare issues and standards.

Suggested work

(1) If this is not familiar territory to you then order a poster showing breeds, as there is nothing to beat constant low level exposure to this information. There are several posters available to buy. Write a list of the top 40 UK breeds of dogs and top 10 breeds of cat (search the internet for this) and make sure you know them. 

(2) Consider the problems and advantages of the so-called ‘designer breeds’.

(3) Produce a table of the UK Kennel Club dog groups with one typical member, one surprising member and one surprising omission. To do this you will need to read the members of the group. If you come across one that you do not know then look it up.  

(4) If you are already confident on your dog breeds then try this fun quiz (there is a bit of an American bias) – but only do so at its hardest setting!

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