Federation Cynologique Internationale: Classification Breed Dogs

Yorkshire Terrier on a Fishing

Federation Cynologique Internationale (English: World Canine Organization) is the largest international federation of kennel clubs, based in Thuin, Belgium.

Its goals are to support and promote breeding and use of purebred dogs whose are functional health and have physical features meet the standard set for each respective breed and which are capable of working and accomplishing functions in accordance with the specific characteristics of their breed.

FCI protects the using, keeping and breeding of dogs in the member countries. It supports free exchange of dogs and cynological information between member countries and initiates the organization of exhibitions and tests.

FCI was founded in 1911 by Germany, Austria, Belgium, France and the Netherlands.   It was recreated in Belgium in 1921 since it had disappeared in World War I.

The breed - it is a group of animals of the same species, created by the creative work of people, which has a common history of development, is economically useful, has a specific constitution, a characteristic and a temperament that are inherited from generation to generation.

Puppies can inherit all characteristic features and appearance only from the parents of the same breed. The meaning - "the purity of the breed" - is a necessary and the main requirement in this case.

If you cross the dogs of different breeds you will lose the purity of blood and get   crossbred (metis) puppies.

Each individual breed of dog is classified according to characteristics, appearance and personality.

Different breeds of dogs were bred by people for different tasks:

  • Search and protection
  • Watchdog
  • Service in the military environment
  • Protection of livestock
  • Decorative dogs and Toy Dogs
  • Hunting dogs, etc.

People have long noticed that the behavior of a thoroughbred dog is primarily predictable, unlike its unblooded congeners. Therefore, when person acquires a thoroughbred puppy, he can imagine who will grow from it, based on the appearance, behavior and temperament of parents.

In the Middle Ages, during the Renaissance, the number of breeds of dogs constantly increased. At that time it was fashionable and prestigious for the aristocracy to breed and use dogs, in particular for hunting and entertainment. Probably, from this came the classification: hunting and all the rest.

Dog breeds are divided into different groups, according to their application, although the cynologists (conditionally) divide them into two main groups: worker and decorative.

For example, for today dogs of the same breed can be used both in workers and in decorative or exhibition purposes.

At the present time the FCI has recognized 332 fully officinal breeds and 11 provisional breeds.

Recently the new breed is appears on the list which has not been accepted by the FCI before as a variation is the Thai Bangkaew Dog, recognized on the provisional basis in 2011. Also there are two newest breeds the Berger Blanc Suisse and the Perro de Presa Canario on the list.

All breeds are divided into 10 groups. These groups are based on different issues such as appearance or use. The 10 dog groups are:

  1. Sheepdogs and Cattle Dogs (except Swiss Cattle Dogs)
  2. Pinscher and Schnauzer - Molossoid Breeds - Swiss Mountain and Cattle Dogs and Other Breeds
  3. Terriers
  4. Dachshunds
  5. Spitz and Primitive Types
  6. Scenthounds and Related Breeds
  7. Pointers and Setters
  8. Retrievers - Flushing Dogs - Water Dogs
  9. Companion and Toy Dogs
  10. Sighthounds

Each group has different sections for different subgroups of dog breeds. In these sections the breeds are arranged in alphabetical order of their owner countries.

Each breed has its own breed number. This ensures that a specific breed can be correctly identified, because each breed might have different names in different countries or languages, and the names of many different breeds are similar to each other.

For example The Yorkshire Terrier is in Group 3 (Terriers), Section 4 (Toy Terriers), and is overall breed number 86.

There are also breeds that FCI does not recognize, but other dog organizations recognize it:

  • United Kennel Club (UKC)
  • American Kennel Club (AKC)
  • Canadian Kennel Club (or CKC)
  • Kennel Club of the United Kingdom (KC)
  • Australian National Kennel Council Ltd (ANKC Ltd)
  • New Zealand Kennel Club (also known as NZKC )
  • Russian Kennel Federation

Classifications of dog breeds recognized by the International Cynological Federation (FCI)

Group 1 FCI

Sheepdogs and Cattle Dogs (except Swiss Cattle Dogs)

Group 2 FCI

Pinscher and Schnauzer - Molossoid Breeds - Swiss Mountain and Cattle Dogs and Other Breeds

Group 3 FCI


Group 4 FCI

Group 5 FCI

Spitz and Primitive Types

Group 6 FCI

Scenthounds and Related Breeds

Group 7 FCI

Pointers and Setters

Group 8 FCI

Retrievers - Flushing Dogs - Water Dogs

Group 9 FCI

Companion and Toy Dogs

Group 10 FCI


Unrecognized breeds by FCI

  • American Bulldog
  • American Hairless Terrier
  • American Pit Bull TerrierBakhmull (Afghan Aboriginal Greyhound)
  • Beaver York Terrier
  • Boerboel
  • East European Shepherd
  • Canadian Eskimo Dog
  • Moscow Watchdog
  • Pražský Krysařík
  • Serbian Protective Dog
  • Moscow Dragon Dog
  • Tazy
  • Russian Colored Bichon