23 min

Form Follows Function in the World of Dogs Down and Back: AKC Dog Podcast

    • History

In this podcast episode, we explore canine anatomy to reveal the deliberate function behind the familiar forms of breeds you know. And a few breeds that are not-so-familiar.
The way a dog is built and how it moves says a lot about its original purpose and place of origin. Whether it is to climb steep cliffs to catch birds or having a short stature to keep a nose to the ground, every aspect of a dog’s anatomy lends to its unique abilities. The AKC recognizes 197 distinct breeds today, and each has been purposefully bred to perfect a wide range of canine skills and talents.
Bonafide Bits
Dachshund translates to “badger hound.” The breed has been around since the 1400s. Testimony of a Bloodhound’s findings is acceptable in some courts. The Norwegian Lundehund has a three-jointed toe, much like a human thumb. Featured Breeds
Basset Hound
The Basset Hound stands no higher than 14 inches at the shoulder but, with his remarkably heavy bone, powerful little legs, and massive paws, he possesses big-dog strength and stamina. Bassets are famous for a large, domed head that features extremely long, velvety ears, mournful eyes, and a wrinkled brow, which give the breed the look of a sad clown. Built more for endurance than speed, the Basset moves in a deliberate but effortless manner. The breed’s scenting ability is uncanny; it’s said that among dogs only the Bloodhound’s nose is more accurate. Mild and agreeable at home, the Basset is stubborn on the trail and barks in a loud, ringing voice. Although they may not be wildly demonstrative in their affections, they are steadfastly loyal. Discover more about Basset Hounds at AKC’s Basset Hound Breed Biography.
Chihuahua
The Chihuahua is a balanced, graceful dog of terrier-like demeanor, weighing no more than 6 pounds. The rounded “apple” head is a breed hallmark. The erect ears and full, luminous eyes are acutely expressive. Coats come in many colors and patterns and can be long or short. The varieties are identical except for the coat. Chihuahuas possess loyalty, charm, and a big-dog attitude. Even tiny dogs require training, and without it, this clever scamp will rule your household like a little Napoleon. Compact and confident, Chihuahuas are ideal city pets. They are too small for roughhousing with kids, and special care must be taken in cold weather, but Chihuahuas are adaptable as long as they get lots of quality time in their preferred lap. Discover more about Chihuahuas at AKC’s Chihuahua Breed Biography.
Poodle
Forget those old stereotypes of Poodles as sissy dogs. Poodles are eager, athletic, and wickedly smart “real dogs” of remarkable versatility. The Standard, with his greater size and strength, is the best all-around athlete of the family, but all Poodles can be trained with great success. Discover more about Poodles at AKC’s Poodle (Standard) Breed Biography.
Irish Setter
The Irish Setter is a high-spirited gundog known for grace, swiftness, and a flashy red coat. They are famously good family dogs: sweet-tempered companions for the folks, and rollicking playmates and tennis-ball fetchers for the children. Discover more about Irish Setters at AKC’s Irish Setter Breed Biography.
Gordon Setter
The Gordon Setter, the black avenger of the Highlands, is a substantial bird dog named for a Scottish aristocrat. Athletic and outdoorsy, Gordons are bold, confident, and resolute in the field, and sweetly affectionate by the fireside. Discover more about Gordon Setters at AKC’s Gordon Setter Breed Biography.
Golden Retriever
The Golden Retriever, an exuberant Scottish gundog of great beauty, stands among America’s most popular dog breeds. They are serious workers at hunting and fieldwork, as guides for the blind, and in search-and-rescue, enjoy obedience and other competitive events, and have an endearing love of life when not at work. Discover more about Golden Retrievers at AKC’s Golden Retriever Breed Biography.
Labrador Retriever

In this podcast episode, we explore canine anatomy to reveal the deliberate function behind the familiar forms of breeds you know. And a few breeds that are not-so-familiar.
The way a dog is built and how it moves says a lot about its original purpose and place of origin. Whether it is to climb steep cliffs to catch birds or having a short stature to keep a nose to the ground, every aspect of a dog’s anatomy lends to its unique abilities. The AKC recognizes 197 distinct breeds today, and each has been purposefully bred to perfect a wide range of canine skills and talents.
Bonafide Bits
Dachshund translates to “badger hound.” The breed has been around since the 1400s. Testimony of a Bloodhound’s findings is acceptable in some courts. The Norwegian Lundehund has a three-jointed toe, much like a human thumb. Featured Breeds
Basset Hound
The Basset Hound stands no higher than 14 inches at the shoulder but, with his remarkably heavy bone, powerful little legs, and massive paws, he possesses big-dog strength and stamina. Bassets are famous for a large, domed head that features extremely long, velvety ears, mournful eyes, and a wrinkled brow, which give the breed the look of a sad clown. Built more for endurance than speed, the Basset moves in a deliberate but effortless manner. The breed’s scenting ability is uncanny; it’s said that among dogs only the Bloodhound’s nose is more accurate. Mild and agreeable at home, the Basset is stubborn on the trail and barks in a loud, ringing voice. Although they may not be wildly demonstrative in their affections, they are steadfastly loyal. Discover more about Basset Hounds at AKC’s Basset Hound Breed Biography.
Chihuahua
The Chihuahua is a balanced, graceful dog of terrier-like demeanor, weighing no more than 6 pounds. The rounded “apple” head is a breed hallmark. The erect ears and full, luminous eyes are acutely expressive. Coats come in many colors and patterns and can be long or short. The varieties are identical except for the coat. Chihuahuas possess loyalty, charm, and a big-dog attitude. Even tiny dogs require training, and without it, this clever scamp will rule your household like a little Napoleon. Compact and confident, Chihuahuas are ideal city pets. They are too small for roughhousing with kids, and special care must be taken in cold weather, but Chihuahuas are adaptable as long as they get lots of quality time in their preferred lap. Discover more about Chihuahuas at AKC’s Chihuahua Breed Biography.
Poodle
Forget those old stereotypes of Poodles as sissy dogs. Poodles are eager, athletic, and wickedly smart “real dogs” of remarkable versatility. The Standard, with his greater size and strength, is the best all-around athlete of the family, but all Poodles can be trained with great success. Discover more about Poodles at AKC’s Poodle (Standard) Breed Biography.
Irish Setter
The Irish Setter is a high-spirited gundog known for grace, swiftness, and a flashy red coat. They are famously good family dogs: sweet-tempered companions for the folks, and rollicking playmates and tennis-ball fetchers for the children. Discover more about Irish Setters at AKC’s Irish Setter Breed Biography.
Gordon Setter
The Gordon Setter, the black avenger of the Highlands, is a substantial bird dog named for a Scottish aristocrat. Athletic and outdoorsy, Gordons are bold, confident, and resolute in the field, and sweetly affectionate by the fireside. Discover more about Gordon Setters at AKC’s Gordon Setter Breed Biography.
Golden Retriever
The Golden Retriever, an exuberant Scottish gundog of great beauty, stands among America’s most popular dog breeds. They are serious workers at hunting and fieldwork, as guides for the blind, and in search-and-rescue, enjoy obedience and other competitive events, and have an endearing love of life when not at work. Discover more about Golden Retrievers at AKC’s Golden Retriever Breed Biography.
Labrador Retriever

23 min

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