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The basic types are companion dogs, guard dogs, hunting dogs, herding dogs, and working dogs, although there are many other types and subtypes. Bulldogs pictured as late as 1870 resemble contemporary American Staffordshire Terriers to a greater degree than present-day Bulldogs. As such, dogs are the only animal with such a wide variation in appearance without speciation, "from the Chihuahua to the Great Dane".[2] The following list uses a wide interpretation of "breed". A minor health risk in American Foxhounds is thrombocytopathy, or platelet disease. It was not until 1970 that The Kennel Club in the UK recognised the American Cocker Spaniel as being separate from the English type.

In some cases, a breed's origin overlaps the boundaries of two or more countries; the dog is normally listed only in the country with which it is most commonly associated (for example, by its designated country according to the Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI). Some writers contend it was the White English Terrier, Fox Terrier, or the Black and Tan Terrier that was crossed with the Bulldog to develop the Staffordshire Terrier; all three breeds shared many traits, the greatest differences being in color, and spirit. Centuries of selective breeding by humans has resulted in dogs being more genetically diverse than most other mammals by a considerable margin. Colors, while historically predominantly white with patches of red, black, or brindle, have grown in recent years to include many color patterns including black, red, brown, fawn, and all shades of brindle.


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