Federation Cynologique Internationale
This is where things get a little strange and deviate from what we have seen with the AKC and KC.
The Federation Cynologique Internationale (FCI), or World Canine Oganization in English, is an international federation of several national kennel clubs and is standard for most other countries outside the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom.
FCI Membership Map
As previously mentioned, the FCI’s dog groups seem to be a blend of purpose, physical attributes, shared heritage, and breeds of shared regional origin. Because of this, there are many breeds that are not commonly known in the United States. So, you might just see some breeds you weren’t previously aware of.
Brief History of the FCI
The FCI was formed in 1911 by Germany, Austria, Belgium, France, and the Netherlands. The group broke apart during World War I, as all these countries were involved, and was eventually reformed in 1921 by Belgium and France.
Today the FCI is headquartered in Thuin, Belgium and has members in 98 countries. The AKC, the KC, and the Canadian Kennel Club are not members.
The FCI Dog Groups
Group 1: Sheepdogs and Cattledogs (except Swiss Cattledogs)
This group is similar to the herding group of the AKC and the Pastoral group of the KC. These are the dogs that helped farmers herd and move stock. The main distinction is that the FCI has this group divided in two sections:
- Cattledogs (except Swiss Cattledogs)
List of FCI Sheepdog and Cattledog Breeds
|Section 1: Sheepdogs|
|Australian Kelpie||Maremma and the Abruzzes Sheepdog|
|Bearded Collie||Old English Sheedog|
|Belgian Shepard Dog||Picardy Sheepdog|
|Bergamasco Shepherd Dog||Polis Lowland SHeepdog|
|Berger De Beauce||Portuguese Sheepdog|
|Catalan Sheepdog||Pyrenean Sheepdog – Smooth Faced|
|Collie Rough||Romanian Carpathian Shepherd Dog|
|Collie Smooth||Romanian Mioritic Shepher Dog|
|Croatian Shepherd Dog||Saarloos Wolfhond|
|Dutch Schapendoes||Shetland Sheepdog|
|Dutch Shepherd Dog||Slovakian Chuvach|
|German Shepherd Dog||South Russian Shepherd Dog|
|Komondor||Tatra Shepherd Dog|
|Kuvasz||Welsh Corgi (Cardigan)|
|Long-Haired Pyrenean Sheepdog||Welsh Corgi (Pembroke)|
|Majorca Shepherd Dog||White Swiss Shepherd Dog|
|Section 2: Cattledogs (except Swiss cattledogs)|
|Australian Cattle Dog|
|Bouvier Des Ardennes|
|Bouvier Des Flandres|
You can find more breed information on the FCI Sheepdog and Cattledog page HERE.
Group 2: Pinscher and Schnauzer (Molossoid and Swiss Mountain and Cattledogs)
The FCI specifically separates Pinschers and Schnauzers, Molossoids, and Swiss Mountain and Cattledogs into their own group. This groups consists of 3 sections:
Pinscher and Schnauzer – These dogs are German breeds used for hunting rats and use as a guard dog. These dogs come in very different sizes – miniature, standard, and giant
Molossoids – these dogs are large breeds believed to be descended from the Molossus. The Molossus was a large, ferocious dog from the ancient kingdom of Molossis (modern-day western Greece). These dogs are split into two sub groups:
- Mastiff type – which include Great Dane, Boxer, Mastiffs, and Rottweiler to name a few.
- Mountain type – which include Newfounland, Great Pyrenees, and Saint Bernard
Swiss Mountain and Cattledogs – This type is specifically for Swiss dogs and only includes four breeds: Appenzell Cattle Dog, Bernese Mountain Dog, Entlebuch Cattle Dog, and the Great Swiss Mountain Dog.
List of FCI Pinscher and Schnauzer, Molossoids, and Swiss Mountain and Cattledog Breeds
|Section 1: Pinscher and Schanuzer Type|
|Austrian Pinscher||Minature Pinscher|
|Danish-Swedish Farmdog||Miniature Schnauzer|
|Dobermann||Russian Black Terrier|
|Section 2: Molossoids|
|Atlas Mountain Dog||Landseer|
|Castro Laboreiro Dog||Newfoundland|
|Causasian Shepherd dog||Presa Canario|
|Cetral Asia Shepherd Dog||Pyrenean Mastiff|
|Cimarron Uruguayo||Rafeiro of Alentejo|
|Croatian Shepherd Dog||Romanian Bocovina Shepherd|
|Doug De Bordeaux||Saint Miguel Cattle Dog|
|Estela Mountain Dog||Shar Pei|
|Fila Brasileiro||Spanish Mastiff|
|Great Dane||St. Bernard|
|Great Pyrenees||Tibetan Mastiff|
|Italian Cane Corso||Yugoslavian Shepherd Dog|
|Kangal Shepherd Dog|
|Karst Shepherd Dog|
|Swiss Mountain and Cattledogs|
|Appenzell Cattle Dog||Entlebuch Cattle Dog|
|Bernese Mountain Dog||Great Swiss Mountain Dog|
You can find more breed information on the FCI Pinscher and Schnauzer page HERE.
Group 3: Terriers
The Terrier group of the FCI is again slightly different from the AKC or the KC. This group consists of dogs originally bred for vermin, but also includes dogs historically used for dog fighting or other dog blood sports. The Terrier group is split into four sections:
- Large and medium sized Terriers – includes larger terriers such as Airedale Terrier.
- Small sized Terriers – includes Jack Russell Terriers, Scottish Terriers, and more.
- Bull type Terriers – This type includes Bull Terrier, Miniature Bull Terrier, Staffordshire Bull Terrier, and American Staffordshire Terrier.
- Toy Terriers – this type includes Yorkshire Terrier and other very small terriers.
List of FCI Terrier Breeds
|Section 1: Large and medium sized Terriers|
|Airedale Terrier||Irish Terrier|
|Bedlinton Terrier||Kerry Blue Terrier|
|Border Terrier||Lakeland Terrier|
|Fox Terrier (Smooth)||Manchester Terrier|
|Fox Terrier (Wire)||Parson Russell Terrier|
|Irish Glen of Imall Terrier||Welsh Terrier|
|Irish Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier|
|Section 2: Small sized Terriers|
|Australian Terrier||Norwich Terrier|
|Cesky Terrier||Scottish Terrier|
|Cairn Terrier||Sealyham Terrier|
|Dandie Dinmont Terrier||Skye Terrier|
|Jack Russel Terrier||West Highland White Terrier|
|Norfolk Terrier||Japanese Terrier|
|Section 3: Bull type Terriers|
|American Staffordshire Terrier||Miniature Bull Terrier|
|Bull Terrier||Staffordshire Bull Terrier|
|Section 4: Toy Terriers|
|Australian Silky Terrier||Yorkshire Terrier|
|English Toy Terrier|
You can find more breed information on the FCI Terrier page HERE.
Group 4: Dachshunds
The FCI, unlike the AKC or the KC, has a separate group just for all the varieties of the Dachshund. These dogs were bred in 16th century Germany and surrounding areas to hunt burrowing animals. Believe it or not, there are actually three different sizes of Dachshunds ranging from less than 10 pounds all the way up to around 30 pounds.
You can find more breed information on the FCI Dachshunds page HERE.
Group 5: Spitz and Primitive Types
Another split from the AKC and the KC is the Spitz and Primitive Type group. This group consists of the most ancient dog breeds in the world. These are the dogs that are believed to be a step closer to their wild ancestors – retaining some wild traits like strong prey drive or resourcefulness.
There are seven sections of dogs in the Spitz and Primitive group:
- Nodic Sled Dogs – These dogs are exactly what their name implies. They are northern breeds of dogs bred to pull sleds all over the cold regions of north. The Siberian Husky and Alaskan Malamute are just two of the dogs in this group.
- Nordic Hunting Dogs – These dogs are not terribly well known outside of their Scandanavian and Russian homes of origin (Finland, Sweden, Norway, and Russia) . However, these dogs were bred to hunt game in the cold tundra of the northern parts of the globe.
- Nordic Watchdogs and Herders – Similarly, this group is also not incredibly well known outside Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden. These dogs served as sentries, herding companions, and even flock guarding in these Scandanavian countries.
- European Spitz – There are only two breeds that make up this group of Spitz that developed in Europe: German Spitz and the Vopino Italiano (Italian Foxy).
- Asian Spitz and related breeds – This type contains more the the internationally known breeds of Spitz that developed in Asia. This group consists of the Akita, Shiba Inu, and Chow Chow, to name a few.
- Primitive type – The five dog breeds in this type are very old – thousands of years old, and are very popular in the regions they originate from.
- Primitive type – Hunting Dogs – Likewise, this type is some of the oldest hunting dogs in the world.
List of FCI Spitz and Primitive types
|Section 1: Nordic Sled Dogs|
|Canadian Eskimo Dog||Siberian Husky|
|Section 2: Nordic Hunting Dogs|
|East Siberian Laika||Norwegian Elkhound (Black)|
|Finish Spitz||Norwegian Elkhound (Grey)|
|Karelian Bear Dog||Russian-European Laika|
|Norrbottenspitz||West Siberian Laika|
|Section 3: Nordic Watchdogs and Herders|
|Finnish Lapponian Dog||Norwegian Buhund|
|Icelandic Sheepdog||Swedish Lapphund|
|Lapponian Herder||Swedish Vallhund|
|Section 4: European Spitz|
|German Spitz||Italian Volpino|
|Section 5: Asian Spitz and related breeds|
|Chow Chow||Korea Jindo Dog|
|Section 6: Primitive type|
|Peruvian Hairless Dog|
|Section 7: Primitive type – Hunting Dogs|
|Canarian Warren Hound||Potuguese Podengo|
|Cirneco Dell’Etna||Taiwan Dog|
|Ibizan Podenco||Thai Ridgeback Dog|
You can find more breed information on the FCI Spitz and Primitive page HERE.
Group 6: Scent Hounds and related breeds
The Scent Hound and related breed group are very similar to scent hound portion of the AKC and KC groups. The difference here is that the FCI has scent hounds in their own group.
The Scent Hounds are split into three sections:
- Scent Hounds – the traditional breeds like Beagle, Basset Hound, and Bloodhound. There are 64 breeds in this type.
- Leash (scent) Hounds – three breeds make up this type: Hannover hound, Alpine Dachsbracke, and Bavarian Mountain Hound.
- Related Breeds – Only two dogs make up this type: Dalmatian and the Rhodesian Ridgeback.
List of FCI Scent Hounds and related breeds
|Section 1: Scent Hounds|
|American Foxhound||French White and Orange Hound||Norman Artesien Basset|
|Ariegeois||Gascon Saintongeois||Norwegian Hound|
|Artois Hound||German Hound||Ogar Polski|
|Austian Black and Tan Hound||Grand Basset Griffon Vendeen||Otterhound|
|Basset Fauve De Bretagne||Grand Griffon Vendeen||Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen|
|Basset Hound||Great Anglo-French Tricolor Hound||Poitevin|
|Beagle||Great Anglo-French White & Black Hound||Polish Hunting Dog|
|Beagle Harrier||Great Anglo-French White & Orange Hound||Porcelaine|
|Billy||Great Gascony Blue||Posavatz Hound|
|Black and Tan Coonhound||Griffon Nivernais||Schillerstövare|
|Bloodhound||Halden Hound||Serbian Hound|
|Blue Gascony Basset||Hamiltonstövare||Serbian Tricolor Hound|
|Blue Gascony Griffon||Harrier||Slovakian Hound|
|Bosnian Broken-Haired Hound (Barak)||Hellenic Hound||Smalandsstövare|
|Brever||Hungarian Hound||Small Blue Gascony|
|Briquet Griffon Vendeen||Hygen Hound||Small Swiss Hound|
|Coarse-Haired Styrian Hound||Istrian Short-Haired Hound||Spanish Hound|
|English Foxhound||Istrian Wire-Haired Hound||Swiss Hound|
|Fawn Brittany Griffon||Italian Rough-Haired Segugio||Tyrolean Hound|
|Finnish Hound||Italian Short-Haired Segugio||Westphalian Dachsbracke|
|French Tricolor Hound||Medium-Sized Anglo-French Hound|
|French White & Black Hound||Montenegrin Mountain Hound|
|Section 2: Leash (scent) Hounds|
|Alpine Dachsbracke||Hanoverian Scent Hound|
|Bavarian Mountain Scent Hound|
|Section 3: Related Breeds|
You can find more breed information on the FCI Scent Hounds page HERE.
Group 7: Pointing Dogs
The FCI Pointing Dog group is very much in line with its name. This group is home to the pointer and setters in the dog world.
The group is split into two sections:
- Continental Pointing Dogs
- British and Irish Pointers and Setters
List of FCI Pointing Dog breeds
|Section 1: Continental Pointing Dogs|
|Ariege Pointing Dog||Italian Pointing Dog|
|Auvergne Pointer||Italian Spinone|
|Blue Picardy Spaniel||Kleiner Munsterlander|
|Bohemian Wire-Haired Pointing Griffon||Large Munsterlander|
|Braque Du Bourbonnais||Old Danish Pointing Dog|
|Brittan Spaniel||Picardy Spaniel|
|Burgos Pointing Dog||Pont-Audemer Spaniel|
|Deutsch Langaar||Portuguese Pointing Dog|
|Drentsche Partridge Dog||Saint Germain Pointer|
|French Pointing Dog – Gascogne Type||Stabijhoun|
|French Pointing Dog – Pyrenean Type||Vizsla|
|German Short-Haired Pointer||Wire-Haired Pointing Griffon Korthals|
|German Wire-Haired Pointer||Wirehaired Slovakian Pointer|
|Hungarian Wire-Haired Pointer|
|Section 2: British and Irish Pointers and Setters|
|English Pointer||Irish Red and White Setter|
|English Setter||Irish Red Setter|
You can find more breed information on the FCI Pointing Dog page HERE.
Group 8: Retrievers – Flushing Dogs – Water Dogs
The Retrievers – Flushing Dogs – Water Dogs group is where you will find all the retrievers, wate dogs, and spaniels in the FCI.
This group have three sections:
- Retrievers – these dogs are specifically the dogs with “retriever” in their name. This does not include any other breeds used for retrieving.
- Flushing Dogs – this section consists of all the spaniel dogs.
- Water Dogs – these dogs are the ones bred to flush and retrieve game from water.
List of FCI Retriever – Flushing Dogs – Water Dog breeds
|Section 1: Retrievers|
|Chesapeake Bay Retreiver||Golden Retriever|
|Curly Coated Retriever||Labrador Retriever|
|Flat Coated Retriever||Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever|
|Section 2: Flushing Dogs|
|American Cocker Spaniel||German Spaniel|
|Clumber Spaniel||Nederlandse Kooikerhondje|
|English Cocker Spaniel||Sussex Spaniel|
|English Springer Spaniel||Welsh Springer Spaniel|
|Section 3: Water Dogs|
|American Water Spaniel||Portuguese Water Dog|
|French Water Dog||Romagna Water Dog|
|Irish Water Spaniel||Spanish Water dog|
You can find more breed information on the FCI’s Retriever – Flushing Dog – Water Dog page HERE.
Companion and Toy Dogs
The Companion group of the FCI has the most sub types of any group. This is where you find all the small dogs and lap dogs of the canine world.
The group has 11 sections:
- Bichons and related breeds
- Poodle – all poodles, regardless of size, are found in this section
- Small Belgian Dogs
- Hairless Dogs – this section consists only of the Chinese Crested Dog.
- Tibetan breeds – this group consists of four breeds from China, such as the Shih Tzu and Lhasa Apso.
- Chihuahueno – This section consists of only the Chihuahua.
- English Toy Spaniels
- Japan Chin and Pekingese – Consists of only the Japan Chin and Pekingese dogs.
- Continental Toy Spaniel and others
- Kromfohrländer – this section consists of only the Kromfohrländer dog of Germany.
- Small Molossian type Dogs – This section consists of only two breeds: the Boston Terrier and French Bulldog.
List of FCI Companion and Toy Dog breeds
|Section 1: Bichons and related breeds|
|Bolognese||Little Lion Dog|
|Coton De Tulear||Maltese|
|Section 2: Poodle|
|Poodle (Standard, Medium, Miniature, and Toy)|
|Section 3: Small Belgian Dogs|
|Griffon Belge||Petit Brabancon|
|Section 4: Hairless Dogs|
|Chinese Crested Dog|
|Section 5: Tibetan Breeds|
|Lhasa Apso||Tibetan Spaniel|
|Shih Tzu||Tibetan Terrier|
|Section 6: Chihuahueno|
|Section 7: English Toy Spaniels|
|Cavalier King Charles Spaniel||King Charles Spaniel|
|Section 8: Japan Chin and Pekingese|
|Section 9: Continental Toy Spaniel and others|
|Continental Toy Spaniel||Russian Toy|
|Section 10: Kromfohrländer|
|Section 11: Small Molossian Type Dogs|
You can find more breed information on the FCI Companion and Toy page HERE.
Group 10: Sighthounds
The final group of the FCI is in line with the Sighthound subgroup of the AKC’s and KC grouping system. These are the hounds that rely on site to chase down prey to trap or kill it.
This group has three sections:
- Long-haired or fringed Sighthounds
- Rough-haired Sighthounds
- Short-haired Sighthounds
List of FCI Sighthound breeds
|Section 1: Long-haired or Fringed Sighthounds|
|Section 2: Rough-haired Sighthounds|
|Section 3: Short-haired Sighthounds|
|Hungarian Greyhound||Spanish Greyhound|
You can find more breed information on the FCI Sighthound page HERE.
As you can see, there is some universal agreement on the grouping of dogs, but there are also some pretty significant differences. While the AKC and the KC are in virtually identical structure, the FCI mixes things up a bit by dividing breeds on ancestral roots, abilities, function, and even regional origins.
As an American or Brit, the FCI may seem very foreign in the way they organize dog groups. However, it is important to know that 98 other countries in the world recognize dogs by the FCI’s grouping. Likewise, there are breeds recognized by the FCI that are not recognized by the AKC or KC.
There really isn’t a right or wrong answer as far as how to put dogs into groups or types. Within reason of course – I would not classify a Chihuahua as a sporting dog. At the end of the day, humans all over the globe developed dogs to assist us with all of our many tasks. From guarding to herding, from pulling to lap warmer, humans have figured out how to get a dog to help in nearly every situation.
No matter the grouping, dogs are an amazing and absolutely crucial part of making human life more enjoyable.