Can Dogs Recognize Their Own Breed? – The Surprising Facts

Many owners claim that their canines are able to recognize their own breed because they often come to attention when passing another dog of the same breed at the park. However, sometimes we also find our dog paying attention to a dog of a different breed.

Some experiments concluded that our furry friends can’t tell that when they are looking at their reflection in the mirror, let alone identify their breeds. So who is right and really can dogs recognize their own breed? This analysis by DogCutiesHQ will help you find the answer.

Do Dogs Recognize Own Breed? 

Dogs are very diverse in species. According to The World Canine Organization, there are about 332 dog breeds recorded by this organization, excluding mutants and crossbreeds, while the American Kennel Club (AKC) recognizes 199 breeds. With such a large number of dogs, it seems to be very difficult for a dog to recognize his breed right? Perhaps, we’re a bit imposing human thoughts on dogs, because they don’t differentiate between breeds the way we categorize them.

can dogs sense their own breed

Dogs don’t differentiate their breeds like us humans do

Humans divide dogs into different breeds based on their body shape, size, and origin. But the dogs know only one simple thing, “ That is another dog, he is like me, and we are of the same species”. If your poodle notices another poodle in the park and then they play together, it’s just a way of socializing, it doesn’t mean they recognize another dog of their breed. Try taking your dog to see another dog of a different breed, the same thing can happen. 

How do dogs recognize their species?

Dogs have extremely sensitive noses by which they can tell if the other animal belongs to their species, and also thanks to the scent that the dog can recognize its owner. In addition, dogs can also recognize another dog through visual cues. An experiment by Dr. Autier-Derian, a highly-regarded veterinarian, has proved this. In this experiment, dogs successfully picked out the faces of other dogs among the faces of many different animals. 

 Barking is the dog’s only form of oral communication. This is also a sound that only dogs have. Therefore, dogs can easily identify their fellows through barking.

How to tell when your dog can recognize another dog?

There are obvious signs showing your pooch recognizes another dog, which are sniffing, tail wagging, ears up, tail up, or head tilting. Each dog will have a different expression. If their tail is upright, accompanied by growls, it is a high-stress environment and you must get your dog out of there before things get worse. 

can a dog recognize its own breed

As a responsible owner, you should observe your dog’s behavior. It is also important to know that you should never force your dogs to like another dog while they don’t. If possible, train your dog how to greet other dogs. 

How to train your dog to recognize other dogs?

Your dog instinctively recognizes another dog through hearing, smell, and sight. This is something you can’t teach, but you can train them how to react to another of their kind in the public.

First of all, you need to schedule your training session and remember to be really patient with the dog.

Start with simple commands and remember to reward your pet each time it behaves well. Repeat the command until you feel the dog is familiar with it, then move on to more complicated tricks. Some pet owners have successfully trained their pooches to say “hello” and “shake” but this requires a lot of time and patience. 

can a dog recognize their owner

Praise your dog when it shows obedience

It is a good idea to use a picture of other dogs during your training. This will increase efficiency and shorten training time. This method has been tested at different dog training centers and it gives very positive results.

 To ensure your dog’s safety, check with the other owner before letting your dog approach their dog. Always keep your dog at a safe distance from other canines by keeping him on a leash at all times. If you find the situation becoming tense, it’s best to remove your pet from the environment because your dog hates another dog.


Although there is no definitive study that explains whether dogs can recognize their breed, there is some preliminary research that suggests dogs are more likely to be unable to recognize their own breed. For a dog to get along very well with another dog of the same breed in the park because that is how this animal socializes.

Moreover, us humans categorize dog breeds to distinguish dogs from one another, dogs don’t use this same point of reference. So No, your dogs probably can’t sense their own breed.

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