Breed-Specific Raw Pet Food Diets for Dogs

Written on Saturday, October 20th, 2012
Breed-Specific Raw Pet Food Diets for Dogs

Throughout their years of domestication, dogs have been bred to do specific jobs. These jobs have had an effect on the energy level and behavior of each breed. When determining what’s best for each breed, we can examine their ‘occupations’ to make the right decisions. There are seven groups recognized by the Canadian Kennel Club. Below each group and its nutritional requirements are discussed.


Body score is a scale that gives us a scale for assessing the current bodily state of an animal. A body score of 3 is ideal. A scoring of three means that the ribs are easily felt upon palpation but are not easily visible. Body scores areas listed below:

5 grades: 1 = gaunt, 2 = slim, 3 = optimal, 4 = overweight, 5 = obese


These breeds were bred for “sport” or hunting as entertainment for upper-class society. Sporting breeds were developed for hunting birds and small game. They needed to be agile and fearless in water and field settings. Today, these dogs are kept mostly as companions. The following breeds are categorized as sporting dogs:

American Water Spaniel, American Cocker Spaniel, Barbet, Boykin Spaniel, Bracco Italiano, Braques bu Bourbonnais, Brittany Spaniel, Cesky Fousek, Canadian Pointer, Chesapeake Bay Retriever, Clumber Spaniel, Curly Coated Retriever, Drentsche Patrijishond, English Cocker Spaniel, English Setter, English Springer Spaniel, Field Spaniel, Flat-Coated Retriever, French Spaniel, German Long-Haired Pointer, German Short-Haired Pointer, German Wirehaired Pointer, Golden Retriever, Gordon Setter, Irish Red & White Setter, Irish Setter, Irish Water Spaniel, Labrador Retriever, Large Munsterlander, Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever, Pointer, Spanish Water Dog, Spinone Italiano, Sussex Spaniel, Vizsla, Weimaraner, Welsh Springer Spaniel, Wirehaired Pointing Griffon


The sporting dogs are some of the most active and their diet will need to reflect this. Young dogs will need a greater amount of food than other breeds due to their energetic state. Puppies will need between 200-250g per 10 lbs of bodyweight while they are growing. If these dogs are in a working capacity, they may need even more food but this should be assessed based on the body score of the dog as discussed above. As adults, they will need between 100-150g per 10lbs of body weight.


Hounds, like the sporting group, were bred to hunt. Some breeds use an extremely developed sense of smell while others fearlessly and relentlessly chase the prey down. Certain breeds are able to produce a unique baying sound, unlike any other dog group. Today, these dogs still have high-profile jobs including bomb and drug-sniffing, search and rescue, and crime investigation. See below for a complete list:

Afghan Hound, American Foxhound, Basenji, Basset Hound, Beagle, Black, and Tan Coonhound, Bloodhound, Bluetick Coonhound, Borzoi, Daschund, Drever, English Foxhound, Greyhound, Harrier, Ibizan Hound, Irish Wolfhound, Norrbottenspets, Norweigian Elkhound, Norweigian Lundehund, Otterhound, Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen, Pharoah Hound, Rhodesian Ridgeback, Saluki, Scottish Deerhound, Whippet


The hounds can be just as active as the sporting dogs and will need between 200-250g per 10lbs of body weight and 100-150g per lbs as adults. Depending on the size of the dog, the diet will need to be adjusted as there is a huge variance in the size of these breeds. Be aware of the body score, breed, and occupation of the dog.


The working breeds were established from the large guardian, herding, and Spitz-type dogs. They were mostly developed to protect livestock, property, or families. Some were bred sled dogs and have incredible strength, stamina, and resilience in freezing temperatures. They are fiercely protective and loyal and must be handled by dog-experienced owners. The large size of the working dogs makes them less desirable as a beginner’s dog. See below for a complete breed list:

Akita, Alaskan Malamute, Bernese Mountain Dog, Boxer, Bullmastiff, Canaan Dog, Canadian Eskimo Dog, Cane Corso, Doberman Pinscher, Entlebucher Mountain Dog, Eurasier, Great Dane, Great Pyrenees, Greenland Dog, Karelian Bear Dog, Komondor, Kuvasz, Leonberger, Mastiff, Newfoundland, Portuguese Water Dog, Rottweiler, Samoyed, Giant Schnauzer, Standard Schnauzer, Siberian Husky, St. Bernard


Working breeds are as heavy and fast-growing as pups. Juvenile giant breeds need a diet that helps them to maintain healthy bones and blood while they grow. Young Mastiffs and Great Danes may need up to 300g per 10 lbs of bodyweight while growing but will need substantially less food once they reach adulthood. These breeds, comparatively, need more red meat than other breeds during the first two years of growth. Giant breeds are less active than other breeds and usually live short lives and/or have growth defects (eg. hip and elbow dysplasia) when not fed or raised with proper foods. It is extremely important for working dogs to stay lean during the entirety of their lives. These breeds need real food to live to their potential, especially if they are employed with a job such as guarding livestock.


These dogs were bred to hunt vermin; mice, rats, otters, stoats, and weasels. The name terrier originates from the Latin word terra, meaning earth, since some terriers were bred to go down fox holes and burrows, essentially, into the earth. Most terrier breeds are kept as companions but some still work as tracking dogs and guard dogs. The terriers are listed below;

Airedale Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier, Australian Terrier, Bedlington Terrier, Border Terrier, Bull Terrier, Miniature Bull Terrier, Cairn Terrier, Cesky Terrier, Dandie Dinmont Terrier, Smooth Fox Terrier, Wire Fox Terrier, Irish Terrier, Kerry Blue Terrier, Lakeland Terrier, Manchester Terrier, Norfolk Terrier, Norwich Terrier, Parson Russell Terrier, Miniature Schnauzer, Scottish Terrier, Sealyham Terrier, Skye Terrier, Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier, Staffordshire Bull Terrier, Welsh Terrier, West Highland Terrier


Terriers are busy dogs. They are extremely intelligent and have a sense of smell only second to the hounds. They are wonderful companions but need mental and physical stimulation to keep them happy and healthy. They do particularly well in agility trials and can be talented trackers. For this, they need a high-energy diet including a few days of fattier meats such as lamb. These dogs have unique teeth and jaws that require regular bone chewing to prevent dental disease.


These are the smallest breeds of dogs in the world. Some were bred as ancient royal lap dogs and some are miniaturized versions of larger breeds. Their small size makes them convenient as companion animals and they have become extremely popular city dogs. The CKC recognizes the following toy breeds:

Affenpinscher, Silky Terrier, Bichon Frise, Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Long-Coat Chihuahua, Short-Coat Chihuahua, Chinese Crested, Miniature Pinscher, Brussels Griffon, Havanese, Italian Greyhound, Japanese Spaniel, Maltese, Papillion, Pekingese, Pomeranian, Pug, Yorkshire Terrier


The toy breeds will need a diet that reflects their lifestyle and energy level. Puppies will need 150-200g per 10lbs of body weight and adults will need 100-150g per 10lbs. It must be stated that it is just as important for tiny dogs to walk as it is for large dogs so be sure to give your toy dog lots of opportunities to walk and move as dogs, naturally, are nomadic animals. Tiny dogs are no different! Additionally, it is important to pay close attention to your toy dogs’ dental health. Small dogs often have issues with oral health and it is imperative that they receive daily raw bones as part of their raw diet. Chicken necks, beef ribs, femur/neck/knuckle slices will all reduce the risk of dental disease and can help to improve existing conditions. Regular attention from your veterinarian will be needed for animals suffering from dental disease.


This group is the most diverse. The breeds of dogs in this category are varied in their appearances and behaviors. These dogs can be employed in various ways but are mostly kept as companions. Breeds include:

American Eskimo Dog, Boston Terrier, Bulldog, Chinese Shar-Pei, Chow Chow, Dalmation, Finnish Spitz, French Bulldog, Keeshond, Lhasa Apso, Lowchen, Mexican Hairless, Poodle, Schipperke, Shiba Inu, Tibetan Spaniel, Tibetan Terrier


The diet will greatly vary for these breeds since each breed is unique and was developed in different regions around the world. These dogs are usually of a medium energy level and so they will need 150-200g per 10lbs of bodyweight as growing pups and usually around 100g per 10lbs of body weight as adults.


The herding breeds help humans with the movement of livestock herds including sheep, cattle, goat, and reindeer. These dogs are different from the working breeds that guard livestock. Herding dogs are extremely athletic and intelligent. They are fearless and use unique techniques to keep herds moving in the desired direction. Herding breeds have originated all over the world so certain breeds are better suited to specific climates and livestock. The herding dogs are talented and are employed in many modern canine jobs. A complete list of herding breeds is listed below:

Australian Cattle Dog, Australian Shepherd, Bearded Collie, Beauceron, Belgian Malinois, Belgian Sheepdog, Belgian Tervuren, Border Collie, Bouvier des Flandres, Briard, Cardigan Welsh Corgi, Collie, German Shepherd, Old English Sheepdog, Pembroke Welsh Corgi, Polish Lowland Sheepdog, Puli, Shetland Sheepdog, Swedish Vallhund


Like the sporting breeds, the herding breeds are extremely active. They will eat 200-250g per 10lbs of bodyweight as juveniles and 100-150g per 10lbs of body weight as adults. If they are employed or are involved in sports, they may need even more food.


Any breed that is employed in any of the below occupations should have a raw diet consultation to ensure that each animal is able to perform at its very best. <a href="/contact-us">Contact us</a> for custom raw dog food diets.

Occupations: Service/assistance, Therapy, Rescue, Herding, Sled, Performing, Hunting, Guarding, Tracking, Detection, Police, War/K9 Corps

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