Encyclopedia  |   World Factbook  |   World Flags  |   Reference Tables  |   List of Lists     
   Academic Disciplines  |   Historical Timeline  |   Themed Timelines  |   Biographies  |   How-Tos     
Sponsor by The Tattoo Collection
Main Page | See live article | Alphabetical index


A breed is a domesticated subspecies or infrasubspecies of an animal.

A breed is not completely analogous to the equivalent term for domesticated plants, which is a cultivar. An important difference is that plants are commonly propagated by striking or grafting cuttings. There is no corresponding technique for animals. Cloning may change this if it becomes more available.

A breed should also be distinguished from a strain, which is simply the descendants of a single significant individual, and which in domesticated animals is also known as a bloodline. A strain may not remain entirely within a breed, nor is a breed necessarily composed of a single strain.

For a type to be recognised as a breed, there should be a viable true-breeding population. See also selective breeding, genotype, phenotype.

Common animal breeds