What Is The Sporting Dog Group?

dog in water, one of the sporting dog group

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Have you ever wondered why a dog breed gets included in the Sporting Dog Group? The American Kennel Club (AKC) currently recognizes over 190 breeds of dogs across seven groups. Those seven groups are working, herding, toy, hound, terrier, non-sporting, and sporting.

Of all the groups, the Sporting Dog Group might be the most recognizable both in breed and purpose, as canine members of this group are still used for the tasks they were originally bred for. The AKC officially recognizes 32 breeds as being in this group, the most well known of which are the Golden Retriever and the Labrador Retriever.

Within this group are four subcategories of sporting dogs: Spaniels, Pointers, Retrievers, and Setters. You can see DogTime’s full list of Sporting Dogs here!

Here are some things you should know about the Sporting Dog Group.

What Is The Sporting Group?

Hunters have historically used Sporting Dogs to gather game both on land and in the water. This differs from dogs in the Hound Group who track game on land that hasn’t been shot and killed.

Sporting dogs are affable and highly trainable, and the group includes the most common dog breeds that live with families in the United States. Because of this, they are also favored for their ability to train and work as service dogs. Their companionable natures make them ideal for families with children.

Some people also refer to the Sporting Dog Group as “gun” dogs or “bird” dogs. This is specifically in reference to three of the four aforementioned subgroups — Retrievers, Pointers, and Spaniels — who are held in high esteem for their methods of retrieving and flushing out waterfowl.

On top of the many personality characteristics that make these breeds ideal for their intended tasks, many of the breeds in this group have special water-resistant coats and webbed feet that make them suited for chasing, springing, and retrieving game for hunters.

Is A Sporting Group Dog Right For You?

vizsla standing in tall grass

(Image Credit: Matthew Margot/Getty Images)

Because of their close working relationship with humans, sporting dogs are ideal for just about anyone. Like all dogs bred for specific purposes, dogs from the sporting group require vigorous and regular exercise. So make sure you’ll be able to keep up with your furry friend!

These dogs will usually love the outdoors and swimming — remember it depends on the individual dog — so they will make great companions for camping and hiking.

Since sporting dogs also come in multiple shapes and sizes, it’s very likely that you’ll find just the friend you’re looking for in this incredibly popular canine group. You can search for adoptable dogs of any breed in your zip code on DogTime’s adoption page.

Do you have a dog who belongs in the Sporting Group? What do you love most about these dogs? Let us know how in the comments below!

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