Non-Sporting Dog Breeds

The Non-Sporting Group is a sort of catch-all group for dog breeds that don't fit anywhere else, so these dogs vary drastically in size, type and heritage.

posted April 14, 2012, 12 p.m. EDT

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Excerpt from the American Kennel Club's Meet the Breeds with permission from its publisher, BowTie Press, a division of BowTie, Inc. Purchase the AKC's Meet the Breeds.

When the American Kennel Club was founded more than a century ago, all breeds were classified as either Sporting or Non-Sporting. Gradually, as new groupings were added, most breeds were moved out of the Non-Sporting Group. Eventually, it became a sort of catch-all group for breeds that simply did not fit anywhere else. The breeds comprising the AKC's Non-Sporting Group vary drastically in size, type and heritage. They come from a wide range of backgrounds, making it difficult to generalize about them.

Some Non-Sporting breeds, such as the Chinese Shar-Pei, Tibetan Spaniel and Lhasa Apso, are among the world's oldest breeds, traditionally used as guardians. Others, such as the Dalmatian, BulldogKeeshond and Schipperke, were bred for working functions that are now obsolete. A few, such as the water-retrieving Standard Poodles, are still used occasionally in their traditional jobs. There are also several breeds in this group that were bred strictly to serve as companions, such as the Boston Terrier, French Bulldog and Bichon Frise.

Although their temperaments vary considerably due to their range of origins, all Non-Sporting breeds were designed to interact with humans in some capacity. Not all of them can be classified as extroverts, but they are known for outstanding loyalty and devotion to their owners. Some, such as the Standard and Miniature Poodles and the Bichon Frise, are quite outgoing. Others, such as the Tibetan Terrier and Chow Chow, are naturally reserved. Some of them, such as the Dalmatian, possess fairly high energy levels, and others, such as the Lhasa Apso, require extensive grooming.

Is a Non-Sporting Dog Breed for you? Look at these 7 facts about the Non-Sporting Dog to decide if it is the right dog for your life situation.

1. All Non-Sporting breeds have fascinating histories.
2. Some Non-Sporting breeds, such as the Dalmatian and Shiba Inu, combine exotic appearance and low coat maintenance.
3. Some, such as the Bulldog and Chow Chow, have moderate exercise requirements.
4. Most are good watchdogs and house dogs.
5. Their eclectic backgrounds necessitate careful research of each breed to understand typical traits and temperament; you cannot generalize about the breeds in this group.
6. Some, such as the Chow Chow, Bichon Frise and Llasa Apso, require extensive grooming.
7. Some, such as the Bulldog, Boston Terrier and French Bulldog, have a low tolerance to heat.

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