Dog Breeds - Sporting Group

Sporting breed dogs are known for their superior instincts in water and woods, thus they have been used by hunters to locate, flush or retrieve game from land or water.These are also used as helper dogs for the disabled or as bomb and drug sniffers for law enforcement agencies. The sporting group comprises some of the most popular breeds, including pointers, setters, retrievers and spaniels. Dogs from the sporting group require vigorous and regular exercise.These dogs usually love the outdoors and swimming & they make great companions for camping and hiking. 

Sporting dog breeds have the following attributes:

Very Energetic
Sporting dog breeds naturally need enough energy and stamina to spend an entire day working in the field. While their high energy level is perfect for this purpose, these dogs need a great deal of exercise if they are kept strictly as pets. Otherwise, they tend to become hyperactive and somewhat destructive.

These breeds have been developed to be very responsive to people, since they were intended to work so closely with them. As a result, they also make fantastic companions and family pets, as long as they have plenty of activity that provides exercise as well as mental stimulation.

Easy to Train
These are intelligent dogs, and their game skills have been bred into them for centuries. Training usually just involves building on their natural instincts.

Sturdy Build
Fragile dogs could easily become injured in the field. These dogs were developed for strength and stamina, no matter what size they are.

Great Athletic Ability
Running, jumping, diving and swimming are part of everyday life for most sporting breeds. Through each generation, the most athletic dogs were selected for breeding in order to preserve and enhance this characteristic in future generations. Members of the sporting group excel at dog sports like dog agility and dock diving because of their athleticism.

Protective Coats
Sporting dogs work in all kinds of weather, and they work on land as well as in the water. Their coats are designed to insulate them from the temperature, as well as repel water to keep them dry. Their natural defenses against wet and cold also means these dogs tend to love swimming.

Following are the 10 common dog breeds falling in SPORTING GROUP category:

Labrador Retriever

The Labrador Retriever has held the spot for being America’s most popular dog breed and also one of the best family dogs in the world. They are fun-loving, social, loving, gentle, loyal, intelligent, extremely reliable with children. and adventurous dogs that make excellent family companions for people of all ages. This breed is known for its outstanding personality and outgoing disposition. Originally a hunting dog from Canada, this breed has gained popularity all over the world.These large-sized Retrievers are not apartment dogs but can adapt well to city living if they are given sufficient exercise. The Labrador is good natured and eager to learn and can be easily trained to do everything from competitive obedience and field trials to becoming a "seeing-eye" dog for the blind.

Golden Retriever

The Golden Retriever is a good hunting dog, seeing-eye dog, obedience and agility competitor, and outstanding family dog.They are affectionate, adventurous and always ready to do anything alongside their human families. They are originally from Scotland where they were used to hunt ducks and other waterfowl.This large-sized Retriever does very well with children but toddlers should always be supervised as young untrained dogs can be over exuberant. Excellent on land and in the water, the golden is a versatile, intelligent and useful breed.
German Shorthaired Pointer

The German Shorthaired Pointer is a hunting dog from Germany. They were developed to be excellent hunting dogs as well as suitable family companions, so their temperaments allow for both work and play. They are very agile dogs that want to spend time with their families but need a job to do to stay active and healthy. This breed doesn't belong in the city. This large-sized dog is loyal, intelligent and eager to learn and can be trained for field, agility and obedience competitions. This breed is extremely popular but needs to be challenged both mentally and physically. The breed makes a good family dog but may be too exuberant for toddlers and small children.


The Brittany is closer to a pointer or setter in its hunting ability. Is an active medium-sized dog that is intelligent, loyal and easy to train. Used for bird hunting, this medium-sized French breed makes a wonderful family companion. They are eager to please, social and fun-loving and enjoy being a part of active homes around family members of all ages.This popular breed needs lots of exercise and makes a fairly good watchdog.

English Springer Spaniel

The English Springer Spaniel are largest of the spaniel dog breeds. This popular dog is both excellent hunting retriever and good family dog that get along well with children and is also  used for flushing and retrieving game. They are very friendly and affectionate dogs that enjoy spending time with their owners. They are a popular choice for those looking to compete in other dog sports such as agility and obedience. English Springer Spaniels are very loving and active dogs that do best in a home that provides them with a job to do. One thing to note about this breed is that as some Springer bloodlines have shown some aggression and dominance so early socialization and obedience training for males should be a priority.

American Cocker Spaniel

The American Cocker Spaniel is smaller than its English cousin - the English Cocker Spaniel & is a gentle, social dog that was originally used to hunt birds. This beautiful spaniel has a luxurious thick and silky coat with trousered legs. They are outgoing dogs that enjoy spending time with their families and when socialized from a young age, they make great companions for children. They are known for having an always wagging tail and positive disposition. This small- to medium- sized dog can be used for hunting and retrieving but is extremely popular as a companion and show dog. Cockers can adapt to apartment living if exercised twice daily.


The Vizsla is a Short-haired Hungarian, medium- to large-sized hunting dog breed used for pointing and retrieving, usually of fowl and other upland game. They have an elegant bearing and strong, muscular appearance. They are very active dogs that need a job to do in order to stay suitable family companions. They are highly affectionate and form close bonds with their owners, often referred to as “velcro dogs.” The breed does very well in other dog sports such as agility and obedience. This athletic, sporty and agile breed needs lots of exercise and lots of human companionship. Vizlas must be socialized and trained early to build confidence and prevent neurotic behaviour. This is not a city dog and it needs to live with a very active family.


The Weimaraner is a German large-sized hunting dog breed. They are strong, active dogs that do very well in the field. However, they also make wonderful active companions. The breed maintains the urge to hunt and should be kept in a home that is going to provide adequate mental and physical stimulation. They are not independent dogs, need to live indoors and want to be with their owners as much as possible.The Weimaraner needs an experienced owner who can manage and control this headstrong breed and provide early socialization and on-going obedience training. This dog doesn't do well with children unless it is raised with them. Well trained Weimaraners are a delight but poorly trained dogs can be destructive, rambunctious, have a high prey drive and try to dominate other dogs.

Chesapeake Bay Retriever

The Chessie is the strongest and most powerful of the sporting dogs. This dog breed originated as a water dog used to hunt and retrieve ducks in the chilly chop of Maryland’s Chesapeake Bay. The dog’s sturdy build, dense coat, stamina, and strength made them ideal for this purpose.The distinctive breed trait is a wavy coat that is oily to the touch. Chessies are solid-colored, either chocolatey brown, sedge, or deadgrass, with keen yellow-amber eyes that nicely complement the coat.This large dog loves hunting but also is a great family dog and gets along well with all children. This intelligent breed learns at a high speed and is quite popular and somewhat distrustful of strangers and makes a good watchdog. Chesapeakes are not city dogs and need a lot of regular exercise and love to go swimming.

Irish Setter

The Irish is an exuberant, happy-go-lucky, goofy, kind, charming and intelligent dog. It is most beautiful of the dog breeds and among the swiftest of all sporting dogs. This breed has no aggression, welcomes everybody and are outgoing dogs who enjoy making friends. These Setters can be somewhat independent and easily distracted but are intelligent and eager to learn and therefore can be trained fairly easily. The Irish is a superb hunting dog and must have lots of exercise with challenging field and retrieval exercises. If these dogs are given early obedience training, they adapt very well to older children. However this breed is so lively and impulsive when it is young that it could knock toddlers over.

“The world would be a nicer place if everyone had the ability to love as unconditionally as a dog.” M.K. Clinton


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