Most of the dogs in the Sporting dog breed class were bred to hunt birds and other small animals. This is an energetic group of dogs who will require plenty of exercise and activity to keep them occupied. Naturally active and alert, Sporting dogs make likeable, well-rounded companions.
Members of the Sporting Dog Group include pointers, retrievers, setters and spaniels. Remarkable for their instincts in water and woods, many of these breeds actively continue to participate in hunting and other field activities. These dog breeds can become quite hyperactive without regular exercise.
Sporting Dogs are friendly and loyal dogs. They are also quite lively and full of spirit. They need a lot of exercise and will excel in field activities. The Sporting Dog is often referred to as a gun dog or a bird dog. They were developed as superior hunting dogs and to work closely with the hunter as well as other dogs in the field.
Bred to bond closely with man as well as other dogs, many of the Sporting dogs make exceptional pets. The Labrador Retriever is the most popular dog in North America. Like the lab, many of the Sporting Dog breeds are gentle and affectionate with children.
Most will get along well with other pets, though there are a few that can’t be trusted around small animals. An energetic companion, they love playing with their family outdoors.
Sporting Dogs are Gun dogs with strong water and nature instincts and they excel in field activities. The popular Pointer, Spaniel, Retriever and Setter game dogs are just some of the results of dedicated hunting dog training, backed with years of breeding.
Other hunting dogs include the Hound dog breeds, but the Sporting dog breeds differ from them because they hunt by scent carried in the air, while the hounds are ground scenters.
Today’s Sporting dogs have remarkable instincts and are excellent for hunting in both water and on land. Each type of these hunting dogs was developed with a unique set of skills.
The Pointer spots its quarry, and then as its name implies, this gun dog stands rigidly pointing towards it. The Setter was also trained to point, but also to crouch in front of its quarry while the hunter captured the prey. The Retriever has the job of finding the killed game and returning it to the hunter. And the Spaniels, both the Water Spaniel and the Land Spaniel, are favored as bird dogs that flush birds out of cover and into flight.
List of Sporting Dog Breeds
Pointer (German Shorthaired)
Pointer (German Wirehaired)
Retriever (Chesapeake Bay)
Retriever (Nova Scotia Duck Tolling)
Setter (Irish Red and White)
Spaniel (American Water)
Spaniel (Cocker) A.S.C.O.B.
Spaniel (Cocker) Black
Spaniel (Cocker) Parti-Color
Spaniel (English Cocker)
Spaniel (English Springer)
Spaniel (Irish Water)
Spaniel (Welsh Springer)
Wirehaired Pointing Griffon
Wirehaired Vizsla (new for 2015)