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The Non Sporting Dog Breeds

The Non Sporting Dog Breeds are hard to categorize or describe. 

Unlike the other groupings, these dogs don't seem to fit the normal criteria.

Basically, these dog breeds have not been bred for sporting purposes - retrievers for retrieving shot game birds (ie. Labradors), hunters, maybe for cornering lions (ie. Rhodesian Ridgebacks), shepherds (ie. White Swiss Shepherd Dog).

If you have a dog that doesn't seem to fit into any other category, The American Kennel Club will place it into a group all its own. 

What do these dogs have in common?

Well, not much, actually.  They aren't terriers or working dogs.  They don't fall into the group of Sporting or Gun Dogs. 

You aren't going to see them herding sheep or goats. 

Some may seem to fall into the Toy group but maybe they didn't fit the size requirements. 

They may have had a job to do at some point in history, but in the 21st century, they are just companions. 

People love them because they make great pets and rarely expect them to guard or protect or sniff out drugs or any of the many jobs that dogs still do so well.

The Non-Sporting Dog Breeds:  American Eskimo Dog

Bichon Frise

Boston Terrier


Chinese Shar-Pei

The non sporting dog breeds come in all shapes and sizes, from the small Coton de Tulear to the big muscular Bulldog. 

There is no way to categorize them by hair type either. 

You can find curly coated Poodles, Straight smooth coated Lhasas, sleek short haired Dalmatians  and ones with no hair at all (Mexican Hairless or Xoloitcuintli).

Look through the list because there is usually at least one dog that everyone loves from this group.

Who are the Non Sporting Dog Breeds?

AKC currently recognizes 20 breeds with others likely to be added in the coming years. 

But it seems that other world kennel clubs have as much trouble grouping these dogs as the AKC. 

In some parts of the world, these breeds may be called companions. 

Others classify them as the Utility Breeds.  Northern Breeds are another grouping used to describe some of these dogs. 

The dogs pictured on this page are registered with the American Kennel Club. 

Chow Chow

Coton de Tulear

Coton de TulearCoton de Tulear


Finnish Spitz

Finnish SpitzFinnish Spitz

French Bulldog



Lhasa Apso

Lhasa ApsoLhasa Apso



Norwegian Lunderhund

Norwegian LunderhundNorwegian Lunderhund



Shiba Inu

Tibetan Spaniel

Tibetan SpanielTibetan Spaniel

Tibetan Terrier

Tibetan TerrierTibetan Terrier


Other AKC Dog Groupings


An Overview of All Group Characteristics

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