Sporting dogs are naturally alert, energetic, and active. This group includes spaniels, setter, retrievers, and pointers. Sporting dogs are known for their instincts and reliability in the hunting field, and are used to locate, flush, and even retrieve game. Many of the dogs in the sporting group are excellent swimmers, and can’t resist an opportunity to jump into a body of water. Sporting dogs have unique skills and talents, which make them attractive to hunters of all types of game. Pointers are able to stand rigid and silent, pointing game for their companions. Setters are able to find and point, as well, but they are also good at flushing game out of hiding. The spaniels are the most skilled when it comes to flushing, and retrievers get their name from what they do best in the field. Because they were bred to work closely among people, sporting dogs are generally quite friendly and easy to train. They are eager to please and catch on to new tasks quickly. Sporting dogs enjoy spending time outdoors, whether walking, running, or simply playing fetch in the yard. Their dense, water-repellent coats come in all lengths and textures, and were designed to protect them in heavy brush and wet conditions. Owners of sporting breeds may notice that their pets will still want to walk or play outdoors even in cold and wet conditions.
The dogs in the Sporting Group were bred to have serious stamina. In the hunting field, they could be on the move for eight hours or more at a stretch. Even if a companion sporting dog hasn’t ever set foot in the woods, he will still pack the energy and stamina of his hunting ancestors. Owners should give their sporting dogs at least one hour of vigorous exercise per day in order to keep their bodies and minds healthy. Sporting dogs enjoy a variety of activities, and can be happy chasing a stick for an entire afternoon. They make excellent running and hiking companions, and do well in agility and other types of athletic competitions. Breeds in the sporting group love people and are excellent family dogs when given plenty of opportunities to exercise and burn off their boundless energy.
Featured Sporting Dog Breeds