Dog Breed Categories
Herding Dog : Hound : Non-Sporting Dog : Sporting Dog : Terrier : Toy Dog : Working Dog

Sporting dogs (sometimes referred to as gun dogs or gundogs) are one of the seven dog breed categories. This group of dogs was originally bred to aid hunters in their sport. Unlike hounds who find and catch their prey, sporting dogs help the hunter find animals, or bring back the dead animals once the hunter shoots them. A few breeds were created to help fishermen as well.

Needless to say these dogs are quite at ease in the woods or around any body of water. They are usually quite easy to train, and are very loyal pets. They love to run and play, are very inquisitive, have a keen sense of smell, and can be quite friendly. They usually need a lot of exercise, so long walks (or runs) and active playing is a must for any owner. Many breeds in this category can often been trained as seeing eye dogs. Most of these dogs are good with kids, but their large size can overwhelm small children.

These dogs can be grouped into three categories:

  • Setters and Pointers - This group typically uses their sense of smell to find the hunted animal (usually small mammals). Once they find something they can be trained to freeze in mid-stride and "point" or "set" to the location of the prey.

  • Spaniels - This group moves game (typically birds such as pheasants, quail, etc.). The dogs move back and forth, staying not too far from the hunter and scare the birds from their ground nests so the hunter can shoot them in the air.

  • Retrievers - This group is used to recover the animal once it has been shot. They are most useful for goose or duck hunting - the dogs gladly swim out into lakes or ponds to bring back their quarry, and are quite at home in the water.

Sporting Dog Breeds

Some Famous Sporting Dogs

For more famous dogs, see Presidential pets


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