According to the American Kennel Club, all purebred dogs are classified. These groups help categorize the dog breeds by their various traits and temperaments. The non-sporting group of dogs are great breeds, so let’s take a closer look at them.

Why Are Dog Breeds Classified Into Groups?

The American Kennel Club (AKC) decided to classify dog breeds into various groups for several reasons. One, it helps organize the many purebreds out there. It helps narrow down the decision for people looking for a furry friend.

For example, if you live on a farm or stables, you can undoubtedly get a dog within the herding group. These dogs were initially bred to help herd sheep, cows, and other livestock.

In addition, the groups were created for national dog shows and dog sports.

But the non-sporting group doesn’t compete in sports much. No, they have other traits about them that stand out.

What Is The AKC Non-Sporting Group?

The AKC splits the breeds into groups based on their common characteristics and what they were initially bred for. For instance, what was the breed’s purpose?

Believe it or not, one of the main purposes for non-sporting dogs was to be companion pups. Let’s take a closer look at some of these traits. 

What is the non-sporting group of dogs? |

Top Non-Sporting Group Characteristics

Out of all the other groups that the AKC places dog breeds into, the non-sporting group is the catch-all. These dogs share a wide range of traits and can come in all sizes, big or small. This is a group for dogs that didn’t seem to fit into the other categories.

Let’s talk about some of the common non-sporting dog characteristics.


One of the biggest traits that all of these dogs have in common is that they’re intelligent. The Poodle is the more intelligent dog breed known, and they are part of the non-sporting group. Because of this, these doggos may be easy to train.

However, sometimes their intelligence might get the better of them. For instance, they’ll be quick learners, but whether they want to be receptive to the learning is up to them.

In some cases, a dog’s intelligence might make them too smart. Thus, they’re stubborn when training.

Overall, when it comes to non-sporting dogs being smart, you’ll need to take a closer look at the breed. Some of them will be easier to train than others. 


If you want a playful puppy around, but one that’s not too athletic, then non-sporting dogs might be for you.

These doggos love to have attention and will enjoy running around in a fenced-in yard with you. They’ll have energy, but not over-the-top energy where you need to exercise them a few hours a day.

In addition, they’ll enjoy the occasional outdoor activity with you.

However, these dogs aren’t athletic, which is why they’re in the non-sporting group, not the sporting one. So, if you’re looking for a jogging or hiking buddy, you might want to look elsewhere.

What is the non-sporting group of dogs? |

Alert And Reserved With Strangers

Non-sporting group dogs are also alert and can be reserved around strangers. It doesn’t matter how big or small the breed is. They’ll protect their humans and their territory.

These dog breeds are quiet and don’t bark too much, but they will certainly alert you if something seems off.

In addition, they won’t take too kindly to strangers at first. Your pup will be wary of meeting new people, so early socialization is key with these breeds. However, with proper training and socialization, they can get along well with others.

Excellent Companion Dogs

Overall, dogs within the non-sporting group are great companions for anyone. Whether you have a family or live alone, you’ll always have a friend in these breeds.

The smaller pups in this group will enjoy being a lapdog, while the bigger dogs will enjoy a good cuddle session. At the end of the night, your pup will be by your side. If you’re lying on the couch watching TV, your pup will be by your side.

Which Breeds Are In The Non-Sporting Group?

According to the American Kennel Club, about 21 purebred dogs are classified in the non-sporting group. You can see the list of these dogs in the chart below.

List of Non-Sporting Group Dog Breeds
American Eskimo DogBichon FriseBoston Terrier
BulldogChinese Shar-PeiChow Chow
Coton de TulearDalmatianFinnish Spitz
French BulldogKeeshondLhasa Apso
LowchenNorweigan LundehundPoodle (Miniature)
Poodle (Standard)SchipperkeShiba Inu
Tibetan SpanielTibetan TerrierXoloitzcuintli

Question Corner: FAQs About The Non-Sporting Group

If you need to narrow down your search further and have more questions about the non-sporting group of dogs, then take a look below at the frequently asked questions about these doggos.

Which Non-Sporting Dogs Are The Most Intelligent?

The most intelligent dog breed out of them all happens to be classified as a non-sporting dog. The Poodle (both Miniature and Standard in size) is the most intelligent breed. However, because of that, they need daily mental stimulation.

Are Non-Sporting Dog Hypoallergenic?

If you need an allergy-friendly dog breed, then you’re in luck. Six non-sporting dogs are hypoallergenic. You can get a Bichon Frise, Coton de Tulear, Lowchen, Miniature or Standard Poodle, or the Xoloitzcuintli. Remember to research their temperaments and living needs before deciding on a breed.

What is the non-sporting group of dogs? |

Which Non-Sporting Dogs Make Great Guard Dogs?

None of these breeds will make great guard dogs. They may be reserved meeting new people and are alert, but they’re not aggressive and will never attack anyone. However, they will bark to alert you if something is wrong.

Are Non-Sporting Dogs Great With Kids?

If you have young kids at home, then the Boston Terrier or the Keeshond will be good choices to look into. Both of these dogs are smaller, and they have a calm temperament. Also, they enjoy being around children and will play with them.

Are Non-Sporting Dogs Good For Apartments?

Out of all the non-sporting dogs, the best ones for apartment living are the smaller dog breeds. For example, these dogs include the American Eskimo Dog, Bichon Frise, Boston Terrier, Bulldog, French Bulldog, Keeshond, and Lowchen. They’re small, quieter, and calm.

Is A Non-Sporting Dog Breed Right For You?

If you’re looking for a doggo that’s low maintenance in the physical activity department, you can consider one of these breeds. They may be quieter and calmer than some other breeds, but every dog is different. So, research the breed before you adopt to ensure they’re a good fit for you and your lifestyle. 

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