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Sporting Group

The Sporting Group, also referred to as the Gundog Group in Europe, is made up of various dog breeds that were bred to help humans in their hunting endeavors. After hunting with guns became popular in the 1700’s, additional uses for these dogs were discovered and new breeds developed to satisfy those needs.

Dogs in the Sporting Group can be further divided into four categories, based on their use in hunting. Depending on the breed, their specialties include locating the prey, flushing the prey out, or fetching the prey after being shot down.

Pointers and Setters

Pointers and Setters were both used in locating prey. The difference is what each group of dogs does once the prey has been located. A Pointer will initially “point” at where the prey is located, then, on command will move in to flush the prey out of hiding. A Setter, on the other hand, will “set” to show where the prey is located.


Spaniels are excellent hunting dogs, with a very good sense of smell and excellent stamina. Dogs in this category are good at flushing out the prey, as well as retrieving. Some were bred to excel in the water as well as on land.


As the name implies, dogs in this category were bred to go after the prey after being shot down, and bringing the prey back to the hunter.

When considering bringing a sporting dog into the family as a family pet, it is important that you consider the amount of exercise dogs in this group require. Also, many dogs in this group hate being left alone, and doing so can lead to destructive behavior such as chewing and digging.

Dogs in the Sporting Group are generally easy going, and make very little noise. They are eager to please their families and are very intelligent.

The following dog breeds are currently in the sporting group. As information on each breed is added, you will find a link to the right for it.

  • American Water Spaniel
  • Boykin Spaniel
  • Brittany
  • Chesapeake Bay Retriever
  • Clumber Spaniel
  • Cocker Spaniel
  • Curly-Coated Retriever
  • English Cocker Spaniel
  • English Setter
  • English Springer Spaniel
  • Field Spaniel
  • Flat-Coated Retriever
  • German Shorthaired Pointer
  • German Wirehaired Pointer
  • Golden Retriever
  • Gordon Setter
  • Irish Red and White Setter
  • Irish Setter
  • Irish Water Spaniel
  • Labrador Retriever
  • Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever
  • Pointer
  • Spinone Italiano
  • Sussex Spaniel
  • Vizsla
  • Weimaraner
  • Welsh Springer Spaniel
  • Wirehaired Pointing Griffon
  • Wirehaired Vizsla

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