Do you love spending time outdoors at all times of the year?  Do you enjoy being active all the time?  Do you have a loving, caring, and patient personality?  If you answered yes to these questions, then one of the sporting dog breeds might be right for you.

The sporting group comprises some of the most popular breeds, including retrievers, spaniels, setters, and pointers.  These dogs have historically been used by hunters to locate, flush, or retrieve game from land or water.  Sporting dogs can still be trained and used as hunting companions today; but if you’re not into hunting, that’s okay! The dog’s high level of trainability has earned them the reputation of not only being great family pets… but also great sporting companions. Not only are dogs from the sporting dog breeds adept at hunting, they often make great service dogs as well.  Service dogs can be anything from helpers for the disabled, to bomb and drug sniffers for law enforcement agencies. 

Although problems don’t always arise, because of the popularity and over breeding of some sporting breeds, health and behavioral problems are more common recently.  This can’t always be avoided because some dogs are simply born with health conditions; however, you can try to avoid it by choosing a reputable breeder or better yet, adopting a shelter dog.  Behavioral problems can also arise if sporting breeds aren’t exercised enough.

Now that you know the basics of the sporting dog breeds, here is a list of the most popular ones so you can determine which would be best for you and your family.

•    American Cocker Spaniel

This precious pup is the smallest member of the sporting group.  They are known as being playful, cheerful, sweet, sensitive and willing to be responsive to its owner’s wishes.  Most cockers do not retain their hunting instincts easily, but they will happily enjoy a walk or run on a leash or playing fetch outside. 

•    English Springer Spaniel
This breed is known for bird flushing and retrieving as well as spaniel field trials.  They are cheerful, playful, and energetic.  Most Springers make great companions and get along well with children. 

•    Golden Retriever 
Believe it or not, Goldens are known for, well, retrieving!  They also can specialize in service, obedience competition, and retriever field trials.  Golden Retrievers are devoted and obedient to their owners and are perfect for an enthusiastic, active family. 

•    Pointer 
Pointers are wide-ranging hunters, making them excellent bird dogs.  They are known to be athletic, alert, and strong.  In fact, some pointers have the stamina to run for hours!  They make great companions and will be loyal to a family who raises them right.

Of course, there are several other sporting dog breeds, including the: English Setter, Labrador Retriever, Irish Water Spaniel and the Flat-Coated Retriever. They all essentially have similar characteristics and it is up to you to decide what sporting dog breed might be right for your family.


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