Sporting and Working dog groups are two of the seven dog classifications that are used to identify dogs, and that compete annually in Purina’s The National Dog Show.  Sporting and Working dogs are arguably the most active types of dogs of the 205 American Kennel Club (AKC) registered dog breeds. So what are the differences and similarities between them, and why were they purposely-bred to be the most vigorous and useful of the canine species.

1 What is a “Sporting Dog”?

The sporting dog group is also known as “gun dogs” because once the gun was invented, mankind needed animals to assist their hunting sport in locating and retrieving game, usually various land and water birds. Famous examples of sporting dog breeds are pointers and setters who point and mark the game, spaniels who flush (i.e., race) after the game, and retrievers who recover the dead and wounded game.  Primarily a hunting dog that is active, alert, and intelligent, they have earned them the reputation to be the best family dogs, most famously the Labrador and Golden retrievers and Cocker Spaniels.  Sporting dogs can be easily trained in service positions, such as companions for the disabled or to be recruited to sniff out bombs or drugs for law enforcement agencies.

Meet The Sporting and Working Dog Groups sporting dog | Dogs

Meet The Sporting and Working Dog Groups sporting dogs | Dogs

2 What is a “Working Dog”?

A working dog performs tasks that are of essential and practical human use. The working dog can be easily trained and employed in meaningful work. The Doberman Pinscher is usually employed as police guards or therapy companions. Siberian Huskies are mostly known to be great sled dogs; Rottweilers can be employed as herding and guard dogs; Great Danes can hunt large animals. Working dogs’ heritage and strong physical characteristics lend themselves to essential work. Their larger size can make them naturally protective, but its owner must need to know how to train them and socialize them.

Meet The Sporting and Working Dog Groups working dogs | Dogs

Meet The Sporting and Working Dog Groups working dog | Dogs

3 Are There Similarities Between the Groups?

Sporting and working dogs were bred to be useful to humans, whether practicality, sport, and hunting. The commercial dog food brand Eukanuba (which means “supreme” or “the tops” in jazz language) was founded by animal nutritionist Paul Iams because he wanted to create dog food, especially for the sporting and working dog groups. Their need for activity and use for humans necessitated a high-protein diet that fuels the groups’ body, mind, and energy.  Eukanuba chicken dog food for small breed dogs reminds me of England’s Queen Elizabeth, her obsession with Corgi breeds, and their rich daily diet consisting of high-protein, whether beef, chicken, rabbit, or lamb. They would alternate daily, says the Queen’s 11-year royal chef Darren McGrady. Other small breed sporting dogs are the American Cocker Spaniel and the Braque Pyrenees.

Meet The Sporting and Working Dog Groups Braque Pyrenees | Dogs

Meet The Sporting and Working Dog Groups dog breeds | Dogs

4 Are There Other Small Dog Breeds From the Other Five Groups That Are Similar to the Sporting and Working Dog Breeds?

Bichon Frises, Boston terriers, french bulldogs, little lion dogs, and Shih Tzus are trained to be companion dogs. Border Terriers are easily trained and have intense physicality and agility. Border Terriers, beagles, and Shiba Inus are bred to hunt. Schipperkes, cardigan welsh corgis, and collies are bred to be sheepdogs.

Meet The Sporting and Working Dog Groups Bichon Frises | Dogs

Meet The Sporting and Working Dog Groups Boston terriers | Dogs

In conclusion, humans bred the Sporting and Working dog groups purposefully because of their easy trainability, dynamic personalities, practicality, and use in ordinary human life activities. Sporting dogs were bred to be human’s natural hunters, and Working dogs were bred to be human’s natural herders and guards, both groups being powerfully built and intelligent. Are you thinking of getting one? But remember that dogs were more importantly bred to be man’s best friend. Even if they are produced for practical use, sport, or therapy, they depend on us for food, walks, playtime, toys, and love, because you are “their person” for their entire life, even if they are there for a small part of ours.

Every dog loves food, and I mean every living thing loves food, and it is your responsibility to research to find the market’s best dog brands. They also need to expend their energy with healthy exercise that stimulates them physically and mentally, whether with a daily walk and indoor activities. Track their health with regular veterinary visits and vaccinations. Keep attention on their overall well-being and behavioral, physical, emotional changes. If your dog sniffs out bombs, hunts for your sport herds your sheep inline, or acts as your therapy; the pup needs more appreciation and love for the necessary, especially life or death, things that they do for you.