The Non-Sporting Group may be the most diverse of all the American Kennel Club classifications of dogs. They vary greatly in size, temperament, needs and abilities. In a way they are a catch-all for dogs that don’t have a specific job or purpose. They are not herders, hunters, hounds or terriers. They vary in size from small, like the Lhasa Apso and Miniature Poodle, to medium, like the Bulldog, Tibetan Spaniel and American Eskimo Dog. Other members of this group include the Keeshond, Dalmatian and Chow Chow.
Obviously with this group, over all the others, knowing the specific characteristics of the breed, rather than the group, is extremely important. Which breeds need a lot of exercise? Which breeds are more laidback? Which members of this group are good with children? Which are more of a one-person or one-family companion?
In fact, non-sporting group dogs are often called members of the “Companion Group.” In about the only generalization available regarding the Non-Sporting Group, according to the AKC, is the description of non-sporting group dogs as “intelligent, playful, alert, reserved with strangers and confident.” But before adding one of these great animals to your household, do your homework. Specific characteristics of individual breeds can be found on the AKC website at http://www.akc.org/dog-breeds .