The Non-Sporting Group

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The Non-Sporting Group

The utility, or Non-sporting group includes dogs of many different sizes and shapes which perform a variety of tasks. The group ranges from the large breeds such as the Dalmation and Standard Poodle, to the much smaller breeds like the Boston Terrier.

The group is sometimes said to include all of the breeds that do not satisfactorily fit into any other of the main groups such as gundogs, and terrier. A more useful classification criteria, however, might be to say that within the Non-Sporting Group are to be found dogs that are appreciated first and foremost for their companionship qualities but which may also undertake other useful roles as guarding property.

But all the breeds found within the Non-Sporting group do seem to have a hereditary aptitude for defending and guarding. Some, like the Bulldog, were originally used and bred for fighting dogs, and these aggressive qualities have stood them in good stead when required to stand guard.

Even among the breeds which did not display these fighting skills, there is a propensity to give voice in no uncertain terms at the arrival of strangers at the door, making them good watchdogs. This is a virtue no less important today than in the past, for it is a well known fact that a property which a loudly barking dog is a much less attractive prospect for a would be robber, than someone in which the arrival of a stranger is greeted in silence. Although the modern day Non-sporting dog is usually pugnacious by nature, most will be prepared to respond appropriately if there is a real threat to the home or family that they think they are guarding.

Of all the diverse shapes and sizes to be found within the Non-sporting group, there is one group of dog that is fairly uniform in type and appearance. These are the Spitz breeds, which are of the arctic origin, and these hardy animals were bred to work in harsh, frozen conditions of the far north. These dogs were used and are still in use today, they are expected to carry out a wide range of tasks, Including guarding duties for domestic herds, working as watch dogs, hunting and pulling sleds or carrying supplies on it back.

Some of the other dogs within the Non-Sporting group can also be trained to perform useful tasks over and above those of guard or companion. The Dalmation, a keen and powerful runner can be trained for hunting and retrieving. Poodles, too, have considerable retrieving skills and are particularly adept at gathering from the water, they can also sniff out valuable truffles from underground.

Here's a short list of a few of the breeds found in the Non-Sporting group;

Bichon Frise, Boston Terrier, Bulldog, Chow Chow, Dalmation, French Bulldog, German Spitz, Japanese Spitz, Keeshond, Lhaso Apso, All sizes of Poodle, Shiba Inu, and Shih Tzu

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