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AKC – Sporting Group

The next AKC group in this blog series is the Sporting Group. Many of the breeds in this group are among the most popular pets in the U.S. According to the AKC, two of the breeds, the Labrador retriever and Golden Retriever, account for nearly one-quarter of more than 1 million dogs registered with the AKC every year! The Sporting Group is composed of spaniels, pointers, setters and retrievers. Also known as the hunter group, the dogs in this group have been bred to assist hunters either to locate, flush or retrieve game from both the land and water. These breeds are intelligent, very active and alert. They tend to be easier to train and willing to please their owner. These traits not only make them highly useful to hunters but in other service jobs like assisting with disabled people and as drug and bomb dogs sniffers. These traits also makes them popular as family pets as well. Sadly, the popularity of many of these breeds like the Lab, Golden Retriever and Cocker Spaniel has lead to a rise in health and behavioral problems. Careless people looking to make a quick dollar have over bred less quality characteristic (hip, eye, ear, thyroid issues) and through neglect created unstable temperaments which can be passed on through other generations. It is important if you are purchasing a puppy from a breeder to be able to meet the parents.

Just as their group name implies, the breeds in the Sporting Group are especially energetic. They require daily, vigorous exercise. Providing them with some exercise mimicking what they were bred to do (example: playing fetch) helps keep them from getting bored and burns off some of that energy.

The retrievers on this list were specifically bred to fetch waterfowl. They have a double-layered coat used to help repel water and protect them against the elements. Their coat needs regular maintenance to keep them from getting mats. They are usually very good swimmers as well.

Most of the other breeds on this list (spaniels, pointers and setters) were bred for game birds on the land. Spaniels were designed to “flush” or find the game birds and then drive it from its hiding spot for the hunter. Pointers will stop and aim their muzzle towards the game fowl which allows the hunter to move into gun range. Just like when a pointer freezes, setters have a particular crouch it stays in once the game fowl has been found.

Below is the breeds in the Sporting Group:

Breed Weight (lbs) Height (inches) Life Expectancy (years) Bred for
Brittany Spaniel
Male: 30 – 40 17.5 – 20.5
12 – 14
bird hunting
Female: 30 – 40 17.5 – 20.5
Lagotti Romagnoli
Male: 28.5 – 35 17 – 19
15 – 17
Sniffs out truffles & water retriever
Female: 24 – 31 16 – 18
nederlandse kooikerhondje
Male: 20-25 lbs 15-17 in
12-14
Lure ducks
Female: 20-25 lbs 14-16 in
German Shorthaired Pointer
Male: 55 – 70 23 – 25
10 – 12
Hunts many types of game & retrieves on land and water
Female: 45 – 60 21 – 23
German Wiredhaired Pointer
Male: 50 – 70 24 – 26
14 – 16
Hunts many types of game & retrieves on land and water
Female: 50 – 70 Min. 22
Chesapeake Bay Retriever
Male: 65 – 80 23 – 26
10 – 13
Retrieves water fowl
Female: 55 – 70 21 – 24
Curly-coat Retriever
Male: 60 – 95 25 – 27
10 – 12
Retrieves upland birds & water fowl
Female: 60 – 95 23 – 25
Flat-coated Retriever
Male: 60 – 70 23 – 24.5
8 – 10
Retrieves water fowl
Female: 60 – 70 22 – 23.5
Golden Retriever
Male: 65 – 75 23 – 24
10 – 12
Retrieves upland birds & water fowl
Female: 55 – 65 21.5 – 22.5
Labrador Retriever
Male: 65 – 80 22.5 – 24.5
10 – 12
Retrieves upland birds & water fowl
Female: 55 – 70 21.5 – 23.5
Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever
Male: 35 – 50 18 – 21
12-14
Lures water fowl within gunshot range
Female: 35 – 50 17 – 20
English Setter
Male: 65 – 80 25 27
12
Hunt upland birds
Female: 45 – 55 23 – 25
Gordon Setter
Male: 55 – 80 24 – 27
12 – 13
Hunt gamebirds
Female: 45 – 70 23 – 26
Irish Setter
Male: 70 27
12-15
Locate & pinpoint at upland gamebirds
Female: 60 25
Irish Setter (Red/White)
Male: 42 – 60 24.5 – 26
11 – 15
Locate & pinpoint at upland gamebirds
Female: 35 – 50 22.5 – 24
American Water Spaniel
Male: 30 – 45 15 – 18
10 – 14
Retrieves water fowl
Female: 25 – 40 15 – 18
Boykin Spaniel
Male: 30 – 40 15.5 – 18
10 – 15
Hunts turkeys & ducks
Female: 25 – 35 14 – 16.5
Clumber Spaniel
Male: 70 – 85 18 – 20
10 – 12
Find and retrieve game birds
Female: 55 – 70 17 – 19
American Cocker Spaniel
Male: 15-31 14-16
12-15
Flush and retreive gamebirds
Female: 15-31 14
English Cocker Spaniel
Male: 29-35 15-17
12-15
Flush and retreive gamebirds
Female: 26-33 14-16
English Springer Spaniel
Male: 50 20
12-14
Flush and retreive gamebirds
Female: 40 19
Field Spaniel
Male: 35 – 50 18
12 – 13
First was a show dog then some field/water retriever
Female: 35 – 50 17
Irish Water Spaniel
Male: 55 – 65 22 – 24
12 – 13
Retrieves water fowl
Female: 45 – 58 21 – 23
Sussex Spaniel
Male: 35 – 45 13 – 15
13 – 15
Hunts game fowl. Very vocal!
Female: 35 – 45 13 – 15
Welsh Springer Spaniel
Male: 40 – 55 18 – 19
12-15
Flushing and retrieving gamebirds
Female: 35 – 50 17 – 18
Spinoni Italiani
Male: 75 – 86 23 – 27
10 – 12
Hunting, pointing & retrieving
Female: 64 – 75 22 – 25
Vizsla
Male: 55 – 60 22 – 24
12-14
Pointing & hunting gundog
Female: 44 – 50 21 – 23
Weimaraners
Male: 70 – 90 25 – 27
10 – 13
All purpose gundog
Female: 55 – 75 23 – 25
Wirehaired Pointing Griffon
Male: 50 – 70 22 – 24
12-15
Flush, point & retrieve water fowl, gamebirds & hare
Female: 35 – 50 20 – 22

 

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