Explaining the AKC Dog Breed Groups: Non-Sporting Breed Group

Patrick MacFarland Patrick MacFarland · Updated April 25, 2024

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A boston terrier lying in a brown dog bed on a wooden floor, looking to the side, with a houseplant nearby.

There comes a time when you’re thinking of adding a furry friend to your family. A dog can be an amazing addition to the household, but it’s important to adopt the right breed for your family. With so many different breeds that have a wide range of temperament, energy level, grooming needs and health issues, it can be hard to decide.

The American Kennel Club (AKC) categorizes dog breeds into seven distinct groupings. These dog groups include Sporting, Hound, Working, Terrier, Toy, Non-Sporting, and Herding breeds.

Well, we’re going to focus on the non-sporting breed group, to further ensure that you make the best decision on what kind of dog you want to get.

Non-Sporting Breed Group at a Glance

The non-sporting group is a grab bag of different dog breeds. Basically, these are dogs that don’t fit into any other type of bree group.

That means the non-sporting breed group is extremely diverse. Their personalities are different, their coats are different, they come in different sizes, and they’re just extremely unique in every way.

One thing about the non-sporting breed group is that they have some of the most popular breeds in the United States. The French Bulldog is literally the most popular dog in the United States and the standard poodle is the fifth most popular.

Popular Breeds in the Non-Sporting Group

The American Kennel Club has a list of the most popular breeds of dogs that people buy. When it comes to the non-sporting group, the following dog breeds come up at the top of their list. Let’s take a look at them now.

A fawn-colored french bulldog lying on a white fur rug against a dark background, looking slightly to the side.

French Bulldog

The French Bulldog is the most popular dog on the American Kennel Club’s list. It hails from Paris in the mid-19th century when people crossbred toy bulldogs from England and Parisian ratters. The French Bulldog typically lives between 10 to 12 years and has colors such as white, fawn, tan, brindle and brindle and white.

Responsible Breeders Test French Bulldogs For

  • Hip X-rays for scoring
  • Spine X-rays for hemivertebrae
  • DNA testing for hereditary cataracts
  • DNA testing for urinary stones

French Bulldog Grooming Tips

  • Weekly brushing is essential for French bulldogs
  • Bathe them every six weeks, but make sure the shampoo doesn’t get into their eyes, which are delicate
  • Clean their ears frequently

French Bulldog Exercise and Training Needs

French Bulldogs need about one hour of exercise every single day. When it comes to obedience, they’re usually independent dogs that require a lot of training.

A white poodle with a stylish haircut, lying down on a gray background.

Standard Poodle

The Standard Poodle hails from Europe and is one of the larger types of poodles, as opposed to the toy poodle or the miniature poodle. These playful dogs can weigh up to 70 lb and can grow up to 23 inches.

Responsible Breeders Test Standard Poodles For:

  • Progressive retinal atrophy (prcd-PRA)
  • Progressive retinal atrophy (PRA-rcd4)
  • Von Willebrand disease type 1 (vWD 1)

Standard Poodle Grooming Tips

  • Because a poodle’s coat is thick and curly, you should always brush their coat every day
  • Nail clipping should be done every six weeks
  • Hair cutting (done professionally) should be done every six weeks

Standard Poodle Exercise and Training Needs

Standard poodles require about an hour of exercise every day, which means you need to take them on walks frequently. When it comes to training, they’re very easy to train — which is good because they’re anxious dogs when untrained and in a social setting.

A bulldog standing on a grassy lawn, looking directly at the camera, with a house and a hammock in the background.


The Bulldog comes in at number seven in the American Kennel Club’s list of most popular breeds of dogs. These lovable dogs are a mastiff type of dog and hail from Great Britain. They’re also known as the English or British bulldog. These dogs can weigh about 40 to 55 pounds and are medium-sized. Their life expectancy is lower than other dogs, with the average Bulldog living up to 10 years of age. When it comes to colors, they can be white, fawn and white, Brenda and white, red and white, red brindle, red, fun and piebald.

Responsible Breeders Test Bulldogs For:

  • Hyperuricosuria and Hyperuricemia or Urolithiasis, HUU (SLC2A9)
  • Degenerative Myelopathy, DM (SOD1A)
  • Canine Multifocal Retinopathy, cmr1 (BEST1 Exon 2)

Bulldog Grooming Tips

  • Brushing should be done once a week
  • Bathe your bulldog every six to eight weeks
  • Trim their nails every two to four weeks
  • Brush their teeth every day, as they’re prone to dental issues

Bulldog Exercise and Training Needs

Bulldogs need little exercise. About 20 minutes a day is good, but no more than 40 minutes each day. When it comes to training, they’re stubborn dogs which means that it’s going to take a lot of effort to train them. Rewarding them with good behavior will get them into the habit of being good dogs.

A boston terrier lying on a carpet, looking directly at the camera with its ears perked up.

Boston Terrier

The Boston Terrier comes in at number 23 in the American Kennel Club’s list of most popular dog breeds. Hailing from the United states, the Boston Terrier is a small breed with a short tail. It has a life expectancy of 13 to 15 years and weighs approximately 24 pounds. These dogs come in black and white, brindle and white, and seal and white colors.

Responsible Breeders Test Boston Terriers For

  • Degenerative Myelopathy (Common Variant)
  • Hereditary Cataracts
  • Mucopolysaccharidosis I (Boston Terrier Type)

Boston Terrier Grooming Tips

  • No haircuts are necessary for Boston Terriers because they have a short coat
  • Weekly brushing is essential
  • Weekly face washing is also important

Boston Terrier Exercise and Training Needs

Boston Terriers require only short bursts of exercise throughout the day. Never exert more than they can handle. They’re quite easy to train, so you won’t have a lot of problems with obedience.

A dalmatian dog stands in a forest covered with autumn leaves, turning its head to look behind.


The Dalmatian comes in at number 47 in the American Kennel Club’s list of most popular breeds of dogs. This dog was made popular after the Disney movie 101 Dalmatians. It is a dog that has a white coat and dark colored spots. This dog hails from what is now Croatia and the region of Dalmatia. Dalmatians can live up to 13 years and they’re intelligent, energetic, and outgoing dogs.

Responsible Breeders Test Dalmatians For:

  • Hip Testing
  • Elbow Testing
  • Dysplasia Screening
  • Iris Dysplasia and Distichia Testing
  • Shoulder Radiographs
  • Thyroid Screening

Dalmatian Grooming Tips

  • You should brush your Dalmatian but once a week
  • Ensure that a haircut is done every once in a while, but short hair breeds should not be given one
  • A bath should be given once a month

Dalmatian Exercise and Training Needs

Dalmatians are some of the most energetic dogs. They require at least two hours of exercise per day, but it’s recommended that they exercise even more. When it comes to training, they’re wonderful dogs with families — they’re easy to train and more well behaved than many other breeds.

Is a Non-Sporting Group Breed Right for Your Family?

The question that you must ask yourself now is if a non-sporting group breed is right for your family. This group breed is usually a miscellaneous type of breed with all sorts of dogs, so that’s a hard question to answer.

It comes down to the exact dog that you are thinking of getting for your family. There may be a dog in the non-sporting group breed that is right for you and there may be others that aren’t a good fit for your family.

Use CitizenShipper to Deliver Your New Family Member Home

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