Some dogs don’t fit neatly into a specific category. For those dogs, the American Kennel Club created the Non-Sporting Group. The breeds in the Non-Sporting Group are varied in size, coat, personality, and overall appearance. Most of these dogs have little in common with each other. The Non-Sporting Group is made up of breeds that don’t neatly fit into any other group.

Some, like the Schipperke and Tibetan Spaniel, are fairly rare. Others, however, like the Poodle and Lhasa Apso, are very common. The group also includes one of the most popular breeds in the world, the Bulldog.

American Eskimo Dog

The name American Eskimo Dog is very misleading. The dog has no connection with Eskimos and did not originate on the American Continent. Its name was changed due to resentment against Germany during the First World War. There are 3 size variations of this breed: toy (9-12 inches), miniature (12-15 inches), and standard (15-19 inches).

American Eskimo Dog Club of America, Inc.

Height: 9-19 inches; Weight: 6-35 pounds;
Lifespan: 13-15 years; AKC rank: 122 of 197;
Country: United States

Bichon Friese

The Bichon Friese is a happy little companion dog with a curly white coat that sometimes has markings of cream, buff, or apricot. They are great all-around family pets and get along well with other animals. They probably originate from the Canary Islands and were developed further in Belgium and France.

Bichon Frise Club of America

Height: 9.5- 15.5 inches; Weight: 12-18 pounds;
Lifespan: 14-15 years; AKC rank: 46 of 197 Country: Canary Islands (Spain)


Boston Terrier

The Boston Terrier is the mascot of Boston University and the official dog of Massachusetts. You have probably already guessed that the breed comes from Boston. Its coat is white, usually with black markings although some are brindle or seal. It is a perky and friendly companion dog.

Boston Terrier Club of America

Height: 15-17 inches; Weight: 12-22 pounds;
Lifespan: 11-13 years; AKC rank: 21 of 197; Country: United States


The Bulldog is one of the most popular dog breeds in the world. They are easy-going, some might say lazy, but are always up for a brisk walk. They sometimes think they are lapdogs, even those that top 50 pounds. Despite being bred for the blood sport of bull-baiting, bulldogs are calm and friendly.

 Bulldog Club of America

Height: 14-15 inches; Weight: 40-50 pounds;
Lifespan: 8-10 years; AKC rank: 5 of 197; Country: England

Chinese Shar-Pei

The Chinese Shar-Pei was bred for dog-fighting and will need to be thoroughly socialized at an early age or it might be a dangerous dog to own. They are usually calm but may attack aggressively if they feel threatened. It is easy to recognize because of its deep wrinkles.

Chinese Shar-Pei Club of America

Height: 18-20 inches; Weight: 45-60 pounds
Lifespan: 8-12 years; AKC rank: 64 of 197;
Country: China

Chow Chow

The Chow Chow has a very thick fur coat and a lion-like ruff around its neck and face. They are intelligent, and almost house train themselves. They keep themselves clean and seldom have any body odor. They may be aloof with strangers, but they are loyal and affectionate to members of their family.

Chow Chow Club Inc. 

Height: 17-20 inches; Weight: 45-70 pounds
Lifespan: 8-12 years; AKC rank: 75 of 197;
Country: Chin

Coton de Tulear

The Coton de Tulear is a small, fun-loving family companion with a white coat that is soft as cotton, or French “coton.” These happy little dogs have a long lifespan and will spend their lives devoted to their families. They also love meeting new people. They came from the island nation of Madagascar.

 United States of America Coton de Tulear Club

Height: 9-11 inches; Weight: 8-15 pounds;
Lifespan: 15-19 years; AKC rank: 81 of 197; Country: Madagascar


Because of its spots, the Dalmatian is one of the more recognizable breeds. During the days that fire-fighting equipment was horse-drawn, Dalmatians were used to protect the horses, particularly in the United States. Consequently, one of its nicknames is “Firehouse Dogs.” The 1961 Disney movies drew a lot of attention to the breed. The movie was remade in 1966 “101 Dalmatians (1996 film).”

Dalmatian Club Of America

Height: 19-24 inches; Weight: 45-70 pounds;
Lifespan: 11-13 years; AKC rank: 56 of 197; Country: Croatia, Dalmatia

Finnish Spitz

The national dog of Finland, the Finnish Spitz was bred to be a hunter of just about all kinds of prey. Its job was to bark when it spotted game rather than to point or sit. They are playful and do very well in a family situation with children.

Finnish Spitz Club of America

Height: 15.5-20 inches; Weight: 20-33 pounds
Lifespan: 13-15 years; AKC rank: 184 of 197;
Country: Finland

French Bulldog

 The French Bulldog is a very popular companion dog. Because they were bred to be companion dogs, they do not like being left alone. The breed was developed in France, especially in Paris, by crossing the English Bulldog with local dog breeds. One of the distinguishing features of the French Bulldog is its bat-shaped ears.

French Bulldog Club of America

Height: 11-13 inches; Weight: 28 pounds;
Lifespan: 10-12 years; AKC rank: 4 of 197;
Country: France


The medium-sized Keeshond hails from Holland and is a spitz type of dog. During its early career in Holland, it frequently rode on the barges traveling the canals and rivers. They are playful, even-tempered, and make very good pets for families with children.

Keeshond Club of America

Height: 17-18 inches; Weight: 35-45 pounds;
Lifespan: 12-15 years; AKC rank: 95 of 197;
Country: Holland

Lhasa Apso

The Lhasa Apso was bred to be a sentinel dog for palaces and Buddhist monasteries in Tibet. It jobs was to sound the alarm (bark) when they detected strangers.

They are affectionate, cuddly, and make excellent lap dogs. Whether you let their hair grow long or keep it in a puppy-cut, they need regular grooming.

American Lhasa Apso Club

Height: 10-11 inches; Weight: 12-18 pounds
Lifespan: 12-15 years; AKC rank: 70 of 197;
Country: Tibet


The Lowchen, German for “Little Lion Dog,” is a bichon and has been a popular dog in Europe for over 500 years. Its exact country of origin is not known.

They live up to their names because they are small dogs with the courage of a lion. They are friendly, happy dogs that do well with families who have children.

Lowchen Club of America

Height: 11-13 inches; Weight: 10-15 pounds
Lifespan: 15 years; AKC rank: 168 of 197;
Country: Europe

Norwegian Lundehund

The Norwegian Lundehund is a small spitz dog from Norway. It was bred go hunt puffin birds (lunde is Norwegian for puffin). They have several unique traits. Most dogs have 4 toes, the Lundehund has 6 toes per paw. They can fold their ears and turn their head and legs more than other dogs. They are friendly, happy dogs that do well with children. They may be shy around strangers.

Norwegian Lundehund Association of America, Inc.

Height: 12-15 inches; Weight: 20-30 pounds
Lifespan: 12-15 years; AKC rank: 191 of 197;
Country: Norway

Poodle (Miniature & Standard)

 The Poodle comes in three size (small, medium, and large) or more accurately for AKC purposes, toy, miniature, and standard. They are the same breed, the only distinction being the size of the dog.

The Poodle is an exceptionally smart dog and a very popular family pet. It might be difficult to believe, but the Poodle was once a hunting dog, particularly for birds. The Poodle coat comes in many colors and they shed very little. There many not be a better family pet. (Smallest Poodle, the Toy, is in the Toy Group)


Height: 10-15 inches
Weight: 10-15 pounds
Lifespan: 10-18 years
Country: France/Germany


Height: over 15 inches
Weight: 40-70 pounds
Lifespan: 10-18 years


The Schipperke is a small dog from Belgium. They may have been bred to be ratters and watchdog, but are considered to be small shepherds in their home country. They are smart but also can be stubborn and may need firm training and socialization. They are not aggressive to humans but may not get along well with other dogs.

Schipperke Club of America

Height: 10-12 inches; Weight: 10-16 pounds
Lifespan: 12-14 years; AKC rank: 105 of 197;
Country: Belgium

Shiba Inu

The Shiba Inu is a small to medium size spitz type dog from Japan. Sometimes confused with the larger Akita, the Shiba is a separate, distinct dog breed. These proud, good-natured dogs are the most popular companion dog in Japan.

The Shiba Inu first appeared in the United States about 60 years ago.

National Shiba Club of America

Height: 13.5-16.5inches; Weight: 17-23 pounds
Lifespan: 13-16 years; AKC rank: 44 of 197;
Country: Japan

Tibetan Spaniel

The Tibetan Spaniel is an ancient breed that was a frequent resident in the monasteries of Tibet. They were prized as companion dogs and were given the nickname “little lion.” They are independent minded and may not always come when they are called. The spaniel part of their is a misnomer and they are not hunting dogs as most spaniels are.

Tibetan Spaniel Club of America

Height: 10 inches; Weight: 9-15 pounds
Lifespan: 12-15 years; AKC rank: 119 of 197;
Country: Tibet

Tibetan Terrier

The Tibetan Terrier is not a true Terrier type or it would be included in the Terrier Group. It is an ancient breed that may have existed for over 2,000 years. It is sometimes called the “Holy Dog of Tibet,” and was very popular in Buddhist monasteries.

They are easy-going and affectionate family dogs. They can also compete in dog sporting events.

Tibetan Terrier Club of America

Height: 14-17 inches; Weight: 18-30 pounds
Lifespan: 15-16 years; AKC rank: 96 of 197;
Country: Tibet


The Xoloitzcuintli, or Xolo, is sometimes called the “Mexican Hairless Dog.” Like the Poodle it comes in 3 sizes, toy, miniature, and standard. Also an ancient breed, it may date back 3,000 years to the Aztecs. The breed has two coat variations, one without and one with hair.

Xoloitzcuintli Club of America, Inc.

Height: 10-18 inches; Weight: 10-55 pounds
Lifespan: 13-18 years; AKC rank: 140 of 197;
Country: Mexico