American Eskimo Dog

Non-Sporting Group Dogs Are a Gang of Misfits

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 vary in size, coat, personality, and overall appearance. Most of these dogs have little in common with each other. 

Some, like the Schipperke and Tibetan Spaniel, are relatively rare. Others, however, like the Poodle and Lhasa Apso, are widespread. The group also includes one of the most popular breeds globally, the Bulldog.

Non-Sporting Group Dogs

American Eskimo Dog

American Eskimo Dog Is in the Non-sporting group
Height: 9-19 inches; Weight: 6-35 pounds; Lifespan: 13-15 years; AKC rank: 122 of 197; Country: United States

The name American Eskimo Dog is very misleading. The dog has no connection with Eskimos and did not originate on the American Continent. Due to resentment against Germany during the First World War, the breed’s name was changed from German Spitz to American Spitz and then to American Eskimo Dog.

There are three 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.

Bichon Friese

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

The Bichon Friese is a happy little companion dog with a curly white coat that sometimes has cream, buff, or apricot markings. They probably originated from the Canary Islands and were developed further in Belgium and France.

They are great all-around family pets and get along well with other animals.

Bichon Frise Club of America

Boston Terrier

A Boston Terrier dog lies on a wooden bench in a Park in beautiful nature on a Sunny, clear autumn
Height: 15-17 inches; Weight: 12-22 pounds; Lifespan: 11-13 years; AKC rank: 21 of 197; Country: United States

The Boston Terrier is the mascot of Boston University and the official dog of Massachusetts. You probably 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


English Bulldog is in the Non-Sporting GroupThe 2nd Ranked French Bulldog Is Smart And AffectionateAkitas Are Loyal and Compassionate.

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.

Bulldogs are calm and friendly despite being bred for the blood sport of bull-baiting.

The Bulldog Club of America

Chinese Shar-Pei

Chinese Shar Pei is in the non-sporting group..
Height: 18-20 inches; Weight: 45-60 pounds Lifespan: 8-12 years; AKC rank: 64 of 197; Country: China

The Chinese Shar-Pei is a dog-fighting breed, and you will need thoroughly socialize it at an early age. Otherwise, it might be a dangerous dog to own. The Shar-Pei is usually calm, but it may aggressively attack if it feels threatened.

The Shap-Pei is easy to recognize because of its deep wrinkles.

Chinese Shar-Pei Club of America

Chow Chow

Chow Chow Dog Standing In Snow At Winter Day
Height: 17-20 inches; Weight: 45-70 pounds Lifespan: 8-12 years; AKC rank: 75 of 197; Country: China

The Chow Chow has a 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. The Chow Chow may be aloof with strangers, but they are loyal and affectionate to their family members.

Chow Chow Club Inc. 

Coton de Tulear

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

The Coton de Tulear is a small, fun-loving family companion dog with a white coat as soft as cotton, or in French, “coton.” These happy little dogs have a long lifespan and will spend their lives devoted to their families.

The Coton de Tulear also loves meeting new people.

They came from the island nation of Madagascar.

 United States of America Coton de Tulear Club


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

Because of its spots, the Dalmatian is one of the more recognizable breeds. The 1961 Disney movies drew a lot of attention to the breed. 

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.” 

Dalmatian Club Of America

Finnish Spitz

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

The national dog of Finland, the Finnish Spitz is a hunter of all kinds of prey. Its job is to bark when it spots a game animal rather than pointing or sitting.

They are playful and do very well in a family situation with children.

Finnish Spitz Club of America

French Bulldog

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

The French Bulldog is a trendy companion dog. The breed was developed in France by crossing the English Bulldog with local dog breeds, especially in Paris. Because they are companion dogs, they do not like being left alone.

This member of the Non-Sporting Group is one of the most popular breeds in the United States.

One of the distinguishing features of the French Bulldog is its bat-shaped ears.

French Bulldog Club of America


Young Keeshond, Keeshonden dog play in snow, winter
Height: 17-18 inches; Weight: 35-45 pounds; Lifespan: 12-15 years; AKC rank: 95 of 197; Country: Holland

The medium-sized Keeshond hails from Holland and is a spitz-type of dog. During its early career in Holland, it frequently rode on barges traveling the canals and rivers.

They are playful, even-tempered, and make excellent pets for families with children.

Keeshond Club of America

Lhasa Apso

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

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

Why this dog is in the Non-Sporting group is a mystery.

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

American Lhasa Apso Club


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

The Lowchen, German for “Little Lion Dog,” is a bichon and has been a famous 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. This member of the Non-Sporting Group is a friendly, happy dog that does well with children.

Lowchen Club of America

Norwegian Lundehund

Norwegian Lundehund panting, sitting, isolated on white
Height: 12-15 inches; Weight: 20-30 pounds Lifespan: 12-15 years; AKC rank: 191 of 197; Country: Norway

The Norwegian Lundehund is a small Spitz dog from Norway. It was bred to hunt puffin birds (Lunde is Norwegian for puffin).

Lundehunsds have several unique traits. Most dogs have four toes. The Lundehund has six. Another unique characteristic is that 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. However, they may be shy around strangers.

Norwegian Lundehund Association of America, Inc.

Poodle (Miniature and Standard)

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

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

The Toy Poodle is in the Toy Group rather than the Non-Sporting Group.

The Poodle is a genius dog and a trendy family pet. It might be challenging 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 may not be a better family pet. (Smallest Poodle, the Toy, is in the Toy Group)

The Poodle Club of America


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

The Schipperke is a small dog from Belgium. They may have been bred to be ratters and watchdogs but are considered small shepherds in their home country. They are intelligent but also can be stubborn and may need firm training and socialization.

The Schipperke is not aggressive to humans but may not get along well with other dogs.

Schipperke Club of America

Shiba Inu

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

The Shiba Inu is a small to medium-sized 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. It is included in the Non-Sporting Group.

National Shiba Club of America

Tibetan Spaniel

Tibetan Spaniel standing, isolated on white, 2 years old
Height: 10 inches; Weight: 9-15 pounds Lifespan: 12-15 years; AKC rank: 119 of 197; Country: Tibet

The Tibetan Spaniel is an ancient breed that was a frequent resident in the monasteries of Tibet. They are highly prized companion dogs called “little lions.

Tibetan Spaniels are independent-minded and may not always come when called. They are not spaniels and are not hunting dogs as most spaniels are. The spaniel part of their name is a misnomer. So, it is in the Non-Sporting Group instead of the Hunting Group.

Tibetan Spaniel Club of America

Tibetan Terrier

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

The Tibetan Terrier is not an actual Terrier or would be in the Terrier Group. It is an ancient breed that may have existed for over 2,000 years. It was called the “Holy Dog of Tibet” and was prevalent in Buddhist monasteries.

This may be the oldest dog breed in the Non-Sporting Group.

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

Tibetan Terrier Club of America


Xoloitzcuintli Mexican Hairless Dog In Outfit Playing In City Park
Height: 10-18 inches; Weight: 10-55 pounds Lifespan: 13-18 years; AKC rank: 140 of 197; Country: Mexico

The Xoloitzcuintli, or Xolo, is called the “Mexican Hairless Dog.” Like the Poodle, it comes in 3 sizes, toy, miniature, and standard.

The Xoloitzcuintli is an ancient breed. It may date back 3,000 years to the Aztecs. This dog breed has two coat variations, one without hair and one with hair.

This may be the most unusual dog included in the Non-Sporting Group.

Xoloitzcuintli Club of America, Inc.

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