The AKC's dog breed categories have diverse roles and characteristics

With more than 190 dog breeds and varieties registered with the American Kennel Club, each dog was assigned to one of seven groups that detail its particular functions, roles, and characteristics. Here are the seven types of dog breeds, their histories, and what pet owners can expect when taking one of these four-legged friends home.

Sporting Group

Dogs in the sporting group were bred to be a hunter’s best sidekick; their purpose is to assist with catching feathered game. Thanks to the invention of the gun, sporting dogs were developed as hunters found they needed a canine’s help with retrieving upland game birds or waterfowl.

There are four basic types of Sporting dogs: spaniels, pointers, retrievers, and setters. Some of the breeds in this group, such as retrievers, are especially adept at swimming and specialize in waterfowl like ducks, while setters, spaniels, and pointing breeds are known experts in hunting quail, pheasant, and other game birds in the grasslands.

While these breeds may be known for performing multiple tasks to aid the hunter, typically pointers and setters would identify and mark game by pointing, spaniels would flush game, and retrievers would be in charge of recovering dead and wounded game.

All of the Sporting Group dogs are characterized by their natural active and alert personalities, stable temperaments, as well as their instincts both in the water and out in the woods. Sporting dogs make lovable, well-rounded pets, and are the perfect addition to active families, as these energetic, alert dogs will require plenty of exercise and time spent outdoors.