Non-Sporting dogs are an assorted group of dogs, diverse in backgrounds, place of origin, and use!

Non-Sporting Dogs were bred for many uses. Today this group of dogs are companion dogs, though they were originally developed to serve as hunting dogs, herding dogs, guard dogs, as well as affectionate lap dogs.

Though all dogs were originally bred for some type of job, this catch all group includes dogs whose work type has been outdated and they are now companion dogs. It also includes dogs that were originally bred as companion dogs, whose role was that of a specialty pet for the nobility and royalty.

The only consistent variable of this group is its vast diversity, which is quickly apparent. These dogs can be small dog breeds or large and they vary in coat, personality, and overall appearance. The wide variety of dogs hail from all across the globe. It includes northern dogs, popular bulldogs, the rather rare Tibetan Spaniel and Terrier, and the only spotted breed dog, the Dalmatian.

Banded Snake Eel Myrichthys colubrinus Harlequin Snake Eel
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Banded Snake Eel in the wild.

As you can see, the searching habits are seen in the wild and in captivity. Notice the face and head. It is not sharp and pointed and the Banded Snake Eel only has blunt teeth on their jaws to grab onto and eat dead fish, including some fish that may have buried themselves in the sand and died, shrimp and worms. They have an insanely keen sense of smell, but poor eyesight and are almost clumsy. This is not a live fish or shrimp eater by any means! They grow up to 34.6″ (88 cm) and are fine in a tank with sand, peaceful tank mates, and a tank that is 24″ or deeper and at least 4 feet wide. Feed thawed silversides and krill.

Zebrasoma veliferum young Sailfin tang
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Juvenile Sailfin Tang in captivity.

This is a good video showing the yellow juvenile coloring of a Sailfin Tang. As they get older, they will become darker with thinner white or yellow vertical lines alternating with wider brownish to grayish black bars. They will still have the yellow tail fin. By the time they are 4 years old, they will have grown to 80% of their adult size, which is 15.7,” there after growing much slower. Males are larger than females and juveniles should be put in the 180 gallon tank that the adults will need. They are easy to care for as long as the tank is mature, 6 feet long and deep enough to accommodate their “tall” body/fins.

King Coris Juvenile, King Wrasse, Coris auricularis
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Juvenile wrasse looking for food in the wild.

The King Coris (wrasse), Western King Wrasse or Blushing Wrasse (describing female coloring) gets about the same size as the Clown Wrasse (Coris Gaimard) and would need similar husbandry. This young wrasse seems to have the coloring that would lean towards being a super male. Females are are bright red and males do have pinkish red coloring with a white vertical band behind the pectoral fin as seen in this picture.


Non-Sporting Dog Backgrounds

   Non-Sporting dogs are an assorted group of dogs from all across the world, with different backgrounds and original use. This group has dogs of all sizes with a great variety of personalities, appearances, and coats. They range from small dog breeds like the petite Bichone Frise to large dog breeds such as the American Eskimo Dog. All dog breeds were originally bred for some type of job like herding, guarding, or hunting. Some of the Non-Sporting dogs were bred for a job that has became antiquated, while others were bred as companions.

   Perhaps a more appropriate name for this group of dogs would be specialty dogs or companion dogs. In the United Kennel Club (UKC) registry these dogs are placed in their Companion Dog group, however the UKC Companion Dog group also includes the Toy Dog breeds. This can cause some confusion, as the American Kennel Club (AKC) groups them separately. But no matter what they are called, this is indeed a unique group of dogs that don’t really fit in any other group.

Popular Non-Sporting Dogs

   Non-Sporting dogs can make very good pets. With the vast difference between them, picking a favorite is based on personal preference. Some of the most familiar in this group are:

  • Poodle
  • Bulldog
  • Boston Terrier
  • Bichon Frise
  • French Bulldog
  • Lhaso Apso
  • Chinese Shar-Pei
  • Chow Chow
  • Shiba Inu
  • Dalmation

   A number of others that are also highly favored and make wonderful companions are:

  • American Eskimo Dog
  • Keeshond
  • Schipperke
  • Finnish Spitz
  • Löwchen
  • Tibetan Spaniel
  • Tibetan Terrier

Non-Sporting Dogs – Breed Information

   The Non-Sporting dogs share little to no ancestry, They are different from one another in just about every possible way. There is no ‘canned’ dog type here, so it is important that you learn about the individual breed you are attracted to.

   These dogs are found in a wide array of sizes, from the tiny Bichon Frise to the large Chow Chow, and lots in between. Coat types can also be totally different. There is the short smooth coat of the elegant spotted Dalmation, the long flowing mantle of the Lhasa Apso, to the curly haired Poodle. The coat of each breed will have it individual care requirements as well.

   The temperaments and tendencies of each dog can be traced to their backgrounds. Just like the other traits of this group, there is a wide range here too Some of the Non-Sporting dogs will make good watchdogs, others are full of energy and will like to play, while still others enjoy affection and make good lap dogs. Some of these dogs will make excellent apartment dogs, while others will need a good sized yard and a lot of exercise. Some types are protective and cautious of strangers, while others will love just about everybody. There are those that are very tolerant of other animals and pets. Others, with a hunting type heritage may not be trustworthy around other small pets.

Dog Care Tips for Non-Sporting Dogs

   When looking for the right type of dog in this group, the options are pretty much wide open. With such an array of Non-Sporting dog varieties, it is best to learn about ancestry of the individual dog you are attracted to.

   Learning about its background and traits will give you the guidance you need for knowing what characteristics and behaviors your dog may demonstrate. It will also give you a good idea of what you dog will need for proper care, housing, and exercise.

Featured Image Credit; CraneBird Studios, Shutterstock