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Good Sports: The Sporting Group
Two categories of dogs are the Sporting and Non-Sporting groups. Sporting groups are dogs that were bred to aid a hunter in the field. They are able to track small game and birds. They direct the hunter to finding their game. They use a point and freeze their bodies in order to direct their owners in the right direction. A sporting dog will be able to chase birds and game out of the bush. Once the hunter has made their kill the dog can be commanded to go and retrieve the score from the water, field, or swamp.
There are a variety of shaped in the Sporting group. They can not be defined by a specific description. They have a variety of colors shapes and sizes. But when it comes to the brains of the sporting group there are commonalities.
• Sporting dogs are very active. You may never become a hunter but your sporting dog will love any kind of task. They need plenty of exercise so make sure you can be active with your dog. They need exercise to relax and keep them happy.
• They have a high energy level and sometimes a large size, not the best things for a small apartment.
• They make loyal companions.
• Sporting dogs can be very social with people and other pets. They may take some training.
• These dogs can be high maintenance. This means their grooming and exercise needs are high.
Breed-Associated Health Problems
There are a few health problems associated with the Sporting Group. This does not mean your dog will be affected but you should check the history of the breed. Be sure you talk to your breeder and meet the parents of a litter you are considering. Your vet may be a good resource.
• Dysplasia - This is common among several breeds in the Sporting Group. Dysplasia affects both the hip and the leg joints.
• Hypothyroidism - This means the dog’s thyroid does not produce sufficient hormones. It is easily corrected through the right medication. Golden Retrievers are known to have thyroid trouble.
• Eye Problems - Many sporting dogs have eye problems later in life.
• High energy - This is great if you are afflicted with the same nature. It may not be so great if you are a couch potato or only suffer fits of exercise mania.
The sporting group needs constant grooming. These dogs have very full coats of hair and need brushing weekly. This means your dog will shed. To reduce the hairs in your house brush your pet more than once a week.
Spaniels demand the most grooming. Setters also need plenty of work. They have full coats that look their best with trims and brushing. Ignoring your dogs grooming needs can make them uncomfortable.
Specific Breeds of Sporting Dogs
Dogs in the sporting group range from 20-60 pounds. Among the members of this breed, you will find the following breed of dogs
• German Shorthaired Pointer
• Curly-coated Retriever
• Golden Labrador Retriever
• Labrador Retriever
• Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever
• Gordon Setter
• Irish Setter
• English Cocker Spaniel
• Brittany Spaniel
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