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Non-Sporting Dog Breeds: The Top Ten Dogs of This Group - Articles Surfing

The Non-Sporting Group includes dog breeds that don't seem to fit well in any other group. The name doesn't really fit the group and they would better named 'Specialty Dogs' as the group includes some of the most interesting and exotic breeds. The breeds in this diverse group have a wide variety of sizes, coats, personalities and appearances and range from the miniature dog breeds like the tiny Bichon Frise to the large Chow Chow and even include the elegant Dalmatian and the popular Poodle, Bulldog and Boston Terrier. The top 10 most popular Non-Sporting dog breeds in the US according to the American Kennel Club 2005 registrations are described below and their registration rank is included in brackets.

1. Poodle

The Poodles (#8) included in this group are the Standard and the Miniature. The following comments apply to the Standard Poodle as the Miniature is more difficult to train and doesn't do as well with toddlers and young children. The Poodle is one of the smartest and most trainable of all dog breeds. The Poodle is lively, good natured, friendly, proud, athletic, affectionate, extremely loyal and will become very attached to its family. Poodles that are socialized early do very well with children, other pets and strangers although adolescent dogs are exuberant and should be supervised carefully to avoid toddler knockdown. Poodles will announce visitors with a bark and make good watchdogs. Poodles do not shed their hair and are often called 'hypoallergenic' because they are good for people with allergies.

2. Bulldog

The Bulldog (#13) is a friendly and loveable dog that adores its family. The downside to the breed is that the life expectancy of the Bulldog is only about 8 years because of health problems. Puppies are playful and high-spirited but grow up to be calm and dignified adult dogs. The breed is very good with children and usually peaceful with other pets. Bulldogs don't need a lot of exercise but do need a lot of attention. Puppies should have early socialization and obedience training and they can best be trained with food motivation. Bulldogs can snore very loudly and the breed can swallow a lot of air which can lead to flatulence and unpleasant smells in an enclosed area. Bulldogs love to eat and don't share well ' so they should be fed separately from other pets.

3. Boston Terrier

The Boston Terrier (#17) is a delightful little dog which despite its name is not one of the terrier dog breeds. Bostons are affectionate and lively house pets and good companions. This breed is very intelligent and loves to learn new tricks. Early socialization and obedience training will ensure this dog will develop good manners. These dogs seem to do especially well with older people. This breed makes good pets for older children who can appreciate their sense of humor and funny antics. Bostons like to learn and are easy to train, although house training may be difficult. Boston Terriers make good watch dogs without excessive barking. Boston Terriers are very low-shedding dogs and some people say they are good for people with allergies.

4. Bichon Frise

The Bichon Frise (#26) is a white puff-ball of a small dog that is cheerful, lively, playful and affectionate. This dog breed barks very little and makes a charming companion dog that is easy to live with. The Bichon adapts well to families and children but doesn't like the rough handling that small children display towards pets. Bichons are easy to train for obedience and to do tricks although they are like all toy breeds and are resistant to housebreaking. They are social dogs and get along well with strangers and other pets but will make good watch dogs. Bichons shed almost no hair and are good pets for those people who suffer from allergies and some people call them 'hypoallergenic'. The Bichon has few common health problems and should probably live for at least 15 years.

5. French Bulldog

The French Bulldog (#38) is a small, muscular and fairly active member of the bulldog breed. Frenchies are one of the nicest, most amusing and amiable of all dog breeds. The Frenchie is a perfect apartment dog that is clean, easy to groom and sheds very little. This Bulldog is easy to train and doesn't require a lot of exercise. Frenchies like to be the centre of attention but do make good family pets and will tolerate children. These Bulldogs will do best with an older couple without children or other pets to compete for their affection. French Bulldogs can even adapt to being left alone during the day if they receive lots of attention before and after work.

6. Lhasa Apso

The Lhasa Apso (#39) is a small dog with a lot of personality that looks like a lap dog but behaves like the Lion Dog of Tibet. Lhasas are one of the toughest and strongest willed of all the small dog breeds. The Lhasa is an intelligent, very self-confident and lively dog that dislikes strangers. The Lhasa can be jealous of other animals. The Lhasa doesn't do well around small children because it doesn't like being handled roughly. The Tibetan Lhasa must have lots of early obedience training and socialization while a puppy and this must be continued through adolescence. You must take control of this dog or the Lhasa will rule your household like the emperor he thinks he is. Not to be too negative, Lhasas are really enjoyable and playful dogs who love their families and will accept obedience training fairly readily.

7. Chinese Shar-Pei

The Chinese Shar-Pei (#45) is serious, calm, dignified, quiet, confident and independent medium-sized exotic looking dog. Shar Peis are very clean and easy to house train but because of their strong-willed manner they are difficult to obedience train. The Shar Pei needs a lot of early socialization and training starting when it's a puppy. Training must be firm and reward-based to control any aggressive tendencies and ensure household rules are followed. The Shar Pei is good with older children and also does fine if raised with younger children from a puppy. However this breed may not get along well with other household cats and dogs. The Shar Pei does best in a fenced yard and being walked on a leash where it can't chase after other animals. Shar Peis tend to mind their own business unless provoked into aggressive behavior.

8. Chow Chow

The Chow Chow (#64) is an aloof and stubborn large-sized dog that is difficult to socialize and train. The Chow, while loyal and devoted to its master, is not very affectionate and doesn't like to play games. Chows are not very good dogs with children and can be very aggressive toward strange animals. This breed needs very early and lots of socialization and obedience training while still a puppy and this should be continued into adulthood. Chows that aren't thoroughly socialized in the first year may turn out to be aggressive and anti-social. Chows are naturally clean and therefore quite easy to housebreak. Once you gain a Chow's respect by constantly enforcing rules and training, you will have a polite and well-mannered dog. Chows have a well defined sense of territory and make good watch dogs and guard dogs.

9. Shiba Innu

The Shiba Innu (#66) is a fearless, bold, high-spirited, smart, vigilant, loyal, charming but somewhat manipulative and stubborn small dog. The Shiba is very clean and fairly quiet indoors but is definitely not a lap dog. The Shiba has retained a high prey drive and should be kept on a leash or in a yard with very high fences as it can jump and climb over most fences. The Shiba doesn't like to be chased and hugged by small children but does fine with older considerate children. Shibas are very smart but are somewhat mischievous and independent and can be difficult to train. The breed must be thoroughly socialized and obedience trained to limit its aggression toward other dogs. However once the Shiba is trained and learns to trust its owner, it can become a loving and obedient companion. Shibas are aloof and cautious around strangers and make great watch dogs.


The Dalmatian (#77) is a fun loving and very active medium- to large-sized dog. The breed is intelligent and needs a lot of companionship and exercise. Dalmatians love children but young dogs are probably too exuberant for toddlers. Some lines of this breed have been known to have aggressive or protective tendencies and therefore need a lot of socialization when they are puppies. Dalmatians can be trained to a high level and advanced obedience and/or agility training is recommended. Young Dalmatians can be rowdy and difficult to control and need early socialization and obedience training. Dalmatians left alone too much can become destructive and will dig large holes in the backyard.

Submitted by:

Mike Mathews

Mike Mathews is a contributing writer and editor for the popular dog breed site: http://www.dog-breed-facts.com . He provides informative, real-world advice and tips on dog breeds, dog health, dog grooming and more. As well be sure to check out his free report on Dog Training.



Copyright © 1995 - Photius Coutsoukis (All Rights Reserved).


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