Comprehensive Guide to Sporting Dogs
If you're a sports lover, the perfect pooch companion for you may be a breed that is bred for sports. Sporting dogs are bred to be energetic, so they'll keep up with whatever routine you set for them. Sporting breeds also usually make a great addition to families with children and other dogs because they require plenty of exercise and don't mind being in a busy environment.
There are several types of dog sports and sporting breeds. Dogs are bred for water sports, hunting, weight pull, and sledding. The kind of sport your dog is bred for will determine its size and build. Dogs that are used in water sports, like retrievers and spaniels, tend to be slender and long while hunting dogs such as pointers and setters are usually leaner with longer legs; weight pull breeds like pit bulls and mastiffs have wide shoulders; sled dogs have stockier builds with shorter legs.
Sporting dogs are often popular for a reason – they're reliable, intelligent, and eager to please. They are also very trainable. If you want an enthusiastic canine companion that's not afraid to go running with you or who will keep your yard free of squirrels, this is your guide to choosing the right sporting breed for you.
What are the Most Popular Dog Sports?
There are many different types of dog sports for a wide variety of breeds and everyone has their own preferences. Most dogs, even those that aren't sporting breeds, can excel at sports. Some of the most popular dog sports include, but are not limited to:
- Agility sports
- Disc dog sports
- Dog Puller sports (not the same as pulling sports)
- Flyball sports
- Herding sports
- Hunting sports
- Obedience sports
- Protection sports
- Pulling sports
- Racing sports
- Tracking sports
- Water sports
What Sporting Breed Should I Get?
Choosing the right sporting breed is definitely a matter of personal preference; however, we've included some basic guidelines to help you make your decision. Keep in mind that some breeds, like German Shepherds and Labradors, excel at several different types of sports.
Some of the most popular dog breeds for sporting include most types of Spaniels, such as:
- American Cocker Spaniel
- Brittany Spaniel
- Clumber Spaniel
- English Cocker Spaniel
- English Springer Spaniel
- Field Spaniel
- French Spaniel
- Irish Water Spaniel
Also, a beloved breed line of pointers such as the English Pointer, German Shorthaired Pointer, and German Wirehaired Pointer. All of the breeds in the pointer family are versatile in that they are skilled at hunting, retrieving their prey, and pointing.
What Dog Has the Highest Endurance?
Sporting breeds are known for their high levels of endurance, which is why they excel at long-distance events like sledding. However, many different kinds of dogs can have high endurance. A few examples are dalmatians, greyhounds, and bloodhounds.
What Dog Has the Best Sense of Smell?
Like most sporting breeds, Bloodhounds are renowned for their amazing sense of smell. They are primarily used as hunting dogs because they can track prey over long distances and follow trails that are several days old. Basset Hounds are also very talented at tracking by scent, but they aren't as good at following trails that have gone cold.
What Breed of Dog Runs the Fastest?
Greyhounds and whippets. Greyhounds are the fastest breed of dog; they can run up to 43 miles per hour! To put that in perspective, even Olympic-level runners only reach tops speeds of 28 mph. However, that is only for short sprints and shouldn't be expected to maintain that speed for too long. Whippets, while not quite as fast, are sometimes used for racing purposes.
What Dog is the Hardest Working?
Many different kinds of sporting dogs excel at working or pulling because that is what they've been bred to do. Those that have a lot of muscle and a low center of gravity are great for sledding because they can pull heavy weights with ease. Some breeds considered the best at pulling include Alaskan Malamutes, Bull Mastiffs, Doberman Pinschers, German Shepherds, Rottweilers, and Siberian Huskies.
What Dog Has the Highest Intelligence?
The most intelligent breeds of dog include many different spaniels and retrievers, such as:
- Anatolian Shepherd
- Australian Cattle Dog
- Belgian Shepherd (Tervuren)
- Border Collie
- Chesapeake Bay Retriever
- Golden Retriever
- Labrador Retriever
- Maremma Sheepdog (Italian)
- Old English Sheepdog
- Portuguese Water Dog
Some other, non-sporting groups of dogs, such as the Pembroke Welsh Corgi and Papillon also rank high on lists of intelligent dog breeds.
What Breed of Dog is the Most Athletic?
This breed is usually whichever dog has been bred for a sport or activity. For example, dogs like German Shepherds and Weimaraners are used in police and military work because they have an excellent sense of smell and incredible strength.
What Dog Has the Best Eyesight?
Sporting dogs often have eyes with high visual acuity, which means they can see things very clearly. This is helpful for hunting, as the dogs are able to find prey without much visual cue from their human companions. A pointer has great eyesight, giving him an advantage over other hunting dogs. However, it isn't clear whether or not this is true of all sporting breeds—some say that German Shepherds have better eyesight than other hunting dogs do.
What is the Most Athletic Small Dog?
If you lose having a pup that can keep pace with you but need a smaller breed, the Beagle might be the right choice for you. This breed is known for its stamina and endurance which makes it a great running and biking companion.
Which Dog Breed is the Easiest to Train?
The best dogs for first-time dog owners vary from breed to breed. However, generally speaking, sporting breeds tend to be great choices for those who want a dog that is easy to train and eager to please its human family. This is because these breeds were bred with a strong desire to work and please their owners and because they enjoy the mental stimulation that training provides.
No matter which breed you choose for your sporting lifestyle, one of the most important factors is having a consistent training regimen. Start training your dog as soon as you bring him home from the breeder. For great tips and tricks to get you started, The Beacon Dog training course can help! Sign up today!