Dorsetdog - Breed groups

List of breed groups for Sporting and Non-Sporting Classes

Click on the green buttons to jump to a list of breeds in that category

Topic quick jumps

Any Variety

Where a Companion show has pedigree classes, you will often see A. V. in the Pedigree classes. A. V. is short for Any Variety, and basically means any pedigree/thoroughbred breed of dog.

You will also see A. V. Sporting and A. V. Non-Sporting. There are 7 breed groups of dog, which are Gundog, Hound, Terrier, Pastoral, Toy, Utility and Working Breed Groups. Breeds are split in to these groups based on what the dog was originally breed or used for. These 7 groups are split in to two categories of Sporting and Non-Sporting. As a rough guide they originally divided the two groups into those breeds who were breed for a sporting purpose (in the widest means for example the terrier group) and those who were bred for another reason, e.g. Working Dogs, went into the non-sporting group. As an example, this is why some terriers are not in the Terrier Group.

Below is the list of pedigree/thoroughbred breeds in the Sporting and Non-Sporting categories.

Sporting dog breeds Group

This list updated from KC website December 2020

The Gundog, The Hound and The Terrier Breed Groups

To find more information, click on a breed name to be taken to the Kennel Club's information page about that breed. Click on your web browsers "Back button ← " to come back to this page

The Gundog Breed Group

Dogs that were originally trained to find live game and/or to retrieve game that had been shot and wounded. This group is divided into four categories - Retrievers, Spaniels, Hunt/Point/Retrieve, Pointers and Setters - although many of the breeds are capable of doing the same work as the other sub-groups. They make good companions, their temperament making them ideal all-round family dogs.

The Hound Breed Group

Breeds originally used for hunting either by scent or by sight. The scent hounds include the Beagle and Bloodhound and the sight hounds such breeds as the Whippet and Greyhound. Many of them enjoy a significant amount of exercise and can be described as dignified, aloof but trustworthy companions.

The Terrier Breed Group

Dogs originally bred and used for hunting vermin. 'Terrier' comes from the Latin word Terra, meaning earth. This hardy collection of dogs were selectively bred to be extremely brave and tough, and to pursue fox, badger, rat and otter (to name but a few) above and below ground. Dogs of terrier type have been known here since ancient times, and as early as the Middle Ages, these game breeds were portrayed by writers and painters.

Non-Sporting dog breeds Group

The Pastoral, The Toy, The Utility and The Working Breed Groups

This list updated from KC website December 2020

To find more information, click on a breed name to be taken to the Kennel Club's information page about that breed. Click on your web browsers "Back button ← " to come back to this page

The Pastoral Breed Group

The Pastoral Group consists of herding dogs that are associated with working cattle, sheep, reindeer and other cloven footed animals.

Usually this type of dog has a weatherproof double coat to protect it from the elements when working in severe conditions. Breeds such as the Collie family, Old English Sheepdogs and Samoyeds who have been herding reindeer for centuries are but a few included in this group.

The Toy Breed Group

The Toy breeds are small companion or lap dogs. Many of the Toy breeds were bred for this capacity although some have been placed into this category simply due to their size. They should have friendly personalities and love attention. They do not need a large amount of exercise and some can be finicky eaters.

The Utility Breed Group

This group consists of miscellaneous breeds of dog mainly of a non-sporting origin, including the Bulldog, Dalmatian, Akita and Poodle.

The name ‘Utility’ essentially means fitness for a purpose and this group consists of an extremely mixed and varied bunch, most breeds having been selectively bred to perform a specific function not included in the sporting and working categories. Some of the breeds listed in the group are the oldest documented breeds of dog in the world.

The Working Breed Group

Over the centuries these dogs were selectively bred to become guards and search and rescue dogs. Arguably, the working group consists of some of the most heroic canines in the world, aiding humans in many walks of life, including the Boxer, Great Dane and St. Bernard. This group consists of the real specialists in their field who excel in their line of work.

This list brought to you by