The sporting group is made up of pointers, setters, retrievers, and spaniels. These dogs are simply a ball of energy to have around. They take to swimming like fish, and are at their best running wild in the outdoors. They require intensive exercise for optimum health and, just like dogs in the working group, are intelligent. They are easy to train and make for great companions on hikes and nature walks.
The hound group is made up of a wide variety of members who don’t share much in terms of appearance. What they do have in common is their natural instinct to hunt. Some track prey by scent, while some in this group use their impressive stamina to run after prey until the prey runs out of strength, after which the dogs holds the prey down for the master to hunt. Examples include the Norwegian Elkhounds, Afghans, Beagles, Basenji Basset Hound, Black and Tan Coonhound, and the Bloodhound.
Because hounds were bred to help their owners in hunting, they were also selectively bred for their ability to alert their owners when they had captured a target. Like stated in this article on Daily Dog Discoveries, baying is the sound exclusively emitted by hounds. Beagles bay when they catch the scent of a quarry, whereas Coonhounds bay when they have cornered (treed) a quarry. This sound can be disturbing to new owners especially if hunting is the last thing on your list of normal activities. You therefore need to decide if you are comfortable living with a hound, baying and all.
The last category is known as the non-sporting group. Unlike the other groups, dogs in this group have nothing in common. Some people say it’s a group assigned to dogs that could not fit into any of the other six categories. The group has members who vary greatly in size, behavior and appearance. Some members in this group are common names such as Poodles, Dalmatians and French Bulldogs. Others are the Tibetan Spaniel, Bichon Frise and Chow Chow breeds.