Dog Conformation: The Non-Sporting Dog Group

Learn more about the Non-Sporting Group’s history, its top dogs, how the breeds are handled in the ring and much more.

Breeds in the Non-Sporting Group do not fit in any other group. The Non-Sporting Group differs from the Miscellaneous Class because the Non-Sporting dogs are AKC-recognized breeds, while the Miscellaneous Class dogs are not yet recognized. The Non-Sporting breeds vary greatly in appearance and temperament. Poodles (including Standard and Miniature but not Toy) are most often the Top Dog in the Non-Sporting Group. They are often Top Dog of All Breeds, too, and Standard Poodle Ch. Lake Cove That’s My Boy was Top Dog of All Breeds for two years in a row (in 1999 and 1998).


Top Non-Sporting Dogs

Top Dogs of the Non- Sporting Group from the present back to the year 2000. For more information about a specific dog (if it is available), click on its name:

2013: Bichon Frisé GCh. Vogelflight’s “Honor” To Pillowtalk
2012: Standard Poodle GCh. Jaset’s Satisfaction
2011: Standard Poodle GCh. Brighton Lakeridge Encore
2010: Standard Poodle GCh. Dawin Spitfire
2009: Standard Poodle Ch. Hillwood Dassin De-Lovely
2008: Standard Poodle Ch. Randenn Tristar Affirmation
2007: Standard Poodle Ch. Brighton Minimoto
2006: Dalmatian Ch. Merry Go Round Mach Ten
2005: Standard Poodle Ch. Greg-Mar Glory Bound
2004: French Bulldog Ch. Bandog’s Jump for Joy
2003: Standard Poodle Ch. Ale Kai Mikimoto On Fifth
2002: Standard Poodle Ch. Ale Kai Mikimoto On Fifth
2001: Miniature Poodle Ch. Surrey Spice Girl
2000: Bichon Frisé Ch. Special Times Just Right (Top Dog of All Breeds in 2000)

See a breed list with the National Breed Clubs for the Non-Sporting Group. Click to continue>>

See the Non-Sporting Group Top Sires and Dams of 2011. Click to continue>>

See upcoming All-Breed and Group Shows so you can see the Non-Sporting Group breeds in action or enter your dog. Click to continue>>



Westminster Group Winners

A Non-Sporting dog has not won Best in Show when Miniature Poodle Ch. Surrey Spice Girl took BIS in 2002. The Non-Sporting Group has only taken Best in Show 10 times in Westminster history. The following three dogs are the most recent Group 1 winners at Westminster.

2013 Westminster Group 1 Winner. Bichon Frise GCh. Vogelflight’s Honor To Pillowtalk under Florence Males took Group 1 at the 2013 Westminster Kennel Club dog show. Affenpinscher GCh. Banana Joe V. Tani Kazari took Best in Show over the Bichon. A Bichon Frise won Best in Show once at the Garden: In 2001 Ch. Special Times Just Right took home the Best in Show ribbon, and was also top Non-Sporting dog and top dog of all breeds in 2000.







2012 Westminster Group 1 Winner. Dalmatian GCh. Spotlights Ruffian took Group 1 at the 2012 Westminster dog show. Pekingese GCh. Palacegarden Malachy took Best in Show over the Dalmatian. A Dalmatian has never won Best in Show at Westminster, but the breed has taken the Non-Sporting Group eight times.









2011 Westminster Group 1 Winner. Chinese Shar-Pei GCh. Vaje’s Miss Jayne Hathaway was Group 1 at the 2011 Westminster Kennel Club dog show. Scottish Deerhound GCh. Foxcliffe Hickory Wind ‘Hickory’ won Best in Show over the Shar-Pei. A Chinese Shar-Pei has never taken Best in Show at Westminster, and this was the first time the breed ever won the Group (the breed became an official AKC breed in 1992).












Grooming Trends Over the Decades

Whenever conformation judges gather to discuss how dog shows have changed over the decades, it doesn’t take long before the subject of “today’s overgroomed dogs” takes center stage. Flip through the magazines of the 1960s and ’70s, and the show photos speak volumes: Whatever the breed, we see sparser head and leg furnishings, a less tailored look and little evidence of the “P” word (product).

So what’s happened? Are exhibitors and handlers feeling less constrained by the individual edicts of breed standards and eager to put their artistry on display? Are judges more accepting of a generic (big coat, big movement, big everything) show dog? Is it the smorgasbord of shampoos, lotions and potions available for purchase at dog-show vendors and online? Probably a combination of all three. Read more about the presentation and grooming changes in the Non-Sporting Group>>


Watch Non-Sporting Group Breeds in the Ring

Watch the breed judging at the AKC/Eukanuba National Championship. Click on a Non-Sporting Group Breed to proceed to the video.

American Eskimo Dog
Bichon Frise
Boston Terrier
Chinese Shar-Pei
Chow Chow
Finnish Spitz
French Bulldog
Lhasa Apso
Norwegian Lundehund
Poodle, Miniature
Poodle, Standard
Shiba Inu
Tibetan Spaniel
Tibetan Terrier

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