Meet the Westminster Dog Show Non-Sporting Group

Updated: 5/1/20242-4 minutes
Dog from the Non-Sporting Group

This year, the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, presented by Purina® Pro Plan®, takes place on February 9th, 10th and 11th. On those three days, elite dogs from around the world come to New York City to compete for top dog.

First, each dog will compete for the opportunity to represent his or her breed. Then, the best of each breed falls into one of seven Groups. The Group Competition spans two days, with the winners advancing to the Best In Show Competition. The third Group to compete on night one of the dog show is the Non-Sporting Group.

Non-Sporting Group History

The American Kennel Club (AKC) Non-Sporting Group is a diverse bunch. Originally, the AKC registered dogs as Sporting or Non-Sporting. Later, the Hounds and Terriers split off from the Sporting Group. Then the Toy and Working dogs broke off from the Non-Sporting Group.

The Herding Group then split from the Working Group to make up the seven Groups. The remaining dogs with traits that don’t fit into any of the other categories are judged as Non-Sporting.

Non-Sporting Dogs

Non-Sporting dogs differ from other Groups in personality, appearance, size, coat and temperament. Dogs in this Group include all the following breeds, plus many more.

  • Boston Terrier: This friendly and energetic breed has a gentle disposition. So gentle, in fact, it earned the nickname, the “American Gentleman.”
  • Chow Chow: This breed’s size and lion-like appearance make him look strong and powerful. They are loyal to their people and adapt well to almost any living environment.
  • Dalmatian: This unique, spotted dog makes a reliable watchdog. They were first used as a guard for horses.
  • French Bulldog: Nicknamed “Frenchie,” this breed makes a great pet and companion. Frenchies are intelligent and serve as good watchdogs, though.
  • Miniature and Standard Poodles: Miniature Poodles stand 10 to 15 inches high and Standards stand 15 inches or higher. They are elegant, smart and make great companions for those with allergies.
  • Shiba Inu: The Shiba Inu is the most popular breed in its home country of Japan. Brought to America 60 years ago, it soon became one of the more popular breeds in the U.S.

Fun Facts About the Non-Sporting Group

  • The Standard Poodle is the winningest breed in the Non-Sporting Group with 30 group wins.*
  • The 2019 Non-Sporting Group winner was the Pro Plan-fed Schipperke.
  • The Bichon Frise was Group and Best In Show Winner in 2018, fueled by Purina Pro Plan nutrition.
  • Ten Best In Show Winners have come from the Non-Sporting Group.*
  • Prior to 2018, the last Non-Sporting Best In Show winner was the Miniature Poodle in 2002.


*Since the Group Competition started in 1924.

†The handler or owner of these champions may have received Purina Pro Plan dog food as Purina ambassadors.

Related articles

Lancashire Heeler
The 2023 Westminster Dog Show welcomes a new dog breed, the Lancashire Heeler. Learn about the newest Herding Group competitor and what makes this breed special.
Westminister Dog Show, 2023 New Eligible Breed
Westminister Dog Show, 2022 New Eligible Breeds
Person hugging dog

Your Best Furry Friend is Waiting

Browse loveable, adoptable pets in your area and add a furry friend to our family with Petfinder.