The non-working dog community is truly a hodgepodge of dogs that have almost nothing in common other than that they generally have four legs and generally have wet noses. These dogs are sometimes popular, sometimes not. The origin story of a few of the breeds are vanity-focused, and many of these breeds are very popular within American culture.

The little ones

There are a few little dogs that stand out as non-sporting, even if one or two of them seem like sporting dogs. The Boston Terrier leads the bunch along with the French Bulldog. Similar in stature and often confused for each other, these two dogs are athletic and spunky. Next, we have the Bichon Frise, Miniature Poodle, Löwchen, Lhasa Apso, Schipperke, and Tibetan Spaniel. These are the furry dogs, some a little fluffier than others. These are pretty, mostly showy dogs that don’t have a lot of attributes of athleticism or intelligence.  

The big ones

The big non-sporting dogs are similar to the small ones. There are some very popular breeds like the Dalmatian, Bulldog, and Standard Poodle, which line up as very pretty, but wildly unpredictable breeds. Then, we have the Chow Chow, American Eskimo Dog, Chinese Shar-Pei, Keeshond, Tibetan Terrier, and Shiba Inu. You’d be remiss to mix up some of these breeds for more sporting breeds, but the AKC has their reasons and rationale for categorizing the non-sporting dogs into one, lump category.