One of the original nine breeds registered by the AKC, the clumber spaniel's long and low build is particularly unique among spaniels. Although not as speedy as other sporting dogs, the clumber spaniel will work all day, trotting along in his signature slow, rolling gait.
Exhibited in the U.S. since the 1880s, the cocker spaniel remains one of the most popular breeds, according to AKC registration statistics. This breed has a sturdy, compact body and a silky, flat, or wavy coat. It is a merry, well-balanced dog that is capable of considerable speed and great endurance.
The golden retriever, with its intelligence and eager-to-please attitude, is one of the most popular breeds in the United States according to AKC registration statistics. The working ability that has made the golden retriever such a useful hunting companion also makes him an ideal guide, assistance, and search-and-rescue dog.
The heaviest of the three setter breeds, the Gordon setter was originally bred as a personal bird dog, but they are equally at home as companion dogs, obedience competitors, and show dogs today. Sturdy and muscular, the Gordon suggests strength and stamina rather than extreme speed while on the move.
The clown of the spaniel family, the Irish water spaniel will think of creative ways to accomplish even the slightest of tasks. Strong and intelligent, the tallest spaniel breed possesses several unique characteristics including its liver-colored curly coat and signature "rat tail."
The gentle, intelligent, and family-friendly Labrador retriever from Canada continues to be the most popular breed in the United States, according to AKC registration statistics. Because of their aptitude to please their masters, they excel as guide dogs for the blind, as part of search-and-rescue teams, or in narcotics detection with law enforcement.
An excellent retriever by nature and an experienced hunter on any terrain, the Spinone is robust, sociable, and docile. His wiry, dense coat and thick skin enable him to negotiate underbrush and endure cold water that would severely punish any dog not so naturally armored.
Originally from Hungary, the vizsla is a medium-size, short-coated hunting dog that is essentially pointer in type, although he combines characteristics of both pointer and retriever. An attractive golden rust in color, this "dual" dog is popular in both the field and the show ring due to his power and drive while hunting and his trainability in the home.
Often referred to as the grey ghost because of the distinctive color of its short, sleek coat, the Weimaraner is a graceful dog with aristocratic features. Bred for speed, good scenting ability, courage, and intelligence, he remains an excellent game hunter and active participant in other dog sports.
The griffon's easy trainability, devotion to family, and friendly temperament endear him to all. He thrives on human companionship and prefers to be house dog. The breed's wiry coat will not develop fully until the dog is about 2-3 years old and is maintained with regular brushing and stripping. This sporting dog needs plenty of exercise to keep it physically and mentally fit.