The sporting group includes some of humanity's most-prized companions, including the beloved retrievers. Developed to hunt birds and other small game, these dogs were bred to be fast, alert, and willing to work as part of a hunting team with their humans. These dogs are often spirited animals who are literally unafraid to get their feet wet in pursuit of their prey. Intelligent and eager to please, they usually have an instinct to spot, track, and/or retrieve.

In some countries, hunting has lost its popularity or even been restricted by law. Yet many of these classic breeds remain popular. Some of these dogs may have lost the hunting instinct, but they are still active, alert pets who make satisfying companions for energetic owners who respect their need to run, swim, and exercise.. Their desire to please means they can make exceptionally loyal and loving pets.