Six new breeds competing at Westminster
Six new AKC-recognized breeds will be competing at Westminster this year, including a hairless Mexican dog known as the — I can spell it, I can spell it — Xoloitzcuintle.
The AKC announced the acceptance of three new breeds in January of last year — the Entlebucher Mountain Dog, the Norwegian Lundehund and the Xoloitzcuintli.
In June, three more new breeds were recognized — the American English Coonhound, Finnish Lapphund, and Cesky Terrier
The six new breeds bring the number of AKC recognized breeds to to 185.
By comparison, in 1990, there were 142 eligible breeds.
Here’s some background on each of the newly recognized breeds, provided by the AKC.
The American English coonhound is a descendent of the English foxhound and evolved from Virginia hounds. Originally used to hunt fox by day and raccoon by night, they were once called the English fox and coonhound.
The breed is pleasant, alert, confident and sociable with both humans and dogs. The modern version of the dog is a speedy, durable and wide-ranging hunter.
The Entlebucher mountain dog is a native of Switzerland and the smallest of the four AKC Swiss breeds. Prized for its work ethic and ease of training, this dog can easily switch from high-spirited playmate to serious, self-assured dog with a commanding presence.
This is not a good dog for the casual owner because it needs so much socialization and will remain active and energetic all its life.
The Finnish Lapphund is a reindeer herding dog from the northern parts of Scandinavia. It is thought that this breed existed for hundreds, if not thousands, of years as a helper dog to native tribes. Today, they are popular as family pets in their native Finland. Devoted to their family, they are friendly with all people, highly intelligent and eager to learn. They are strong but very agile.
The Norwegian Lundehund is also called the puffin dog. It spent centuries on the rocky cliffs and high fields of arctic Norway hunting and retrieving puffin birds, which was an important meat and feather crop to local farmers.
This dog has at least six toes on each foot so it can handle the almost vertical areas where puffins nest. It also has a flexible skeletal structure that enables it to squirm out of tight spots or go spread eagle to prevent slips and falls.
The Cesky terrier is a well-muscled, short legged hunting terrier that can be worked in packs. With natural drop ears and a natural tail, it is longer than it is tall and has a long, soft, silky coat that can be any shade of gray from charcoal to platinum.
Lean and graceful, the dogs are reserved toward strangers but loyal to their owners and always keen and alert during a hunt.
The Xoloitzcuintli , or Xolo, for short, is the national dog of Mexico and was previously known as the Mexican Hairless. It comes in three sizes and there is a coated version seen only in the United States and Canada. These dogs are descendants of the hairless dogs prized by the Aztecs and revered as guardians of the dead.
Living in the Mexican jungles, they were shaped by their environment. Their intelligence, trainability and natural cleanliness have turned them into unique and valued pets.
(Top photo from Vetstreet.com; other photos courtesy of American Kennel Club)
Posted by jwoestendiek January 28th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: akc, american english coonhound, american kennel club, animals, breeds, cesky terrier, dog show, dogs, entlebucher mountain dog, finish lapphund, new, norwegian lundehund, pets, recognized, westminster, xolo, xoloitzcuintle