3 New Breeds to Compete in 2017 Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show
This year, three newly eligible dog breeds will join the club to compete at the biggest dog show in America – the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show! Before they hit the stage, we’ve gathered some fun facts about each of the unique new breeds. Enjoy, and good luck to all the dogs competing at Madison Square Garden in New York City!
American Hairless Terrier
This energetic little terrier is sure to stand out on the dog show stage, as they are only the fourth hairless dog breed recognized by the American Kennel Club. The American Hairless Terrier (AHT) will be part of the Terrier Group at the National Dog Show and the Non-Sporting Group at Westminster.
The breed traces it origins back to Feists, a small hunting dog brought to America from Europe in the 18th century. A more recent ancestor of the AHT is the Rat Terrier. A Rat Terrier litter in Louisiana in 1972 included one hairless puppy, named Josephine. Josephine’s owners liked her hairlessness and her overall temperment and bred her to produce a litter of hairless puppies, thus providing a foundation for the new breed.
Like Rat Terriers, AHT’s are lively, smart, curious and athletic, and can be great at dog sports like agility. The breed is also a good fit for allergy sufferers, as they have no hair to shed!
The Pumi (pronounced POO-me) is a small Hungarian herding dog with a long history of working side-by-side with farmers in its native county. In Hungary, Pumik (plural of Pumi) herd cattle, sheep, goats and other farm animals, and excel at keeping livestock close during long treks down narrow roads from home to grazing pastures. They are still a rare breed in the U.S., but are popular in Hungary and Scandanavia.
A Pumi’s most prominent trait is his high, floppy ears, with hair slightly longer than the rest of his body. Pumi coats are curly and thick, and come in a variety of colors including gray, white, black and fawn. Their coats are more Poodle-like than the long, corded coat of their Hungarian relative, the Puli. As such they are low-shedding dogs who need regular grooming to prevent mats.
Pumik can make lively, playful pets, and are well-suited to agility and herding competitions. Like many dogs in the Herding Group, their intelligence and eager-to-please nature can be a great fit for active family.
This year’s new addition to the Hound Group is the Sloughi, a striking North African sighthound that can trace its origins back thousands of years. Primarily bred for hunting, the breed can use its slim, athletic build to chase down hare, gazelles and wild boar with remarkable speed and endurance.
The Sloughi (pronounced SLOO-ghee) are tall, regal dogs. Their soulful eyes and graceful build suit their proud, slightly aloof temperament. While they may be standoffish with strangers, Sloughi are known to be very loyal to their families.
The Sloughi’s phenomenal speed makes them a great competitor in lure coursing, a dog sport popular with sighthound owners. Lure coursing uses mechanized lures and pullies to simulate the unpredictability of chasing live prey. This sport allows Sloughis to do what they were born to do – run like the wind!
To learn more about the American Hairless Terrier, the Pumi, the Sloughi and other dog breeds, visit the American Kennel Club’s website.
Image Credits: Westminster Kennel Club