The Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, the most esteemed canine competition in the United States is almost here and animal lovers around the world will be tuning into the big event. This year the Westminster Dog Show is adding 3 new dog breeds —and (gasp!) cats.
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The news broke over the weekend at a press conference at the show’s venue, Madison Square Garden in New York City. The Westminster Dog Show will be on February 11th, 13th, and 14th where the 3 new dog breeds and cats will introduce themselves for the first time in Westminster history. Not to mention the 2,800 other dog breeds mastering their skills in agility, obedience and overall animal beauty.
Here are the new breeds they’ll feature at this year’s Westminster dog show.
The American hairless terrier: According to the American Kennel Club, “The American Hairless Terrier is an affectionate, playful dog, who also tends to be fearless and feisty. The breed is an obvious favorite of allergy sufferers. They are relatively easy to train and are wonderful pets for older, considerate children. The breed also gets along well with other canines, cats and various other pets. They make good watchdogs as they bark at unfamiliar sounds.”
The Sloughi: “The sloughi is a medium-sized, smooth coated, athletic sighthound. An ancient breed, it is treasured in North Africa for its hunting skills, speed agility, and endurance over long distances. The breed is noble and somewhat aloof, with a gentle, melancholy expression. This “Arabic Greyhound’s” short coat comes in all shades of light sand cream to mahogany red fawn, with or without brindle and black markings, as well as sand or brindle with a black mantle.” American Kennel Club
The Pumi: According to the Hungarian Pumi Club the Pumi, “is an active dog, combining the bid ability and intelligence of the herding dog along with the alertness and activity of a terrier. Because they are intelligent, they need daily work to do, whether it’s herding, obedience, flyball, jogging, or chasing tennis balls. They do not shed, but must be combed every 2 weeks, and groomed approximately every 3 months. Some Pumis are very cuddly, and others prefer to lie at your feet. If you have an active family with or without children and have a commitment to do daily activities with your dog, then the Pumi may be right for you.”
The Westminster Kennel Club has a long process for introducing new breeds to the show. The breed must first be officially recognized by the American Kennel Club in order for the Westminster Dog show to confirm their approval. It can take years for a dog to be recognized by the AKC.
Gail Miller Bisher, the event’s spokesperson said on telephone interview this week, “So these breed clubs have worked for many years to become recognized. They are oftentimes very popular in other countries.”
As for the cats, for the first time in 140 years, they’ll be showcased in a non-competitive “meet the breeds” event. Good luck, cats.