Obscure breeds truly one of a kind at New York dog show

Tue Feb 12, 2013 10:19pm EST
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By Jonathan Allen

NEW YORK (Reuters) - A kuvasz can search the entire Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show without finding another dog like him.

The same is true of a plott, an Anatolian shepherd dog, a Norwegian lundehund and an Entlebucher mountain dog, all obscure breeds represented by a single entry this year at the dog show, which was due to crown its best in show dog later on Tuesday.

"He's a kuvasz," Diana Wilson, the handler of a 4-year-old called Tanner, told confused-looking dog lovers visiting the benches backstage at Madison Square Garden on Tuesday evening.

"A what?" someone asked.

"A kuvasz," Wilson said.

She gets that a lot, Wilson said. The large, white-haired dog originally bred to serve Hungarian royalty was the 151st most popular breed in the country last year, according to the American Kennel Club.

Tanner won the best in breed virtually by default, heading straight into the running for the best of the working group competition. But it wasn't technically a shoo-in - he might not have made it through if, say, he had a limp, Wilson said.

Last year he had only his cousin to compete with, and won. Tanner, who lives with Wilson in Brighton, Colorado, is considered a front-runner for Tuesday's best in show competition, having been placed the seventh most successful show dog in the country last year, according to Dog News.   Continued...

Tanner, a four-year-old Kuvasz breed from Brighton, Colorado, stands with his owner Diana Wilson in the benching area prior to judging at the 137th Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show at Madison Square Garden in New York, February 12, 2013. REUTERS/Mike Segar