Six new breeds to debut at Westminster Dog Show

Wed Jan 25, 2012 4:09pm EST
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By Patricia Reaney

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Six new breeds of dogs, including Mexico's hairless Xoloitzcuintli, the Finnish Lapphund and the Norwegian Lundehund, will be competing in the 2012 Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show next month.

They will join other newcomers, the Cesky Terrier, the American English Coonhound and the Entlebucher Mountain Dog, along with 179 other breeds and varieties vying to be named Best in Show on Feb 14 at the annual New York event that started in 1877 with 1,201 dogs.

This year's entries for the 136th show will be limited to 2,000 dogs.

"We will have at least two dogs in every breed, including the new ones," said David Frei, the Westminster Kennel Club's director of communications and USA Network host.

"New breed is a little bit of a misnomer because a lot of these breeds have been around for hundreds, or even thousands of years in some of the cases," he told Reuters.

Before being included in the show, the breed must meet American Kennel Club (AKC) rules including having sufficient numbers in the United States, a certain geographical distribution and a parent club that makes sure they are following responsible breeding practices and meet certain characteristics.

"It is really an AKC decision, not ours," Frei said, adding that in the past 23 years, more than 40 breeds have been added to the show.

Among the more striking newcomers is the Xololitzcuintli, the national dog of Mexico, which was previously known as the Mexican Hairless and comes in three sizes.   Continued...

<p>An Entlebucher Mountain Dog is pictured in this handout photo obtained by Reuters January 25, 2012. The dog is one of six new breeds being introduced to the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show this February. REUTERS/Westminster Kennel Club/Handout</p>