This is BIG NEWS, BaxterBoo friends. Not since the invention of baked canine confections have we been so excited! The American Kennel Club (The AKC) has graciously included six new breeds which could make the next month’s Westminster Kennel Dog Show in New York an even more thrilling, competitive jaunt through the “who’s who” in the doggie kingdom.
Here is a bit of a teaser with the inside track so you can impress your friends with your superior knowledge (though we recommend doing your own research as there are amazing stories of intrigue and near decimation of some of these breeds).
Mexican Hairless Xoloitzcuintli
Xoloitzcuintli. Let’s practice the pronunciation together, shall we? “Sho-lo-itz-queent-lee.” Let that baby roll off your tongue, and you’ll be the toast of the town! It is believed that Xolos are one of North America’s oldest dog breeds as the Aztecs prized them for their magical powers.
Though these dogs have an unusual appearance, as seen in the above photo of two live specimens next to a statue depicting the breed, they do make wonderful pets, particularly for folks who dislike grooming and shedding. The Mexican Hairless is warm, gentle, and friendly with family members, though slightly reserved around strangers. They come in three sizes: toy, miniature, and standard.
Photo courtesy of flanghor.
Entlebucher Mountain Dog
This sturdy fellow hails from the Entlebuch, a valley in the district of the Cantons, Lucerne and Berne. He resembles a smaller short-haired version of the Bernese Mountain dog. This lively, active, persistent, self-assured, and determined breed is loyal and protective of family, but may be reserved with strangers. Entles are an active, high energy breed, with above-average exercise requirements. Their smooth, short coat requires minimal upkeep.
Photo courtesy of Tambako the Jaguar.
Baxter finds this breed particularly attractive with a similar grooming style as a Schnauzer. The Cesky Terrier was created by a Czech breeder, František Horák, in 1948, as a cross between a Sealyham Terrier and a Scottish Terrier, to create a terrier suitable for hunting in the forests of Bohemia. Horák was often harassed by secret police within the then-communist country due to foreign correspondence regarding his dogs. The breed standard calls for a calm dog, and aggression is a disqualifying fault. Cesky Terriers are reputed to be less active and quieter than other terriers. The Cesky Terrier is one of the six most rare dog breeds worldwide.
Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.
The Finnish Lapphund is a medium-sized breed that combines the look of the northern-type dog with the temperament of the herding dog. This dog is suited to living in cold climates due to its heavy coat. The face is expressive and sweet, much like a teddy bear. The coloration of the fur includes several variations such as black, brown, tan, and blonde. These dogs were bred to assist in the keeping of reindeer herds. As pets, Lappies are docile, submissive, and friendly. As working dogs, they have a strong herding instinct. They are seasonal shedders, and the coat requires regular brushing. They do not tolerate higher temperatures well.
Photo courtesy of Apdevries.
American English Coonhound
This breed has been developed in the Southern United States with several color variations as excellent hunting dogs. Like all coonhounds, these fast, energetic friends have an extremely developed sense of smell and should not be let off the leash in unsafe areas as they may get locked on a scent and take off. These dogs make great loyal additions to a family, however, early and persistent training is required as they can be somewhat stubborn and have a strong nesting instinct, so your laundry pile and couch may be misappropriated. They require plenty of exercise.
This is a fascinating addition to the AKC listing as this breed has interesting characteristics not found in other varieties. This Spitz-type dog was bred in Norway as suitable companions for hunting live Puffins from the crevices of steep cliffs. Several of the features that enabled them to be agile enough to do this is the fact that they have six toes on each foot, ears that can be rotated and folded closed, extreme flexibility, being able to tip the head backwards and rub it along the backbone.
When puffins became protected in the 1800s and a dog tax was enacted, Lundehund’s usefulness to the Norwegian farmers declined, and their numbers dwindled. The Lundehunds encountered further difficulties after the country had two plagues of canine distemper. There were only six known dogs left as of 1963, but careful breeding has brought the population to an estimated 1,500-2,000 worldwide. Today, the Lundehund makes a wonderful companion with a small size (13-15 pounds) and superior personality and even temper.
We hope this bit of information has whet your appetite to explore the newest members of the American Kennel Club, perhaps even to consider one of them as a companion. At the very least, you can chat up your newfound knowledge at social events. Perhaps you could host your own Westminster Kennel Dog Show Party! Yes, this bears more thought. Mayhap a future blog topic chock full of delightful ideas for a thrilling social event with suggestions for attire for your canine guests? Stay tuned, Baxter Boo readers… the wheels are a turnin’.