The Westminster Kennel Club has announced that six new dog breeds will debut at the 2012 Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show from Feb. 13 to 14, at Madison Square Garden.
American English Coonhound. Photo credits: http://www.westminsterkennelclub.org
The new dog breeds have been recognized by the American Kennel Club, making them eligible for competition in conformation shows, the club stated.
With the six new breeds being added that means 185 will compete this year for the best of show grand prize in the annual contest, according to The Associated Press.
In 1990, only 142 eligible breeds were competing. There isn't a limit on the number of new breeds that can enter each year, The AP reported.
However, the criteria are strict, as for the last 12 years, no more than six rookies were approved in any year, David Frei, the club's director of communications and the USA Network show host, told The AP.
Learn more about the new dog breeds below:
American English Coonhound
According to Westminster's Web site, the American English Coonhound evolved from Virginia Hounds, descendants of English Foxhounds. These hounds were initially used to hunt fox by day and raccoons by night.
They were named the English Fox and Coonhound. Today, these dogs are wide-ranging hunters that with speed, endurance and excellent voice. The breed has hard, protective coat of medium length and can be red and white ticked, blue and white ticked, tri-colored with ticking, red and white, and white and black, according to Westminster.
Cesky Terrier (Terrier Group)
Developed to be a well-muscled hunting terrier that could work in packs, the Cesky Terrier has natural drop ears and a natural tail. This breed of dog is longer than it is tall and has a topline that rises slightly higher over the loin and rump, the club's Web site stated.
It has a soft, long, silky coat in shades of gray from Charcoal to Platinum. This breed has a lean body and graceful movement.
Entlebucher Mountain Dog
Entlebucer Mountain Dog (Herding Group)
The Entlebucher Mountain Dog is a native of Switzerland. It is the smallest of the four Swiss breeds. Entlebucher are medium-sized drover that has a short, tri-colored coat with symmetrical markings, Westminster stated. This dog is prized work ethic and ease of training and shouldn't be considered as a breed for the casual owner.
Finnish Lapphund (Herding Group)
The Finnish Lapphund is a reindeer herding dog from the northern parts of Scandinavia. It is thought that this breed has existed for hundreds, if not thousands, of years, as the helper dog of the native tribes.
Today's Lapphunds are popular as family pets in their native country. The dogs have a thick, dense coat that comes in different colors and soft, expressive faces and are strong and very agile, according to Westminster
Norwegian Lundehund (Non-Sporting Group)
The Norwegian Lundehund or Puffin Dog hunted and retrieved puffin birds for centuries on the rocky cliffs and high fields of arctic Norway, according to the club's Web site. These dogs have at least six toes on each foot for stability and a flexible skeletal structure that enables them to squeeze out of tight spots or spread-eagle to prevent slips and falls. Lundehunds have a protective double coat and are reddish-brown, often with white collar and feet and a white tip on the tail.
Xoloitzcuintl (Non-Sporting Group)
The Xoloitzcuintli commonly called show-low is the national dog of Mexico and was previously known as the Mexican Hairless. They come in three sizes. Westminster said these dogs descend from hairless dogs that were prized by the Aztecs and revered as guardians of the dead.