Every year for four days in February, dog experts meet in New York City’s Madison Square Garden to judge dogs according to their breed standards at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show. This year, three breeds new to the show will be judged for the first time: The Pumi, American Hairless Terrier and Sloughi. Will one of them win Best in Show?
This newly recognized hound to the American Kennel Club (AKC) is the Pumi, a popular Hungarian herding dog first imported to Finland in 1972. This active breed loves to take direction and is an expert at herding sheep, cattle and pigs. Intelligent and alert, these dogs have a curly, Poodle-like coat which comes in black, white, gray and fawn. They do great in agility, and can be trained to compete in just about any event!
American Hairless Terrier
Who knew the playful, perky American Hairless Terrier was the result of a mutation? In 1972, a completely hairless puppy was born to a litter of otherwise normal Rat Terriers in Louisiana. The puppy was kept and well-received by its owners, who considered the spotted and pink-skinned pup a delight. From there, these dogs went on to begin the first hairless breed originating in the US. Their lack of fur makes them an excellent choice for people with allergies, though they still shed skin cells and need sunscreen to prevent their skin from burning. In addition, their alertness to unknown sounds make them great watchdogs. They come in a variety of colors and markings and excel at competitions that put their energetic bodies to use!
While new to the AKC and now Westminster’s hound group, the Sloughi is an ancient breed. Also called the Arabian Greyhound, the Sloughi originates from North Africa and was developed further in the US and Europe. Part of what makes Sloughis unique is that they are sighthounds, meaning they rely primarily on their sight, rather than their nose, to hunt. These sleek and noble dogs will be an interesting sight at this year’s show!
All amazing dogs, yet these are only three of the many breeds set to take the stage this weekend. Which breed are you rooting for this year?