Westminster: Meet the New Breeds
The New York Times by Christine Hauser
A pumi, right, with two sloughi. They are among three new breeds that will be shown at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show. CreditGeorge Etheredge for The New York Times JANUARY 31, 2017
The Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, the most prestigious canine competition in the United States, has added three new breeds to its annual event, which for the first time will also include a program featuring cats.
The introduction of the new breeds into this year’s show was announced in a news conference at the show’s venue, Madison Square Garden in New York City, on Monday. The show runs on Feb. 11, 13 and 14, and it is expected to feature more than 2,800 dogs. Agility, obedience and individual breed competitions will be part of the show’s judging.
An American hairless terrier, the third new breed allowed in this year’s Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show. CreditLucas Jackson/Reuters
A feisty little dog with a smooth coat “good for allergy sufferers,” Gail Miller Bisher, the event’s spokeswoman, said in a telephone interview on Tuesday. “It is curious and active; definitely a terrier mentality.”
Toby, 5, left, and Izzy, 4, both sloughis. CreditBebeto Matthews/Associated Press
This is a medium-large athletic hound with short, smooth hair; the breed was developed in North Africa for its hunting skills. The animals can be attached to their owners but aloof with strangers, Ms. Bisher said. (pronounced SLOO-ghee)
A pumi is introduced at Madison Square Garden on Monday. CreditTimothy A. Clary/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images
An ancient Hungarian herding breed. “They are a cute and strong herding dog,” said Ms. Bisher. “Again, very interested in pleasing their owner and a quick learner.” (pronounced POOH-me)
The Westminster Kennel Club introduces new breeds into the show after the American Kennel Club has officially recognized a breed, a process that can include record-keeping showing the animals are purebreds.
“So these breed clubs have worked for many years to become recognized,” said Ms. Bisher. “They are oftentimes very popular in other countries,” such as the pumi and sloughi, which are just gaining popularity in the United States, she said.
The Bengal cat will be featured at the 141st Westminster dog show. CreditBebeto Matthews/Associated Press..
Dogs and cats showing together
The new dogs aren’t the only change at the 140-year-old show. This year’s official program will also feature — gasp! — cats, Ms. Bisher said. (A “meet the breeds” event has featured felines in the past, but it’s traditionally been held separately.)
Pumi working Racka sheep. source
Consider the Pumi. Under the tender management of the AKC it will soon be characterized by inbred illness, complete loss of working ability, and a uselessness that can only be seen by a pet-bred/show-bred pastoral dog.
And then there's the Sloughi. A damn fine dog to course hare or gazelle, with or without the help of a falcon. An absolute hunting machine. Well, until the AKC has its hooks well sunk in.
From the AKC website:
"The American Hairless Terrier is the product of a rare, major mutation that occurred in a litter of Rat Terriers in 1972. A completely hairless puppy was born in a litter of otherwise normal Type A (short-bodied) Rat Terriers in Louisiana. The breeders were unsure of what to do with this pink skinned puppy with black spots."
And oh yeah! Let's breed cats that most people won't be able to live with and charge 4 or 5 figures for them! Well, yeah, that means crossing perfectly normal cats with a wild species that shouldn't even be held in captivity, but they're so preeettty!
"Although unusual, they may suffer from emotional instability due to their wild genes. That’s why fourth generation Bengal cats are recommended because their genes of domestication are consolidated. You only have to make sure not to skip routine pet visits to keep them healthy."
So the AKC is having so much trouble making money on dogs, they're branching out to cats. What's next? Miniature horses?