Dog breeds

American Kennel Club recognizes 2 new dog breeds: Mudi and Russian Toy

A Mudi dog sitting in front of a building with red siding, one of the most recent breeds selected by the AKC

Amanda Haldeman / American Kennel Club

You’ll see a pair of newcomers when you tune into your favorite dog shows this year: a rare Hungarian Sheepdog and a playful toy breed that was a favorite among Russian aristocrats.

The American Kennel Club announced on Tuesday that it is giving full recognition to the Mudi and Russian dog breeds, which means they can now participate in AKC sanctioned events like the upcoming Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, which was expected later this month before it was postponed due to the latest wave of COVID-19.

The mudi (pronounced as “moodie”) will compete in the breeding group in confirmation shows while the Russian toy will – surprise – join the toy group, the AKC said in a press release. The club now recognizes 199 breeds.

Breeds like the Mudi, Russian Toy and Biewer Terrier, which achieved AKC status last year, are recognized on the basis of three main factors, according to the AKC: “active” interest in race across the country; an already constituted “responsible” breed club; and a “sufficient” population of dogs distributed geographically in the United States. Who could be next? AKC Foundation Stock Service breeds strive to be recognized.

RELATED: Bayou the Giant Schnauzer wins Best in Show at AKC National Championship 2021

Now, let’s meet our new friends:


This small to medium-sized, curly-haired dog is an active, affectionate dog who loves to have a job, according to the AKC. Mudik is good at dog sports, like flyball, and can work as a search and rescue dog if he’s not on the farm herding livestock.

The mudi shares its roots with the puli and the pumi, two other Hungarian dogs. Deszö Fényesi named the breed around 1930, about a decade before the breed was close to extinction during World War II, according to the AKC. They are still rare today, with no more than several thousand around the world. Most still live in Hungary, according to the Mudi Club of America.

Mudiks are “tough little dogs,” according to the breed club. They are playful and friendly with their people, and they are good with children and other animals when socialized like puppies. They also have a “fearless attitude” and will take on just about any task with vigor, the club writes.

Mudi Basics (courtesy Mudi Club of America):

  • Height: 15 to 18.5 inches

  • Weight: 17.75-28.75 pounds

  • Colors: black (the most common), white, brown, gray and yellow. Mudik will also feature a merle pattern among these colors (as you can see in the photo above).

  • Lifespan: 12-14 years

Russian toy

Russian toy dog ​​sitting in front of green bushes, one of the newest breeds selected by AKC

Russian toy dog ​​sitting in front of green bushes, one of the newest breeds selected by AKC

Garosha / Getty

These little guys and girls value their connection to their people, so much so that they’re sure to let you know if you don’t pay them enough attention, says the AKC. Some will be more active and constantly strapped around your house while others will spend most of their time lounging (my kind of dog).

Their history dates back to the 18th century. Soon the dogs, then known as the Russian Toy Terrier, were bred as “elegant” companions for upper-class socialites and aristocrats, according to the AKC. They nearly died out during the Russian Revolution in 1917, and decades later advocates of the breed began to strive to resuscitate the breed in Russia.

Russian toys come in both smooth-coated and long-coated varieties, and the Russian Toy Club of America claims that Russian smooth toys will have more of a “terrier-like” personality compared to their long-haired parents.

Russian Toy Basics (Courtesy Russian Toy Club of America):

  • Height: 7.5 to 10.5 inches

  • Weight: generally no more than 6 pounds

  • Colors: black and tan; brown and tan; blue and tan; Red; sable; and brown sable

  • Lifespan: 10-12 years