Dog show

Westminster Dog Show 2017: Meet the New Breeds

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 will include a program featuring cats for the first time.

The introduction of the new breeds to this year’s show was announced at a press conference at the show’s venue, Madison Square Garden in New York, on Monday. The show runs on February 11, 13 and 14 and is expected to feature over 2,800 dogs. Agility, obedience and individual breed competitions will be part of the show judging.

A feisty little dog with a smooth coat “good for allergy sufferers” Gail Miller Bisher, spokeswoman for the event, said Tuesday in a phone interview. “He is curious and active; definitely a terrier mentality.

He is a medium to large sized athletic dog with short, smooth coats; the breed was developed in North Africa for its hunting skills. Animals can be attached to their owners but aloof with strangers, Ms Bisher said. (Pronounced SLOO-ghee.)

An ancient breed of Hungarian Shepherd. “He’s a cute, strong sheepdog,” Ms. Bisher said. “Again, very interested in pleasing their owner and a quick learner.” (Pronounced POOH me.)

The Westminster Kennel Club introduces new breeds to the show after the American Kennel Club officially recognizes a breed, a process that may include keeping records showing that the animals are purebred.

“So these breed clubs have worked for many years to gain recognition,” Ms Bisher said. “They are often very popular in other countries,” like pumi and Sloughi, which are gaining popularity in the United States, she said.

The new dogs aren’t the only change at the 140-year-old show. This year’s official program will also feature — gasp! “Cats,” Mrs. Bisher said. (An American Kennel Club “Meet the Breeds” event has featured felines in the past, but it’s traditionally held separately.)