Making their debuts this year at the 141st Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show are three breeds: the American Hairless Terrier, Pumi and Sloughi.
The Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show is being held Feb. 13 and 14 at Madison Square Garden in New York City. You can watch streaming coverage of the breed judging for free on the WKC website. The competition will be broadcast live on FS1 from 8 to 11 p.m. EST Feb. 13 (Hound, Toy, Non-Sporting and Herding breeds) and Feb. 14 (Sporting, Working and Terrier breeds, and Best in Show).
Here’s the 4 (paws)-1-1 on each of the breeds competing for the first time this year. If you’re interested in adding one of these or any of the other breeds you see in the WKC Dog Show to your family, I urge you to adopt, not shop. A rescue organization or animal shelter probably has just the dog you’re looking for.
American Hairless Terrier
If this dog reminds you of what a shaved Rat Terrier might look like, you’d be right — the American Hairless Terrier (AHT) is derived from that breed. It began with a hairless puppy who was born into a litter of Rat Terriers in the early 1970s, according to the American Hairless Terrier Club of America.
These dogs are completely hairless, although some have eyebrows and whiskers. Just like Ratties, AHTs are alert, smart and friendly. Their smooth muscles make them excellent contenders for agility sports. Despite their athleticism, AHTs are couch potatoes who enjoy spending time indoors. And although no dog is truly “hypoallergenic,” AHTs would make good pets for allergy sufferers.
Check AdoptAPet.com for rescue information. Look for the American Hairless Terrier in the Terrier group on Feb. 14.
Is that a little lamb/dog hybrid? Nope, it’s a Pumi, which may be new to the WKC Dog Show but is an ancient Hungarian hunting breed. They were bred by shepherds (of the human variety) who needed dogs to help herd cattle, sheep and pigs.
These dogs are intelligent and quick to learn. They need regular physical activity and mental stimulation, so they’re best for an active owner. Fun fact: The plural of Pumi is Pumik.
Check the Hungarian Pumi Club of America website for rescue information. Look for the Pumi in the Herding group on Feb. 13.
Like the Pumi, the Sloughi (pronounced “SLOO-ghee”) has been around for thousands of years. They were bred by the Berbers and Bedouins to hunt prey like gazelles, jackals and wild boar. These rare Arabian sighthounds can be found nowadays in the North African countries of Algeria, Libya, Morocco and Tunisia.
Here in the United States, they are mainly companion dogs who can show off their hunting skills in lure coursing competitions, according to the American Sloughi Association (ASLA).
Check the ASLA website for rescue information. Look for the Sloughi in the Hound group on Feb. 13.