New Editions to Old Traditions (New breeds & how they get recognized by the AKC)

As a dog lover, you would have to be living under a rock to not know that Malachy, the Pekingese, took the coveted Best in Show title at this years Westminster Dog Show.  I must admit, I’m not the biggest Pekingese fan.  (In all fairness, though, I haven’t met too many of them!)

You have to love the tradition of the dog show!  This year was  the 136th Westminster Dog Show…which means it’s the second longest continuously held sporting event in America.  (The Kentucky Derby holds the top spot; it was first held in 1875.)  Way back in its first year, the Westminster Dog show drew 1200 entries.  (Now held at Madison Square Garden, 2500 dogs are able to participate. )

All pup participants must be registered with the American Kennel Club.  The AKC now recognizes an incredible 185 unique breeds.  How does a breed become recognized by the AKC?  That’s a very good question!

First of all – you have to prove people are interested in your new breed.  That means you must have a breed club with at least 100 members.  Then you have to prove that there are at least 300 dogs with a three generation pedigree in your shiny new breed.  THEN you have to prove that your new breed (and its fans) are spread over at least 20 states.  Once the AKC reviews all this info – along with the breed’s standards AND all the details about your breed’s club – you still aren’t even recognized!  Now your breed is allowed to compete in the Miscellaneous Class.

Dogs of new breeds usually complete in the Miscellaneous Class for one to three years.  After the first year, the AKC follows up with the breed club and makes sure they are still hosting events and adding new members.  Once the AKC is confident the long list of criteria has been met, the breed is presented to the Board of Directors to be officially recognized.

Xoloitzcuintli - We suspect they are behind the phrase "so ugly they're cute"!

This year, six new breeds made their debut at the Westminster Dog Show: the American English Coonhound, the Cesky Terrier, the Entlebucher Mountain Dog, the Finnish Lapphund, the Norwegian Lundenund, and the Xoloitzcuintli.  Over the next week or so, we are going to be exploring these new (and strangely named!) breeds to find out what makes them different from the other 179 already established.  Stay tuned!

3 thoughts on “New Editions to Old Traditions (New breeds & how they get recognized by the AKC)

  1. That picture looks like Chinese Cresteds. I had no idea that some Xolos had hair on their heads and feet. They sure are cute. Sounds like it is a really long process to have your breed accepted into the AKC.

  2. Hey: thank you for using time of writing up this data. I usually try and even further my knowledge of important things. No matter whether I concur or disagree, I like information. I don’t forget the olden days if the only source of knowledge was the library or even the newspaper. They the two seem so old. : )

  3. I have a dog that I want to get recognized and I just want to see if people actually would be interested.

    A miniature German Shepherd. Seriously. I have a dog (we know what she was mixed with) she is completely proportionate with typical shepherd coat. Black with blonde legs, chest, belly, and the two dots above her eyes. 25 lbs. Very intelligent. Can learn a new command within 10 mins. The only marking that is reminiscent of the other breed, is a brown/pink stripe down her nose. Great watch dog and apartment friendly. Requires limited grooming. Loves water. Great temperament as well. Gets along with other animals. Great family or companion dog!

    Please let me know if this type of dog would be a breed people would be interested in.

    Thank you!

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