American Kennel Club welcomes two new dog breeds

American hairless terrier

American hairless terrier

Announced yesterday, two new dog breeds, the American hairless terrier and the sloughi (pronounced SLOO-ghee), have been recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC) — a registry of purebred dog pedigrees in the United States.

Many American hairless terriers are, as the name suggests, bare-skinned, though others have short coats but carry the hairless gene. According to the American Hairless Terrier Club of America, their rise began when a hairless puppy emerged in a litter of rat terriers in the 1970s, wowing a Louisiana couple and leading to deliberate breeding of the hairless dogs.

A recent article explains that these dogs are lively, inquisitive terriers, can do well at canine sports and as pets for people with dog-hair allergies.

“They’re terrier-smart” but somewhat calmer than some other terrier breeds, American Hairless Terrier Club secretary Lynn Poston, said in the article. “They’re very easy to live with because they’re very trainable.”

The sloughi, also called the Arabian greyhound, was developed to hunt game as big as gazelles. The lean, leggy dogs have some similarities to salukis, another hound breed from North Africa. Sloughis are also known for speed, endurance, grace and rather reserved demeanors.

“They are very attentive to their family, but they are not the kind of dog that will jump on your lap — they are not after you all the time,” Ermine Moreau-Sipiere, president of the American Sloughi Association, said in the article.

Moreau-Sipiere also added that these dogs need patient training, opportunities to exercise, and a substantial fence if they’re allowed to be loose in a yard because they may follow their hunting instinct far and wide if they spy prey.

These two dog breeds are now a part of the 189 recognized breeds and can now compete in most AKC shows and competitions, though not at the prominent Westminster Kennel Club show until next year.

Criteria for AKC recognition includes having several hundred dogs of the breed nationwide, with a three-generation pedigree. Geographic distribution of the dogs and their owners (located in 20 or more states) as well as other requirements must be met.

After meeting all criteria and submitting a request, breeds will be held in the “miscellaneous class” for up to three years. After this time period, the number of dogs and litters will be rerecorded. Also during this time period, the individual dog clubs must have held matches, local and national breed specialty shows, judges’ workshops and breed seminars before they have the opportunity to become a recognized breed through the AKC.

Some animal-rights advocates are critical of dog breeding and emphasize that many mixed-breed dogs need adoption. However, the AKC says breed characteristics help owners anticipate a dog’s characteristics and make an enduring match.

For more information, click here.

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Pictured below is the American hairless terrier (left) and the sloughi (right). Image credit: American Kennel Club

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