The American Kennel Club announced in early January 2013 that the number of AKC-recognized dog breeds has grown to 177. Two new breeds are now fully recognized: the Chinook and Portuguese Podengo Pequeno.
To become an AKC-recognized breed, a potential dog breed needs to have a certain number of dogs distributed across the United States and an established breed club. While waiting to become recognized, these dogs are a part of the Foundation Stock Service (FSS), which are able to compete at AKC Companion Events. The AKC periodically adds new breeds; in 2012 the two new breeds were Treeing Walker Coonhound (Hound Group) and the Russell Terrier (Terrier Group).
The Chinook, bred for drafting and sled dog racing in New Hampshire, joins the Working Group. The breed name Chinook means “warm winter winds” in Inuit. In the early 1900s, a Polar explorer created the breed by blending a Mastiff type dog with Greenland Husky as well as German and Belgian Shepherds.
According to the AKC breed standard, this sled dog “is an athletic, hard bodied dog showing good forward reach and rear extension in a seemingly tireless gait. The Chinook is an impressive dog, with an aquiline muzzle, dark almond eyes, black eye markings, a variety of ear carriages, and a tawny, close fitting coat. His saber tail is held in a graceful sickle curve. The male should appear unquestionably masculine; the female should have a distinctly feminine look and be judged equally with the male.”
This athletic breed, which officially became the state dog of New Hampshire in 2009, will enjoy activities such as backpacking, skijoring, sledding jogging and hiking with their owners. They get along with children and other dogs, and they are playful and easily trained.
For more information on the new Chinook breed, visit chinookclubofamerica.org.
The Portuguese Podengo Pequeno joins the Hound Group. This small breed from Portugal was bred to hunt prey (usually rabbits) in harsh terrains using sight, scent and sound. Two coat types include smooth and wire, and coat color is yellow or fawn with or without white markings.
According to the breed standard, the Portuguese Podengo Pequeno should have “a wedge shaped head (a four sided pyramid) with erect ears, a sickle shaped tail, a sound skeleton, well muscled. Very lively and intelligent, sober and rustic. This is a breed of moderation. The height is 8 to 12 inches and the weight is 9 to 13 pounds.”
The Portuguese Podengo Pequeno is a mix of ancient hounds that came to the Iberian Peninsula with Phoenician traders around 1,000 BC, including the Pharaoh Hound, Ibizan Hound, Cirneco dell’Etna and Basenji. This active and intelligent breed is easy to train.
For more information about the new Portuguese Podengo Pequeno breed, visit pppamerica.org.
Two New Miscellaneous Breeds
In addition, the AKC welcomed the Lagotto Romagnolo and Berger Picard into the Miscellaneous Class. The Lagotto Romagnolo is an ancient water retrieving breed from the lowlands and marshlands of Italy. After the land was drained to be turned into farmland, the Lagotto Romagnolo showed its excellence for hunting for truffles. According to the AKC breed standard, the Lagotto Romagnolo is a “small to medium-sized dog, well proportioned, powerfully built, of a rustic appearance, with a dense, curly coat of woolly texture. The dog should give the impression that he has the strength and endurance to work all day in difficult and challenging terrain.”
The Berger Picard is a medium-sized dog bred by farmers and sheepherders in the Picardy region of northern France. According to the breed standard, the Berger Picard is “medium-sized, sturdily built and well-muscled without being bulky, slightly longer than tall, with distinctive erect natural ears, wiry coat of moderate length, and a tail reaching to the hock and ending in a J-hook. Movement is free and easy, efficient, and tireless to allow them to work all day on the farm and in the fields. They are lively and alert, observant, quietly confident, and can be aloof with strangers, but should not be timid or nervous. This is a rustic, working shepherdÕs dog, without exaggeration or refinement.”