One originated in the Swiss Alps, another has six toes and can tip its head backward till it touches its backbone, and the third is still considered a “healer” in remote Mexican and Central American villages.
Are these all newly discovered exotic animals? No, they describe the three newest dog breeds welcomed into the American Kennel Club breed registry: the Entlebucher Mountain Dog, Norwegian Lundehund and the Xoloitzcuintli, respectively.
“The AKC is delighted to introduce these three distinct breeds to the public,” says AKC spokesperson Gina DiNardo. “Each loveable breed has a unique and diverse history and is a wonderful addition to the AKC.”
Entlebucher Mountain Dog
“Entles” were bred to move cows from pasture to pasture in the Swiss Alps. The breed, also known as the Entlebucher Sennenhund, is medium-sized and known for its agreeable nature, trainability and devotion. It’s also an active, high energy and physical breed with above-average exercise requirements, so they are best suited for active families. Learn more about the Entlebucher Mountain Dog at www.nemda.org
The Norwegian Lundehund is known for having six toes on each foot and the ability to tip its head backward until it touches its backbone. These unique characteristics enabled the Norwegian Lundehund to climb steep, rocky cliffs and navigate crevices where the puffins, a bird they were bred to hunt, nested. Lundehunds make loyal and playful companions, but can be wary of strangers if not socialized. Learn more about the Norwegian Lundehund at www.nlaainc.com
The Xoloitzcuintli (pronounced show-low-eatz-queent-lee) is one of the world’s rarest breeds and is still considered a “healer” in remote Mexican and Central American villages today. The breed comes in three sizes: toy, miniature and standard; and two varieties: hairless and coated. Xolos serve as an excellent companion for families due to their attentive, calm nature and moderate exercise and grooming needs. Learn more about the Xoloitzcuintli at www.xoloitzcuintliclubofamerica.org
For dog breeds to become AKC-registered, they must first be recorded with an accepted registry. The AKC Foundation Stock Service is the AKC’s recording service for purebred breeds that are not yet eligible for AKC registration. After a breed is entered into FSS the recognition process begins with a written request to compete in the Miscellaneous Class from a national breed club. While there is no established timetable for adding new breeds, dogs typically compete in the Miscellaneous Class for one to three years. More information on the process can be found at www.akc.org