The National Dog Show Presented by Purina will introduce seven new American Kennel Club (AKC) breeds to the American public on Thanksgiving Day – the Bergamasco, Spanish Water Dog, Miniature American Shepherd, Lagotto Romagnolo, Berger Picard, Cirneco dell’Etna and Boerboel. With these additions, a total of 40 new breeds have been introduced to the competition since the show’s debut in 2002.
The newest breeds in the American Kennel Club Registry make their major event debut on the two-hour NBC TV special Thanksgiving Day, immediately following the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. A total audience of some 20 million viewers is expected to watch the broadcast, from noon-2 p.m. in all time zones.
The following is a description of each new breed:
#1 – Bergamasco
Sheepdog whose most unique characteristic is its coat, which contains “dog hair,” “goat hair” and “wool” combining to form felt-like mats. The mats grow over the course of the dog’s life, reaching the ground at approximately 6 years of age.
#2 – Spanish Water Dog
A rustic, multi-purpose breed, it was developed in Spain many centuries ago for a variety of purposes including herding, hunting, water work and companionship.
#3 – Miniature American Shepherd
Small herding dog developed in the U.S. It is a highly versatile, energetic dog with superior intelligence and a willingness to please.
#4 – Lagotto Romagnolo
An ancient breed of retrieving water dogs from Italy. It is excellent at for searching for truffles, a job it performs with passion and efficiency. Powerfully built, it has a dense, curly coat of woolly texture.
#5 – Berger Picard
A medium-sized, active and athletic herding dog, it is bred to be a working companion. It has a shaggy, wiry topcoat with a short, dense undercoat.
#6 – Cirneco dell’Etna
Present in Sicily for over 2,500 years, it shares a common origin with the Pharaoh Hound. As a hunter of small mammals and fowl, it is a hardy, compact dog that was successful in hunting under adverse conditions.
#7 – Boerboel
A large dog that is strong, confident and muscular with a distinctive, blocky head. It is the most agile of the mastiff-type breeds. It serves as a capable working dog as well as a loyal companion.