Four new breeds have been recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC), making them eligible to compete at the prestigious 145th Annual Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show presented by Purina Pro Plan. Joining 204 other respected breeds, these history-making dogs include the Barbet, the Biewer Terrier, the Dogo Argentino, and the Belgian Laekenois. So what makes these breeds so special? Meet them below.
Barbe means “beard” in French, and it’s this distinguishing feature after which the Barbet breed is named. Hailing from France, the Barbet has served as a joyful, bright, and loyal water dog and sporting companion since the 16th century. He is skilled at locating, flushing, and retrieving birds, and his coat of dense, curly hair helps protect him in the water and the field. With a medium-sized body that’s slightly longer than tall, the Barbet has a bright and energetic expression and comes in all shades of black, gray, brown, and fawn with or without markings. The Barbet will compete in the Sporting Group.
The elegant, long-haired Biewer Terrier (pronounced “beaver”) was developed in Germany in the 1980s. Resembling its close relative, the Yorkshire Terrier, the Biewer Terrier has flowing, silky straight hair that’s parted in the middle and hangs close to the ground. But don’t let their elegance, confidence, and graceful movement fool you. This whimsical toy breed is fun-loving, childlike, and even a little mischievous. Loyal and devoted to their people, they are also friendly with all animals. The Biewer Terrier will compete in the Toy Group.
An affectionate, intelligent, and alert herding dog, the Belgian Laekenois (pronounced "Lak-in-wah"), is the rarest of the four native Belgian breeds. Developed in the region of Laeken, this well-balanced dog was bred to herd and guard flocks and fields. These qualities and skills also make him an excellent messenger, a role in which he served during both world wars. Though similar to the Malinois, Shepherd, and Tervuvren, the Laekenois sports a rough, coarse coat that gives him a tousled appearance. He comes in all shades of red, grey, and fawn, with accents of black on his muzzle and tail. The Belgian Laekenois will compete in the Herding Group.
The Dogo Agentino is a powerful working dog originally developed in Argentina’s province of Cordoba in the 1920s. This large, pack-hunting dog was bred to find, chase, and catch dangerous game such as wild boar, pumas, and other destructive predators. Its bravery, keen sense of smell, and muscular build make it an effective protector of family and property. And though his strong head, thick neck, and alert expression can make him look intimidating, he has a friendly and humble temperament that makes him a loyal family companion. The Dogo Argentino will compete in the Working Group.
About The Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show
The Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show is one of the most well-known and prestigious dog shows in the world. Dig in to this extraordinary event that brings dog enthusiasts together to compete with – and cheer on – the best of each breed. And, discover when you can watch it all unfold in real time. Learn more about The Westminster Dog Show now.