Westminster welcomes new breeds (and cats, too?)

February 01, 2017

Three new dog breeds are being welcomed to the pack at this year’s Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, the most prestigious canine competition in the United States. These, however, are not the only new furry faces you will see, as the event will also feature a special program dedicated to, wait for it… cats.

In all, the show is expected to feature more than 2,800 dogs, preforming in agility, obedience and individual breed competitions over the course of three days (Feb. 11-14) at Madison Square Garden in New York City.

So what breeds exactly have been added? The New York Times gives us a proper rundown:

  • The American hairless terrier: Described by Gail Miller Bisher, the event’s spokeswoman, this breed of feisty little dogs have a smooth coat “good for allergy sufferers.” They are described as curious and active, definitely having a terrier mentality.
  • sloughi Sloughi The sloughi: (pronounced SLOO-ghee): A medium to large athletic hound with short, smooth hair, the article explains the breed was developed in North Africa for its hunting skills. The animals can be attached to their owners but aloof with strangers, Bisher added.
  • pumiPumi The pumi (pronounced POOH-me):An ancient Hungarian herding breed, they are described as a “cute and strong herding dog.” Again, very interested in pleasing their owner and quick learners.

The new dog breeds are being welcomed this year after The American Kennel Club (AKC) officially recognized the breeds, a process that can include record-keeping showing the animals are purebreds. 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.

“These breed clubs have worked for many years to become recognized,” said Bisher. “They are oftentimes very popular in other countries,” such as the pumi and sloughi, which are just gaining popularity in the U.S.

This is where Neogen comes in. Neogen’s GeneSeek laboratory is the most experienced laboratory in the world for canine DNA identification and parentage testing services. To date, they have genotyped hundreds of thousands of dogs for breeders and registries alike. In addition, GeneSeek recently announced a new feline DNA test in partnership with The Cat Fanciers’ Association.

For both dogs and cats alike, DNA test not only can provide the information needed for breed registries, but can also provide valuable health information, enabling early diagnosis and treatment of genetic disease.

“As we’ve found through our many years of working with various animal species and their associated breed registries, DNA testing provides significant opportunities to both improve the overall health of the population through more informed breeding decisions, and provides valuable information about the health and traits of an individual enabling earlier diagnosis and treatment. In both cases, the impact on animal health is significant,” GeneSeek’s Lindsey Kock, DVM said.

DNA testing utilizes a sample from the inside of the animal’s cheek or a blood sample collected by a veterinarian.

For more information, click here.

(photo credit: www.akc.org/


Category: Companion Animal, Companion Animal Genetic Traits & Conditions