Competing Canines: Westminster Dog Show Preview
2012 event will introduce six new breeds to competition.
On the hindlegs of last year’s exciting event, preparations for Westminster 2012 are in high gear. The competition, scheduled to take place in New York City on February 13 and 14, will also mark the debut of six new breeds to competition.
Fans of the Westminster Dog Show may remember last year’s surprising win, as Hickory the Scottish Deerhound claimed the top prize. But this year, a crop of new arrivals may make the competition even stiffer.
The award for Hardest Breed to Spell (or even pronounce!) may go to the Xoloitzcuintli, a new breed in the Non-Sporting Group. This national dog of Mexico is commonly referred to as the “show-low,” and descends from hairless dogs that were prized by the Aztecs over 400 years ago. The Non-Sporting Group is also adding the Norwegian Lundehund, or Puffin Dog, for its historical ability to retrieve puffin birds in arctic Norway (since puffin birds are now protected).
The Herding Group is also adding two breeds – the Entlebucher Mountain Dog and the Finnish Lapphund. The Entlebucher hails from Switzerland, while the Finnish Lapphund is a reindeer herding dog that is thought to have existed for hundreds, if not thousands, of years.
In the Hound Group, the American English Coonhound will strut its stuff for the first time at Westminster. This breed evolved from Virginia Hounds, and were originally used to hunt fox by day and raccoons by night. The Terrier Group will also add a new breed this year—the Cesky Terrier, described as a well-muscled, short-legged hunting terrier with a long, silky coat.
The 136th Annual Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show will also be televised live on Monday, February 13 on the USA Network from 8-9pm ET and continuing live on CNBC from 9-11pm ET. The second night of competition, on Tuesday, February 14, will be televised live on the USA Network from 8-11pm ET.
Want to test your breed knowledge? Play our Meet the Breeds game!
And to find out more about individual breeds, check out our dog breed information.
Pictured: An Old English Sheepdog prepares for competition at the 2011 Westminster Dog Show.
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