Two New Breeds Make Their National Dog Show Debut
As you watch the National Dog Show this Thursday, keep an eye out for two fresh faces making their competition debuts this year.
The addition of the Russell Terrier and the Treeing Walker Coonhound brings the number of breeds at the 2012 competition to 187. Fun fact: That's 28 more breeds than there were when the first National Dog Show aired on NBC a decade ago.
The Russell Terrier
The small and confident Russell Terrier excels at vermin hunting, much like many of her terrier relatives. You may know her by her more colloquial name: the Jack Russell Terrier.
She's very similar to the Parson Russell Terrier, who was first recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1997. But the two dogs are different in body structure and height (the Russell Terrier has shorter legs), so American and European kennel clubs consider them to be separate breeds.
According to the AKC, "[T]he breed's handy size, small flexible chest, nose, strong voice and fearless nature make it an excellent specimen to work vermin below ground."
The Treeing Walker Coonhound
The Treeing Walker Coonhound is the fourth coonhound to win full AKC recognition in the past three years. As his name implies, this competitive canine was bred to track and tree wild raccoons.
He has a glossy, tricolored coat that's dense enough for protection. The AKC describes this breed as "a fast, sensible hunter that locates its quarry quickly and has superb endurance and treeing ability."
Amanda Alexander of Homer City, Pa., showed her Treeing Walker Coonhound, Xcetera, at this year's National Dog Show. She has all six breeds of coonhound, and says that the Treeing Walker is, by far, the best hunter.
"I'm very excited for them to finally be recognized," she said at the show. "It's been long overdue. This is the most popular breed of the coonhound, so it's strange that it took that long for them to finally get in, but we're happy. We can't complain. We're glad to at least be in here now."