A strong Hungarian farm dog and a very small dog linked to the former Russian aristocracy have won recognition by the American Kennel Club.
The AKC is a private group that registers dogs as pure bred and holds competitions and other events for dog owners. These include the yearly, world-famous Westminster Kennel Club show.
AKC officials announced this week it was adding the mudi and the Russian toy to its registry.
Mudis are part of a large family of Hungarian sheepdogs, including the Puli and Pumi breeds. Fans say the medium-sized, shaggy Mudis are energetic and hard-working and have many skills. They say the dogs can herd sheep, hunt, kill small animals called rodents and compete in those skills.
Kim Seiter is a New Jersey dog agility trainer. She owns four mudis.
“They’re not for the inactive person,” Seiter said. But, she added that the breed is intelligent and trainable.
Images of the dogs were used on stamps for mail in their homeland in 2004, along with other Hungarian breeds.
The other new AKC breed is the Russian toy. The AKC says the little dogs should weigh no more than 2.7 kilograms and have long legs for their size. The group also says the breed is lively in behavior.
Russian toys developed from small English terriers that gained the favor of rich Russian landowners about four hundred years ago.
AKC official Gina DiNardo said the breed loves “being close to its humans, making a wonderful companion for an owner who can be with the dog a great deal.”
The AKC is the oldest purebred dog registry in the United States. It recognizes 199 breeds.
Recognition requirements include having at least 300 dogs of the breed spread in at least 20 states. Many newer and popular mixed breeds, such as Labradoodles and puggles, are not AKC recognized.
Some animal rights supporters dislike dog breeding and the market for purebreds. They say the industry abuses dogs, both purebred and mixed.
The AKC says breeding can be done responsibly and helps continue predictable qualities that people look for in dogs.
I’m Caty Weaver.
Caty Weaver wrote this story from materials including those of the Associated Press.
Words in This Story
aristocracy - n. the highest social class in some countries : the people who have special titles (such as duke and duchess), who typically own land, and who traditionally have more money and power than the other people in a society
shaggy - adj. covered with hair or fur that is long and tangled
herd - v. to gather and move (a group of animals)
agility - n. able to move quickly and easily
stamp - n. a small piece of paper that you buy and then stick to an envelope or package to pay the cost of mailing it
companion - n. a person or animal you spend time with or enjoy being with
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