There will be some notable new additions to this year’s Westminster Kennel Club dog show, with three new breeds of dogs set to be featured as well as, for the first time, cats.
The American hairless terrier, the pumi and the sloughi will all compete for the first time in the famous competition, which will take place at New York City’s Madison Square Garden on Feb. 13 and Feb. 14. The trio were granted full recognition by the American Kennel Club last year and unveiled at an event Thusday promoting the Westminster dog show.
While new to the country’s most famous dog competition, they are far from new breeds. The American hairless terrier, which derives from the rat terrier breed, was developed in the U.S. at the start of the 1970s. Despite their name, many are coated although they still carry the hairless gene.
The other newcomers date back even further. The sloughi is an ancient breed of sighthound originating in northern Africa and known for its speed and hunting skills. Meanwhile, the pumi is a herding breed originating in Hungary. It was developed as a result of careful selection by shepherds looking for a dog that could successfully herd cattle and sheep on their farms.