Thanksgiving means different things to different people. For foodies, it’s all about the brine on the turkey. For sports lovers, it’s all about some football game (we think). For giant balloon enthusiasts (?), it’s gotta be the Macy’s Day Parade. But for us animal-lovers? The Kennel Club of Philadelphia’s National Dog Show is the can’t-miss event of the day.
One of the best parts of the annual dog-a-thon is learning about each breed. From their storied histories to their grooming maintenance to their personalities, it’s always fun to scream at the TV, “That’s the best dog!” “No, wait, THAT’s the BEST DOG!” And while it’s great to root for your favorite tried-and-true contenders (I’m looking at you, Puli), one of the best parts of the National Dog Show is the introduction of new breeds.
Each year, the Kennel Club considers new additions to its official roster. This year, we’re getting three new breeds, and man alive are they cute. Meet your new challengers:
American Hairless Terrier (AHT)
Originating in 1972 when a Rat Terrier puppy was born hairless, the AHT is a mix of Feist, Beagle, Italian Greyhound, and Miniature Pinscher. The hypoallergenic dog—a member of the Terrier group—has “a strong hunting instinct and excels in many sports and activities,” says the NDS website, “making them good watchdogs and giving them the temperament to enjoy participating in games.”
An agile Hungarian dog—a member of the Herding Group—the Pumi has a long head, pert ears, and a thick coat that is combination wavy and curly. It’s a family dog that loves people and plays nicely with kids and other dogs—it can even be a good apartment dog so long as it gets enough exercise! “They are energetic, lively, and ready to work,” says the NDS. “They are adept at gathering, driving, and keeping the stock under control.”
Developed in North Africa to help in hunting game, the Sloughi is a graceful, noble, and particularly athletic, medium-large short-haired dog. Despite its talents for endurance and speed, it is actually a quiet, calm, and reserved dog, and can even get along with other children and animals. And despite the fact that it has a “melancholic expression,” according to the NDS, “the Sloughi has a loyalty to its owner that does not easily waver.”
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