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Three new dog breeds to enter Westminster

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Sometimes it takes years for a dog breed to be recognized. It is that way so that it is certain that the dogs will have longevity in the dog world. There are times that certain breeds disappear quickly due to health and other reasons, so to err on the careful side for the sake of canine enthusiasts, it is best to give it some time. That being said, there are three new breeds being recognized in this year’s 138th Westminster Dog Show that will start on February 10th.

Let’s take a better look at the three new contenders, shall we?

1. The Chinook: The father of this Northern breed was born on a New Hampshire farm in 1917. It is no wonder that the Chinook is New Hampshire’s official state dog now is it? It’s mother was a “Northern Husky” and its sire was a large, mixed-breed dog on Peary’s North Pole team. Resembling neither parent, the Chinook is an outstanding sled dog. The breed inherited the first Chinook’s coloring, size and general characteristics. The dog continued to be bred to combine the strength of the large freight dog with the speed of smaller racing sled dogs. This breed is a very rare breed. In the 1980s the breed almost became extinct. Since then, the dog has become more of a companion dog, capable of being a work dog. The dogs still love sledding, skijoring and carting. They are easily obedience trained and are calm on a harness. This beautiful working breed will hopefully long be preserved now.

2. The Portuguese podengo pequeno (pronounced poh-DEHN'-goh peh-KAYN'-yoh): is a compact rabbit hunter. This breed of dog is the National Dog of Portugal. It was derived from the ancient hounds that were brought to the Iberian Peninsula with the Phoenician traders from Asia Minor around 1,000 BC. The breed was developed over time to hunt the harsh terrain of Portugal and to penetrate its vast thickets to get to its prey. The first Portuguese Podengo Pequeno was brought over to the United States in the 1990's. Although being around for centuries, it is finally being recognized at Westminster.

3. The Rat Terrier: This breed was originally developed in Great Britain from the Smooth Fox Terrier and the Manchester Terrier in 1820 and named by Teddy Roosevelt. Today the breed is a family-friendly companion dog. Roosevelt loved the black and tan dogs and was featured in Life Magazine with his three dogs. Afterward American breeders re-crossed the mix to include the following: the Smooth Fox Terrier with the Beagle and the Whippet. With the insertion of the Beagle, the bulk, trailing and hunting capabilities increased, as did the dogs’ red coloring. The Whippet added speed and agility along with the blue and brindle coloring in some Rat Terriers today. The dogs are hardworking, versatile and intelligent dogs.

All three breeds have been around for a long time (although less recently in the U.S. for the last two breeds). Recognition and fame may finally come to any one of the three. We will now just have to wait and see!

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