Westminster 2011 Welcomes Six New Dog Breeds

The Boykin Spaniel, Bluetick Coonhound and four others compete for the first time at the legendary event.

By | Posted: February 11, 2011, 2 a.m. EST

Six new dog breeds now approved for competition by the American Kennel Club will make their Westminster Kennel Club debut this year.

Boykin SpanielThe Sporting Group will welcome the Boykin Spaniel, a talented little chocolate-brown gundog. Hunters appreciate the Boykin because with its smaller size, dog and duck can be lifted into the boat together.  In the early 1900s a small dog was found wandering near a church in Spartenburg, S.C. Alexander L. White, attending services there, took the dog home. He sent him to his hunting partner L. Whitaker Boykin of the Boykin community just outside Camden, S.C. where the little stray developed into an excellent turkey dog and waterfowl retriever. In 1985 the Boykin Spaniel was named the official state dog.

Bluetick CoonhoundTwo coonhound breeds join the Hound Group. The Bluetick Coonhound is fast, well-muscled and a tenacious tracker. He is talented at trailing and treeing raccoons and other small game.  The breed gets its name from its coat pattern, which is dark blue in color and covered in ticking, with black patches on its ears, back and sides. Blueticks are known for their “bawling” bark.

Redbone CoonhoundThe Redbone Coonhound is a versatile hunter with flashy, red good looks. This breed will hunt and swim over a variety of terrain in pursuit of its quarry, which ranges from raccoons to cougars. The breed dates back to red foxhounds that were brought over by Scottish immigrants in the late 1700s and other red foxhounds imported from Ireland before the Civil War.

Cane CorsoThe Cane Corso is an Italian Mastiff, competing in the Working Group alongside his heavier, wrinkled relative the Neapolitan Mastiff.  The Cane Corso worked on family farms, protecting livestock and property, but was also agile enough to hunt large game such as wild boar. This is an intelligent but powerful dog that needs early and constant socialization. The Cane Corso’s short, coarse coat can be black, blue-gray, fawn or red, with or without brindling (stripes).

LeonbergerThat’s not a lion entering the Working Group although the Leonberger is affectionately nicknamed the “Leo.” The breed originated in the 1800s in Leonberg, Germany, for the purpose of farm and draft work, as well as family companion.  The Leo is a large, muscular dog with a medium-length, weather-resistant coat of lion yellow to reddish-brown, the hairs often tipped in black. This is a heavy shedder so daily brushing is recommended, along with moderate daily exercise.

Icelandic SheepdogThe Icelandic Sheepdog is the new arrival in the Herding Group. This hardy Nordic member of the Spitz family arrived in Iceland on the longboats of the early Viking settlers. He worked sheep, cattle and horses, adapting well to Iceland’s terrain and farming techniques.  His body is rectangular when viewed from the side, with erect ears, a curled tail and a thick, waterproof coat. The Icelandic Sheepdog is patient with children, devoted to all, and makes a charming family dog.

For more info, visit DogChannel’s Westminster Unleashed.


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