Three Dog Breeds Gain Full AKC Recognition
Club welcomes Irish Red and White Setter, Pyrenean Shepherd, and Norwegian Buhund.
Posted: January 17, 2009, 5 a.m. EST
The newest dog breeds to gain full recognition with the American Kennel Club (AKC) are the Irish Red and White Setter, Pyrenean Shepherd, and Norwegian Buhund.
The latest additions raise the AKC's total number of registered breeds to 161. The Irish Red and White Setter will join the Sporting Group while the Pyrenean Shepherd and the Norwegian Buhund join the Herding Group.
The American Kennel Club offers a brief history of the newly registered breeds:
Irish Red and White Setter
Its original purpose was as a versatile hunting companion, providing food — both fur and feather. The Irish Red and White Setter Association formed in America in 1997 to preserve the purebred Irish Red and White Setter and to maintain the heritage and unique qualities of the breed as a multi-talented gun dog. As a companion, they are loving, loyal, and best suited for an active family.
The “Pyr Shep” has herded sheep in the Pyrenees Mountains of Southern France for centuries. The breed comes in two coat types — rough-faced and smooth-faced. It first distinguished itself outside its native mountains during its service to French troops during World War I. Hundreds of Pyr Sheps gave their lives for the cause as couriers, search-and-rescue dogs finding injured soldiers after battles, and accompanying guards on their rounds. Although tentative with strangers, the Pyrenean Shepherd has a lively, cheerful disposition, and is a superb canine athlete who excels at agility and other dog sports.
The Norwegian Buhund belongs to a large class of dogs called the Spitz type. The breed as we know it today, with its prick ears and curled tail, was nurtured in the rainy western coastlands of Norway where they herded sheep, guarded farms, and hunted bear and wolf. Besides working ability, Buhunds are trained to aid the hearing impaired, perform police work, and perform well in obedience and agility trials. In fact, the Buhund is considered by many to be the most trainable of the Spitz breeds. Today they work with livestock, guard home and family, and make wonderful companions for active people or families.
The breeds became eligible for full AKC registration and competition in their respective groups on Jan. 1.
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