Three dog breeds will join the big show next month when the Westminster Kennel Club releases the hounds at Madison Square Garden.
The American hairless terrier, Pumi and Sloughi will make their debuts at the famous canine competition. It will air Feb. 13 and 14, for the first time on Fox Sports 1.
This year’s show features 2,798 dogs from 49 states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico.
New York contributes the most competitors, represented by 260 dogs, followed by California (246), Pennsylvania (232), New Jersey (188) and Florida (148).
Check out the newcomers here.
One word describes the Pumi’s look: shagalicious.
It has a short, fluffy, corkscrew coat, like a teddy bear, that comes in many colors — black, white, gray or “shades of fawn from pale cream to red,” says the American Kennel Club.
The Pumi is a high-energy, lively Hungarian herding dog and a relative of the puli, which most people recognize for its long, corded hair that looks like a mop.
As a herding dog the Pumi is bred to take directions from a shepherd, which makes them very focused on their people.
Last summer it became the 190th breed recognized by the AKC, a designation allowing it to compete at Westminster and other AKC-sanctioned events.
Though it’s recognized worldwide — Scandinavians especially love it — the Pumi is a relative newcomer to the United States.
American hairless terrier
Unlike the shaggy Pumi, this dog lacks a “coat.” And because it is hairless, it is prone to sunburn and must wear sunscreen or some type of protective clothing — like a coat — when it’s outside, the AKC says.
On the flip side: It causes fewer allergic reactions than other breeds, making it a good pet choice for allergy sufferers.
It is pure terrier — affectionate, playful, high-energy, willing to try anything. It makes a great family dog and guard dog since it tends to bark at unfamiliar sounds.
In ancient times the breed hunted rats and other vermin, a heritage that helps it perform well in today’s AKC dog sports.
This stately breed is also known as the Arabian Greyhound. Bred to hunt wild game of all sizes such as gazelle, wild pigs and jackals in Africa, the Sloughi — pronounced SLOO-ghee — is speedy, agile and energetic, the AKC says.
Note to potential owners: This elegant dog with an athletic build needs space to run off all that energy. It’s known to “run after anything” that catches its attention.
And, though very loyal to its human companions, this breed can be a little standoffish, or reserved, around strangers.
Where the Pumi is known for its “whimsical” face, the Sloughi wears a “gentle, melancholy expression,” the AKC says.
The Sloughi and the American Hairless Terrier were both welcomed into the elite arms of the AKC in January 2016, just missing the cutoff for their Westminster debut last year.