Hunting dogs are turning heads!
Two new hunting dog breeds have been added to the American Kennel Club, according to their announcement. The Nederlandse Kooikerhondje and the Grand Basset Griffon Vendéen will be added to the AKC registry of 192 dogs.
The Nederlandse Kooikerhondje is a Dutch dog breed that looks like a spaniel. It's name is pronounced Netherlands-e Coy-ker-hond-tsje, or Kooker for short. It will join the AKC's Sporting Group in competitions.
These working dogs have a history with Dutch nobility, and are an active, friendly breed. They are actually trained to lure ducks into cages which Dutch merchants would take to the market during the 19th century. Not your traditional hunting dog! Nowadays, these water dogs make a great companion and family dog, and excel in dog sports like obedience training and dock diving.
The Nederlandse Kooikerhondje has a medium-length coat of white hair and brown markings. They are believed to be descendants of the Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever.
While the breed's numbers are still low, 7,000 in the world and 500 in the U.S., according to Jac Knoop, the president of the Kooikerhondje Club of the USA, this new recognition will hopefully revive the breed. The breed actually nearly went extinct in the Netherlands during World War II until Baroness Van Hardenbroek took it upon herself to save a bloodline.
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Karen Parker is the vice president of the official Kooikerhondje Club of the USA and she described the Dutch dog to the AKC like this:
"They are fun loving, energetic, and happiest being with their people at all times. We have lots of families that like to hike, swim, paddleboard, and kayak with their dogs. Conversely, these dogs love to spend time relaxing at home."
The second dog to be added is the Grand Basset Griffon Vendéen, a French scent hound.
This dog has its roots as a rabbit and small game hunter in France. Its name is pronounced Grahnd Bah-SAY Grif-FON Vahn-DAY-ahn and it will be added to the AKC Hound Group. This hound has a cousin in the Basset Hound and a long history in Europe.
The Grand Basset Griffon Vendéen, or GBGV for short, has a long body that sits close to the ground due to short, straight legs. It has characteristics of the Basset but has long hair. The breed standard coat is white with either brown or black spots; it is never a solid color.
The GBGV also has low population numbers with only 400 in the U.S. and is not easy to breed, according to Corey Benedict, president of the Grand Basset Griffon Vendeen Club of America.
Benedict told the AKC:
"They are not cookie-cutters, as breeders often say, and consistency is difficult to achieve. We encourage the breeding of out-crosses (dogs not related), which means we do no line breeding, This breed has a very small gene pool, and getting new pedigrees that will pass health clearances is not easy."
They are not necessarily a good breed for first-time dog owners since they are known to have a stubborn streak.
Both dog breeds are eligible to compete in their groups in dog shows but won't be included in the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show on February 12 and 13th.
While the AKC is criticized for announcing new breeds as it potentially leads to growth in canine populations, they ensure they only recognize reputable breeders and always promote responsible dog ownership. Some American Kennel Club competition events also allow mixed-breed dogs to enter.
What do you think of these two new breeds? Tell us in the comments below.
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