Meet the Seven New Breeds Competing in This Year's Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show
There will be some furry new faces strutting their stuff in this year's Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show. Seven new breeds are joining this year's competition, beginning Feb. 15 in New York City.
From a 185-pound Boerboel to a 20-pound Cirneco dell'Etna, PEOPLE breaks down the new breeds you'll see debuting on stage with activities beginning this weekend.
Small but mighty, this Italian breed is a stunner. Kathy Schwabe says her Cirneco dell'Etna named Jeter, who is competing in Westminster's hound group, is a “ham.”
“He is an attention hound,” she tells PEOPLE. “He was born to be a show dog. He walks in and says 'I'm here', everyone else can go home now. He's from Sicily, I think it just comes along.”
SPANISH WATER DOG
This breed is a versatile herding dog with a non-shedding fur coat.
According to Westminster Kennel Club, they're “loyal, vigilant and naturally protective.”
MINIATURE AMERICAN SHEPHERD
This breed will be competing in the herding group. Miniature Australian Shepherds are often four different colors with three distinct markings.
Owner Cynthia Booth says her 2-year-old Miniature Australian Shepherd named Rayna loves to lay on the back of the couch and put her chin on her shoulder.
“She is very loving,” Booth says.
Or better-named “The People Pleaser”, according to owner Andrea Shaffer, this breed loves to make you happy.
“He's an intense retriever who loves to swim and fetch,” she tells PEOPLE. “He would run and chase a ball or a toy until he was exhausted.”
Shaffer says being welcomed into Westminster is “an amazing experience” for the breed who will compete in the sporting group.
“It's quite a leap but we are privileged to be there and we will do our best.”
The Boerboel may be part of the working group, but they also have a silly side, according to Eileen Weatherbee, who is showing her Boerboel, Oblio.
“He's a jokester,” she says of her 17-month-old pup. “He takes his toys and throws them up in the air then jumps up and tries to get them.”
He's about 150 pounds right now, but Weatherbee says Oblio will start to fill out and become around 185 pounds at full maturity.
This breed may look familiar if you've seen Because of Winn-Dixie.
“They're calm, confident, easygoing, and honest,” owner Christina Potter tells PEOPLE.
Berger Picards were also just officially recognized by the AKC and will compete in the herding group.
One look at the Bergamasco and all sorts of questions arise.
First, their entire coat is matted and made up of three different types of hair, which owner Erik Rothman says makes for a nice blanket.
“They're just really sweet, family dogs, and even if you have a huge house, they are still always by your feet and keep your feet warm,” he tells PEOPLE.
He also adds, the 2000-year-old breed originated in the Italian Alps and drove sheep from mountain top to mountain top, placing the Bergamasco in the herding group for this competition.