AKC welcomes six new breeds

Six new breeds accepted in 2001


The American Kennel Club has opened its doors to six new breeds at once, the first time the registry has done so.

In the past, breeds entered the miscellaneous class one by one to wait for full registration privileges and assignment to a breed group. The most recent breeds to be granted wait-in-the-wings status are the German Pinscher and the Toy Fox Terrier – most recent that is until August 1 when six breeds piled onto the stage in a broad casting call aimed at filling coveted roles in specified breed groups.

The six breeds are unrelated. Each will eventually join an established cast of characters in one of seven breed groups, but first must mark time while the parent clubs prove they can adequately support breed activities. As understudies, the breeds can compete in obedience and agility trials and in special conformation classes, but they are not eligible for coveted roles in group or best-in-show productions.

Spectators may see some dogs of these breeds at larger all-breed shows, including the September 1-3 shows at the Lexington Horse Park and the mid-November shows in Columbus, Ohio.

The breeds to look for are the Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever, Redbone Coonhound, Black Russian Terrier, Glen of Imaal Terrier, Neapolitan Mastiff, and Beauceron. They join the Polish Lowland Sheepdog, the German Pinscher, and the Toy Fox Terrier behind the curtain, waiting for the chance to trod the boards on AKC’s national stage.

Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever

The Toller is a red dog that looks like a smaller version of the Golden Retriever and has just a smidgeon less energy than a Border Collie. Developed in Canada to ‘toll’ or lure curious ducks towards lakeshores and river banks with his antics, the Toller is an all-arounder – a great hunting dog, a willing obedience dog, a joyful agility competitor, and an affectionate and playful pet.

Probably a result of crossing several breeds of retrievers, brown Cocker Spaniels, Irish Setters, and perhaps a farm collie here and there, the Toller is 18-20 inches tall and weighs 35-50 pounds. His soft wavy coat is always red or orange, often with white patches on chest, paws, and tip of the tail. The hair is longest on his underside, legs and tail. His coat needs fairly frequent brushing to remain free of tangles.

Although he is relatively easy to train and willing to please, he can be stubborn and creative when he disobeys.

Tollers are susceptible to hip dysplasia and eye diseases, so those interested in the breed should make sure that the breeder screens for these genetic abnormalities.

The Toller will eventually join the AKC Sporting Group.

[For more on Tollers see Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever; Tollers win hearts and influence people at http://www.canismajor.com/dog/nsdtr.html]

Redbone Coonhound

One of six US raccoon-hunting breeds developed from foxhounds, the Redbone is the third of the group to enter AKC all-breed show competitions. The Black and Tan Coonhound was recognized in 1945 and the Plott Hound in 2000.

The Redbone dates back to the mid-1800s when a Georgia breeder of foxhounds acquired a pack of dogs that he crossed with Bloodhounds and perhaps some hounds of Irish ancestry. The dog’s red color was set when breeders selected against the black saddle of the Bloodhound.

The medium-sized Redbone is 22-27 inches tall with the shoulders slightly higher than the hips. He is always red, sometimes with a bit of white on the chest or paws. An athletic-looking dog, he has clean lines, a well-muscled body, and tight feet. A raccoon specialist, he is also used to hunt and tree cougar, bear, and bobcat. His tail is carried high, and his voice is sweet when he’s on the trail of his quarry.

The Redbone Coonhound will join the AKC Hound Group after a suitable period in the miscellaneous category.

Black Russian Terrier

A relatively new breed, the Black Russian Terrier was developed as a guard dog by the Red Army in the USSR. Work began in 1930 to produce a tough, courageous, all-around military dog that could withstand Russia’s harsh climate. The foundation dogs were Rottweilers, Giant Schnauzers, and Airedale Terriers carefully-selected for stable temperament, athletic ability, and stamina. Offspring of the initial breedings of Rottweilers to Giant Schnauzers and Giant Schnauzers to Airedales were bred to each other, and the resulting breed standardized in the 1956.

The Black Russian Terrier is slightly larger and more muscular than the Giant Schnauzer and has a longer coat. Standing up to 28.5 inches at the shoulder, this breed is strong, athletic, and dignified and takes its job as family guardian seriously. Aloof with strangers, he is fearless but not aggressive.

Tight feet, a wiry coat up to four inches long, a docked tail, bushy eyebrows, and a beard complete the picture. Like other guardian breeds, this dog needs a firm hand and early socialization and training.

The Black Russian Terrier will ultimately join the AKC Working Group.

Neapolitan Mastiff

A new breed with an ancient history, the Neapolitan Mastiff is the Italian cousin to England’s Mastiff and France’s Dogue de Bordeaux. Descended from the Molosser, the giant war dog of early Egypt, Persia, Mesopotamia, and Asia, the Neapolitan Mastiff traveled to Greece and throughout Europe as the Romans extended their empire from the shores of Mediterranean Sea to the British Isles. After a distinguished military career, the dogs remaining in southern Italy eventually settled into jobs as estate guardians. Breeders kept the imposing appearance of the Neo’s ancestors – today’s dogs have the commanding size, serious look, and heavy, loose skin of the war dogs and are described in breed literature as “superior defenders of person and property.”(1)

Italians finally began promoting the breed after World War II, and it was recognized in Europe in 1949. Although some individuals probably came to the US with waves of immigrants in the late 1800s, the breed became established here in the 1970s and was recognized by UKC in 1995.

The Neapolitan Mastiff is a giant dog that can reach 29 inches in height and weigh more than 150 pounds at maturity, with males considerably larger than females. A dog of large bone and massive muscle, he has pendulous folds of skin that hang from his head and neck, giving him a sad sack appearance that belie his alert and intelligent character. Smooth-coated, he is usually blue-gray, black, mahogany, or tawny, with or without brindling. He may have small white patches on his chest and on the tips of his toes.

A faithful companion, the Neo guards his home, hearth, and family with his imposing appearance and confidence. He generally likes children; however, because he is so large, he could unintentionally cause an injury, so he should not be left unsupervised with children.

Like other large breeds, the Neo is subject to hip dysplasia, cardiomyopathy, and a handful of other genetic problems. He is also relatively short-lived with a life expectancy of eight-to-10 years.

The Neo will also join the AKC Working Group.

2. “History of the Neapolitan Mastiff Breed,” United States Neapolitan Mastiff Club, www.neapolitan.org/breed/history/history.html

Irish Glen of Imaal Terrier

This little dog from Ireland once hunted vermin in the Irish valley that gives him his name, but today is known mostly as a pet and show dog. A fearless and silent hunter, he counted the fierce badger among his quarry and delighted huntsmen with his tenacious devotion to his task.

The Glen of Imaal Terrier is a small dog that reaches 14 inches at the shoulder and weighs about 35 pounds. He looks somewhat like a short-legged version of the Soft-coated Wheaten Terrier, another native of Ireland, and somewhat like the Sealyham and Dandie Dinmont Terriers from Scotland and Wales. His harsh double coat comes in a variety of colors, but the most common are wheaten and blue brindle.

Described as a dog of rough and ready appearance, the Glen is a happy, playful, intelligent dog that, unlike most other terriers, is quiet enough for apartment living and gentle enough to be a child’s companion.

The Glen will become a member of the AKC Terrier Group.


Developed in the farming region around Paris, the Beauceron is a very old working breed refined to its present type over generations of selective breeding. Originally used as flock herders and guardians, the breed’s intelligence, strength, and fearless character gained it a reputation as a military dog during both World War I and World War II.

A strictly French breed, the Beauceron nonetheless resembles a cross between the Doberman Pinscher and the German Shepherd. The short-coated Beauceron comes in two color patterns: the common black and tan seen in Dobermans and Rottweilers and the rare harlequin, a pattern similar to dapple in Dachshunds or merle in Great Danes. At an average of 27.5 inches tall, the Beauceron is a bit taller than most Dobermans and can weigh more than 100 pounds to the Doberman’s range of 60-85 pounds.

Like other breeds that double as shepherds and flock guardians, the Beauceron is strong, intelligent, quick to learn, versatile, and faithful.

The Beauceron will enter the AKC Herding Group in due time.
2. “History of the Neapolitan Mastiff Breed,” United States Neapolitan Mastiff Club, www.neapolitan.org/breed/history/history.html

Norma Bennett Woolf

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