American Kennel Club Welcomes 3 New Breeds for 2009

The American Kennel Club® (AKC) has added three new breeds to its 158 registered breeds eligible for full AKC registration and competition in their respective groups at conformation shows held on and after January 1, 2009.

The Irish Red and White Setter, the Pyrenean Shepherd and the Norwegian Buhund join as the 159th, 160th, and the 161st registered breeds respectively. The Irish Red and White Setter will join the Sporting Group while both the Pyrenean Shepherd and the Norwegian Buhund will join the Herding Group.

According to the AKC, the history of the Irish Red and White Setter "is as mysterious as the myths and legends of the country of origin". The Irish Red and White Setter Association was 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.

The Pyrenean Shepherd, of which there are both rough-faced and smooth-faced coat types, has herded sheep in the Pyrenees Mountains of Southern France for centuries. It first distinguished itself outside its native mountains during its service to French troops during World War I. Hundreds or even thousands of Pyrenean Shepherds gave their lives for the cause as couriers, search and rescue dogs finding injured soldiers after battles, and accompanying guards on their rounds.

The Norwegian Buhund belongs to a large class of dogs called the Spitz type and 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 some types of police work, and perform well in obedience and agility trials.

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