With several hundred of dog breeds already registered in the United States, it’s always a pleasure to watch these dogs “strut their stuff” nose to tail in the show ring. In 2015, two new breeds will be added to the constellation of pampered dogs competing at the nation’s premier competition: the wire-haired Vizsla and the Coton de Tulear. With these much anticipated additions, the number of breeds featured in the Westminster Dog Show will rise to 180. Expect to see these new additions at the event held in February 2015. Can’t wait until then to see these pooches? Then read on, to learn more about these newly featured breeds and what makes them so special.
Getting to Know the Wire-haired Vizsla
Falko, a promising wire-haired Vizsla, just a little over one year old, will be the lucky dog to represent his breed for the first time this year at the Westminster dog show event. Despite the fact this breed tends to be more on the hyper side, when Falko appeared the first time on stage at a news conference, he had just woken up from a nap and appeared quite relaxed, according to the Wet Nose Press.
A Look Back in History
As the smooth-haired version, the wire-haired Vizsla originates in Hungary where it was utilized and continues to be utilized for its excellent hunting capabilities. There’s no bones about it, these dogs are natural hunters capable of pointing and retrieving both on land and in water. We must thank Vasas Jozsef and Gresznarik Laszlo if today we can enjoy this dog as they both rolled up their sleeves and developed this breed in the 1930s. The goal was to produce a dog similar to the Vizsla but with a better coat so to protect them from the frosty Hungarian winters and icy waters. The breed was developed by crossing two female Vizsla with a liver-colored German wire-haired Pointer male. The offspring soon produced a dog with the body similar to the Vizsla and the head boasting German wire-haired Pointer features.
Although this dog shares many similarities to the traditional Vizsla, it’s a distinctively different breed. As the name implies, this breed has a wire coat featuring a golden rust color which helps him strategically blend in with the dried grasses of his native Hungarian fields. The undercoat is dense and water resistant. In countries where it is permitted, the tail may be docked to about three-fourths of its length. The head boasts a distinctive expression derived from its typical eyebrows and beard.
When it comes to temperament, we are looking at a high-energy dog, that, when provided with the right amount of exercise and gentle training, has the potential to be a gentle, quiet dog that bonds strongly with its owners. Because this is a highly intelligent dog, it enjoys being challenged with training and mind-stimulating games. Despite the high energy levels and excellent hunting capabilities, this breed is quite easy to live with.
How Common is this Breed?
Overall, this breed is quite rare. Simply consider that in Hungary there are only about 140 to 150 specimens registered in a year and in the US there are only about 400 to 450 specimens. In 2008, the breed was admitted to the American Kennel Club’s Foundation Stock Service Program, and in 2009 it was allowed to compete in AKC Companion and Performance Events. Finally, in 2011, the breed was shown in the AKC Miscellaneous Class and in July 2, 2014 the breed was recognized by the American Kennel Club and categorized under the Sporting Group according to Wikipedia.
Getting to Know the Coton de Tulear
Luna, a two-year-old Coton de Tulear will have the honor to represent her breed at the next Westminster show. At the news conference she stood politely while organizers discussed plans for the show, according to the
A Look Back into History
This breed gains its name from Tulear, a port city in Madagascar, just off the coast of eastern Africa, where it is still considered the island’s national dog. The rest of the name derives from the signature trait of the breed: a coat that resembles cotton. The breed was utilized as a companion dog for the royalty and for this reason was nicknamed “the royal dog of Madagascar.”
The most prominent feature of the coton de telear is its distinctive coat which gives its signature, cotton-ball look to this breed. The black nose and expressive eyes further contribute to this breed’s cuteness factor. Because the coat features hair rather than fur, this dog doesn’t shed and is considered hypoallergenic. However, the coat may mat easily if it isn’t regularly brushed and combed. When it comes to colors, this breed comes in white, black and white, and tricolor. At rest, the tail is carried low, but it quickly comes to life upon movement when it’s carried proudly arched over the back. Overall, the general expression of this breed is of a lively, merry dog.
This is a playful dog that likes to get vocal when it’s time to play. Grunts, barks and whines are part of its repertoire. The dogs’ lively and affectionate personality makes them wonderful companions who are great with children, other animals and new people. Training is quite easy as these dogs are eager to please. It’s not unusual to see cotons perform tricks such as walking on their hind legs just to entertain their owners. Like the wire-haired Vizsla, the cotton doesn’t mind water; indeed, you may stumble on them enjoying a swim in the pool.
How Common is This Breed?
As the wire-haired Vizsla, the Cotton de Tulear remains a fairly rare breed. As such, expect them to have a nice price tag reaching anywhere between $1,800 and $3,500 according to Wikipedia. The breed has recently been accepted by the American Kennel Club in 2012.
When Can We Expect to See Them?
Luna, the Cotton de Tulear, and Falko, the wire-haired Vizsla will be proudly representing their own breeds at the 139th Westminster Kennel Club Dog Showevent scheduled for February 16 and 17, 2015. The event is held at Madison Square Garden, in New York.