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2 New Breeds Allowed To Compete At Westminster Dog Show


Big news this week for the four-legged set, for well-bred dogs, in particular. The Westminster Kennel Club announced two new breeds can compete in its 139th dog show in February.

DAVID FREI: The coton de tulear and the wire-haired vizsla.

SIEGEL: That's David Frei, the director of communications for the show. He also co-hosts the broadcast of the canine competition.


Frei explains that the coton is a small white fluff-ball of a dog.

FREI: Coton is the French word for cotton and that's what this dog looks like, a little bit of a cotton swab. It's got a long white coat, smallish dog; looks more like a toy dog than the non-sporting group that it's in - fun little dog. The royal dog of Madagascar, if you will, was exported through the Port of Tulear in Madagascar, ended up in France and other places in Europe before it came to this country and now it's not really a new breed per se, but it's new to us. So the AKC has recognized it for competition and says that we can have them in our dog show and we're excited about that.

MARTIN: If you don't fancy fluffy, perhaps the hunting Hungarian breed is for you.

SIEGEL: Nancy Edmunds breeds and trains the dogs in Georgia. She worked to have the wire-haired vizsla added to competition. She says their inch-long coat is suited to their work.

NANCY EDMUNDS: It's crinkly-feeling and protects them from the elements and the briars and brushes when they're out hunting.

MARTIN: They also have distinctive, professorial faces.

EDMUNDS: They have a nice little beard and moustache combination that's adorable. And along with that, they have eyebrows that come out over their eyes. They are a rust color. We mainly call that a golden rust.

MARTIN: For those of you keeping track, that brings the grand total of breeds to 192.


EUGENE LEVY AND CATHERINE O'HARA: (Singing, as Gerry and Cookie Fleck) God loves a terrier, yes he does.

SIEGEL: Maybe it's time for a "Best In Show" remake. Might God also love a wire-haired vizsla or coton de tulear?


LEVY AND O'HARA: (Singing, as Gerry and Cookie Fleck) Sturdy, bright and true, they give their love to you.

MARTIN: This is NPR News. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.