'Mudi'? You might like to try a toy: American Kennel Club has added 2 dog breeds

NEW YORK (AP), -- A small pet of the Russian aristocrats and an athletic Hungarian farm dog are among the latest breeds added to the American Kennel Club's purebred line-up.

'Mudi'? You might like to try a toy: American Kennel Club has added 2 dog breeds

Tuesday's announcement by the club was that they will recognize the Russian toy as well as the mudi. This means that they are eligible to compete at numerous U.S. dog shows including the AKC's annual championship and Westminster Kennel Club show.

The mudi, pronounced "moody", is a descendant of long lines Hungarian sheepdogs. A museum director became interested in the breed around 1930 and gave it a name. The medium-sized, shaggy, hardworking dogs have a lot of admirers. They can hunt boar, herd sheep and snag rats, and are capable of competing in canine sports like agility and dock diving.

Kim Seiter, an Oak Ridge dog agility trainer, stated that they are perceptive and have subtle qualities. She has four of them. They are not for the inactive.

In 2004, the dogs (the plural is "mudik") were featured on stamps from their homeland.

The Russian toy was derived from small English terriers, which were popular among Russian elites in the early 1700s. Breeders claim that the diminutive dogs, which weigh in at 6.5 pounds (2.7kg), have a lively demeanor, a perky expression, and a leggy body.

Gina DiNardo, AKC executive secretary, said that the breed thrives on being near its owners. She described the dog as a "wonderful companion for an owner who is able to be with the dog a lot."

The AKC is America's oldest purebred dog registry. It is the governing body of many dog shows and recognizes 199 breeds.

The breed must have at least 300 dogs from the breed in at least 20 states. Breed standards must be promulgated that specify ideal characteristics, from temperament to feet. Popular hybrids or "designer" breeds such as Labradoodles or puggles are not recognized. However, it is possible that they will be one day.

Animal rights advocates and welfare advocates are critical of dog breeding and the purebred market. They claim they encourage puppy mills and abandon pets in shelters.

According to the AKC, breeding can be done responsibly and retains certain predictable characteristics that allow people to find and commit the right dog.

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