Dogs are taking over the world, one more officially-recognized breed at a time. That's not a bad thing. Our dog overloads will be kind, I'm sure. This year, the doggo empire grew by two, with two new American Kennel Club recognized breeds: the Nederlandse Kooikerhondje and the Grand Basset Griffon Vendeen. Here's a quick guide to everything you need to know about the new dog breeds of 2018.
Why is AKC the group that gets to officially add new dog breeds?
The American Kennel Club is basically the leading authority on dog breeds. While we all love a good mutt, the people at the AKC are obsessed with breeding and purebred status. It's required for many dog shows and AKC registration can help breeders (and dog owners who have a soft spot for specific breeds) make sure the breed is staying as healthy as possible.
According to the AKC's website, its official mission is to "advance the study, breeding, exhibiting, running and maintenance of purebred dogs."
What does it take for a breed to be officially recognized by the AKC?
Becoming an AKC-recognized breed isn't an easy task. Including this year's additions, the entire list is just 192 breeds (for context, there are approximately 400 breeds listed with similar organizations in other countries).
The American Kennel Club, which was founded in 1884, does not register all of the breeds that exist worldwide for a variety of reasons. In some cases, there are too few dogs of that particular breed in the United States for them to qualify. In others, there might not be enough interest from owners of the breeds to register them with the AKC (being registered with the AKC makes a dog eligible to participate in any of the organization's 22,000+ events each year).
So what do you do if you have a breed of dog that isn't recognized by the AKC but that you think should be? The first step is to set up a National Breed Club for other owners of your dog's breed. Then, you have to make sure that your breed is recorded with an accepted registry (accepted registries are maintained by the national breed club or the optional AKC Foundation Stock Service, which is the AKC's recording service for purebred breeds that are not yet eligible for AKC registration ).
Getting into the FSS isn't a guarantee that your breed will ever achieve the coveted AKC recognition though. There are currently 65 breeds in the FSS, according to the AKC.
If you want to get your breed listed in the FSS, you have to send a written request from your Breed Club along with "additional documentation such as a written history and a written breed standard," according to the AKC. You'll also be required to send in pictures of your dog breed when you apply, so get snapping.
What do you need to know about the new dog breeds in 2018?
Now, let's talk about the two breeds that made it through all of those hoops to become AKC recognized this year.
The Nederlandse Kooikerhondje
First, there's the Nederlandse Kooikerhondje (pronounced Netherlands-e Coy-ker-hond-tsje, because you KNOW you're wondering). This cuties is a spaniel-type dog whose origins date back literally hundreds of years ago in Europe, where its ancestors were duck hunters. As such, the AKC has placed the Kooiker in its Sporting Group.
According to the AKC, the Nederlandse Kooikerhondje was a favorite of Dutch nobility (which is fair—they're up there with the Queen's corgis in cuteness).
These Good Boys and Good Girls are full of energy, which means they need regular mental and physical activity to stay happy (something to keep in mind if you're already googling breeders in your area) and they're friendly AF. They're medium maintenance dogs, with medium coats that require medium amounts of brushing (roughly once a week).
The Grand Basset Griffon Vendeen
Next, let's talk about the the Grand Basset Griffon Vendeen (GBGV for short). This one is pronounced like Grahnd Bah-SAY Grif-FON Vahn-DAY-ahn and its origins can be traced back to France, where its ancestors hunted rabbits and hares. This speedy guy has been added to the AKC's Hound Group.
Other fun facts about the GBGV: They're laidback, friendly pack dogs that love to be around and get along well with other doggos, meaning yes, you can adopt one right now to add to your fur-fam if you're already in love.
These little muppets are also whipsmart and very active (they were bred to chase rabbits, after all), so you'll need to be willing and able to get this pup daily exercise—and lots of it—if you want to add one to your family.
The GBGV is a pretty low-maintenance dog, with a rough, straight coat that has that adorable, natural bedhead look, meaning you don't have to worry about styling it. You will need to brush the GBGV's coat about once a week or you might start to notice some matting.