Currently, there are 200 breeds of dogs recognized by the American Kennel Club. Over the past five years there have been 10 new breeds of dogs that have achieved recognition by the American Kennel Club. Although these dog breeds might be new to American Kennel Club recognition and are new to being shown at the Westminster Kennel Club dog show, most of these breeds are quite old.
There is an involved process for a breed to achieve American Kennel Club recognition. This includes the formation of a national breed club, and demonstration of there being interest in this breed within the country. To achieve recognition as a breed, a national breed club must have a minimum of 100 active members and demonstrate a significant population of dogs in the United States, with a minimum of 300 to 400 dogs who have three-generation pedigrees (of the same breed). In addition, these dogs must be geographically distributed around the United States with dogs and club members being in at least 20 states. Once this has been achieved, a breed club can apply for AKC breed recognition.
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Here are new breeds that have been recognized by the American Kennel Club in the last five years:
Grand Basset Griffon Vendéen
The Grand Basset Griffon Vendéen was recognized by the American Kennel Club in 2018. The Grand Basset Griffon Vendéen is a French hound with a rich history that extends back over 400 years. This scent hound is an active, shaggy coated and long-eared dog. These hounds are longer than they are tall, have docile temperament, but are a breed that needs regular exercise. As a scent hound, the Grand Basset Griffon Vendéen's have a strong desire to chase small animals. These dogs are 15.5 to 18 inches tall at the withers (shoulders) and they weigh 40 to 45 pounds. The Grand Basset Griffon Vendéen has a wiry coat that requires weekly brushing but is otherwise not a grooming intensive breed and can make great family pets.
The Nederlandse Kooikerhondje was recognized by the American Kennel Club in 2018. The Nederlandse Kooikerhondje is an alert and active medium sized dog. Although this is a new breed to the American Kennel Club, the Nederlandse Kooikerhondje is an old breed with a rich history. The breed appears in Dutch paintings dating back to the Middle Ages, where they were first used as decoy dogs for duck hunting. Today this breed remains athletic dogs who thrive in active homes and enjoy spending time exploring outdoors with their families and participating in sports like agility. The breed has a strong prey drive and are very trainable. The Nederlandse Kooikerhondje is 15-16 inches in height at the withers and weighs 20 to 30 pounds. Their wavy double coat requires minimal grooming outside of weekly brushing.
Recognized by the American Kennel Club in 2019, the Azawakh is an ancient breed from West African countries of Burkina Faso, Niger, and Mali. This sighthound was developed for speed and endurance and for thousands of years have been used to assist hunters with chasing prey in the Sahara Desert. The Azawakh stands 23.5 to 29 inches tall and weighs between 33 and 55 pounds. The Azawakh is a very muscular and lean dog giving them a unique appearance that can surprise some dog lovers. A healthy Azawakh should have bones and muscles easily visible beneath the skin. Azawakh are bred to run and need a lot of exercise. These dogs especially excel in lure coursing competitions. This breed is independent and aloof, making careful early socialization very important.
Recognized by the American Kennel Club in 2020, the Barbet is a medium sized water dog whose origins go back to France. The Barbet is 19 to 24.5 inches tall, and they weigh 35 to 65 pounds. The Barbet was developed to find, flush and retrieve birds for hunters and have webbed paws. These dogs have dense curly fur that requires regular combing, brushing, and haircuts to keep these dogs looking and feeling their best. These athletic dogs enjoy staying active with their families and especially enjoy opportunities to swim. Don't let their scruffy appearance fool you, the Barbet is a strong athlete, and these dogs excel in a wide variety of dog spots and activities.
Recognized by the American Kennel Club in 2020, the Dogo Argentino is part of the working group and was developed to hunt in packs in Argentina in the early 1900s. The was first bred to hunt large game including pumas and wild boars. These large and strong dogs have a smooth white coat, are 24-26.5 inches in height and weigh 80 to 100 pounds. These large dogs should be highly muscular and are strong and alert and do best with experienced dog owners. The Dogo Argentino is a strong and loyal breed that become very bonded to their family. The breed is naturally very protective making careful early socialization vital for these dogs.
Recognized by the American Kennel Club in 2020, the Belgian Laekenois is a unique curly coated prick eared dog native to Belgium. This active herding dog has a similar temperament to other similar Belgian breeds like the Malinois. The Belgian Laekenois has a unique rough coat giving them a distinctive appearance which needs regular brushing. The Belgian Laekenois was originally developed to guard their family's home and tend to flocks of livestock. The Belgian Laekenois also became popular as a messenger dog during the World Wars. These dogs maintain a strong herding instinct for herding and guarding livestock. These dogs are very bonded to their people, are reserved with strangers and alert and intelligent. Regular exercise and training are a must for the Belgian Laekenois. The Belgian Laekenois is 22 to 26 inches tall and weighs between 55 and 65 pounds.
Accepted by the American Kennel Club in 2021, the Biewer Terrier is a tri-colored long haired small dog that makes an ideal family companion. The Biewer Terrier has a playful disposition and is generally friendly and affectionate with families and strangers alike. These playful dogs are part of the toy group and stand just 7 to 11 inches in height and weigh only 4 to 8 pounds. The Biewer Terrier's fur requires daily brushing to keep the long silky fur in good condition and prevent matting. These playful dogs thrive when they have the opportunity to spend time with their guardians. The Biewer Terrier, like any dog, needs regular exercise, but due to their temperament and size, these dogs can also thrive living in small living spaces like apartments.
Officially recognized by the American Kennel Club in 2022, the Bracco Italiano is a versatile gun dog. With a history dating back to the fifth century BC. This old pointing breed has been referred to as the oldest European pointer, and maintain their strong hunting instincts. The Bracco Italiano stands 21 to 27 inches and weighs between 55 and 90 pounds. The Bracco Italiano is a sturdy hunting dog that thrives with training. This high energy dog needs daily exercise and excels in a variety of dog sports as an outlet for their energy. These are dogs who thrive when they have a job to do.
The Mudi achieved American Kennel Club recognition in 2022. This agile and active herding breed was first developed as a Hungarian farm dog. The Mudi breed was developed specifically to manage livestock, and these strong drives and work ethics exist in the breed today. The Mudi is a lot of dog in a medium sized package. This dog weighs 18 to 29 pounds and stands 15 to 18.5 inches tall at the withers/shoulders. The Mudi breed is very high energy, and requires daily outlets for their physical and mental exercise. The natural athleticism and intelligence make the Mudi an ideal sports dog. As a result, Mudi are becoming increasingly popular in dog sports like agility, flyball, and disc dog frisbee events. The Mudi maintains their strong herding ability and excel in herding events. The Mudi began being intentionally bred in the 1930s from Hungarian sheepdogs, and the breed became very rare after the World Wars, until dedicated enthusiasts began working to preserve the breed in the 1960s.
The Russian toy is a small active dog that stands 8 to 11 inches, weighs up to 6.5 pounds, and has a history that goes back to the 18th century. The Russian toy is a loving and playful companion who thrive with spending time with their families, but can be wary and distrustful of strangers.. The Russian toy comes in smooth and long coated varieties. The Russian toy has relatively high energy and needs daily exercise. Don't let the Russian toy's size fool you, these active little dogs thrive with training. The long-haired variety of the breed requires brushing multiple times per week. The short, coated variety of the breed requires less grooming.
If you are interested in learning more about these and other breeds of dogs, attend an AKC sanctioned dog show in your local area. At these events you'll be able to see these dogs in action, meet people who are involved in the breed and can share more about what it's like to live with one of these new breeds.