Thursday, July 8, 2010

New Dog Breeds _ AKC

Three "new" dog breeds are being recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC). Although neither of the three breeds are truly new... they have been around for centuries, they will soon become popular amongst pet owners.

The Icelandic sheepdog, for example, arrived on that island nation with the Vikings, who settled there more than 1,000 years ago. The breed — part of the spitz family, which includes chow chows and the American Eskimo — was used to herd sheep, cattle and horses. Revered in their homeland, Icelandic sheepdogs are regarded as one of the oldest dog breeds in the world, but are only now getting formal AKC recognition.

The lion-maned Leonberger, named after the town of Leonberg, Germany, from which it hails, has been part of that country’s culture since the 1800s. Its exquisite long fur made it popular with German artists, who often used Leonbergers as models. Despite their large size, they’re considered cuddly and get along well with children and other family members.
But the Leonberger is more than just a pretty, friendly face — they’re athletic and have been used as water rescue dogs and been trained to jump out of helicopters.

The third newly recognized breed is also the rarest. In fact, the Cane Corso was nearly extinct until a small group of breeders brought it back in the 1980s. It’s a member of the mastiff family, and as such, it’s a muscle-bound dog that was highly prized in its native Italy for hunting difficult prey such as boar and fighting alongside soldiers in ancient battles.
But these days, the Cane Corso isn’t overly fierce. They’re known to be very attached to their owners and families, and they’re intelligent and easily trained.

IMHO, dogs such as these breeds and in particular the Cane Corso, should only be introduced to the AKC with very strict precautions to prevent abuse of the breed by pet stores, back yard breeders, puppy mills and pet parents. Very soon, this can become a breed that will be like the Pit Bulls; BAD RAP.

Recognizing such breeds will create popularity, and popularity will create a trend and fad. Then we will have people trying to ban the breed, once again, we will blame the dog for what it knows and does best... not the people who abuse the power of the dog.

IMHO, there should be two registries like the AKC. One for people who want to improve the breed, understand the breed, and most importantly who still work the breed for what they are bred for; and the other a registry for breeds that make great companions and family pets, and for those dogs that don't have to have a job.

Then, anyone wanting a type of dog that fits into the first category should be required to have a license, and these dogs should be monitored for their care. I bet it would deter people from buying dogs that they can not keep up with.

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