Dog meet dog: American Kennel Club adds 2 breeds to roster

  • Jan. 10, 2018 1:48 p.m.

NEW YORK — A spirited Dutch duck-luring dog and a friendly French rabbit hound are now running with the American Kennel Club’s pack.

The club announced Wednesday that it’s recognizing the Nederlandse kooikerhondje and the grand basset griffon Vendeen. They’re the first breeds added to the roster since 2016.

They’re eligible for many dog shows this year but can’t compete at the prestigious Westminster Kennel Club show until next year.

The Nederlandse kooikerhondje (pronounced NAY’-dehr-lahn-seh KOY’-kehr-hahnd-jeh) goes back hundreds of years in Holland. The smallish, brown-and-white, spaniel-style dogs can be seen in some Dutch Old Master paintings.

“They’re actually like a toddler that never grows up,” said breeder D. Ann Knoop-Siderius. She said they are happy, sometimes naughty and “very playful” dogs.”

Her husband, Jac Knoop, is the president of the Kooikerhondje Club of the USA .

Kooikerhondjes were trained to help hunters attract ducks into net-covered canals. The elaborate setups waned in the 19th century, and the dogs neared extinction during World War II, before a baroness set out to bring them back.

There are now about 7,000 worldwide and roughly 500 in the U.S., and they’re well-suited to agility and other canine sports, said Knoop-Siderius, who is based in Ogden, Illinois.

The grand basset griffon Vendeen (pronounced grahnd bah-SAY’ grihf-FAHN’ vahn-DAY’-ahn) goes by “GBGV” for short. It’s one of a number of long, low-to-the-ground basset breeds with centuries-long roots in Europe. A smaller cousin, the petit basset griffon Vendeen, and the long-eared basset hound have been recognized by the AKC for decades.

GBGVs are known for their speed, stamina and cheerful nature, but owner Megan Esherick finds them to be “a pretty laid-back breed.”

“They’re happy to get up and do things if you ask them to, but they’re not particularly busy, in terms of pacing back and forth or throwing a ball in your lap,” says Esherick, of Leesport, Pennsylvania. Her 9-year-old GBGV, Juno, has competed in agility, obedience and other events.

The AKC is the nation’s oldest purebred dog registry. It recognizes 192 breeds, from silky Afghan hounds to hairless xoloitzcuintlis.

Requirements for recognition include having at least 300 dogs of the breed spread around at least 20 states. Fanciers petition for recognition after years of building up pedigrees, clubs and breed standards.

Some animal-rights advocates say that encouraging interest in purebred dogs fuels puppy mills and fads while diverting attention from mixed-breed dogs that need adoption. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals has criticized previous AKC new-breeds announcements.

The AKC says conscientious breeding doesn’t negate shelter dogs’ need for homes but does allow people to choose pets with somewhat predictable characteristics, helping to make lasting matches. The club notes that mixed-breed dogs compete in many events it sanctions, such as agility and obedience contests.

Just Posted

Women’s marches underway in Canadian cities, a year after Trump inauguration

Women are gathering in dozens of communities across the country today to… Continue reading

Red Deer councillor balks at city getting stuck with more funding responsibilities

Volunteer Central seeks municipal funding after being cut off by government

Olds chicken barn burns to the ground, no livestock harmed

More than 100,000 chickens were saved as fire crews prevent the blaze from spreading

Bear video meant to promote conservation: zoo owner

Discovery Wildlife Park says it will look at other ways to promote its conservation message

WATCH: Setters Place grand opening in Red Deer

Red Deer’s Setters Place officially opened to the public Saturday afternoon.… Continue reading

In photos: Get ready for Western Canadian Championships

Haywood NorAm Western Canadian Championships and Peavey Mart Alberta Cup 5/6 start… Continue reading

WATCH: Red Deer city council debates cost-savings versus quality of life

Majority of councillors decide certain services are worth preserving

Got milk? Highway reopened near Millet

A southbound truck hauling milk and cartons collided with a bridge

Stettler’s newest residents overcame fear, bloodshed to come here

Daniel Kwizera, Diane Mukasine and kids now permanent residents

Giddy up: Red Deer to host Canadian Finals Rodeo in 2018

The CFR is expected to bring $20-30 million annually to Red Deer and region

Ice dancers Virtue and Moir to carry flag at Pyeongchang Olympics

Not since Kurt Browning at the 1994 Lillehammer Games has a figure… Continue reading

Beer Canada calls on feds to axe increasing beer tax as consumption trends down

OTTAWA — A trade association for Canada’s beer industry wants the federal… Continue reading

Most Read


Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month