American Kennel Club Adds 4 Dog Breeds To Its Ranks

Christina Peden
by Christina Peden
Just in time for the New Year, the American Kennel Club gives official recognition to four dog breeds

While some of them may be familiar to PetGuide readers, the American Kennel Club (AKC) has official conditions that need to be met before the organization will recognize a breed: there must be a minimum number of dogs geographically distributed throughout the U.S. and an established breed club of responsible breed owners.

What dogs made the cut this year? Without further ado, let us present the four latest additions to the American Kennel Club’s official list of breeds.

Spanish Water Dog

The Spanish Water Dog joins the Herding group, since they were originally bred as a multi-purpose farm dog for hunting, herding and helping fishermen. Personality wise, these pooches are lively, hardworking, intelligent, loyal and protective towards their family. Because of their high energy level, they do best with an active owner. And although the breed has a beautiful, curly coat, Spanish Water Dogs don’t actually require much grooming; their coats needs clipping only once a year.


Another addition to the Herding group is the Beramasco. They are best known for their rasta-like appearance due to their unique coat of long mats that eventually grow to look like dreadlocks. Originally from Italy, the Beramasco was bred as a livestock guardian and is an intelligent, social, athletic dog with a deep desire to please its owner. And despite its appearance, the Beramasco is another extra-furry pup that doesn’t need a lot of grooming: they need only a few baths a year and no brushing!

Cirneco dell’Etna

The Cirneco dell’Etna also hails from Italy and is the newest member of the Hound group. The Cirneco is a keen hunter who works by sight, scent and hearing. They have an independent temperament and are inquisitive, intelligent and affectionate with their family. Since their coat is short, the Cirenco requires minimal grooming. The Cirneco dell’Etna needs only moderate exercise, so this dog would be a good choice for condo or apartment dwellers.


The Boerboel is of South African origin and joins the Working group. This large, mastiff-like pooch was used as a farm dog, and is wonderful guardian and loyal companion; indeed, they have strong protective instincts and love their families very much. That said, if you’re a first-time dog owner, the Boerboel is probably not for you; they need training and socialization because they are strong-willed and will want to be the leader of the pack. Once you have asserted your place at the head of the pack, you will have a loyal friend for life in the Boerboel. They also need daily exercise and minimal grooming.

And there you have it! Those are the four breeds that have now reached “official” status, at least as far as the American Kennel Club is concerned. As of January 1, 2015, they will also be able to compete in AKC events.

What breeds would you like the AKC to add next year?

Christina Peden
Christina Peden

Christina Peden is a lifelong animal lover and avid wordsmith. She lives in Toronto with her boyfriend Ryan where they are proud pet parents to puppy, Matilda and cat, Oscar. In her spare time, she can be found enjoying Toronto, Canada's all-too-short patio season, taking advantage of the city's numerous parks or curled up with a good book.

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