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Three new AKC breeds to debut in the National Dog Show

Will you be watching?

America will meet them on NBC’s Thanksgiving Day special

Oaks/Valley Forge, PA  ---Three new American Kennel Club-recognized breeds will make their national television and major competition debuts at “The National Dog Show Presented by Purina®”, this November.

The Irish Red and White Setter, Norwegian Buhund and Pyrenean Shepherd will be among more than 150 breeds competing for Best in Breed, Group Winner and Best in Show honors at the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center at Oaks/Valley Forge. These breeds will be introduced to the American television audience during the Thanksgiving Day broadcast of  the “National Dog Show,” a two-hour, family entertainment special airing nationally on NBC immediately following the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

The addition of these breeds brings the number of breeds and varieties recognized by the American Kennel Club to 172. 

The Irish Red and White Setter is a distinct breed which is part of the Sporting Group, not just a different colored version of the Irish Setter. Bred primarily for the field, they are strong, powerful and athletic, with a keen and intelligent attitude. Known in Ireland since the 17th century, the Red and White is thought to be the older of the two Irish Setters. However, it was nearly extinct by the end of the 19th century. During the 1920s, efforts were made to revive the Irish Red and White Setter and by the 1940s, the breed began to re-emerge in Ireland.  

The Norwegian Buhund was once the cherished companion of Vikings. It is a versatile farm dog, originally from Norway, that herds livestock, guards property and has been used for hunting game.  The name means farm-dog --“Bu” in Norwegian means homestead or farm and “hund” means dog.  The Buhund is a double-coated, squarely-built spitz, a little under medium size, with mobile prick ears, a tightly-curled tail carried over the center of its back, and dark, almond-shaped eyes with an intelligent, friendly expression.  This working breed has a lot of energy, strength, and stamina, but is also known to be independent. The Norway Buhund is part of the Herding Group.

The final breed making its debut this year is the Pyrenean Shepherd. Also known as Berger des Pyrénées or "pyr shep”, this breed is also part of the Herding Group. Herding has been and remains the mainstay of the economy of the High Pyrenees and the Pyrenean Shepherd is the traditional working companion of the larger dog, the Great Pyrenees. Together they aid the shepherd in his everyday tasks involving sheep or other livestock. Although small in stature and weight, the breed is said to have few equals in both herding and guarding. The face is expressive and intelligent, with dark eyes, except in the case of merles or slate gray coat color. The body is long and lean, and reflects the natural energetic athleticism of the dog

The Kennel Club of Philadelphia hosts “The National Dog Show Presented by Purina,” on November 14th and 15th at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Oaks/Valley Forge, PA. Information is available at and

“The National Dog Show Presented by Purina” debuted in 2002 as one of the year’s most successful network television specials, prompting NBC to commit long-term to the Thanksgiving Day time slot following the Macy’s Parade.  A huge ratings success over the past six years with a total annual audience approaching 20 million, it is by far the most widely-viewed single telecast of a dog show in television history.


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