A hairless terrier and an ancient North African hound are ready to run with the pack of dog breeds recognized by the American Kennel Club. The organization announced Tuesday that the American hairless terrier and the sloughi have joined 187 other recognized breeds. The newcomers can now compete in most AKC shows and competitions, though not at the prominent Westminster Kennel Club show until next year. Many American hairless terriers are, as advertised, bare-skinned, though others have short coats but carry the hairless gene.
Their rise began when a hairless puppy emerged in a litter of rat terriers in the 1970s, wowing a Louisiana couple and leading to deliberate breeding of the hairless dogs, according to the American Hairless Terrier Club of America. "They're terrier-smart" but somewhat calmer than some other terrier breeds, says a club secretary. "They're very easy to live with because they're very trainable." The sloughi—pronounced SLOO-ghee—also called the Arabian greyhound, was developed to hunt game as big as gazelles. The lean, leggy dogs have some similarities to Salukis, another hound breed from North Africa. Sloughis are known for speed, endurance, grace, and rather reserved demeanors. (Read more American Kennel Club stories.)