Developing and registering a new breed is a long process, sometimes spanning several decades, so it’s always exciting when the American Kennel Club (AKC) registers a new breed.
- What Defines a Dog Breed?
- Species vs. Breed vs. Mix vs. Bloodline
- Breeds Under Development
- What Is the Newest Dog Breed?
- New Dog Breeds List
- In Conclusion
What Defines a Dog Breed?
The ancestry of a dog breed must be of the same breed, while the physical characteristics and temperament must also remain consistent through several generations.
It takes 30-50 years to breed true with several bloodlines, establish the standard breed description, and show and register the new breed. It requires a minimum of three generations to breed before the American Kennel Club (AKC) will consider it and regard the breed as viable (with detailed records kept at each stage), as well as a detailed description of its characteristics.
Species vs. Breed vs. Mix vs. Bloodline
Despite the enormous variety of body forms, sizes, colors, and temperaments in dogs, there are no new species of dogs. It would take several significant mutations and complete separation of the populations by either a physical barrier, environmental differences, or both to create a new species. This is beyond the interest and capability of most dog breeders. If it ever happened, the result would no longer be a dog.
We can think of a bloodline as being a traceable set of ancestors. You can also think of it as a family tree. Breeders will select from particular bloodlines to achieve the characteristics for which they’re striving. A family of dogs produced through selective breeding that consistently breed true for desired characteristics over a minimum of three generations can form the basis of an application to register a breed.
You may have come across a dog known as a Labradoodle. This is a mix (Labrador and Poodle) and not a registered breed. The equivalent registered breed is known as Australian Cobber Dog.
Breeds Under Development
New dog breeds are usually split off current breeds and bred for minor differences like coat color or hair length.
As it takes so long to develop a new breed, there are doubtless many about which we don’t yet know. While many are created purely for aesthetics or personality traits, some are created for a more noble purpose.
One example of this is the retro mop/retro pug, which is a Pug crossed with a Jack Russell to produce the recognizable body form of a Pug, but with the long face of a terrier. The purpose is to reduce the pain and discomfort common to pugs because of their flattened features.
What Is the Newest Dog Breed?
The newest dog breed registered is the Biewer Terrier. Similar to a Yorkshire Terrier, it comes as a tricolor, whereas a Yorkie only ever has two colors in its coat, although there is some variety in the combinations. Both have long silky fur. One of several new terrier breeds, the Biewer reflects the trend to smaller dogs.
A very adaptable little dog, it’s equally at home on the farm or on a beach. It stands less than a foot tall and weighs only 4-8 pounds. They must be groomed carefully to keep their coats healthy—every second day to keep the long coat, or once a week with a puppy cut. A distinctive feature is a ponytail on top of the head, written into the description of the breed standard. Intelligent and loyal, this dog will be completely devoted to its family.
Other new dog breeds registered in 2021 include the following:
This French water dog is friendly, agile, and smart. Good with other dogs and small children, it makes a great family dog. Its coat is curly, so it’s sometimes mistaken for a Doodle. Be warned that this beautiful coat requires careful grooming.
This rare breed is normally a herder but was used as a messenger during both world wars.
Its tousled wire coat has color variations from fawn to mahogany. This versatile and adaptable breed requires lots of exercise and mental stimulation.
Bred originally as a hunting dog, this powerful, low-maintenance white dog makes a loyal companion and protector. It’s still used for big game hunting in its native Argentina and features in the AKC’s group of working dog breeds.
New Dog Breeds List
Some of these breeds were registered a few years ago, but that’s not surprising, given how long it takes to develop and register a new breed. In addition to the newest dog breeds listed above, the AKC has recognized the following new breeds:
Registered in 2019, the Azawakh was originally bred as a guard dog. Despite this, it’s an affectionate hound. Azawakhs need regular exercise.
This beautiful little dog is white with red patches and has a feathered tail that always seems to be wagging. Good with other dogs and children, this 2018 Dutch spaniel makes a great addition to the family.
The curls of the 2016-registered Pumi make it instantly recognizable. Hailing from Hungary, it wasn’t registered with AKC until 2016. A medium-sized dog, the variety of standard colors (cream, fawn, gray, red, and black) are unusual in a breed standard.
They don’t shed and don’t require much grooming but should still be brushed thoroughly once every two weeks. Twigs and other debris should be gently removed as soon as you notice them.
Cirneco dell’ Etna
Registered in 2015, it bears a striking resemblance to the dogs pictured in ancient Egyptian friezes. This dog is used for hunting small game, particularly rabbits, as it has a well-developed sense of smell. Despite being a hunter, it’s affectionate and gentle.
Registered in 2015 in the group of sporting dog breeds, this cuddly-looking dog now helps out on truffle hunts in its native Italy, although it was originally used to help hunt waterfowl. It is still known as a water dog.
Miniature American Shepherd
Another 2015 registration, we shouldn’t allow the small size to deceive us, as it’s still very hardworking and is used for herding sheep or other small stock.
Added to the sporting group in 2014, this is a dog of surprising contrasts in behavior. While it loves to hunt outdoors on both land and in the water, it calms right down once back inside and is very well-behaved.
Coton de Tulear
Hailing from France and registered with the AKC in 2014, this very fluffy little dog, looking a lot like the cotton ball it was named for, is surprising in that it sheds very little, making it a good choice for people with allergies.
So, which new dog breed do you think is the cutest? Comment below with your favorite!