A Spanish farm and fishing dog, a Sicilian rabbit-hunting breed, an Italian sheepdog with a distinctive matted coat and a rugged South African watchdog are joining the American Kennel Club pack.
The kennel club announced Wednesday that the Spanish water dog, the Cirneco dell'Etna (cheer-NAY-koh-dehl-eht-nah), the Bergomasco and the Boerboel (BUHR'-buhl) will become recognized breeds Jan. 1.
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They'll be eligible to compete in many AKC-sanctioned dog shows next year, though not in the prestigious Westminster Kennel Club show until 2016.
The newcomers range from medium-sized, curly-haired Spanish water dogs to the big, mastiff-like Boerboels. The Cirneco dell'Etna is keen and sleek. The sociable Bergomasco is hard to miss with its long locks.
With them, there will be 184 AKC-recognized breeds. Criteria include having several hundred dogs of the breed nationwide.