published Friday, April 25th, 2014

'Royal dog of Madagascar' to join Westminster pack

  • photo
    Coton de tulear dogs wait for their turn to compete at the World Dog Show in Mexico City in this 1999 file photo. A hardy Hungarian hunting dog and a pet known as the "royal dog of Madagascar" will join the pack at the Westminster Kennel Club show next year, organizers announced Friday, April 25, 2014.
    Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

NEW YORK — A hardy Hungarian hunting dog and a pet known as the "royal dog of Madagascar" will join the pack at the Westminster Kennel Club show next year, organizers announced Friday.

The kennel club said the wire-haired visla and the coton de tulear will be eligible to compete for the first time in the New York show next February.

The wire-haired visla is a medium-size breed developed to hunt in northern Hungary's cold winters and rough terrain. It's related to the visla, which has a smooth coat.

The coton de tulear is a small, cheerful companion dog with a long, white, cotton-like coat.

Breeds are added to the prestigious dog show after they are recognized by the American Kennel Club. It's the governing body for Westminster and many other canine events. Recognition requires having several hundred dogs of the breed nationwide, among other criteria.

Westminster also announced that the AKC's popular, non-competitive "Meet the Breeds" event will be held in conjunction with the February dog show. The breeds event has been held in the fall for several years.

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