By Travis Fedschun, ,
Published January 10, 2018
The American Kennel Club's pack is growing for the first time since 2016 with the addition of a duck-hunter pooch and rabbit hound.
The club announced Wednesday it is recognizing the Nederlandse kooikerhondje and the grand basset griffon Vendéen, bringing the total number of breeds in the AKC's roster to 192.
The Nederlandse Kooikerhondje, pronounced Netherlands-e Coy-ker-hond-tsje, is a "is a spaniel-type dog" that originated hundreds of years ago in Europe as a duck hunter and a favorite of Dutch nobility, according to the group.
"These are energetic, friendly and alert dogs that are ready for work," the AKC said. "They have a moderate activity level, needing regular mental and physical activity to be happy."
There are now about 7,000 worldwide and roughly 500 in the U.S., and they're well-suited to agility and other canine sports, breeder D. Ann Knoop-Siderius told the Associated Press.
"They're actually like a toddler that never grows up," she said, adding "they're very playful dogs. And that's true their whole life."
The other addition, the grand basset griffon Vendéen, was originally bred as a rabbit hunter in France.
"The GBGV is a laidback, intelligent, friendly pack hound that gets along well with other dogs," the AKC said. "These dogs are courageous and passionate workers with a high activity level."
The AKC is the nation's oldest purebred dog registry. It recognizes 192 breeds, from silky Afghan hounds to hairless xoloitzcuintlis.
Requirements for recognition include having at least 300 dogs of the breed spread around at least 20 states. Fanciers petition the AKC for recognition after years of building up pedigrees, clubs and breed-specific shows and standards.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.