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Two breeds have been added to the nation's premier dog competition. It's the Westminster Kennel Club show. It's set for Feb. 16-17.
The wirehaired viszla is a rugged, versatile hunter. It's conditioned to withstand frosty Hungarian winters. The coton de tulear is a happy-go-lucky companion. It came from the island of Madagascar, near Africa.
The club's leaders, as well as Luna the cotton de tulear, and Falko the wirehaired viszla, appeared Tuesday. Luna stood politely.
The small but sturdy animal has been dubbed the "royal dog of Madagascar." It's known for its flowing, cotton-like coat. It has a chipper disposition.
"I say they're a big dog in a small dog's boots," Luna's breeder and co-owner said. She is Adrianne Dering of Morgantown, West Virginia. The breed initially developed on its own. Then it became popular with Madagascar's wealthy and later with French colonists. The name coton de tulear is pronounced koh-TOHN du TOO-lay-ahr.
"They're just very adaptable, and they like everybody," Dering said.
The wirehaired viszla was bred to be an all-weather hunting aide in northern Hungary. The name viszla is pronounced VEEZ-shlah. The dog has a brushy coat. It has a heavier build than its cousin the viszla. Falko, owned by Anton Sagh of Montreal, Canada, relaxed on the floor Tuesday.
"They're just phenomenal in the field," but "really easygoing to live with." That was how Wirehaired Vizsla Club of America President Jean Schroeder of Wanatah, Indiana, described the dog.
Breeds are added to the Westminster show after the American Kennel Club recognizes them. There are 180 AKC-recognized breeds.