A Tibetan Mastiff dog is shown in Nepal in a handout photo. Two dog breeds recently added to the American Kennel Club’s pack are not recognized north of the border, but the Canadian Kennel Club is hoping to add 12 others that are gaining popularity with dog lovers.THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Lisa Vaughn MANDATORY CREDIT

Canadian Kennel Club seeking to add 12 more dogs to its pack

2018’s incoming class could include the Portuguese sheepdog, Tibetan mastiff, rat terrier and Spanish water dog

Two dog breeds recently added to the American Kennel Club’s pack are not recognized north of the border, but the Canadian Kennel Club is hoping to add 12 others that are gaining popularity with dog lovers.

Andrew Patton, spokesman for Canada’s primary registry for purebred dogs, says 2018’s incoming class could include the Portuguese sheepdog, Tibetan mastiff, rat terrier and Spanish water dog, if they get the stamp of approval from Agriculture Canada.

But they don’t include the Nederlandse kooikerhondje or the grand basset griffon Vendeen, recently added by the American Kennel Club.

“We don’t recognize them only because no club has organized here in Canada and taken the initiative,” said Patton, whose agency also guides responsible owners and breeders.

The Canadian club’s members are championing several other breeds instead.

Proposed additions include the Anatolian shepherd, Australian kelpie, black Russian terrier, and Finnish lapphund. Then there’s the Glen of Imaal terrier, lagotto Romagnolo, mudi and Shikoku.

They would be the first additions since 2004, when the club welcomed 12 more breeds. Patton said Thursday that he expected the additions to be confirmed by Agriculture Canada by the summer.

“They’re super busy with other stuff, I think the file is sitting on someone’s desk and we just need the rubber stamp,” said Patton, adding it’s rare for a submission to be rejected. “They usually are very good about that.”

The Canadian kennel currently recognizes 175 breeds. Patton admitted to liking some more than others.

“The Glen of Imaal terrier is perhaps the ugliest terrier on the list, perhaps of all the dogs we register. I probably shouldn’t say that but that’s just my opinion,” he said, listing various attributes among the likely new additions.

“The Spanish water dog is surprisingly a lot like a Portuguese water dog, but it’s more kind of slightly more refined and it’ll never be as popular, obviously, as the Portuguese water dog, thanks to Mr. Obama. But it’s still a fascinating breed,” he said, referencing the former U.S. president whose family obtained two dogs while in office.

The Nederlandse kooikerhondje (pronounced NAY’-dehr-lahn-seh KOY’-kehr-hahnd-jeh) goes back hundreds of years in Holland. The smallish, brown-and-white, spaniel-style dogs were trained to help hunters attract ducks into net-covered canals.

Patton said the breed is relatively little-seen here, but it is one of the sources for the Nova Scotia duck tolling retriever, well-established in North America.

“They’re super smart, super friendly, great family dogs but they’re pretty high energy because they’re hounds. Any hound is going to have a bit of an attitude.”

He didn’t know much about the grand basset griffon Vendeen but said the small version — the petit basset griffon Vendeen — is also fairly well-known in Canada.

“It’s a French scent hound that’s pretty established. They’re not hugely popular, but they are present, they’re always present,” said Patton, speculating that its larger cousin could one day be recognized here, too.

Toronto dog lover Neil Trilokekar said he’s eager for Tibetan mastiffs to gain official recognition, partly because that would allow him to compete at dog shows closer to home.

The only time he’s shown a Tibetan mastiff is in the United States. In Canada, he competes with Lhasa apsos.

“It would certainly be nice, I don’t have to travel as much or as far but, again, I might not have competition here,” said Trilokekar, a spokesman for the Tibetan mastiff breed in Canada.

“It’s better to have competition on the breed level…. You’d want a few dogs (to compete with).”

Patton said non-recognized breeds can compete in Canada as long as they meet certain criteria, but it can involve additional red tape.

Getting official recognition has other benefits — namely the ability to better track the progeny of specific dogs, making it easier for breeders to assess heritage and quality, he added.

Cassandra Szklarski, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Mt. Conkle wildfire near Summerland remains 118 hectares

This fire has several good water sources and has good road access.

Okanagan Wildfires: Monday morning update on wildfires and evacuations

A Monday morning look at the major wildfires impacting the Okanagan and Similkameen.

Peachland wildfire mapped at over 1,500 hectares

Smoke may increase today around the valley

Okanagan Mountain Park fire remains the same size

Crews built hand guards and continued to extinguish hot spots.

BC Games: Day 3 wrap and closing ceremonies

The torch in the Cowichan Valley has been extinguished as Fort St. John gets ready to host the 2020 BC Winter Games

Man charged in 2006 B.C. murder extradited to Canada from South Korea

28-year-old Jui-Kai Weng was charged with second-degree murder and attempted murder

Nitty Gritty Dirt band returns to the South Okanagan

The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band will perform at the South Okanagan Events Centre

Soaring temperatures, high winds could worsen fires in B.C.’s southern Interior

Environment Canada’s forecast for the next week in the southern Interior does not inspire confidence, with temperatures in the 30s and winds gusting over 40 kilometres per hour.

Iran dismisses Trump’s explosive threat to country’s leader

Trump tweeted late on Sunday that hostile threats from Iran could bring dire consequences.

Update: Police probe Toronto shooting that killed 2, injured 12; suspected gunman dead

Paramedics said many of the victims in Danforth, including a child, were rushed to trauma centres

Why do they do it? Coaches guide kids to wins, personal bests at the BC Games

Behind the 2,300 B.C. athletes are the 450 coaches who dedicate time to help train, compete

Reel Reviews: Floundering inferno

We quote Charlie Brown: “Good grief!”

UPDATE: Five taken to hospital following one of two Coquihalla accidents

One airlifted in critical condition, four taken via ambulance in stable condition

Most Read