Have you heard of these breeds? The Icelandic Sheepdog, Leonberger, and Cane Corso have all recently gained AKC status. These are not new breeds of dogs. They've been around for quite some time. But they are now being...
recognized by the American Kennel Club. Let me tell you a little bit about each breed. But not too much until I add them to my 'Breeds' tab.
Wow - he's beautiful. Meet the Cane Corso. Can you tell he's part of the Mastiff family of pooches. These dogs are very large and powerful hunters. The breed originated in Italy and was recently nearly extinct. During the 1980's breeders took control of the problem and worked to bring the breed back to safe numbers. I'm glad they did. Though I own small dogs I've always been partial to mastiffs. There's just something about those faces!
Although the Leonberger is from Leonberg Germany and somewhat resembles the German Shepard, it is in fact most closely related to the St. Bernard. These dogs can weigh upward of 100 pounds, have webbed feet and double coats. They are known to be excellent therapy and rescue dogs. And excel at water rescue - maybe because of the webbed feet! This breed also faced extinction and was brought back to safety through the commitment of breeders.
The Icelandic Sheepdog is, suprisingly enough, from Iceland. The breed has been admitted to the AKC Herding group due to their history of herding sheep, cattle and horses on farms throughout their history in Iceland. This dog is believed to be one of the oldest breeds in the world and was brought to Iceland by the Vikings. Although this breed is small in numbers its popularity is beginning to extend well beyond Iceland.