A spirited Dutch duck-luring dog, a 'laid-back' French rabbit hound and a cat that's likely to give you a fright in the night were all on show at the American Kennel Club in New York City on Wednesday.
The Nederlandse kooikerhondje goes back hundreds of years in Holland. The smallish, brown-and-white, spaniel-style dogs can be seen in some Dutch Old Master paintings. Check out the Rembrandts next time you're at the Met.
"They're actually like a toddler that never grows up," said breeder D. Ann Knoop-Sideriushappy, who added that they are happy and can be naughty, "but they're very playful dogs. And that's true their whole life." Many of the dogs also have 'earrings' -- long black sections of fur that hang beyond their ears.
Kooikerhondjes were trained to help hunters attract ducks into net-covered canals. The elaborate setups waned in the 19th century, and the dogs neared extinction during World War II, before a baroness set out to bring them back.
The laid-back grand basset griffon Vendeen (GBGV) stood out in stark contrast to the Kooikerhondjes at the Kennel Club announcement. While those dogs played and barked, the friendly hound stood back and watched. It's one of a number of long, low-to-the-ground basset breeds with centuries-long roots in Europe.
GBGVs are known for their speed, stamina and cheerful nature, and the traditional pack hunters tend to get along well with other dogs, says AKC spokeswoman Brandi Hunter. Owner of Juno (pictured) Megan Esherick said her dog was quite happy lying on the couch, and was not too interested in trying a trick too many times in a row.
The International Cat Association was also on hand with its recently recognized cat breed, the Lykoi. The Lykoi is also known as the Werewolf cat, a breed born of a natural mutation from a domestic short-haired cat. The mutation has occurred in domestic cats over the last 20 years.
The missing fur of the Lykoi's face gives the breed a werewolfish appearance, hence the name 'Werewolf cat'.
The breed is now recognized as a Championship Breed by the International Cat Association. They're supposedly friendly, unchallenging and affectionate to their owners.