American Kennel Club recognizes new dog breed

July 16, 2020
dvm360 Staff

The registry recently added the Belgian Laekenois to its list of AKC-recognized breeds.

The American Kennel Club (AKC) announced earlier this month that the dog breed Belgian Laekenois has received full recognition, bringing the total number of recognized breeds to 196. This announcement comes about six months after the Barbet and Dogo Argentino dog breeds were recognized.

However, because of COVID-19, you won’t see this newly recognized breed in any shows or competitions any time soon. In fact, more than 11,000 U.S. dog shows and canine competitions have been canceled amid COVID-19 concerns, AKC’s Vice President Doug Ljungren told USA Today.

The Belgian Laekenois will most likely be making its debut next year during the Westminster Kennel Club show.

According to the AKC, this rare breed, one of four native dogs of Belgium, is known for its coarse red, fawn or grayish coat and shielding personality. Historically, the Belgian Laekenois was a herding dog that tended to its owner’s flock and guarded linen drying in the fields, according to the AKC.

This breed is also naturally intelligent and inquisitive, making it very alert and curious about its environment. Although reserved with strangers, the Belgian Laekenois is very active, affectionate, and friendly, and requires routine brushings and occasional bathing to avoid getting matted.

“We’re happy to have the Belgian Laekenois as part of the AKC’s family of recognized breeds,” says AKC Secretary Gina DiNardo. “It’s a wonderful dog that will make a great companion for active people," she says, adding that doing adequate research to find the right breed for your lifestyle is always the best option.

To become an AKC-recognized breed, there must be a minimum number of the breed geographically distributed throughout the United States. Additionally, there must be an established breed club of responsible owners and breeders, says the AKC.

To learn more about the breed recognition process, go here.