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Even dog owners who don’t share an interest in dog shows have heard about the Westminster Kennel Club’s annual dog show. Each year Madison Square Garden welcomes 2,500 of the world’s most elite dogs from all across the globe. This year however, the anticipation for 2010’s show circles around the three new breeds entering the show for the first time. New to the show are the Irish Red and White Setter, the Norwegian Buhund, and the Pyrenean Shepherd.

“It’s a long and pretty complicated process,” says Lisa Peterson, a spokesperson for the American Kennel Club “The whole process takes about three years,” says Peterson. “When a breed meets all the criteria, the information is presented to the AKC Board of Directors and, if all goes according to plan, full AKC registration is granted.”

Irish Red and White Setter (photo courtesy of AKC)

Joining the Sporting Group, the Irish Red and White Setters are widely known to many for their intelligent, affectionate, loving and full of energy characteristics. Once at the verge of extinction, the Irish Red and White Setter made a comeback and is now considered a separate breed from their Irish Setter cousins.

Norwegian Buhund (photo courtesy of AKC)

In the Herding Group, the Norwegian Buhund is a medium size spitz type dog with prick ears, thick coat, and tail tightly curled over the back. Once the close companion of Vikings, the Norwegian Buhund hails from Norway where they became cherished helpers on local farms. The name means “farm-dog,” as “Bu” in Norwegian means homestead or farm and “hund” means dog.

Pyrenean Shepherd (photo courtesy of AKC)

Also entering the Herding Group are Pyrenean Shepherds. Known for their athleticism, speed and sharp intelligence, they also have breathtaking speed and grace while working. They are also widely known for their fierce loyalty. With their high energy level and quizzical nature, the Pyrenean Shepherds are constantly looking for stimulation. They are born to work, in fact these dogs are not happy unless they have a job to do.

Good luck to these newcomers as they join in competing for the ultimate Westminster award — Best in Show.