The American Kennel Club says the three most popular dog breeds in the U.S. are Labrador Retrievers, German Shepherds, and Yorkshire Terriers.
Every so often, the AKC expands its list of registered breeds.
And "Early Show" resident veterinarian and CBS News correspondent Dr. Debbye Turner Bell showed viewers the three newest breeds to make the big-time.
In choosing a particular breed, what should every person know?
The first thing would be to know why you want the pet and what you plan to do with them. The second thing would be to match a breed of dog whose natural tendencies fit into your lifestyle and living situation. The third thing would be to understand your time, space and financial limitations.
Entlebucher Mountain Dogs
The Entlebucher Mountain dog, a member of the Herding Group of the AKC, is named after a small town in Switzerland, Entlebuch. It is the smallest of the Swiss Mountain dogs. They are believed to have descended from Roman mastiffs. Thanks to the efforts of Franz Schertenlieb, the Entle survived and thrives outside of native land. Entles were first used as cattle drivers but became useful as livestock guardians. This breed was bred to work, so daily exercise is absolutely needed. They are hard workers and in spite of their medium size can manage horses and hogs.
How are they as family pets?
Entlebuchers are very social and love being around people and other dogs. They have a tricolor coat with white on its toes, tail-tip, chest and blaze. Incidentally, the tan is always between the black and the white. This is a great breed choice if you'd like to do agility with your pet. Entles can be aloof with strangers. Solid socialization is key while they are still puppies.
What kind of environment do they require?
They need space to run and play. An apartment is not ideal for this breed, particularly if the owner doesn't have the time and inclination to provide the needed physical outlets. Entles thrive when they have a "job." This breed can live up to 15 years, and can weigh as much as 66 pounds. (Price point: $1,800 to $2,700)
Also known as the Norwegian Puffin Dog, the Lundehund is a part of the Spitz family and one of the world's oldest breeds. They have six toes on each foot and are expert climbers. Their unique vertebral structure allows them to look virtually 180 degrees over their heads, able to practically rest their heads on their backs. They have very animated ears that can point in more directions than most other dog breeds. From northern Norway, the Norwegian Lundehund was originally used to hunt Puffin birds on steep vertical cliffs.
How are they around people and other dogs?
These are quite affectionate, playful dogs that love people and other canines. Norwegian Lundehund make an excellent family pet. The Lundehund can be a challenge to housetrain. Crate training is recommended and efforts should start early and be consistent. These dogs have a double coat of hair which means they shed quite a bit. Regularly brushing will greatly reduce the amount of hair on your and your furniture. It is important to properly socialize and behavior train this dog. Otherwise, they can become wary of strangers, incessant barkers, or obstinate and demanding. This is a member of the Non-sporting group in the AKC but this is a dog that was bred to hunt, so they need daily exercise and play.
Are there any particular concerns with this breed?
Norwegian Lundehund can grow to be 10-15 pounds. Some Norwegian Lundehunds can develop a digestive problems including Lymphangiectasia, Leaky Gut Syndrome, and a complex of GI disorders commonly known as Lundehund Syndrome which renders the dog unable to digest grains. Many responsible breeders have made great efforts to select against these maladies. (Price point: Approx $900-$1,000)
Xoloitzcuintlis, or Xolos for short, are an ancient dog breed that evolved in the jungles of Colima, Mexico. They are considered the first dogs of the Americas. The complex and unusual name comes from the Aztec Indian god Xoloti and the word "Itzcuintli" which means dog in Aztec. Xolos were developed as guardians, hunters, and companions. The Aztecs would also use the dogs as a source of heat for the infirm and sick who suffered with arthritis, gout, etc. Eventually it was widely believed that the dogs possessed magical healing powers, but that is a myth. The breed was originally registered with the AKC in 1887 under the name "Mexican Hairless". But lack of interested and direction caused the AKC to drop the breed in 1959.
There are two varieties: hairless, and coated. Hair colors include black, gray black, slate, to red, liver or bronze. Xolos are in the Non-sporting Group in the AKC. They come in three sizes: toy, miniature, and standard. These are smart, hearty, and healthy dogs. They can be wary of people, a bit aloof, or aggressive toward other dogs if they are not properly socialized and trained at a young age. (NOTE: Toy: Height 9-14 inches (23-36 cm.) tall at the shoulder. Weight 5-60 pounds (2.3-6.8 kg.) In the U.S. the small Xolo is called a toy and in Mexico it is called a miniature, which can be confusing. Miniature: Height 15-20 inches (38-51 cm.) tall at the shoulder. Weight 15-30 pounds (6.8-14 kg.) In the U.S. the miniature is called a miniature and in Mexico it is called an intermediate. Standard: Height 20-30 inches (51-76 cm.) tall at the shoulder. Weight 25-40 pounds (11-18 kg.) and up to even 60 + pounds (27 kg.) (Source: dogbreedinfo.com)
For what kind of family are they a good fit?
Busy families are not ideal for this breed because of the attention they require. Xolos can be fine with children but must be introduced to them at a young age and trained appropriate behavior. Xolos thrive on interaction and attention, so they don't do well if left alone for extended periods of time, or are kennel frequently. They take some time to bond with their owner but once the bond is there, they are fiercely loyal and dedicated. This is a strong-willed dog. Puppies need lots of hands-on attention. They must be socialized and trained, starting at a young age. Once they are fully grown, if the proper foundation has been laid, then they are very easy to train and maintain. Xolos live to be 17-20 years old. (Price point: Hairless- $1,500-$2,500 from a good breeder. Coated -- $500-$1,000)
Copyright 2011 CBS. All rights reserved.