Four new dogs have been declared “recognized breeds” by the American Kennel Club (AKC).

The announcement came on Wednesday that the Spanish water dog (a farm and fishing dog), the Bergamasco (an Italian sheepdog with a matted coat), the Boerboel (a South African watchdog), and the Cirneco dell’Etna (a Sicilian rabbit-hunting breed) will now be eligible to compete in any AKC-sanctioned dog show. 

Criteria includes having several hundred of the dog breed nationwide.

The Spanish water dog is an ancient breed of dog with it’s earliest ancestor dating back to the Iberian Peninsula in 1110 AD and some of these dogs can still be found working in the mountain of southern Andalusia herding cattle, pigs, goats, and sheep, according to the AKC. They are herding dogs who are extremely athletic and lively, plus very loyal to their family.

The Bergamasco has ancestor from Iran, and primarily worked as a livestock guardian for shepherds. They’re highly intelligent and sociable, but primarily known for their thickly matted fur that contains “dog hair,” “goat hair,” and “wool,” according to the AKC. Though it may look high maintenance, the coat only needs 1-3 baths per year and no brushing after it “sets” at age 1.

The Boerboel was a farm dog for pioneers in South Africa since the seventieth century, according to the AKC. They’re a large, confident breed of dog that is calm and loyal with its owner, but extremely protective (they used to guard against predators and would hold down wounded game). 

The Cirneco dell’Etna is a small dog that has been in Sicily for over 2,500 years, according to the AKC. It hunts small animals and fowl, and excels in tough conditions like high heart, on rugged terrain, and with little food or water —in other words, this dog would do well in a natural disaster.

All four of these dogs will join the other 180 AKC-recognized breeds officially on January 1, 2015.

Unfortunately, though the breeds are now AKC-sanctioned, they are not allowed to compete in the prestigious Westminster Kennel Club show until 2016, according to the Associate Press.

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