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Three Breeds Gain Full AKC Recognition

The American Kennel Club® (AKC®) is pleased to welcome the Cane Corso, Icelandic Sheepdog and Leonberger as the 165th, 166th, and 167th AKC recognized breeds. The Icelandic Sheepdog will join the Herding Group while both the Cane Corso and Leonberger will join the Working Group. The new breeds became eligible for AKC registration on June 1, 2010 and are eligible for competition in their respective groups at conformation shows held on and after June 30, 2010.

“These three diverse breeds all share rich and unique histories and a dedicated group of fanciers in the United States,” said AKC Spokesperson, Lisa Peterson. “We are delighted to grant them full AKC recognition and watch as each breed continues to thrive and grow.”

The Cane Corso is a muscular and large-boned breed and is distinguished by his noble, majestic and powerful presence.  One of two native Italian “mastiff type” dogs that descended from the Roman canis Pugnaces, the Cane Corso was and continues to be a property watchdog and hunter of difficult game such as wild boar.  Intelligent, the Cane Corso is easily trained, and affectionate to his owner while loving with children and family.



Cane Corso/ Bruce Harkins for AKC

For more information visit the Cane Corso Association of America at:

Playful, friendly and inquisitive, the Icelandic Sheepdog is a hardy and agile dog.  Slightly under medium size with prick ears and a curled tail, the breed has two coat types, long and short, and happens to be Iceland’s only native dog.  The Icelandic Sheepdog adapted its working style to Iceland’s local terrain and farming techniques since its arrival to the country in AD 874 – 930. This adaption made the breed indispensable to the Icelandic people.  Today, the Icelandic Sheepdog is increasing in popularity, and while still small in numbers, is no longer close to extinction.

Icelandic Sheepdogs/ © Brynhildur Inga

For more information visit the Icelandic Sheepdog Association of America at:

Despite its lion-like looks and large size, the Leonberger is actually quite light on its feet and graceful in motion.  A calm, non–aggressive breed, the Leonberger was originally bred as a family, farm and draft dog.  Today the breed excels as a multi–purpose working dog but the most important task is being a reliable family companion.  In fact, Leonbergers are often called the “nanny” dog because of their affinity for children.  Interestingly enough, they have been featured on stamps in European countries as well.



Leonberger / For AKC

For more information visit The Leonberger Club of America at:

Breeds that wish to begin the road to full AKC recognition must be recorded with an accepted registry. The AKC Foundation Stock Service® (FSS®) is the AKC’s recording service for purebred breeds that are not yet eligible for AKC registration. After a breed has been in FSS the recognition process begins with a written request to compete in the Miscellaneous Class from a National Breed Club.  While there is no established timetable for adding new breeds, dogs typically compete in the Miscellaneous Class for one to three years.  More information on the process can be found at the AKC’s Web site.

For more information about the Cane Corso, Icelandic Sheepdog and Leonberger, visit the American Kennel Club Web site at, or if you are in the New York City area, meet breed experts in person at Meet the Breeds on October 16th and 17th at the Jacob Javits Center.  Visit for more details.

[EDITOR’S NOTE:  High resolution photos are available to members of the press by contacting]

Watch the new breeds on Fox & Friends and see more photos on the Today Show website.