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New York, NY The Tibetan Mastiff will become eligible for American Kennel Club® registration on September 1, 2006 and will compete in the Working Group as of January 1, 2007.  Also on January 1, the Plott, which currently competes in the Miscellaneous class, will begin competing in the Hound Group.

The Tibetan Mastiff, one of the oldest breeds in existence, is considered by many to be the stock from which most modern large working breeds have developed. There is little recorded about the genetic heritage of the Tibetan Mastiff. Much of their history is described only in legend; however it is believed that these dogs remained isolated on the high plateaus and valleys of the Himalayas, developing into the magnificent animal that has been highly prized by the people of Tibet throughout history and today.

The Tibetan Mastiff, with his powerful, muscled body and solemn but kindly appearance, is both regal and imposing. The breed has been used primarily as a family and property guardian for many millennia. He is aloof, watchful of strangers and protective of its people and property.

“We are very pleased to have the Tibetan Mastiff fully registered by the AKC,” said Martha Feltenstein, President of the American Tibetan Mastiff Association.   “The legends surrounding the breed, combined with its impact on the modern world, make it a very special dog.  Once people see and meet a Tibetan Mastiff, they can easily see why the Tibetan people and monks have honored it for thousands of years.  We are delighted that Americans will finally be able to see this wonderful breed, together with many of its descendants, in the Working Group ring.”

The Plott is unique among Coonhounds because it descends from Germanic stock rather than English foxhounds. The history of the Plott began when a young German immigrant, Johannes Plott, landed in the eastern United States with five hunting dogs. His son later made a conscientious effort to establish a successful big-game dog and eventually developed a pack of ‘mountain' dogs, raised and trained to hunt animals such as bear and wild boar.  These dogs became known by the family name and were referred to as the “Plott's hounds.”

Today's Plott is said to be intelligent, alert and confident. He has a reputation of being an excellent hunter, capable of traversing diverse terrain and water in all seasons. The breed is the official state dog of North Carolina. Unlike other dogs in AKC's Miscellaneous class, the Plott is already officially registered with the AKC, however until now, it has not been eligible for competition in the Hound Group.

“The Plott's often contrasting brindle markings make this distinctive and rare breed even more striking. His innate combination of courage and athletic ability makes him a huge hunting asset, as well as a respected member of the family,” said Roy Stiles, President of the American Plott Association.  “We are looking forward to the Plott's full integration into AKC competition and hope that this will be the impetus for the public to learn more about this unique dog. “