Say What? Xoloitzcuintli Highlights Thanksgiving’s National-Dog-Show New Breeds

Two-hour show features about 200 breeds

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Gary Gershoff / Getty Images

Namina, a Xoloitzcuintli (L), and Eowyn, a Norwegian Lundehund.

Welcome the Entlebucher and the Xoloitzcuintli. Yup, those names represent just two of the six new breeds that will make their national television debut at the National Dog Show on Thanksgiving Day. In what has turned into a new Thanksgiving Day tradition, the Kennel Club of Philadelphia hosts the two-hour televised event at noon, showing off roughly 200 breeds in a fast-paced television-friendly style.

But what might slow things down a bit is when famed announcers John O’Hurley and David Frei attempt to pronounce the new breeds. O’Hurley says he spent three nights in a row practicing Xoloitzcuintli — a dark, medium-size Mexican hairless — and finally has it down, using the phonetic key show-low-eats-queen-tlee as his guide, which sounds vaguely similar to some kids’ reading primer. And that makes saying Entlebucher Mountain Dog sound easy.

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Joining the two tough names are four more basic pronunciations: the Cesky Terrier, the Norwegian Lundehund, the Finnish Lapphund and the American English Coonhound.

All six breeds received official American Kennel Club certification this year, and this marks their first time on national television.

The Xoloitzcuintli has the most striking name and might have a bit of shock factor to its look too, as the hairless part is enough to make anyone look twice. The Cesky Terrier is a small, muscular hunter from the Czech Republic and expect to see some serious primping going on with its coat. A small and agile dog, the Norwegian Lundehund boasts six toes and ears that fold closed, forward or backward at will. With a puffy coat and the look of a dog hailing from the Arctic Circle, the Finnish Lapphund also has a gentle face. Whether American or English (how are we to really know?), the American English Coonhound has the look of a coon and with a coat that can range from blue and white ticked all the way to tricolored. While not as large as you might guess for a mountain dog, the Entlebucher, which is actually the smallest of the four mountain breeds native to Switzerland, displays a short tricolor coat with black as the dominant color.

And if you forget how to pronounce Xoloitzcuintli, don’t fret, the show has plenty of other easy-to-say breeds. Poodle, anyone?

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