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Get To Know The Three New Breeds At This Year's Westminster Dog Show

This year's Westminster Dog Show will feature three exciting new breeds: The Rat Terrier, the Portuguese Podengo Pequeno, and the Chinook. Here's why you should be excited about the new kids on the block, brought to you by Purina® Pro Plan®, the dog food of choice for 8 of the last 8 Westminster Best In Show Champions.

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1. Introducing the perky Rat Terrier.

The Rat Terrier is an intelligent, active little dog that is cherished both for pest control and as a family pet.
LifeSupercharger / CC BY http://2.0 / Via Flickr: 8047705@N02

The Rat Terrier is an intelligent, active little dog that is cherished both for pest control and as a family pet.

2. This was last year.

Rat Terriers were on the outside of the Westminster Dog Show looking in. The breed was originally a mix of small hunting terriers, and it's only over the last 100 years that owners have sought to classify them as a separate breed.
Ray Sandusky / Getty Images

Rat Terriers were on the outside of the Westminster Dog Show looking in. The breed was originally a mix of small hunting terriers, and it's only over the last 100 years that owners have sought to classify them as a separate breed.

3. And this is today!

The Rat Terriers are finally ready to take the stage with the other top breeds.
Brendan Mcdermid / Reuters

The Rat Terriers are finally ready to take the stage with the other top breeds.

4. Here's what these little guys are good at:

Via gifsoup.com

Their name comes from the dog's rat-catching skills that were valued by their 19th-century British and American owners.

5. And Rat Terriers are inquisitive and smart.

They're also great around the house and tend to be calmer than other types of Terriers.
John Liu / CC BY http://2.0 / Via Flickr: 8047705@N02

They're also great around the house and tend to be calmer than other types of Terriers.

6. Chinooks are a rare breed of working dog bred in New England.

They are an exclusively American dog breed, first bred by polar explorer Arthur Treadwell Walden during the early 1900s from a mix of Mastiff, Husky, and German Shepherd bloodlines.
Via commons.wikimedia.org

They are an exclusively American dog breed, first bred by polar explorer Arthur Treadwell Walden during the early 1900s from a mix of Mastiff, Husky, and German Shepherd bloodlines.

7. This is what they look like at their day job.

The Chinook is remarkable for its strength in relation to its lightweight body.
Sonny Side Up! / CC BY http://2.0 / Via Flickr: sonnysideup

The Chinook is remarkable for its strength in relation to its lightweight body.

8. Their name means "warm winter winds" in Inuit.

In 2009, the Chinook was named the official dog of the state of New Hampshire.
Amy Neunsinger / Getty Images

In 2009, the Chinook was named the official dog of the state of New Hampshire.

9. Chinooks make excellent pets.

They are a lovable family dog and known for being great with children.
Desiree Navarro / Getty Images

They are a lovable family dog and known for being great with children.

10. The bright lights of New York City might be an adjustment for these working dogs.

It's a far cry from the woods of New England, but they'll be ready.
Ben Hider / Getty Images

It's a far cry from the woods of New England, but they'll be ready.

11. Oh, hey! Welcome to Westminster, Portuguese Podengo Pequeno.

This small, lively breed is ready to go.
Eduardo Munoz / Reuters

This small, lively breed is ready to go.

12. Like the Rat Terrier, these guys love to hunt and dig.

Cyril Wermers / CC BY / Via youtube.com

The dog was bred in Spain and Portugal to hunt rabbits, a serious threat to crops in that region. It was later valued as a house dog skilled at catching mice and other vermin.

13. They sport two coat types, smooth and wire-hair.

The Portuguese Podengo Pequeno (pronounced pe-KEN-ooo) stands 8 to 12 inches tall and weighs 9 to 13 pounds.
Tracy Morgan / Getty Images

The Portuguese Podengo Pequeno (pronounced pe-KEN-ooo) stands 8 to 12 inches tall and weighs 9 to 13 pounds.

14. And they're incredibly cuddly.

As you can see with this batch of puppies.
Scott Barbour / Getty Images

As you can see with this batch of puppies.

15. The Portuguese Podengo Pequenos and their fans are licking their chops for their grand premier at this year's show.

Cyril Wermers / CC BY / Via youtube.com

Relive the story of last year's champion, Banana Joe, presented by Purina® Pro Plan® – the nutrition of choice for 93 of the top 100 AKC all breed champions.

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Get to know last year's winner, Banana Joe!