Dogs from both breeds will now be able to compete in AKC-sanctioned events like the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show.

You'll see a pair of newcomers when you tune into your favorite dog shows this year: a rare Hungarian herding dog and a playful toy breed who was a favorite of Russian aristocrats.

The American Kennel Club on Tuesday announced it's granted full recognition to the mudi and the Russian toy dog breeds, meaning they can now compete in AKC-sanctioned events like the upcoming Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, which was scheduled for later this month before it was postponed because of the latest COVID-19 surge.

The mudi (pronounced like "moody") will compete in the herding group at confirmation shows while the Russian toy will—surprise—join the toy group, the AKC said in a news release. The club now recognizes 199 breeds.

Breeds like the mudi, Russian toy, and Biewer terrierwhich gained AKC status last year—earn recognition based on three main factors, the AKC says: "active" interest in the breed across the country; a "responsible" breed club already established; and a "sufficient" population of dogs geographically spread out in the United States. Who might be next? The breeds in the AKC's Foundation Stock Service are working toward recognition.

Now, let's meet our new friends: 


This small- to medium-sized dog with curly hair is an active, loving dog who enjoys having a job, according to the AKC. Mudik excel at dog sports—like flyball—and can work as search-and-rescue dogs if they're not on the farm herding livestock. 

The mudi shares its roots with the puli and pumi, two other Hungarian dogs. Deszö Fényesi named the breed around 1930, about a decade before the breed neared extinction during World War II, per the AKC. They're still rare today, with no greater than several thousand across the world. Most still live in Hungary, according to the Mudi Club of America.  

Mudik are "tough little dogs," the breed club says. They're playful and friendly around their people, and they're good with kids and other animals when they're socialized as puppies. They also have a "fearless attitude" and will take on just about any task with vigor, the club writes.

Mudi basics (courtesy of the Mudi Club of America): 

  • Height: 15–18.5 inches
  • Weight: 17.75–28.75 pounds
  • Colors: black (most common), white, brown, gray, and yellow. Mudik will also exhibit a merle pattern among those colors (as you can see in the photo above).
  • Lifespan: 12–14 years

Russian Toy

These tiny guys and gals enjoy their bond with their people, so much so that they'll be sure to let you know if you're not paying them enough attention, the AKC says. Some will be more active and continuously bound around your house while others will spend most of their time lounging about (my kind of dog).  

Their history dates back to the 18th century. Soon, the dogs—then known as the Russian toy terrier—were bred as "stylish" companions for upper-class socialites and aristocrats, according to the AKC. They nearly went extinct during the Russian Revolution in 1917, and decades later breed advocates began efforts to resuscitate the breed in Russia. 

Russian toys come in smooth-coated and long-coated varieties, and the Russian Toy Club of America says the smooth Russian toys will have more of a "terrier-like" personality compared to their longhaired relatives.  

Russian Toy basics (courtesy of the Russian Toy Club of America): 

  • Height: 7.5–10.5 inches
  • Weight: usually no more than 6 pounds
  • Colors: black and tan; brown and tan; blue and tan; red; sable; and brown sable
  • Lifespan: 10–12 years