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What do you get when you combine Yorkies, a famous German singer, and scientific advancement? The newest recognized AKC breed.

By Austin Cannon
January 05, 2021
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biewer terrier head shot
Credit: Gratysanna / Getty

Begin the new year by obsessing over a new dog? Um … yes!

The American Kennel Club on Monday announced that the Biewer terrier—pronounced exactly like "beaver"—will join the toy group as the club's 197th recognized breed. The small pups, direct descendants of Yorkshire terriers, can now compete in AKC-sanctioned events, including dog shows

"This wonderful little dog makes a great companion for a variety of people, and we're excited to introduce dog lovers to another fantastic breed that may be a perfect match for their family," Gina DiNardo, the AKC's executive secretary, said in a statement.

Much like their Yorkie brethren, Biewers are loyal dogs who love to make new friends and play, the AKC reports. They enjoy hide-and-seek and chasing balls and are whimsical enough to keep you entertained. 

Their assignment to the toy group kind of gives it away: Biewers are pretty little, measuring 7–11 inches tall and weighing only 4–8 pounds, according to the AKC. They'll live for around 16 years. 

These whippersnappers aren't only new to the AKC, though. They're new, period. And boast a fascinating history. According to the AKC, the breed was (literally) born in early 1984, when one of Gertrud and Werner Biewer's Yorkies gave birth to a black, white, and tan pup—definitely not the usual color for Yorkies. Another arrived three months later in the same colors.

The super-rare piebald gene was responsible, and soon the couple named the breed "Biewer Yorkshire Terrier a la Pom Pon." (The "a la Pom Pon" was a suggestion from famous German singer Margot Eskens, who bought the two puppies.) 

The Biewer terrier made its public debut in 1986, and demand in Germany, where the Biewers lived, soon skyrocketed even as the Biewers worked to perfect their breed, the Biewer Terrier Club of America (BTCA) writes. The dog came to the United States in 2003, and soon a series of blood tests determined that the Biewer terriers weren't just a Yorkie offshoot. They're their very own breed. 

"This is the first time in the history of dog breeding that a dog has been proven to be a 'purebred' using the tools science has to offer," the BTCA writes. "The Biewer terrier was established as a purebred dog, using science, through the collection of genetic data, instead of the customary pedigree documentation." 

So, 37 years after the Biewer terriers' actual birth, you might very well see the dogs at Westminster. Pretty neat, considering so many recognized breeds are centuries old, borderlining ancient. 

The Biewer terrier joins last year's new recognized breeds: the dogo Argentino, barbet, and Belgian Laekenois. Each became an AKC-recognized breed because there are enough of each dog in the United States (along with the expectation that breeding will continue) and because they all have an established breed club. 

Which could get you to wondering ... Which breed might the AKC recognize next? There are plenty of breeds waiting in the club's Foundation Stock Service list—including favorites like the American Bulldog and the Catahoula Leopard Dog. Want to learn about your favorite breed? Take a spin over to Daily Paws' breed guides