Purebred pup fever was on the leash in Madison Square Garden Tuesday, as two new dog breeds were unveiled for next year's Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show.
The new breeds, a Coton de Tuléar and a Wirehaired Vizsla, bring the total number of breeds to be judged to 192, up 50 breeds in the last 25 years.
The Coton de Tuléar looks a little like a cross between a hirsute Roomba and a powder puff.
The breed is sometimes mistaken as a Maltese or Havanese, noted Adrianne Dering, a breeder who brought Luna, her sweet-tempered 2-year-old Coton de Tuléar that will compete in the show, which comes to town Feb. 16 and 17.
Dering lives in Morgantown, West Virginia but said Cotons de Tuléar would make good New York City dogs because they hardly shed. Also, they are "adaptable to all situations, they're happy-go-lucky and very easy going," and are largely non-allergenic because "they don't have fur. They have hair."
Prospective owners interested in the non-allergenic aspect are encouraged to give Dering their pillowcases. "Then I rub the pillow cases all over the puppies and have (the people) sleep on them," to make sure their allergies are not triggered, said Dering.
There is one case, however, in which "coties," as the royal dogs of Madagascar are sometimes termed, are not suited for New York life because they bond tightly to humans.
"They tend to be prone to separation anxiety," Dering said, meaning they are unhappy when left alone for long periods of time.
Workaholic New Yorkers who want one should plan on paying a dog walker to take their animal out in their absence, Dering said.
Falko, a 13-month-old wirehaired Vizsla with haunting hazel eyes and Martin Van Buren sideburns, was so tired from his tour of the early morning talk shows he could barely stand up.
"He's a very calm dog," said his owner, Anton Sagh, from Montreal. The wirehaired Vizslas, highly trainable hunting and tracking dogs, are russet-hued hounds originally from Hungary, as was Sagh's father.
"They're great with family and other pets. He's what we call a 'Velcro dog,'" not because his fur sticks to everything he encounters, but "because they stick to you: They want to please you," Sagh explained.
And that is a disposition any New Yorker welcomes.