Monday February 13, 2017

Hairless pooch who feels like 'a warm piece of baloney' competes at Westminster dog show

Walkyr the American hairless terrier is competing against much furrier foes at the Westminster dog show.

Walkyr the American hairless terrier is competing against much furrier foes at the Westminster dog show. (Janet Parker/Facebook)

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Dog shows tend to feature a parade of primped pooches with strange, adorable and elaborately coiffed hair-dos.

But Janet Parker's canine companion Walkyr is going paw-to-paw with top dogs from around the world at the 141st Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show in New York City— and all without a single hair on his body.

Walkyr is an American hairless terrier, one of three new breeds invited to participate in the event this year.

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American hairless terriers are seen during a press conference Jan. 30 in New York to announce three new breeds that will be eligible to compete in the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show. (Timothy A. Clary/AFP/Getty Images)

"He is completely hairless. A little girl in a daycare once described him as feeling like a warm piece of baloney. And that's actually a pretty accurate feeling, except not so slimy," Parker told As It Happens' guest host Helen Mann. "He really does have very soft skin, almost like a baby's butt."

'He really does have very soft skin, almost like a baby's butt.' - Janet Parker about her dog, Walkyr

Walkyr will compete against 14 others American hairless terriers for Best In Breed on Tuesday. If he wins, he'll move up the ranks and take on all the terriers at the show. The top terrier will then compete for the grand prize, Best In Show.

"I mean, that's everybody's bucket list dream if you're in dog shows," Parker said.

Janet and Walkyr

Janet Parker poses with her dog Walkyr, who she says loves to snuggle up at night. (Janet Parker/Facebook)

Parker says Walkyr is a great pet — active when he needs to be, but also enjoys a lazy day on the couch.

"They do like to snuggle up at night with you because, you know, they're looking for heat."

He joins a few other new faces at Westmister. Another new breed competing this year is sloughi, a large, sleek creature also known as an Arabian greyhound.

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Two sloughi dogs stand with their owners after being introduced as one of the new breeds allowed to compete in this year's Westminster dog show. (Lucas Jackson/Reuters)

And the pumi, a Hungarian herding dog with tight curls. 

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The pumi, a Hungarian herder breed, has a big mop of curly fur. (Tomothy A. Clary/AFP/Getty Images)

Hours of prepping is common for dog show participants. But not Walkyr.

"Trim his nails a couple days before, make sure he's happy, give him some nice treats and in the ring we go!"

Also new to the dog show? Cats.

However, the felines participants will not compete against their canine companions for Best In Show. Instead, they took part in the Meet the Breeds event on Feb. 11 and will compete in Tuesday's agility competition. 

As for Walkyr, whether he wins or not, he'll always have a fan in Parker.

"I think it takes a person of fine class to appreciate such a magnificent animal," she said. 

Walkyr

He may not have a fabulous hairdo, this American hairless terrier is competing at the 2017 Westminster Dog Show. (Janet Parker)

— With files from Associated Press