NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – New contenders will be making a run for “Best In Show” when the 144th Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show kicks off this weekend.

(credit: CBS2)

In a show that features more than 2,600 dogs from 204 breeds, there is now a new kid on the block — the Azawakh.

READ MORE: Judge Lifts Temporary Pause On Vaccine Mandate For NYC Teachers And Other City Workers, Who Now Must Be Vaccinated By Monday

“An Azawakh is a sighthound. They’re a tall, slender dog that was bred to hunt hare and wild boar in Africa,” said Gail Miller Bisher of the Westminster Kennel Club.

The Azawakh is the newest breed to grace the dog show for the first time in the show’s 144-year history.

“He’s my buddy. He sits on the sofa with me when I watch television. He follows me all around the house,” said Aliya Taylor, who owns an Azawakh.

“They make wonderful pets,” Miller Bisher said.

READ MORE: 'I Want A Proper Education': Some NYC Public School Students With Medical Exemptions From In-Person Instruction Feel They're Falling Behind

At Tuesday’s announcement, there was an homage of sorts to the dogs from 100 years ago. The Best In Breeds from the roaring ’20s got a curtain call shout-out — the Wire Fox Terrier, Airedale Terrier, Cocker Spaniel, Collie and Pointer.

For a bit of action, there was an agility test run for the cameras — a preview of the Masters Agility Championship, which will be held on Saturday.

The main event begins Sunday.

The show runs from Feb. 9-11 at Pier 94 and Madison Square Garden.

MORE NEWS: Mattress Giveaway In Queens Highlights Depth Of Need That Remains 3 Weeks After Ida

The Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show has been held in New York City every year since 1877.