Canine breeds give spellers a doggone hard time

National Harbor, Md. - It's said if you want a friend in Washington, get a dog.

And it may be that a little familiarity with dogs might help out at the Scripps National Spelling Bee, where the names of six breeds came up out of 281 total words on the Round 2 list Wednesday morning.

“I started noticing another dog and another dog,” said Spelling Bee pronouncer Jacques Bailly at an afternoon press conference.

Keeshond, Weimaraner, rottweiler, dachshund, schnauzer, Borzoi and Schipperke were all on the “to be spelled” list. Two of the seven eliminated spellers.

Paige Kimble, executive director of the Bee, said the dog breeds were chosen in advance from a 1,500 word study list.

“These were just dog words,” Kimble said. “We love dogs.”

In Round 3, contestant Tajaun Gibbison, a 13-year-old eighth grader from Jamaica, got the word papillon, and immediately asked, “Is that a dog?”

He spelled the breed correctly.

The 2014 Scripps National Spelling Bee takes place on May 27, 28 and 29 at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center in Washington, D.C.

Preliminary rounds air on ESPN3 at 8 a.m. and 1:15 p.m. on Wednesday. The semifinals will be broadcast on ESPN2 on Thursday at 10 a.m., and the championship finals will be broadcast live on ESPN on Thursday at 8 p.m.

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