Mixed Breeds Join the Westminster Dog Show

Dog ShowThe Westminster Dog Show isn't just for purebred dogs anymore. For the first time since the famous dog show began almost 140 years ago, the Westminster Dog Show will opening its doors to mixed breed dogs. The First Masters Agility Championship will include purebred and mixed breed participants. This agility trial will be a skills-based competition that is all about a dog's intellect and speed--the dog's appearance is not a factor.

The mixed breed dogs will not be a part of the show's Best in Show competition, but will be allowed in the agility trial. Westminster leaders say that the dog show is meant to be a celebration of dogs and their incredible abilities, regardless of whether or not they are purebred.

The Westminster Dog Show will also be adding three new breeds to the show: the chinook, the Portugese podengo pequeno, and the rat terrier.

The debate will surely rage on between mixed breeds and purebreds, but it is certainly a step in the right direction that this prestigious dog show has stepped up to recognize the importance of celebrating mixed breed dogs along with purebreds.

There are both purebred and mixed breed dogs suffering in shelters and puppy mills all over the world. Regardless of one's opinion on purebred dogs or allowing mixed breeds into dog shows, The Westminster Dog Show is a beautiful reminder of the respect with which we should treat dogs of all pedigrees.

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  1. Meredith Marks

    January 16th, 2014 at 11:21 am

    Hooray!! its been a long time coming. There are some beautiful mixed breeds out there , we need to show them off.

  2. gretchen

    January 16th, 2014 at 11:37 am

    It is impossible to have mixed breeds enter the Breed judging as a "standard" for each breed is what determines each winner and there are no standards for mixed breeds. Agility is based strictly on performance which can be determined regardless of the type of dog. I think it's great that they are allowing mixed breeds in the agility portion. OH, and good choice of your photo!

  3. Phil Greis

    January 16th, 2014 at 12:38 pm

    I think having mixed-breeds participating at Westminster is fantastic, but more needs to be daone to shut puppy mills and puppy farms. Organisations such as Westminster need to step up and focus on ending those hell holes.

  4. Robin

    January 16th, 2014 at 12:43 pm

    The amount of misinformation out there about Westminster and mixes being allowed is pretty amazing. I and most of us who are in the dog show world have been pretty staggered by all the hoopla over allowing mixes into the agility trial at Westminster, typically accompanied by photos or clips of purebred dogs doing anything but agility or purebred dogs doing agility.

    To shed some truth on Victoria's unfortunately uninformed statement:

    "The debate will surely rage on about the fairness of allowing only purebred dogs to engage in the judged competition and only in the agility section of the show, but it is certainly a step in the right direction that this prestigious dog show has stepped up to recognize the importance of celebrating mixed breed dogs."

    Mixed breeds have been allowed in AKC Agility, Obedience, and Rally competitions for several years. It is not new or groundbreaking. In having agility at Westminster for the first time, the Westminster Kennel Club is simply following the precedent set by a huge majority of agility clubs across the U.S. AKC agility competitions had well over 1,000,000 entries last year, making it the largest agility organization in the world. The above statement implies that agility is not a judged competition. It most certainly IS a judged competition and a true sport, with purebreds and mixes welcome.

    Mixed breed dogs, however, are extremely unlikely to ever be allowed in the conformation/breed ring in AKC. The origin of and function of conformation competition was always to get independent evaluation on the suitability of a dog to represent its breed well for future generations. Each breed has a written standard, decided upon by the breed club, which describes the proper physical attributes the breed should have to do the job they were created to do. Size, coat length and type, head shape, etc. all have a role to play. A Doberman must have 42 correctly placed teeth in a strong jaw because they are guard dogs. A lab should have a thick double coat and an otter tail to facilitate swimming in adverse conditions.

    Mixed breeds are mixes of one or more breed. They meet no standard and should not be deliberately bred. So putting them in the conformation ring has no real function. That's not to say they are not wonderful pets. But they do not belong in a ring meant to evaluate dogs in order to preserve a breed.

    Responsible breeders show their dogs in the breed ring and also in one or more dog sports, to test both the physical structure and mental fitness of their dogs. You will find many Champion dogs in the agility ring along with those mixes.

  5. john

    January 16th, 2014 at 4:58 pm

    Idiots need to stop buying fad mutts.

  6. Judy Miller

    January 16th, 2014 at 6:59 pm

    it's about time. now the rest of them need to follow no need for specific breed to compete in agility or obedience.

  7. Janice Rogers

    January 17th, 2014 at 2:21 am

    I think it's great to allow mixed dogs. The Designer dogs should be separate from the true blue don't know what you are mutts. They are something special. In a class of their own

  8. Herm

    January 17th, 2014 at 5:29 am

    So... Border Collies dominate the agility at the moment, but now Border Collie crosses will have the chance to beat everyone else too? I like it. :)

  9. Puppy Guide

    January 18th, 2014 at 7:47 am

    Border Collie is a Dominater Oh Man, Awesome Dude

  10. Joanne TAlerico

    January 22nd, 2014 at 10:30 am

    Mix em up on the Agility course!!! Great News!

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