The 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.