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Westminster Dog Show Opens Its Doors to Mutts

Westminster Dog Show Opens Its Doors to Mutts

For the first time mixed-breed dogs, or mutts, will be allowed to participate in a portion of the Westminster Kennel Club dog show on Feb. 8.

Dubbed “All-American dogs,” the non-purebred canines will compete in the Masters Agility Championship, which is new to the show this year. It will feature tasks like weaving around poles and jumping through hoops.

However, mixed-breed dogs won’t vie for the Best in Show award. That prestigious award will be reserved for a dog of one of 187 American Kennel Club-recognized breeds.

Allowing mutts to compete in the agility portion of the show may have come as a response to animal activists who have long criticized Westminster for encouraging the breeding of purebred dogs while 60 percent of shelter dogs are euthanized.

Critics say the dog show is an exercise in canine genetic engineering, but dog breeders say they’re preserving dog breeds and helping people adopt compatible pets.

Photo: Getty Images

The Westminster Kennel Club dog show will add three new breeds to this years show: the Chinook, the Portuguese Podengo Pequeno and the rat terrier.

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Read more: Dogs, Pets

article by Laura Moss

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Kara, selected from Mother Nature Network

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106 comments

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6:57AM PST on Feb 12, 2014

It's about time that Westminster opens it's door to ALL. Indeed, it sounds bias that only pure breed can be in the dog show to compete and more like encouraging people to buy than adopting from shelters. In fact, plenty of pure breed dogs can be found in any animal shelters, if not, they are just as good. Just like human, any kind of humans are good and bad mixed. There is no difference in other form of beings.

1:49AM PST on Jan 29, 2014

Cool!

10:25AM PST on Jan 23, 2014

Long, LONG overdue! So-called "mutts" are the BEST!!!

9:37AM PST on Jan 23, 2014

Hot damn! Mutts are every damned bit as good as purebreds!

3:03PM PST on Jan 22, 2014

Well, that's good news. Maybe the publicity will increase awareness about shelter dogs. Thanks.

8:49AM PST on Jan 22, 2014

It's a long overdue step, but mutts should still be allowed to vie for Best in Show, as well.

11:44AM PST on Jan 21, 2014

Mixed bred agility isn't a new deal. It's been around for a while.
It is ignorant to assume this is an animal rights issue, and that the Westminster Kennel Club is responding to animal rights nutjobs by including mixed bred agility at their show.

4:28PM PST on Jan 20, 2014

All dogs are beautiful.

3:11PM PST on Jan 20, 2014

Terisa W, 30% not race is not 30% killed, it's 30% who were not fast enough to run. They could have been injured, or they could have been born that way. My point is that before making assinine statements, think about what you are saying. My original comment simply explain whay pure breds provide a more accurate indication of the dogs temperment. I think many people are confused by "designers" dogs that are actually muts. And if you want a mut, stay away from dog shows, I will not miss you.

8:16AM PST on Jan 20, 2014

How nice. Thanks Kara.

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