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Westminster Dog Show Could Fetch More Viewers By Allowing Mutt-i-gees

Baby steps, or puppy steps, but when you consider the number of extremely talented, yet blended, dogs around, the news coming from the American Kennel Club is good. It means they're adopting a new attitude with the addition of an agility competition open to mixed breed dogs. 

image from Seth Wenig - Associated Press

Best in Show is still limited to specific breeds recognized by the American Kennel Club but [...]

According to the Washington Post and the AP, the event is also adding an agility trial, which is all about performance rather than pedigree.

It’s a notable embrace for the nation’s premier canine event, which also is adding three breeds at next month’s show: the Chinook, the Portuguese podengo pequeno and the rat terrier. No mixed-breed dogs have appeared anywhere at Westminster since the 138-year-old event’s early days, organizers said at a news conference Wednesday.

The pros and cons of pedigreed and mixed-breed animals have long been a sensitive subject in dogdom; animal rights activists have protested Westminster itself. They see dog breeding as an unhealthy exercise in genetic engineering and say it’s insensitive to breed dogs while others languish in shelters. Purebred enthusiasts, meanwhile, consider breeding a way to develop and preserve different traits and help people select a compatible pet.

“We’re very excited about the fact that Westminster can play a leadership role in embracing, really, the sport of dogs,” purebred or not, said Westminster President Sean McCarthy.

What do you think? If you've never attended or watched on television before, will you now? Does this change your attitude about blended dogs or events like dog shows in general? How does this make you feel about Westminster or the AKC?

I'd love to read thought opinions and thoughts in the comments.


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