AKC opens the door (albeit just a crack) to mixed breeds

Here’s the link.

This is a move that was overwhelmingly supported, even insisted on (as much as the Delegate Board is able to) by breeders. Go us!!

I wish there were not so many strings attached–I would much prefer, and I think many breeders would agree with me, a straightforward permission to participate that is much like the current PAL / ILP program. As long as a dog is spayed or neutered, he or she should be able to compete in the companion events. I have high hopes that this is only the first move, and full inclusion will follow.

Welcoming mixed breeds is good for everybody. It makes us put our money where our mouth is – if purebreds do it better, we should be able to prove it. And when we DO prove it, owners who decide to get serious in a particular sport, or who want to breed, will choose a a well-bred purebred. It’s an exponentially better scheme for attracting new breeders than the ill-fated and ill-received strategy to go after retail puppy sales will ever be. 

Unfortunately, the new mixed-breed scheme will only take effect at stand-alone obedience/agility/tracking/rally events – I hope this changes, and fast. But remember this the next time you’re at a show. Be friendly to the person who looks lost and confused; he or she may be checking this whole thing out in preparation for trying to register their little malte-whatever. The better impression we give to everyone who shows up, the more they’ll want to get involved.

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6 thoughts on “AKC opens the door (albeit just a crack) to mixed breeds

  1. Oh, how exciting! When I get a dog in the next few months, it will almost certainly be a mutt. I had pretty much decided I wouldn’t be able to compete in any dog sports for years until I could get a purebred. It is exciting to have that door opened. Though the disassociation with all breed shows is going to greatly limit oppertunities; in my area most of the agility/obedience is in conjunction with all breed shows.

  2. I have mixed feelings on this. I do not think it is cool that the mutts run in a separate class, JMO. Don’t they run Preferred in the same class? I know you could argue it is a step in the right direction but by running the classes separately it just feels like a money-making scheme – especially since the point of the AKC is to promote purebreds. I hope you are right and full inclusion is soon to follow.

    And C.P. there are LOADS of organizations that welcome mixed dogs as equals (APDT RALLY, NADAC, CPE, USDAA, and more).

  3. Currently, the major organizations for dogsports all allow mutts to compete equally. What can the AKC offer that is the same/superior to them that would make it worthwhile for people to want to register their dogs with them in order to compete? Just a paper that has a caveat that ‘this dog didn’t actually compete with every other dog in it’s class — just the mutts’.

    It seems to me, that if you were really serious about Agility/Rally/etc and you had mixes, you’d just stick with the other guys. You’d have better competition and you wouldn’t be seen as second-class citizens.

  4. Pai, you’re exactly right. What makes the AKC attractive to agility people is the sheer number of available venues and trials, far more than most? all? of the others. Until the registry opens to mixed-breeds all the trials, including the ones associated with all-breed shows, there won’t be the same attraction for those owners. However, it’s a step in the right direction and it was a hard-fought victory for the Delegate Board (which represents the breeders). If we can keep moving forward, it will continue to expand.

  5. Hello, I just stumbled across your blog and it’s pretty neat!
    I’m very happy to see this change, and I know it took a lot of work by delegates. I train at an AKC club, own mixes, and have competed in UKC obedience and APDT rally. I will not insult my dogs by competing them in “separate but equal” classes.
    However, I really would like to encourage the AKC to go further with welcoming mixes, and I can’t do that by sitting on the sidelines complaining. So this is what I’m planning to do, and encouraging other owners of mixes to do. When it becomes available in the fall, I will pay my $35 registration fee, but I won’t enter any trials until I can do it while still being true to my dogs. Hopefully the AKC will see potential in the registration fees they get, and decide to go further.

  6. I’m glad the AKC is opening up events, but I am, to be honest, also glad they’re doing this separate of all-breed shows. I think this is a GREAT stepping board for all dog owners, the dog fancy as a whole, and also, for building MORE AKC performance events!

    One big complaint I hear among performance people, is an event either fills up too fast, or doesn’t get enough entries, so cancels the next year. IMO, allowing altered dogs of any breed/mix is not only a great way to fill those events that’re not getting filled, it’s also a great way to get MORE AKC sanctioned events on the roll. If there were more people competing in Agility, Obedience, Tracking, Rally, etc, there would like in conformation, be more events held for those sports. IMO, a win for all.

    One thing I’d really like to see added though, is an adult showmanship class. Not for pro-handlers, but a sanctioned way for people to get into shows and learn how to show dogs. IMO, the adult showmanship should be for all-breeds, and mixes, much like how 4-H is. I know I learned SO much through 4-H, and wish adults had that type of a venue available to them. I also feel, the AKC would be the best place to offer this.

    I also do hope that AKC opens an all-breed plus mixes Jr Showmanship program. Many competitive juniors can’t afford a purebred, and have a mixed-breed they compete with in 4-H. While most of the serious 4-Hers I grew up with had purebreds, and also did AKC Juniors, some only had mixes, and wished they had dogs they could do AKC juniors with too.

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