AKC will now welcome mixed breeds

Have you heard the news?  That AKC will be allowing mixed breeds into certain venues?  Straight from the horses mouth, you can read about it here.   AKC says the primary reason they are doing this is for ‘legislation power’.  Basically the more dogs they have on their leash, the more clout they have to lawmakers. 

The plan is that starting October 1st 2009 you will be able register your mixed breed with AKC.  Then in April 2010 you will be eligible to compete in mixed breed classes and “stand-alone” agility, obedience, and rally events.   Hmmmm….

I have to admit, I have mixed feelings.  Not because I don’t want to see our All Americans participating and excelling in agility.  It’s just that I have always thought of the AKC as an organization whose philosphy is pure-bred dog ownership and overseeing the registration and title accomplishments of such.   Other organizations (such as USDAA and CPE) we respect for simply being agility event organizations  (without the same philosphy), and so we expect that these would allow mixed breeds.  I don’t know, maybe I’m odd, but whether I agree with philospophys or not,  I admire consistency of philosphy with actions.  Such clear voices and focused visions are refreshing in today’s complex world.    Many an organization has drifted from their original mission because they did not stick to it, and suddenly they find themselves a totally different entity before they even realize what happened. 

Anyway….thoughts?  I’d like to hear from you.

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51 Comments on “AKC will now welcome mixed breeds

  1. i need to know if i can register my bloodhound and black and tan cross so i can compitition hunt him in the coon hunts thank you todd morris

  2. Not too upset about them separating the mixed breeds from the pure breeds.Yes, it seems like they could make a better decision. I would love to see them be and advocate for all dogs. WIth animal abuse on the rise, shelters to overflowing with unwanted or misjudged pets, we need an organization that will spur people on to think of their dogs best interests at heart no matter the breed. Many mixed breeds that are high energy are turned into the pound because people do not know what to do with their energy levels. This could be a huge help to mixed breeds, it could possibly even save some pups life. Let’s go for it and then work within the organization on behalf of the mixed breeds.

  3. I show two mixed breeds in mixed breed shows, and have earned several obedience titles. The shows are affordable, within an hour’s drive of my house, and are pretty low-key. I can show an entire mixed breed season for what it would cost me to show in 1 AKC show. I have stewarded at AKC shows and my dogs would do great in them, but I sure can’t afford it. I’ll keep showing in mixed breed shows. Oh, as for how AKC calls the mixed breeds, “All American Dogs”??? That’s ridiculous! We are proud of our mixed breeds and don’t need some kind of fancy name.

    • They are- I love them both so much! You can read about Quick’s (rough/border collie) puppy agility here on the blog. We just started his first class!

  4. Zoe is a Border Collie X Beagle X JRT. We got her from someone who decided to rescue a beagle mix off the street and it turned out she was expecting. She was four months old and half feral when we got her and now is 18 months old and has accumulated 5 Q’s and two titles.

  5. Now that they have changed the rules a bit my dog and I will be competing. We actually have an AKC trial this weekend. AKC shows are a lot closer and the rules really aren’t that bad. In 2011 Mutts can even compete at nationals and invitationals. I am going to support the decision to finally accept mixed breeds as equals to purebreds.

  6. I recently had my mixed breed (boxerXbasenji) at a show ‘n go offered by an AKC affiliated club. While waiting on deck for our turn to run, one of the members of the AKC club who was timing, turned to me and said (snidely) “We are still deciding if we are going to let mixed breed dogs compete in our actual events.”
    Is it now being left up to the distinction of the individual club? If it’s an AKC-wide ruling to now allow mixed breed dogs to compete as equals, can individual clubs choose to exclude us?
    I found it quite annoying that she would say this to me after I paid for 4 runs that day. My “mixed breed” money is only good enough for show ‘n gos, but not actual competition?
    No thanks, I don’t need that sort of attitude. My dog is beautiful and GOOD at agility, we’ll stick to clubs that don’t look down at us.

    • That’s awful! I’m so sorry they were mean. Yes, my understanding was that individual clubs could choose to snub, but it’s really not in their best interest to do so. (Money, money, MONEY.) While AKC trials are often the most prevalent, I’m wondering how many mixed breed owners will be using them.

  7. I understand that AKC now has changed the rules that the mixed breeds compete with the purebreds AND title the same. Unless I misunderstand. I have purebreds, as I like the breed. I remember in the 70’s, I was on the board at my dog club, and fought to get mixed breeds into the training program,and I won. I have always thought it ridiculous to eliminate mixes from competition.

    I don’t think that clubs should be able to show prejudice as to whether they have mixes or not. If AKC allows mixes, then that should be it. If a mix beats me in a trial, then the trainer/handler must be better than I… So hats off to him.

    As far as AKC promoting purebreds, all mixes in order to compete MUST be fixed, right? So what better way to get dogs out of shelters, and dogs fixed, than to open the competition to them… And what better way to promote purebreds, than to get people to fix their mixed breeds? And encourage your average pet person to find an activity with his dog?

    I know that means more crowding at dog shows, but back when I started showing, there were so many dogs in obedience that they had to split the rings, two Novice rings, two Open rings, etc. So I am sure that could happen again… You had two different judges for the same class, and only one first place… Imagine that? But we did it. And cringed when the entry came back and we didn’t get the judge we wanted…

  8. Hold on here, just a second. First, let me say that all the posters so far have had valid points, very well expressed.

    HOWEVER – let’s remember that it’s NOT the dogs who beat each other in competition – it’s the TEAM of dog AND handler. For instance, I could take the World Champion agility dog into the ring and no way would I win even a local event with him/her. Even if I were a good enough handler, that dog and I do not have a working relationship.

    So let’s not discuss which breed or mixed breed might beat the other – let’s remember that left to their own devices, dogs would do only the agility obstacles they enjoy and ignore the rest. It is the handler/dog relationship and teamwork that decides agility trial winners. (Yes, I know, every dog has physical limitations that affect his potential in the ring). I have many times seen a slower-running dog win a class over a lightning-fast pup – because the dog/handler teamwork was better.

    If my dog AND I lose to another TEAM, maybe it wasn’t the dog who was not as good – perhaps it was the handler. Let’s not forget that agility is a team sport, and to my mind, there shouldn’t be any distiction made based on pedigree.Not unless the pedigree of the handler is also a factor, as someone did mention. Boy, there’s a can of worms just waiting to be opened, huh?!

    There are plenty of purebreds out there (not even counting the ILP dogs) who are not showable due to (for instance) incorrect coloring. What if the breed champion Bloodhound is beaten by the gray-and-white Newfoundland? Maybe the AKC wants to stay consistent and just say that any dog who can’t be shown in AKC breed classes for any reason should have separate agility trial classes?

    To me, the whole thing is ridiculous – either open up your trials to all dogs or don’t. Why would AKC titlists want to brag about a title that was achieved by excluding the vast majority of the possible competition??


  10. Owners interacting and training their dogs is a positive thing; doesn’t really matter whether they’re purebreds or mixes. Responsible ownership is what I believe the AKC should be striving for . . . for all dogs. I love my dog; my purebred and my mix and I want the best for them in everything . . . health care, training and daily love and companionship. If the AKC can’t get with the program of treasuring all dogs without discrimination; promoting responsible ownership for all dogs . . . then it really doesn’t matter; they’re a dinosaur that will collapse of their own weight.

  11. I am just getting started in agility but have been working with dogs, mostly rescue for quite a while. All but one of my 8 dogs came from puppy mills which is the most disgusting breeding on the planet!
    We all still love to have fun and they certainly do not care who they are in the ring with.
    I also want to remind everyone that almost all dogs on the planet origionaly came from the wild wolf. And most of the “pure bred” dogs came from a mix of something else!

    Lets remember why we are doing this in the first place. To have FUN with our loving companions – our dogs!

  12. My mixed breed “is he a Collie/Border Collie or is he the world’s largest sheltie, but AKC says he’s a Rough Collie” has earned Mixed Breed obedience and rally titles. Some mixed breed clubs do offer agility at their shows, but I show at local Show And Goes with approved Mixed Breed judges. Any agility trial is too far for me to travel to, whether it’s AKC, Mixed Breed, or whatever. Mixed Breed does allow AKC dogs to show in classes that AKC doesn’t have — I think earth dog tracking and perhaps another class or two.

    As far as I’m concerned, AKC has made it plain that they don’t want the mixed breed dogs anywhere near the purebreds. Fine. As long as I have a mixed breed, I’ll continue to proudly show him as such.

  13. My dog has already earned titles in the Mixed Breed Dog Club. Why in the world would I give up those titles to start over again with AKC where it will cost me more per entry, cost me to have to travel all over east jesus to show, and be able to do fewer shows per year? And as I understand it, the mixed breed dogs will still only compete against other mixed breed dogs because, of course, the AKC people would be mortified to be beaten by a mutt.

    • Hello Laurie,
      I’m interested in knowing more about the Mixed Breed Dog Club you are a part of. Do they offer agility titles? Or just obedience? I took a quick check of their website and see that they had a part in proposing that AKC add a mixed breed class. Seems a conflict of interest if they offer their own titles, to move in that direction, instead of putting the effort into promoting their own club and classes. Anyway, would love to learn more if you wish to share. Thanks for your input too… loved the phrase “mortified to be beaten by a mutt”. I say, it shouldn’t matter if mixed and purebreds compete…let the best dog win! But as we’ve discussed… it definitely seems a separate class for the mixed breeds is communicating something all together different.

  14. I don’t think anyone really wants to say this but to me the more dogs that are in any event the more income is generated. What is the registration cost to register dogs? Once again more registrations more income.

    I am not of a mind that just because a dog is not a pure bred he is excluded from doing dog sports in every venue. I’m glad to see people get involved with their dogs because a dog that gets exercise is a happy well adjusted animal. The more people are involved with dog sports the more they see the right way to be with dogs. They quickly realize we share the planet so a dog running loose is not good for anyone, and is taking more space than they should. A dog that does not obey commands or runs off is a problem they may not have fully understood until they needed that dog to stay with them and obey them off lead. A dog jumping up or nipping is not a dog behaving properly.So my take is one of education. The more dog owners that get it the better it is for dogs. The rest of it is just plain unimportant to me.

  15. At first I thought it would be fun for my “all american” to compete with the “purebred”, as you say, there are more trials in our area for AKC than any other, however when I read the rules I had a total change of heart.

    1. Dogs will be issued an ID number
    2. Dogs must be spayed or neutered
    blah blah blah then it goes on to say

    d. Affiliation with an organization that:
    i. actively supports the right to own and breed dogs responsibly…..

    blah blah blah

    So, are thay trying to tell me that the only dogs that should be allowed to breed are “purebreds” since all mixed breed are supposed to be fixed? (I read this right before I read the news story about the rescue of 374 samoyed purebred puppys from a puppy mill. Now thats what I call responsible breeding. I sure hope AKC is proud of those pups.)

    Then to top if all off the akc’s and mixed breed cant even run against each other, they have to run seprately. AKC first then the mixed breed. hmmmm Seems to me this was someones big idea to get more money by allowing the mixed to play with the purebreds.(to the back of the bus we go!!)

    Thanks but no thanks….we’ll be sticking with CPE, NADAC, and USDAA

  16. I am an owner of only pure bred AKC dogs and I think that mixed breed dogs should be permitted to compete with the pure bred ones in performance events. Are we afraid that our pure bred dogs will be shown up by the “mutts?” Let’s all have fun together.

  17. I look at my dogs and showing in a similar light as Gail “dog sports should be about the beauty of the bond between a human and a dog, working together to achieve a goal, regardless of pedigree.” If I was only in it for the titles and prizes, I would have quit years ago. I started out when I was 8 years old during the time when “junior handlers were to stay in the ‘junior ring’ according to most adults” even though I had my “pure-bred” dogs to show. When I took my first puppy to Championship (I was 13), I became aceptable to the adults I competed with. Now I have 3 ILP dogs( 2 from the local shelter & 1 rescue) that I show currently in Obedience & Rally (not ready for Agility trials yet). We compete for the fun of it. Some days we’re lucky and place and other days we don’t even qualify. The dogs love to go just to visit with their long distance “puppy friends.”
    One of my concerns about having seperate classes for the “mixed breeds” is that clubs will have the option of offering the class. AKC currently has “Optional Titling” classes in Obedience as well as “Non-regular” classes. It’s hard to find a club (even an Obedience Club) in our area that will even offer these classes at their trials. We recently had to travel 4 hours away to be able to compete in an “Optional” class. Previously, we had to go out of state to compete. We have the same issues with Herding & Tracking trials too (as well as the issues with limited numbers). I’m not really sure that the “mixed breeds” in our area will have much opportunity to compete, which is a shame since we’ve had so many of them in our training classes with the local Obedience club.
    I think as the prices go up to compete for both the individual & the clubs we’re going to see less and less being offerred at shows/trials and not more. Having to have an extra judge will cost clubs more money and with lower entries currently it’s doubtful that clubs will want to add more expense for these optional classes/ events.

  18. In AKC unlike the other venues you get extra points for the placements in a class towards your MACh Title so I beleive there is a concern running with the mixed breeds and getting beat by them. For the record I have a purebred sheltie that I do confirmation with and 5 different agility venues.

  19. I believe dog sports should be about the beauty of the bond between a human and a dog, working together to achieve a goal, regardless of pedigree. Dog sports give dogs an outlet for their energy, stimulates their intellect, builds a bond with their human, and gets them out the backyard. I think all dogs can benefit greatly from participating in these events, regardless of breed. I believe there are many more important issues AKC should deal with then weather or not a non-purebred dog goes over a few jumps or runs up a dog walk. It’s a good thing we don’t demand pedigrees from our human athletes, or we would never again go to another basketball game, football game, or any type of human athletic event.

  20. Wow! I am so impressed with the quality of all these opinions. I am going to print them out and give them to my trainer. Our club will surely want to know what people’s opinions are before going through the work (or hassle, (depending on your opinion) of incorporating this into our trials.

  21. I have no problem with the AKC “changing” their mission . . . from purebred to including mixed breeds . . . and I don’t care if it’s mainly for the money. The AKC has long represented the purebred dog to the country – but accepting that there are many mixed breed dogs out there and that these dogs need or should be represented in the quest for responsible pet ownership . . . why is that a problem? I do though think it’s time for the AKC to really step up to the plate and stop making pantywaist decisions. Come out and stand up for responsible dog ownership for all dogs. Be proactive!

    For many years I have had purebred dogs (black Labrador Retrievers) and loved them, yet only recently have I become seriously involved in showing my dogs in obedience and rally. I’ve yet to feel accomplished enough to do any more than fun agility competition. I presently have a purebred dog (a nine year old rottweiler) and one of mixed breeding and guess what . . . I love them both and feel the need to be a responsible owner to both – in medical care and training. The younger of the two, my rottweiler/black and tan coonhound mix) is no lesser of a dog in quality because she’s a mix and personally?? She deserves so much more than to be looked askance at because of her being a mix and until she’s given REAL value by the AKC, we won’t be competing in any AKC events. She HAS value and is either a citizen in good standing or she’s not. I will not allow her to be pushed to the back of the bus.

    The AKC’s stand is wishy washy at best. My little girl will not contaminate your purebreds if she’s allowed to compete in the same obedience shows and classes as they are. She’s been spayed . . . as has all of my purebred dogs because I’m not involved in breeding, only in having a dog share my home and my life. Any training and competition I’ve ever been involved in has been a direct result of being a responsible pet owner and enjoying spending time and energy with my dogs.

  22. I have purebred dogs, I can’t help but notice the “mix” of the ILP/PAL dogs. If these are not mixed breeds (in some cases) I beg to differ. So what? If folks want to compete in AKC, then do it with a purebred, big deal, there are a number of venues for dogs that are not eligible to register with AKC, have you fun, competition, and enjoy your dogs, isn’t that why we are in this?

  23. I for one do not have any mixed feelings. Until my mixed breed is allowed to compete equally, I will not go to AKC events. From what I hear from friends that do both, CPE is more fun anyway. If there aren’t any events near you folks, you might look into starting a club to put on your own trials. It’s not that hard, and CPE can help you learn what you need to know. Try contacting some of the clubs that do CPE or USDAA or NADAC and ask them how they got started.

  24. AAC (Canadian agility Association) allows mixed breeds…no problems and it works well !!!!

  25. Just a few responses to a couple of comments.

    We train a number of mixed breed dogs, only to have to tell them that their opportunities for entering their dogs in the area is extremely limited. I don’t object to AKC now letting them compete. I do object to the structure that AKC has proposed, that is creating yet more divisions to deal with and keeping them separate.

    Now I have been doing AKC agility long enough to know that AKC did stretch the imagination a bit with ILP and PAL registration of a few dogs. Breed Standards seemed to have been overlooked in a few instances..but do I care?? no- but a few have brought a smile to my face. No one has objected to these dogs competing with dogs who are AKC registered.

    The software that will be needed will probably be a costly upgrade, and may even require a computer upgrade for those clubs using older laptops.

    Perhaps one reason that clubs who end up with small to moderate wait lists don’t go to two rings and two judges is 1) lack of space and 2)lack of resources and 3) lack of workers We are still relying on exhibitors to help out for a small reward, and those numbers are getting smaller and smaller. With ever increasing costs: upgrading equipment, facility rental, judge’s fee increases, airline tickets, etc.. it’s hard to make a small profit if we also have to hire workers.
    The wait lists will have to grow considerably before we can justify another judge, another airline ticket, another ring of equipment, another set of timers etc. Maybe the response of the “mixed” breeds will allow us to expand.

    I do appreciate the comments of those who are not in favor of adding mixed breeds or who have mixed breeds and don’t want to compete in the AKC program as it is currently designed. These comments will be considered as my club considers whether to offer the ‘mixed’ classes or not.


  26. Questions:What will become of the ILP program?
    If we have an unregistered rescue dog that we think is purebred can we still register as ILP? What happens to the agility points an ILP has earned?

  27. Ok well I have mixed feelings about this as well. I own a pure-bred Australian Shepherd, but he was not from AKC registered parents. Therefore, my only option would be an ILP, but I was declined when I tried to do this. I know for a fact my dog is a pure-bred and even breeder/judges can tell he is an Aussie.

    In the letter they declined him with they did offer the “Mix-breed” registration that would be coming up. Now I have no problem with mix-breeds, my Aussie now is the first and only pure-bred dog I have owned. The rest have been mixes including my 7 y.o dog I have as well. What bugs me with this is what I see ILPed and then im declined. After reading the guidlines the AKC has set, it just makes us mix-breed owners feel like we are under the pure-bred owner.

    1. Why are we not able to compete with pure-breds? As said before, AKC requires a dog ILPed or Mix breed registered to be spayed or neutered, so you wont have the accidental breeding. But, in my opinion, you have more of a chance with an accidental breeding competing with other pure-breds or in conformation. Your dog has to be intact to compete in conformation and it doesnt have to be spayed or neutered to compete in Agility. If a pure-bred owner is already used to watching their dog to make sure its not accidently bred, why cant they allow mix breeds with them? My see on this, a pure-bred dog owner can not keep their dogs away from intact or fixed mix breeds every day. You may pass them on the streets, in a dog park, in a pet store etc. Its no different than running with them. You also have agility clubs that offer classes and they dont separate purebreds and mix breeds in the classes, so why separate them when it comes to a title?

    2. Not allowing mix-breeds to compete at an agility trial where a conformation class is being held is not fair. There are more agility trials at conformation events than stand alone in most cases that I have seen. Now I may be wrong here, but thats what I have come across. I dont think this is making any more of an oppertunity for use mix-breed dog owners to compete in agility trials than just using other venues. It may come down to still having to drive hours to a AKC trial that a club has finally decided to allow mix-breeds there and it doesnt have a conformation event as well.

    I guess I am completely on the fence, I can see the pros and cons, but mostly cons. I can say I still wont compete in AKC just because of the segregation still involved. Until the AKC decides if they truly want mix-breeds to compete, I will be staying far away.


  28. As a mixed breed owner I have a question. Why would I be interested in an AKC trial?

    I have plenty of opportunities to play agility and while AKC gets TV time for their championships (that I would never be able to participate in anyway) … there really doesn’t seem to be much that is offered in AKC which I can’t find elsewhere. Elsewhere being places where all dogs are TRULY viewed as equal. AKC didn’t start the sport, other venues seem to have equally competitive dogs, and the courses & games in other venues are every bit as challenging, maybe even MORE challenging than AKC courses. The other venues have more games to play so we don’t sit around as much over the course of a weekend.

    I just don’t understand why this should interest my dog and me.


  29. Where we live, you can count on 2 fingers the number of USDAA agility events available for us in a 100 mile radius and on zero fingers the number of CPE events. AKC events, however, are like every other weekend.

    A dog, is a dog, is a dog. Prejudice and nit-picking do not belong in dog sports. We have a little Corgi-mix that has run agilty for 2 years and never had a chance to compete. We have 2 purebreeds that will now be delighted to have their sister run in the same events with them.

    Hopefully this will prove an incentive for more people to adopt the little mixes that desparately need forever homes. AKC needed to catch up.

  30. On the question of whether the AKC ILP’s mixed breed dogs ALREADY, I find it very interesting that people will look at an ILP’d “purebred” dog and say that they are mixed.

    In order to get an ILP as a purebred dog in AKC, you have to send in information and photographs (along with the fee) and the AKC DETERMINES whether or not your “purebred” is accepted. So to say that a dog is not really purebred is saying that you know more than the AKC.

    I have an ILP’d rescue aussie with a tail, that I compete with, and have had snide comments said to me at an AKC event about whether or not she is really an aussie. I usually just shrug and say, “well, the AKC said she was.”

    So I see the attitude. Around here, there are very few CPE or USDAA events, and just a few NADAC events, but a heck of a lot of AKC events. If my aussie wasn’t determined to be a purebred, we wouldn’t have been able to participate in much.

    I like the fact that AKC allows mixes now. I think it is a step in the right direction. I’m glad they are required (as all ILP’d dogs are currently) to be spayed/neutered.

    I think that their argument that they will be able to represent a lot more dogs and dog owners, will indeed help their organization grow. By requiring spaying or neutering of unpedigreed dogs in order to participate, they are helping their cause of keeping purebred lines pure.

  31. I’ve read most of the comments, but may have missed it if someone has already made the point I’d like to make. If so, sorry.

    My dogs and I are still novices – I have one AKC pedigreed pooch and one glorious mutt, so I sit squarely in-between the extremes. Therefore I think my opinion really counts.

    It seems to me – all other breed and breeding issues notwithstanding – that agility does not pit breed against breed. In fact the only comparativce factor in competitive trials that I’m aware of is height.

    If agility was only between same breed dogs – then it might be a different story.

    With that in mind, the only real issue is how skilled the dog/owner combination is.

    And if I may risk a little humour here, so far no one has asked me to put down MY pedigree when I fill out the AKC trial premiums. Thank the Lord! I’m not sure the AKC would approve of me – although I do have a college degree.

    Russell F.

  32. If AKC is trying to position this as that they’re opening up a needed opportunity for owners of mixed breeds by letting them compete in AKC trials, that premise doesn’t match reality – at least in many parts of the country. I live in the North East, and AKC trials are not any closer or more numerous than the CPE, USDAA and NADAC trials I enjoy so frequently. That’s true in Florida where I visit regularly too. From comments that I’ve seen in other venues, I just think AKC enthusiasts don’t realize how many other splendidly-run trials are available.

    I do agree with Pamela that if AKC is promoting a philosophy that somehow or other purebreds have real advantages, that it’s inconsistent to allow mixed breeds. It goes against the best interests of the breeders who are a main part of their membership, even if we all realize that mixed-breeds can do agility as well as pure-breeds. So, AKC is straddling a middle ground, trying to mollify their membership – especially breeders -by making mixed-breeds run separately, while at the same time garnering some of those mixed-breed dollars that now go to NADAC, etc.

    It reminds me of the children’s tale, “Please All, Please None,” where the man and the boy are accused of donkey-abuse – for riding on their donkey on a hot day – so they try to please their critics by carrying the donkey. A ridiculous solution, and so is this arrangement by the AKC.

    Further, this solution is totally offensive to mixed-breed owners. From every mixed-breed owner I’ve talked with, no one who has any kind of alternative is going to participate. And that’s the end of the discussion, wouldn’t you say? People can talk all they want that mixed breed owners SHOULD do it, they OUGHT to do it, they OUGHT to understand the AKC’s position, they should be grateful to AKC for the genetic pool AKC has fostered, but if these same owners DON’T LIKE THE ARRANGEMENT, they won’t participate. It’s like telling me I really ought to like peanut butter or something, when I can easily get cream cheese, which I prefer anyway!

    And regarding loyalty, why shouldn’t the mixed-breed owners stay loyal to the organizations that have always welcomed their dogs and not discriminated against them in any way?

  33. Change is never easy and riddled with controversy. I too have pure bred dogs. Bouviers, Goldens, Border Collies and Min Pins. Each breed was chosen for some job or sport I had in mind. All do agility as I find it a great confidence builder and good fun.
    I also am a canine instructor and own my own dog school.Over the past years I’ve seen a lot of mixed breed dogs. Many of these folks asked what was out there to do with their dogs after the basic good dog classes. Most were dissappointed to hear that there was very little. They could train for canine sports, but could only enter sanctioned matches or organizations that accepted mixed breeds. As mentioned in other comments, these are not held right inm our own back yard. AKC obedience, Rally, and agility are held here several times a year. Minutes away. The entry fees keep climbing and they are not cheap to enter. Start adding the cost of travel and it becomes difficult to go to them for the average dog owner.
    There is a big push for folks to rescue mixed breed dogs, but little insentive to do so over the pure bred dogs they can do so many things with.
    The truth is the shelters have a lot of lovely mixed breed dogs whose days are numbered. If the AKC is going to help encourage folks to get some of these unwanted dogs and give them a better life I’m all for it. I have quite a few folks that were very happy to hear they can enter their dogs in the local trials here.

  34. I think that AKC is behind the times and is trying to catch up. If they had allowed mixed breeds to register under their ILP program when they started it, they could have been the front-runner in allowing performance sports to be available for all dogs. But once UKC, NADAC, UDSAA, TDAA, etc. came along – those with mixed breeds had options. Instead, they are now trying to compete for entries and/or “status” with organizations who welcome all dogs.

    Many of us that start off with a mixed breed often move onto pure-breeds (usually the primary breed of our mix). I started with a little chihuahua/beagle mix and now have primarily beagles (still rescued) because I really liked that aspect of her personality.

    If I have both a pure-bred and a mixed-breed, I’m more likely to spend my money going to a show where I can show both of them.

    It seems odd that the AKC would welcome my money to register and enter my mixed breed, but does not see them as “equal”.

    I think they are trying to ride the fence – to still be a “pure-bred” organization but to get the publicity and monetary benefits of allowing more dogs. I really think they need to pick one or the other.

  35. Regarding the reason for entry limits, there are a maximum number of runs that a judge is allowed to score in a day. This applies to all venues. If a club is putting on a trial that is over-filling and turning entries away, they need to think about a two judge/two ring format unless they have another reason for maintaining a small trial (size of venue?)

  36. Sheila,

    That’s a legitimate concern, about AKC trials filling so fast, and now you will have to be even more on top of getting your entry in. Since it is going to be up to individual clubs whether they will allow mixed breeds, I’m guessing (or assuming) that they will only do this if they normally struggle to get enough entries. Some areas are more isolated, or agility is not as strong, and having the opportunity to attract the mixed breed crowd is going to be appealing to them. However, yes, the problem still is valid. The show may fill early and push out the pure-breeds.

    As to James question as to why AKC has entry limitations. I have always thought (could be wrong) that it is because of time restraints. Meaning there are only so many hours that the show has to run dogs, and this must be compared with how many rings are running. Which of course is dependant on how much equipment a club owns or can afford to rent. Why USDAA has no entry limitations, and makes it work out, I don’t know.

    Anyone have any thoughts?

  37. James, I liked what you wrote. It’s very interesting to get everyon’e perspectives. You wrote that mixed breeds are not allowed at the national level. Are you saying that they won’t be allowed to progress that far in AKC? But they can in other venues, right? I just want to make sure i have my facts straight.

  38. My concern is about the trials filling. I always calendar the opening date of an AKC show to be sure my dogs get in. For busy folks who may not do this, it is easy to end up on a waiting list, hoping someone cancels. By allowing mixed breeds this problem will become more severe in the areas where the trials fill very fast. I suppose I’m thinking with CPE, NADA and USDAA, it might be nice to leave AKC to the organization whose purpose is to promote the purebred dog. From looking at some of the dogs AKC has allowed an LLP #, it appears mixed breeds are already competing to some degree. That all said, I do agree that if All Americans will be competing, they should not have separate classes. If they are eligible they should not be discriminated against and should not have separate titles.

  39. @Sue–Thanks for your response.

    It was not my intention to create an ‘us versus them’ mentality with point #1. Perhaps my last comment about it was a little ‘off the cuff,’ and for that I apologize. It is a polarizing issue, with strong emotions on both sides. It was certainly not intended to mean that ALL purebred owners feel or act this way, but indeed there are some (having seen it from personal experience).

    I whole-heartedly agree that you compete against the course and not other dogs. However, if this were the case, what would be the need for separate titles? A mixed breed running the same courses, same qualifying times, yet gets a different title? I also forgot to mention that mixed breeds are barred from competing in nationals or invitational events. How is that fair?

    @Beverly – Thanks for pointing out the added costs of software updates. Those who aren’t involved with the operational side of holding trials forget about things like this. The extra cost surely will affect some clubs decision whether or not to hold mixed breed classes. Hopefully the mixed breed program will evolve more quickly than it took to create it.

  40. I also have mixed (no pun intended) feelings about this. For the record, I now own purebred German Shorthairs (one since puppyhood and one a rescue when he was 15 months so he is ILP’d), and compete in all agility venues very regularly (well, okay, can’t really do Teacup with my guys ). I have had wonderful mixed breeds in the past. I agree the AKC is doing it wrong — they should just allow the mixes to run together with the purebreds like every other agility venue. I think it may be a shortsighted attempt to satisfy that part of AKC that doesn’t want to allow mixed breeds to participate. Regardless, I have no problem allowing them but do believe they should be treated equally if they are allowed.

    On the other hand, comments like the above about pure bred owners being scared of running against mixed breeds is unfair and uncalled for and fosters an ‘us against them’ mentality not good for any dog sport. First of all, in AKC agility, there is no need to ever ‘beat’ another dog. You are competing against a course, not the other dogs. Secondly, my dogs did not cost anywhere near $1500, nor do I own purebreds for the status. I own my purebred dogs because before I got my first GSP, I did my research and decided I wanted a medium size, high energy, easily trainable, shorthaired sporting dog, and I wanted the puppy I got to grow into the dog I envisioned for my lifestyle. I got exactly what I wanted, so much so that I rescued my second GSP and he is every bit as wonderful as my first one. You can’t really get that when you walk into a dog shelter to look at some puppies. Generally you have no idea what you are getting. Sometimes you may get to meet the mother. Sometimes shelters know a bit of where the pups came from but see so many dogs they don’t always remember. My sister was told her now 70 lb. plott hound mix would be 40 lbs. tops (luckily she adores the big goof and wouldn’t think of getting rid of him but really did want something smaller).

    I think the vast majority of those of us who choose purebred dogs to run in agility do it more for wanting some specific qualities, like size or energy level or biddability, than for any perceived social status or because we don’t like mixed breeds.

    The last point I want to make is something I think most mixed breed owners miss. They wouldn’t have the wonderful ‘mixes’ of mixed breed dogs if someone (namely AKC) was not hard at work making sure the traits and qualities of the many varieties of purebred dogs were being preserved. At some point in most modern mixed breed dog’s lineage there is most probably a purebred dog.


  41. Good points but, as a volunteer instructor for our club, we need to look at the benefits to teams just starting out in agility.

    I have students with mixed breeds who are ready to compete (or almost) who could not be expected to travel several hours just to try their first competition. There are AKC opportunities nearly every week in season that can be driven in an hour or two.

    I also disagree with the way they are doing it, separate but equal. This will require changes to trial software, extra expense of awards for more divisions.

    Bottom line, it is a step in the right direction and should continue to evolve just like the ILP registry did.

    We have just joined NADAC to provide them with the competion without pressure, but our twice a year AKC trial will now benefit both the club and our students.

  42. Thanks James, for your great analysis of your concerns about AKC’s new policy concerning mixed breeds. Your illustation of “riding in the back of the bus” is thought-provoking, to say the least! Some may say, “well, it’s a start in the right direction”. Oh… is it? What exactly is being communicated? Being allowed to ‘ride the bus’ may simply be because the bus company wants more money. Or maybe the pressures just got to them to include everyone. But to segregate them to a certain area of the bus is still communicating something of one’s original feelings. Again (I think we are agreeing, but as you said, for different reasons) I believe it’s better for someone to stick to a philosphopy and a Mission, than to ride the fence trying to please everyone. In doing this, they end up pleasing no one!

    Thanks SO much, James, for contributing to this discussion. I look forward to hearing more from you!

  43. I have mixed feelings as well, but for different reasons. As an owner of a rescue mutt (and our only dog), we love going to USDAA trials. We would like to compete in AKC events, since there are more local AKC agility events in our area than USDAA events. There are at least 4 shows in my local area (~20 mile radius) a year, while the closest USDAA show is about 2 hours away. Having the option of competing in AKC would broaden our chance to compete.

    I’m very happy to see AKC allow mixed breeds, but I think they’re doing it wrong.

    1. Mixed Breed classes and titles will be offered separately from pure breds. While they will run together at trials, placements will be separate between the two. Why? Are pure bred owners scared that their $1500 dog will be beat by the $120 rescue mutt? I really don’t see the point.

    2. Mixed Breed classes can only be offered at stand-alone agility events, and cannot be offered when an all-breed show is at the same location. Mixed breeds, of course, cannot compete in a conformation show, but why should that hinder them from competing at an agility event at the same location? AKC is requiring registered mixed breeds to be spayed/neutered, so it’s not like there’s a fear of an accidental cross breeding in the hallways.

    3. It’s up to the Club’s discretion to allow mixed breed classes. Most trials that fill will not offer mixed breed classes since those entries would take the spot of purebreds. I’ve never quite understood why AKC trials have a limit on entries in the first place. All the USDAA trials I go to never have limits, and are sometimes quite larger than most of the AKC trials I’ve been to.

    The whole thing just kinda stinks to me. It just sounds like a “Separate but Equal” doctrine, and we all know that separate is NOT equal. I, for one, am tired of being forced to sit in the back of the bus like second-class citizens. While I am happy that my mixed breed will even get to run in more events closer to home, I am disappointed in the program’s execution.