Mutts in AKC Dog Agility
It has been quite a few years since the AKC opened their doors for mixed breeds to compete in dog agility alongside purebreds. We posted several articles as events surrounding this notable change was being made. Starting with the AKC offering a mixed breed division to shortly after opening all classes to mixed breeds. This allowed purebreds and mixed breed dogs to run alongside of each in the same classes. At the time it did create a small stir, but on the whole dog agility wins out. It is a sport first that focuses on the relationship between a handler and dog despite the breeding. Plus, it soon became a great way for purebred dogs without papers to compete alongside those with papers. Not to mention, it has become a great litmus test for breeders of purebred performance dogs to up their game by competing against mixed breeds that pushed the envelope on what is possible.
Today, we would like to think that this philosophy has replaced any negative thoughts or arguments against the decision. As far as AKC being a place for purebreds to meet and compete, that is still great for dog breeds in the show ring. But it is such a win/win for the club, dog owners, and breeders alike to welcome all dogs under their roof for this sport we all have grown to love.
It has also opened the doors for many a competitor to earn titles and compete in areas where there are limited or even no other venues to run. Regardless of the venue, the sport is not based on the dog alone, nor the breed, nor the training used. It is based solely on a teams ability to complete a course under a set time with minimal errors on course. This fact alone should never be forgotten regardless which side of the fence you are on.
These days there is less hype on whether the AKC should accept mixed breeds as everyone has seen the benefit of opening up to them and hopefully there is none left at all when we can see no negatives to the decision. It also allows competition to encourage breeders to be even more selective in their programs, dogs of pure lines without papers to compete against others of their breed, allows more competitions in areas with few to no other venues as well as promoting a sport that is all about the dog and their handler. But that is us, what do you think about this today?