Competing at Westminster This Year: Mutts
Mixed breeds included in agility trial
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jan 16, 2014 1:43 AM CST
Alfie, a mixed breed, demonstrates his mastery of an agility test during a news conference in New York yesterday.   (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

(Newser) – Long the province of the purebred, the Westminster Kennel Club dog show is opening a doggie door this year to mixed-breed competitors. While Labradoodles, puggles, and who-knows-whats won't be able to vie for the prestigious Best in Show award, they'll be included in its new agility trial. 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 say. But this year, Alfie the apparently-part-poodle, part-terrier will be among the dogs weaving around poles, walking up a plank, and springing over jumps on the agility course. His background isn't rarefied: His owner spotted him in a mall pet store, marked down to $99. She wasn't planning to get a dog, but she felt for the curly-haired, black-and-white puppy and took him home, where agility training proved to be an outlet for his boundless energy.

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Jan 16, 2014 6:45 AM CST
Mutts don't have the hip and many other inbred problems; it's great we get to promote them and hopefully encourage people to get their furry companions from shelters and not puppy mills!!! There are thousands of excellent pooches just waiting to be saved and loved.
Jan 16, 2014 6:16 AM CST
"While Labradoodles, puggles, and who-knows-whats won't be able to vie for the prestigious Best in Show award" So we'll never know who really issssssss the best. I think you're just a little afraid that a mutt could do better.
Jan 16, 2014 4:00 AM CST
Go mutts. I like pure breeds though because its like getting the same dog every decade.