On January 15, the Westminster Kennel Club announced that for the first time in the
Westminster Dog Show's 138 year history, mixed breed dogs will mingle with the purebred.These pooches of unscrutinized ancestry will be competing in the show's new agility trail
, though they won't be eligible for what many consider to be the night's main event -- the Best in Show award.
RELATED STORY: 5 Reasons Mixed Breed Dogs Make Great PetsSome animal rights activists have criticized the show and the pure-breeding it stands for -- arguing that it's inhumane to breed dogs for desired traits while millions go unadopted in shelters. Others point out that purebred dogs often suffer from genetic conditions as a result of the traits bred into them.Enthusiasts argue that preserving dog breeds is important work and helps dog lovers find the dogs best suited to them. It seems many agree the end of an entire breed would be a loss: the potential demise of the Corgi sparked concern all over the internet
late last year.
RELATED STORY: Is the Westminster Dog Show Still Relevant?
For their part, the Westminster Dog Show has always claimed to
celebrate a love for all dogs
. "We're very excited about the fact that Westminster can play a leadership role in embracing, really, the sport of dogs," said Westminster
President Sean McCarthy
The agility event may be just the arena for these mixed dogs. The event "is just about performance," said NJ resident Irene Palmerini, dog parent to Alfie, a probably-poodle-and-terrier mix who'll be competing. "It doesn't matter what your dog looks like. It doesn't matter who their mother or father was."
In addition, the Westminster Kennel Club announced that three new dog breeds will be able to compete at next month's show: the Chinook, the Portuguese Podengo Pequeno, and the Rat Terrier
The show will take place February 10-11 in New York City, with the agility trail preceding on February 8.
What do you think?
Are you excited to watch the agility event? Let us know in the comments below!
Is the Westminster Dog Show Still Relevant?
By the end of the night a new dog will be crowned the king of canines at the 137th Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show. The world-famous showdown, which culminates in New York City's Madison Square Garden, is a festival of doggy culture, master breeding, and the best training a dog can get. But, with puppy pound awareness at an all-time high, is the best-in-show, breed-specific event in need of some behavior modification?The Westminster Show is a tradition that spans the chronology of pet culture from a time when dogs were most commonly put to work on farms or guard duty, through the pet boom in the 20th century, and into today?s dog loving culture. The kennel club has adapted over thirteen decades to still be a relevant
authority on dogs today. While they have stayed true to their roots ? continuing to differentiate, demarcate, and celebrate purebred dogs, as they will tonight at the Westminster Show ? the kennel club has also been a consistent force for the humane treatment of dogs.Today?s Westminster Show is as much a meeting place for dog enthusiasts as it is a fierce competition amongst breeders and trainers. The Pennsylvania Hotel, for instance, is accommodating doggy guests with a doggie spa, complete with doggie treadmills, and a doggie concierge service that greets dogs with treats and room service. For ticket holders, the show is an opportunity to meet fellow dog lovers, learn more about caring for dogs, and to get samples of the best foods, treats, skin & coat products, and anything else dogs need.At the end of the day, the question on everyone?s lips is who is ?Best in Show," so it's no surprise that some dog enthusiasts object. Ranking dogs, like awarding prizes to children at a spelling bee, can be an emotional
business. There may continue to be a schism between the pet parents who dislike romanticizing the concept of a pure breed and those who see the show as good sport and an opportunity to showcase all of the love, sweat, and tears that goes into having a dog.Regardless of which side of the room you choose to stand in, we think today is a perfect day to love your dog and take pride in who they are. If there is one thing that can?t be disputed it is the journey that people and dogs have taken together, over more than a century, that has brought us here today.
PetCareRx is proud to provide the products and support that help people and dogs interact as well as they do. In our book, every dog is best in show.
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