The nation’s premiere dog show event has a long history of only allowing purebreds to compete, but will now let the common pooches in, reports The Associated Press.
Talk about real underdogs.
The mutts — formally nicknamed "all-American dogs" — will join the snobby purebreds in the First Masters Agility Championship, a skills-based competition that’s "all about brains — brains and speed," show chairman Tom Bradley said at a news conference Wednesday at Madison Square Garden. "Agility dogs are not designer dogs — or they don’t have to be."
Organizers say this year marks the first time dogs of mixed breeds have appeared anywhere at Westminster since the 138-year-old event’s early days.
But they can't vie for the prestigious Best in Show award at next month's big event. That’s still for purebreds only. It’ll be awarded on Feb. 11.
The change may have come as a response to animal rights supporters who argue that promoting dog breeding is unethical. Many mutts need to find homes — 60 percent of dogs in shelters are reportedly euthanized — and should be promoted as desirable pets. While Bradley would not say whether such criticism of the show pressured them to make the change, he did admit that “purebred dogs have taken a bit of a rap” recently.
Joining the labradoodles at the upcoming show will be three new breeds. They’re the chinook, the Portuguese podengo pequeño and the rat terrier.
It's about time for the equal opportunity because one sniffed butt smells like any other.