RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) – A major change in the world of dogs, The American Kennel Club is now letting mixed breeds compete in club shows. The dogs have their own category to show off skills like obedience and agility.
While these "All American" dogs as the AKC is calling them won't be allowed to compete in every aspect of the competition, the folks at Richmond Animal League say allowing them in at all is a step in the right direction.
Amy McCracken with RAL says, "it's always good news when the mixed breed dogs get some sort of recognition. Mixed breed dogs are certainly the most common type of dog that's out there and probably the most common household pet."
You've likely seen the AKC's various high-profile dog shows and even checked out their pedigree registry when looking for a pet.
McCracken says, "Oh they'll start talking about 'Oh this is a Charpei,' or 'Oh, that looks like a miniature Doberman because that's all we know,' you see the charts of what the breed of dogs is and you sort of hone in on those characteristics."
Now mixed breeds can enter the prestigious dog shows, but only in certain categories.
McCracken says, "The AKC is sort of recognizing what we've known all along in that these are wonderful companions. Some of them are super smart and can be trained to do all sorts of things, and they recognize that in the things they are letting them compete in like agility and obedience."
There are some skeptics out there who believe this move is just another revenue option for the AKC. Others are disappointed that mixed breeds can only compete in certain aspects and will likely never be up for "Best in Show." Leaders at RAL say whether that's true or not, they are trying to look on the bright side.
McCracken says, "It's always a good thing to give a shout out to the mutts. It's just another recognition that they are and can be wonderful working dogs and companions."
Animal lovers hope that the American Kennel Club will eventually open up even more categories to these all American dogs.