January 15

Westminster dog show will let mixed-breeds jump through hoops, too

The club’s main event will allow mixed-breeds to participate in agility trials, but Best in Show will, of course, be reserved for purebreds.

The Associated Press

NEW YORK – The Westminster Kennel Club dog show has long been the province of purebreds. But the nation’s premier canine event is opening a doggie door this year to mixed-breed competitors: They’ll be included in its new agility trial.

click image to enlarge

Callia, a standard poodle, demonstrates her mastery of an agility test during a news conference in New York on Wednesday. For the first time ever, the Westminster Dog Show will include an agility competition, open to mixed-breeds as well as purebred dogs.

The Associated Press

Next month’s show at New York’s Madison Square Garden also will feature three new breeds. They’re the chinook, the Portuguese podengo pequeno and the rat terrier.

A news conference Wednesday featured some of the newcomers, plus dogs weaving around poles and jumping through a tire on an agility course.

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.

They won’t vie for the prestigious Best in Show award. That’s still purebreds only.

It’ll be awarded Feb. 11.

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