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The Fur Is Flying!
Some folks don't think mutts should mix with AKC
Mixed breeds and purebreds can get along. How about their owners?

At agility class last week, I bumped into an old friend. While catching up, I mentioned how excited I was that my mixed breed, Ginger Peach, could soon compete in AKC agility.

I swear his head nearly spun completely around and he grew red in the face before blurting, "Allowing mixed breeds is an insult to the breeders who spend so much time, energy and money on their breeding programs!"

He then reminded me that a lot of AKC agility shows already fill and it’s hard to get into them now much less when mixed breeds will be allowed, too. I pointed out that clubs have the option to allow mixed breeds at their shows. If their shows already fill, then they likely would not invite the mutts. So far, my tally of 2010 Midwest agility trials allowing mixed breeds was a grand total of four. Not exactly a threat considering there’s an AKC agility trial nearly every weekend year round.

As smoke steamed out of his ears, I glanced around at my instructor and her students. All of the dogs here in class were purebred. Most were from breeders, although there were some rescues, like my two Dalmatians. No mixed breeds. Clearly, I had forgotten the company I was keeping. Did they all feel this way? I felt like a spy, a mixed breed secret agent.

Thankfully, we recognized that this was a hot topic that we were unlikely to agree upon and moved on to a less controversial subject. Even so, I felt uneasy. It was reminiscent of some AKC fanciers’ email list claims that AKC was “slumming” by allowing mixed breeds.  But I know of dogs purchased from pet stores that have AKC registration. How is allowing dogs from puppy mills any different from allowing mixed breeds? In my opinion, the former is morally wrong if you value humane care of animals.

As an AKC agility competitor, animal rescuer, Dalmatian Club of America member, and dedicated lover of rescues and mutts, I feel like I am straddling two very different worlds. Is it possible to reconcile them?

Read this spirited opinion by Heather Houlahan and let me know what you think. 
 

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Julia Kamysz Lane, owner of Spot On K9 Sports and contributing editor at The Bark, is the author of multiple New Orleans travel guides, including Frommer’s New Orleans Day by Day (3rd Edition). Her work has also appeared in The New York Times Magazine, Poets and Writers and Publishers Weekly.

SpotOnK9Sports.com

Photo by Petra Wegner

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Submitted by Maura | January 26 2010 |

In out agility class we have about 50/50 mix of pure breed dogs from breeders and mutts from shelters (I have 2 rescue chihuahua mixes). We don't raise the issue really since it's obvious the conversation would be quite conterversial. Some of the pure breeds compete at both AKC and CPE/USDAA and some just AKC. We all manage to get a long by braging about our weekend show sucess (or problems!) and are always happy for one another no matter the venue.
I feel VERY strongly about rescuing dogs and an not a fan of AKC myself- as I know some others in the class aren't too, but not much good comes from arguing about it. We just try to "show up" the expensive pure breeds to show that our lil mutts can do just as good-if not better!!!!

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