Mixed Breeds Will Attend Westminster Dog Showthe daily dish
The Westminster Dog Show is finally opening its doors to mixed breeds, something that hasn't happened since its very earliest days. Officials announced Wednesday that mixed-breed competitors are permitted to enter the new agility trials at next month's show. Classified as "All-American" by Westminster, they are still not eligible for the Best in Show title.
The prestigious best in show award will be awarded on Feb. 11. The competition will include more than 2,800 participants from 187 official American Kennel Club breeds. The Westminster main event will not contain any mixed-breed competitors.
This year marks the first time allowing mixed breed dogs at this historic event since its beginnings. The inclusion of mixed breeds has always been a topic of debate. Some animal-rights activists perceive selective breeding as unnatural, while Westminster officials view the event as a chance to celebrate 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.
This year's show is embracing and admitting three new breeds. The Chinook, Rat Terrier and Portuguese Podengo Pequeno will all be in attendance with hundreds of other canines. The Westminster Dog Show will be at New York City's Madison Square Garden on Feb. 10 and Feb. 11.
THE 137TH ANNUAL WESTMINSTER DOG SHOW WINNERS CIRCLE: