Today, we are delighted to tell you that AKC can now act even more broadly and effectively as the dog's champion. Our Board of Directors has voted unanimously to proceed with a program for mixed breed dogs.
Soooooooounds good, but I always like to know the details. AKC provides a pdf of the mixed breed program so you can read the specifics for yourself. I'll give you my breakdown:
- Mixed breed dog owners get to pay $35 to register their dog and then they get a number AND they get to be BFFs with the AKC - wowza!
- Registered mixes are eligible to compete in AKC Agility, Obedience and Rally events. No mention of hunt tests for retriever mixes or lure coursing for hound mixes or any other performance events. But at least they get the Obedience classes. Maybe.
- Mixes can not compete at any AKC show which has conformation classes. That means all-breed shows and breed/group specialties are out - even if they are holding obedience classes anyway. No room at the inn.
- Further, a club doesn't have to offer classes for mixes. It's up to each club to decide if they want to participate in the program. (Presumably some clubs might not want mutts poo'ing on their show grounds in the same spot the purebreds are poo'ing - ewwwww.)
- If a club does offer mixed breed classes, the mixes have to sit at the back of the bus and wait for the purebreds to run. Then the mutts get their turn in their "Special Ed" classes. And just in case that doesn't make the owner feel special enough, their dog's titles will contain a distinct designation indicating the dog is a mutt and didn't compete against purebreds to earn the title. AKC uses the phrase "similar (but separate)" to describe the Special titles. ("Separate but equal" was already taken.)
So, um - yay mutt owners? Keep your $35 checks on standby though cos the fun doesn't start until October 1st. That'll give the snooty patooties 6 months to get the counseling they'll need to deal with the possibility that some mixed breed dog might be sucking up the same oxygen at an obedience trial.
ADDED: See a good post at Underdogged from the perspective of someone who competes in AKC and non-AKC obedience events. Terrierman shares his take on the whole scheme here.