The doggie doors have opened for the mixed breeds of the world, and any dog from a Labradoodle to a German Shepherd Chihuahua mix to a "Heinz 57" can compete in a dog show, and proudly display a CH before his or her name.
Mixed Breed Dog Clubs of America is a national organization that hosts dog shows for mixes and mutts, and runs them in much the same way the American Kennel Club runs their shows. Dogs are judged on Conformation, Obedience and Rally.
For Conformation, rather than dogs being judged separately according to breed, dogs are separated into three size groups. Small dogs compete against small dogs, medium against medium, and so forth. And like with the AKC, males and females are judged separately.
So how do you compare a Dachshund Shitzu mix to a Yorkie MinPin mix? Rather than use exacting breed standards, dogs are judged by their general appearance, physical condition, temperament, body shape, coat, color, gait and other factors that make a dog excellent.
Conformation is a big deal in traditional dog shows, but are more for fun in mixed breed competition. Obedience and Rally is the real focus, and they are judged just like those events at purebred dog shows. Both Obedience and Rally display the dog’s training and quality of communication between owner and dog, which the MBDCA feels is more important.
Mixed breed dog shows are not for breeding dogs!
Mixed breed dog shows have one strict rule that is the polar opposite of traditional dog shows. All dogs must be spayed or neutered, and have proof, to register. In purebred dog shows, dogs must be able to breed, because the desire is for the best of breeds to continue the lineage. The MBDCA does not host dog shows for the purpose of breeding of mixes, but strongly promotes responsible pet ownership.
Mixed breed dog shows are a great way to spend time with your dog
Many people who show their dogs in mixed breed dog shows, and end up with a champion, just got into the training so they’d have something to do with their dogs. They have the time and the energy, and a dog they really love, and find that working to earn titles is a very enjoyable and rewarding activity. It also makes the dog more loveable to be around. Others adopt a dog and find that he has an awful lot of energy, and needs an outlet for it.
Ginger Kinion, who is now an AKC obedience judge, owned a Terr-a-poo named Casey, who was high-spirited and needed some positive way to channel his energy. Ginger joined the St. Louis Chapter of the MBDCA. Casey loved to show off his abilities and even be a clown in the ring. He started at the lowest level, and over the years worked his way up to earn the highest honor in obedience, Obedience Trained Champion (MB-OTCH).
“There is nothing a mixed breed can’t do,” says Phyllis Massa-Busch, Secretary/Membership, Co-Founder of the Mixed Breed Dog Club of St. Louis. And the future looks even brighter for them next year. The AKC is opening up some of their venues to mixed breeds in 2010, so there will be opportunities to show mixed breed dogs all over the US.
For more information on mixed breed dog shows, and how you can get involved, visit MBDCA.org.
More about dog shows and competitions open to mixed breeds
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