By Linda Cole
For decades, only purebred dogs could be registered. Now, kennel clubs around the country are opening up their doors to mutts, giving every dog his chance to shine and show off. A mixed breed dog may not have papers, but he can still run, jump, sit and run a trail with the best of them. Is there an advantage to registering a dog with mixed lineage, and what are the benefits to the dog and its owner?
Every dog lover who shares their home with a mixed breed can picture their furry friend standing in the winner’s circle at a dog competition. However, the purebred dogs strutting their stuff are well trained dogs, and their trainers spent hours working with them. You can also have a well trained dog, and that’s one of the benefits to registering your mixed breed dog. In order to join in on the fun, your dog has to mind his manners and it’s up to you to make sure he’s properly trained. All of the organizations promote responsible dog ownership to help teach owners how unique and special their mutt is.
The AKC Canine Partners Program was launched in October of 2009, allowing owners of mixed breed dogs to register them and participate in various activities throughout the country. All dogs have to be spayed or neutered before they can be registered. Vaccinations need to be up to date, and dogs need to be somewhat trained. Dogs and their owners can participate in rally trials, agility and obedience competition. Dogs can also show off their training by earning a Canine Good Citizen title. With that title under their collar, they’re ready to move on to Rally Obedience, where they’ll compete with other dogs and show off their agility and obedience. Rally-O, as it’s also called, is an exciting event that has traditional obedience and dog agility. Signs along a course instruct the dog owner what to do and he/she then gives the command to the dog. They must do this with a clock running and judges watching how smoothly the course is run. To register your mixed breed dog with AKC’s Canine Partners Program, visit their website for instructions.
Mixed Breed Dog Clubs of America is a national registry for mutts, with local clubs throughout the country. They are dedicated to providing owners and their mixed breed dogs opportunities in venues around the country. The dogs can compete and earn titles in tracking, versatility, lure coursing for sighthounds, obedience, rally, conformation events and retriever instinct. Registering with the MBDCA does require your dog to be spayed or neutered and you also have to sign a Code of Ethics promising to be a responsible pet owner and a good sport. For more information on MBDCA, click here.
United Kennel Club is the second oldest dog registry and the largest all breed performance dog registry in the world. Mutts can be registered in their Limited Privilege program which is open to any dog that’s been spayed and neutered. They accept purebreds who can’t qualify as show dogs because they don’t meet UKC standards, and purebreds whose pedigree can’t be verified. The Limited Privilege program includes family obedience, obedience trials, dog sports, weight pulls, agility trials and a junior program to encourage kids to learn more about how to be a responsible pet owner and how to handle dogs by participating in events. For information on registering your mixed breed with the UKC, visit their website.
If you’re interested in registering your mixed breed dog, but don’t know if you and your dog are up to the challenge of competing, find a local club near you and go to some of the events. You’ll have a chance to meet other dog lovers who can help you get started. Registering and competing in sponsored events isn’t just for purebreds. Mixed breed dogs can show just how versatile, smart, well behaved and athletic they can be. The programs are meant to help dog lovers learn responsible pet ownership by competing in fun activities with their mixed breed dogs while earning recognition and bragging rights. A dog could care less whether his lineage is mixed or pure. Being with the person he looks up to and doing things he loves are all that matters to him. Besides, competing in events is a great way to keep you and your dog in good mental and physical shape.
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