PORTLAND -- They say every dog has its day. Now, it's the mutts' turn.
For the first time, mixed-breed dogs will compete in next month's Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show in New York. It's a trend that The Rose City Classic dog show had a paw in starting several years ago. On Friday, dog owners attending the show had strong opinions for and against the bending rules.
"We're supposed to be protecting our pure breeds and this is supposed to be a place where we showcase them," said professional dog handler Angelia Hall.
Judging standards for some breeds were set hundreds of years ago, and it's not just a beauty contest. The dogs are judged on how well they're built for the job they were originally bred to do like herding or hunting.
For that reason, officials believed it doesn't make sense to judge mixed-breeds in a pure-breed contest. However, mutts, or "All American Dogs" as they're called here, can now enter the agility, rally and obedience categories.
"Prior to the American Kennel Club changing its rules, mixed breed dogs didn't have very many venues where they could go and do dog sports and just have fun," said Rose City Classic coordinator Patti Strand. "This is a real outing for the dogs."