2001-Sun Feb 26 19:31:38 MST 2017
Vetstreet. All rights reserved.
Vetstreet does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. See Additional Information ›
Leaping and swooshing through an obstacle course of tunnels, jumps, and weave poles, 225 dogs and their handlers will make canine sports history on Saturday in New York City. For the first time since its earliest days, a Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show event will include mixed-breed dogs.
The second-longest continuously held sporting event in the country, Westminster has showcased purebred dogs at their finest since 1877. This year purebred and mixed-breed canines will compete at the first-ever Masters Agility Championship. You can catch the Saturday finals on Fox Sports 1 from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. ET.
Of 563 applicants, 225 dogs were selected by a random draw to run two qualifying rounds: a Standard Agility course and a Jumpers With Weaves course. After zooming through hairpin twists and S-curves, the dogs with the highest combined scores from each height class will proceed to the final championship event.
For exhibitors, the chance to show off their dogs’ athleticism at this venue is groundbreaking.
"I’m thrilled that Rose, my 5-year-old Belgian Malinois, is eligible to compete at Westminster, given her rough start in life," says Brenda Finnicum of Freeville, N.Y. "Before I adopted her from the American Belgian Malinois Club, Rose was within hours of euthanasia at a shelter in Florida because she failed two placements. When I took her home she had a lot of issues, but we worked hard and she earned obedience, rally and advanced agility titles, so she’s ready."
Irene Palmerini of Toms River, N.J., was elated to learn that Alfie, her 7-year-old Poodle-Terrier mix, was entered in the show. "Alfie was a pet shop rescue, and I’m proud that as a mixed breed, he represents every person’s dog," Palmerini says. "It’s a wonderful opportunity to let people know that your dog doesn’t have to be a purebred dog to compete in agility, because this sport is about performance."
A step up from the novice class, the Westminster Masters Agility Championship is open to dogs competing at the Excellent and Masters levels. At this level, spectators can expect to see some tough competition.
Like this article? Have a point of view to share? Let us know!
Take our breed quiz to find your next pet.
Get all the best pet news and information sent right to your inbox!
Thank you for subscribing!
Dogs and cats help improve our mental,
social and physical health — and we
have the science to prove it!
We asked our readers to share the funny
things and skillful tricks their dogs will do
to get Milk-Bone® Pill…
It’s more than just cute when your kitty
naps in a box — it’s an instinctive
behavior that’s hardwired in her…
Herding dog, search-and-rescue dog, guide dog, police dog, farm dog — you name it, the German Shepherd can do it.
Check out our collection of more than 250 videos about pet training, animal behavior, dog and cat breeds and more.
Wonder which dog or cat best fits your lifestyle? Our new tool will narrow down more than 300 breeds for you.
If the video doesn't start playing momentarily,
please install the latest version of Flash.
Thank you for subscribing.