Mixed-breed dogs are now welcome to AKC Companion Events competition. Here’s some advice for dog owners who are thinking about entering the competition.
No two events competitions are exactly alike, so we can’t tell you what the best competitive outlet for your mixed-breed dog is—you will have to determine that yourself. In the following rundown of the companion events now open to mixed-breeds, we’ll try to help you make that determination.
Here are a few general tips dog-sport beginners with mixed-breeds should consider:
- Climb the ladder. Steady progression up the training ladder lets you evaluate your dog’s aptitude in different settings. Complete a basic training class, pass the AKC Canine Good Citizen© test, and move on to rally competition. By then, you should have a clear idea if your dog is best suited to the fast-moving world of agility or the more stately rhythms of obedience.
- Know the breed groups. You might not know the exact genetic components of your mixed-breed, but observation of his physical and mental traits should give you some idea. Knowledge of the jobs the various breeds were developed to do, and which breeds are in your dog’s makeup, will help you understand what drives him and how to best channel it.
- Just ask! Veteran dog people know that the future of their sport depends on newcomers. They want to help. Expert opinion is invaluable in determining your dog’s strengths, weaknesses, and potential.
Find a dog trainer near your location and take the Canine Good Citizen test for your dog.