Mutts make the cut –

For a long time, Lisa Topol felt her pooch

Schmutzy was being discriminated against.

“It was like doggie segregation,” says the 38-year-old Murray Hill resident whose mixed-breed is quite the agile pup. “Until now, she wasn’t able to participate in her own kennel club’s agility trial.”

But on April 1, the country’s most prestigious dog organization, the American Kennel Club, introduced the Canine Partners program, allowing mixed-breed dogs to compete alongside their purebred cousins for the first time ever. (And, no, it wasn’t an April Fools’ Day prank.)

Mutts have long been allowed to exercise agility through other organizations such as the United States Dog Agility Association, but as the nation’s oldest authority on all things canine, the AKC stood steadfast in their exclusivity.

“The AKC has been around for 125 years, yet this is one of the first times mixed breeds are allowed to compete,” says Topol. “It’s a big deal.”

If dog shows like Westminster are the beauty pageants of the dog world, agility trials are the Olympics. Instead of looks and breeding lines, these events are all about speed and athleticism.

And Topol’s 3-year-old mixed-breed surely isn’t short on energy.

“Schmutzy is crazy athletic — she loves agility,” says Topol. “To her, it’s like crack.”

Read the rest at Mutts make the cut –


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