Can Mixed Dog Breeds Compete in Dog Shows?

Even if your dog isn’t a purebred, he can strut his stuff at several types of dog shows that allow mixed breeds.

Close-Up Portrait Of Dog
Who’s a winning puppy?! Mixed breed dogs can compete in dog shows just for them or athletic events like flyball, disc or dock diving. ©Sue Mcdonald/ EyeEm/Getty Images
Last Updated on May 16, 2023 by Natasha Medvetsky

With his gorgeous coat, confident stride and soulful eyes, you just know that your dog was meant for the blue ribbon at a dog show. Too bad his lack of purebred papers prevents you from entering him — or does it?

Can mixed breed dogs compete in dog shows

Your mixed-breed dog can compete in dog shows — many organizations offer events just for them, and others include mixed breeds in purebred competitions. While mixed breed dogs still cannot compete in many conformation shows, a spayed or neutered mixed breed is welcomed in many events.

One club that hosts conformation-style shows for non-pedigreed pooches is the Mixed Breed Dog Club (MBDC). Formed more than 20 years ago to raise funds for a local humane society, the club hosts three types of competitions — conformation, obedience and rally — with entrants placed into one of three classes based on the dog’s size. To find a show near you, visit the club’s website.

Through its Canine Partners Program introduced in 2009, the American Kennel Club (AKC) “welcomes all mixed breed dogs of any age” to compete in AKC sports and events, such as Agility, AKC Rally and Obedience. To enroll, owners of spayed or neutered mixed-breed dogs (with the exception of wolf hybrids) can apply online. The AKC website also provides a list of upcoming events, with an option to search for events in your area.

Dog events for mixed breeds

Your mixed-breed dog can compete in several other types of shows. If your dog is a natural athlete, jump into Flyball or disc events. Is your dog’s coat the envy of all the dogs at the dog park? Your pooch might be an ideal “volunteer” at a grooming contest. Many local animal organizations also host costume contests, beauty pageants and dog parades, which all allow mixed breed dogs to enter.

Excited to get started? Search for local events in your area, and check out Dogster’s monthly “Dug Up at Dogster” feature for a list of dog-related events.

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