Mutts’ wonderful traveling dog show proves that anything purebred dogs can do, rescues can do better!
Marvelous Mutts is a traveling dog show featuring energetic and talented rescue dogs. Dogs of all colors, shapes and sizes leap through the air, traverse obstacle courses and leap into pools to grab toys in their mouths. The group travels across the country to perform at fairs, concerts and other events. Their mission is to promote the adoption of pets and to show that these dogs have as much to offer as purebred animals.
The owners of Marvelous Mutts launched the traveling show in 2011 and operate from a ranch in New York’s Hudson River Valley. They take in lifeguards who would have too much energy for an average household and train them on their property.
Co-owner Nadja told Good Morning America: “They need a job to do, so we find out what they do best and train them; we use their innate drive and desire to please and train them to become incredible athletes and performers who enjoy being in public.
The dogs practice dock diving, agility and frisbee catching. After each show, the owners speak to the public about animal rescue and encourage adoption.
Currently they have 18 dogs and train them at the property. They have a relationship with local shelters, so when shelters get a high energy dog, the Marvelous Mutts get the first dibs. They choose animals that want to play with toys and interact with humans.
They train the dogs with positive reinforcement like toys and treats, and they are never forced to play. When the dogs are too old or can no longer perform, they still have their forever home on the farm.
“Once we adopt a dog, we commit to it for life, whether or not the dog ends up on the show,” Nadja explained. “We have a dog that has been with us for over six years and has yet to attend a show. Some people who have traveling dog acts treat their dogs like equipment. Our dogs are family members for life.
Although this show may be one of the best, most dog shows are marketed as showing only “the best of the best”. Their restrictions on appearance and only purebred dogs favor overbreeding in puppy mills. These shows encourage people to buy purebred dogs because they think they are “better” than a mixed pooch at the shelter. Marvelous Mutts shows that’s not true, and every dog deserves a good home without hard labor or performance.
For example, in 2015 when a beagle won the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, beagle breeders saw an increase in demand for purebred beagles. French bulldogs are another dog that has been overbreeded. Whenever there is a surge in the market for a specific breed, troublesome puppy mills and breeders jump at the chance to make a quick buck and breed these dogs en masse.
Marvelous Mutts seems like a group with good intentions and saves many dogs from shelters, but we can’t overlook groups that don’t take the same precautions or use the same practices. Far too often, animals are exploited for glory or entertainment.
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