It’s a Dog-Eat-Dog World Out There
Getting involved in the world of show dogs, breeders, handlers and all other things the American Kennel Club has to offer can be quite difficult and tiresome. When I was younger, my family had dogs that they showed in the circuits, and as I got older, it was my parents’ enthusiasm that first fed my interest in dog shows. Over the summer I got a French bulldog puppy named Dolly. I found her online fro m a reputable AKC certified breeder with the intention of registering her to participate in dog shows when she got old enough. She is now eleven months old and will be competing in her first dog show at the end of this month.
Introduction Dog shows first got started by the American Kennel Club in September of 1884 and are still popular today. There are many types of dog shows, but the two most popular types are that of obedience and looks. The whole point of dog shows that are focused around looks is to find the perfect representative of each breed of dogs. Each dog competes with other dogs within the same breed against each other and they are judged based on height, weight, markings, and many other physical features to see which one is closest to having the perfect look that all breeders strive to create. Obedience trials are completely opposite. When dogs compete for obedience, they
are judged on how well they complete various physical tasks rather than how they look doing it. The dogs are asked to perform a series of tricks to show off their skill level, such as completing obstacle courses that involve things like jumping through hoops, crawling under obstacles and running through certain objects.
A lot of people who are not involved with dog shows have a negative opinion of them. Some people disagree with the concept of showing for looks because they believe that dogs should be bred for a purpose. Many researchers have found that dogs that have been bred solely for looks tend to be mentally unstable or don’t have the natural ability to complete tasks that the breed was invented to do. Like one man, who uses the example that border collies were originally bred to herd sheep, but those with show backgrounds never pick up on that instinct because they are no longer bred to complete that purpose. Instead, they walk past the field and don’t even pay attention to the sheep.
Other people have an opposite bone to pick with the show world. They think dogs that are bred with the specific goal of obedience lose the “original look” of the breed. For example, labs that are bred for only obedience end up looking like a mutant form of a mastiff/greyhound mix. They are excellent at performing a certain function, but no longer have the look they were bred for.
Most people have never had the opportunity to get involved with dog shows. They just think of it as a “doggie pageant show” but what they don’t understand is that it goes deeper than they are aware of. It is a tight-knit community that has had the opportunity to bond over years of traveling around the country…