Dog Shows are viewed by most as a fantastic opportunity to talk to breeders, handlers and groomers about a specific breed of dog. After all, all dog owners do need to know a lot about the dog breeds so that they can make good choices both for the benefit of the breeds in not buying from breeders who might be perpetuating genetic problems or unwanted dog personality traits just for short term wins at the shows.
If you are interested in a breed but don’t know much about them, it has always been true that you should go find where they are showing and talk to some folks. Dog shows are a means of evaluating breeding stock, and each entry is judged against its breed standard . Dog shows are organized to award honors to breeders who have managed to cultivate the best in the standard, and show it off to the world as near perfect as the standard can stand to be.
There is nothing better than seeing each different breed displayed with top of the line attributes and being rewarded for all the hard work it took a breeder to get to that point in his hobby.
My sister is a great dog owner, a breeder and a fan of many breeds. She tells me that her own reason for participating at dog shows is simple: “I like the people. It seems to me the people who are attracted to dog shows are both people and animal-oriented. Its fun, and why not!
But, in truth, dog shows are important for other reasons, one being simply economical and commercial. A dog show in the US, with around 1,000 entries brings in about $750,000 dollars daily to the community in which it is held. Yes, dog owners do spend money, and they are commercially a very good to sell them other services and goods in the area.
But, again, those in favor of dog shows, say that they are an useful option since the breeders that attend these shows are either showing their dogs or are there to see the performance of a dog that they bred and sold in the past. When you meet and then choose to buy a dog from a breeder you met at a dog show you know a good deal about that breeder. For one, their presence at the show shows a commitment to their dogs, which is very a positive sign that you might want to do business with this breeder. The first thing you want to know about a breeder that you might buy a puppy from is whether they are just in it for the money. or because they truly like and love their animals, if it is the latter then their dogs will be a much better buy than a simply commercial breeder who only really wants the money.
Dog shows are busy, noisy and crowded, and people can easily become separated. Pick out in advance a time and place to meet up in case anyone gets lost.
Dog Shows are held all over the country and provide a good way to see lots of dogs and meet lots of owners. If you subscribe to the AKC Gazette you will receive their events magazine which contains a schedule of upcoming shows. Dog shows are held to determine which dogs can relate the most closely to their breed standards. A dog’s conformation is a factor in determining how well that dog may do it’s job.
Breeds that have been selected for one or a few particular traits may be more at risk of developing undesirable variation for those behaviors. This does not mean that dogs selected for protective behaviors are more aggressive than dogs for which this selection of trait is absent.
It is always true that breeding and genetics determine how a puppy will look at adulthood. I describe the purchase of a show potential puppy as an dog show on tv educated risk, but do undertake some homework first before you consider a breeder and check whether they are AKC listed and better than that, such as accredited etc.
Breeder lists generally take one of two forms: Either the list is composed of those who ask to be included. Or the list is based on a general database, such as a membership list, and may include non-breeders and novice breeders as well as experienced breeders.
Do pick the best breeders all the time. To do that you will need to do some web based researched and beyond that you might want to seek out other breeders in their area to obtain their views by email.
Do chose carefully because there have been some surprisingly cruel genetic breeding incidences recently. Breeders can go too far to oblige the judges for some features, and select too extensively for this feature, leaving the breed damaged. One example is pugs with eyes that bulge so badly their lids scarcely meet well enough to wipe the eyeball clean. The poor dogs undergo a lifetime of chronic conjunctivitis, that eventually scars over the cornea and blinds them. This is not good, in fact it is deplorable, so please take care not to unwittingly buy one of these animals, breed form the dog yourself unwittingly perpetuating the problem.
So. what do we ask of the dog show fraternity?
Judges must please be careful at all times at shows to assess specimens of all breeds objectively, regardless of personal favorites. In some breeds, the males and females of the breed have decidedly different appearances, and it is often the males who have the quintessential look of the breed, make due allowance.
Finally, breeders please take note that obtaining a Championship win does not mean necessarily that your dog has the qualities necessary to become a candidate for breeding. Remember, a dog show is about a dog’s outward physical appearance and not its ability to produce a genetically high quality litter. Please think long-term for the good of all your breeds. Provided breedes do this, then we will be alright, and dogs shows are to be applauded