Adhering To The Highest Journalistic Standards
WHY DOG SHOW ENTRIES DECLINE - "POLITICS"
Part 2 of 2
AKC dog clubs are losing a lot of
exhibitors. The super rich can only enter (or win) with so many dogs so perhaps
there should be changes to make it more equitable for other dog show exhibitors
with equally as nice dogs to also win.
campaigners or long time exhibitors are at every show, no matter how small.
They share the top
placements, leaving the others to make or “fill” points and ratings for thier dogs.
The same thing is happening at most cat shows. With AKC, when the breeds go into the
group, there they are, the same dogs week after week, show after show. Those who
advertise and have the big time handlers get the top three slots with some
judges being kind to a “new” dog.
No surprise there, the judges know who the big dogs are, and if not, they know
which handler is on top because of the heavy advertising. And then the magazines
proudly tout the top dogs in each breed. Here is a reality check folks, those
dogs in the top 20 are not necessarily a great dog or even a good one. In
today’s show ring, it is mostly a matter of big money, big handler, big
advertising that gets a dog into the top rankings.
I hear the complaints time and
time again at the shows, with many saying something like "I really prefer
showing at UKC shows, it seems to be fairer". That may be true, I don’t
know but I do know that the small local AKC shows used to be a good place to
start a dog and now, it seems like the big dogs are there too.
Well, for those
looking for small shows, you got your wish. I was at a cat show recently and the
club had 103 entries.
shows that normally drew way over a thousand are down to a few hundred. Not a
good thing when you consider that the clubs already had a major outlay of funds
to put on the show.
Worse yet, the good dogs with
good pedigrees that can contribute to the whelping box are lost to the breed
because the dog owner says 'the hell with it, I don't need this' and they quit
showing altogether. That's a problem for the breed and the sport because as I’ve said before ' you can't buy what you can't see'.
In this case, most people won't breed to a dog unless it has at least a CH title
and to sell to good show homes, it just about has to be a “ranked” dog to sell
So the spiral downward continues, and it appears that it hasn't even hit bottom
yet. Maybe it is time for AKC to re-evaluate how they do shows, change the Rules
and make it fair for all exhibitors. It is too expensive to get lucky and still
only come home with a point or two. First, the points system needs to be
adjusted, and quickly! Majors are hard to come by gone are the days when you
could drive to a little show and think you could get some Group points for that
new special. All the big guys are doing the same thing! And they get paid to
Ike” caused a lot of damage to the Texas/Louisiana area, but even though a lot
of show vendors sustained tremendous damage to their homes, most made it to
support the shows and provide service to the show exhibitors. Sure it was an
added hardship but we here in the Houston/Galveston area are pretty tough cookies.
The hurricane is not the reason shows are losing entries.
The bottom line is, declining entries can be remedied but there must be changes.
This goes for AKC, CFA, and probably other dog and cat clubs too. This is the
21st Century, things have changed dramatically over the past few years but it
appears that both
dog and cat shows are stuck in a 'time warp'. Instead of
meeting the current economic climate, they think they can continue to 'do
business as usual'. Entries are down, families and hobby breeders are giving it
up and PETA and HSUS are turning the pressure on. All of which is affecting the
sport of showing and breeding, whether it be dogs or cats. Things are just not
like what they used to be and never will be again.
The future of the dog and cat
shows comes down to having new
people come to shows believing they can win because they will get a fair shake.
them to get involved in the sport and they cannot do that if they do not first,
come to the shows. And second, talk to average exhibitors who are not
discouraged, who still love the shows and the social opportunities and win often
enough to make it worth while. Then new people can fairly
decide whether it is
for them or not.
But if they come to a local show and there are no
show them new products, and even worse, no one
has time to talk to them, or
those who do project an increasingly negative picture, well, they won’t come
So it is back to no gate, no vendors, no entries, no shows.
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