Felicia Luburich: Many good points are made in above comments. Human nature being what it is none of our doggy problems
are surprising. I was a Pro handler for a short time. I
stopped doing it as it COST me time & money above the
handling fees I could not afford. I put titles on almost
50 dogs & NEVER made a profit. Few breeders would buy
from me or breed to my dogs as IO won so often &
steadily they were insanely jealous. Plus most buyers
did NOT appreciate the dedication & quality dogs I had
on offer & I sold many very good show quality dogs as
pets. In the 1990’s I stopped breeding regularly & sold
my property in early 2000’s. I had my 16th generation in
2012 & only sold 2 of 6 pups & to previous owners at a
price I charged 15 years ago. They are 9 months & I
still have not sold the two I do not wish to keep. The
public is really to blame. They are buying pet shop & BYB dogs. EDUCATION is the key. (Good Luck !) I think
most people who buy the poor quality PBs SHOULD get
shelter mutts, as they are getting no better a dog. ALL
Humane Societies WANT to stay in business to keep their
jobs. If they REALLY wanted to stop the dog
overpopulation it could be done only at cost to the dog
owners& easily. When I was showing yes, I did get beaten
by some handlers. But I had “Magic Hands” & could get
150 % out of the dogs I showed. I also did my homework &
bred to the right dog for my bitches; NOT the winning
dogs. There is a place for handlers. Not everyone can
travel to the best shows for their dog or do the running
needed for large strong moving dogs. The duty of the
breeder is NOT to provide nice pets but to breed FOR the
breed. To make a REAL impact on a breed for the better
it is a numbers game. It takes 36 puppies to produce 1M
& 2F that will make a positive influence on a BREEDING
PROGRAM. Dogs produce according to their pedigree & the
quality of their littermates which indicates genes that
do not show in the stud, but he is likely carrying.
People who breed occasionally can NOT have a breeding
program & have little chance of having that KNOCKOUT
PRODUCER !! which is what keeps a breed progressing.
The closest to ideal dog breeding program is in Germany.
There is MANDATORY quality control. Their dogs are in
great demand around the world. In Rotties the 06 Club Champion sold for 100,000 Euros. I’ve
NEVER seen the awful quality in Germany that is routine in the USA.
FEW people can breed dogs & continually make substantially less when
selling a puppy than it costs to produce it. In Germany the stud &
puppy fees are fixed. NO PAPER WORK is given unless the parents have
passed all health checks, have passed a breeding approval test & at
least 1 parent must have a working degree. All litter are listed in
the club magazine & graded according to the show, working & breeding
titles of the parents. All judges must have bred the breed they
judge ( except for very rare & breeds from other countries) &
trained a dog to a working degree. It is the BREED that counts !!
There are breed wardens too. Among their duties is to guide the new
breeders in choosing a stud dog, as all puppies are inspected before
sale & the BWs can see at shows what various studs are producing
with various bitches. Again, EDUCATION is the key. This is a very
complicated subject & can’t be covered in posts on the web. Breeders
should be licensed & be apprenticed to a long term successful
breeder to begin their learning process before they breed. In
Germany if you are to be a butcher you spend 2 years working with &
for a licensed butcher. If he says you are a butcher you get your
license & a sum from the government. There are GOOD reasons Germany
is in excellent financial position while the rest of Europe is in
the pits. NO system is perfect, but there is much to learn from any
really successful undertaking. I don’t have all the answers. However
I don’t think most people “in” dogs are involved enough in the inner
workings of all kinds of politics. When you lave it all to the
politicians they will work to advance THEMSELVES. Join a political
PARTY & YOU WILL HELP TO DECIDE WHO runs FOR OFFICE : WHO GETS ON
THE BALLOT. If enough do it the entrenched polls will not run for
office & will not be voted in. Democracy takes involvement.
Boycotting the products of those aiding & abetting the HSUS & other
of their ilk is also an excellent strategy. Get together & work for
the BREED. The dog field did not get in this shape overnight & won’t
improve overnight. You can also get on committees relating to
licensing & deny such to all shops that sell puppies. There is more
than 1 way to skin a cat.
Denise: I think the way AKC could help Purebred breeders and the dog shows
is by TV/radio advertising. I don’t know who promotes the Eukanuba
or Westminster dog shows but if adverts were on TV locally so I knew
when they were coming to my area, I’d be more inclined to go to
them. For example: you know when there’s going to be moto-cross or
monster trucks, why not dog shows?
Sue McClure: The 25% purebreds in a shelter is BS unless you are doing some very
loose identifications of “purebred”. I worked in a shelter and if it
was black and tan with raised ears it was part sheperd, flat ears it
was a hound. Tricolored – it was beagle. Really black smooth coat
with tan points was either a mixed doberman or rottie. People
identifying the dogs are mostly guessing. I’d been called in to
check on an IW that was a borzoi and a husky that was a wolf.
(owners of both showed up on the day) The “purebreds” included those
with papers that were clearly not correct (a “registered” poodle was
what appeared to be a mixed siberian). I’ve had people swear up and
down their pit was a purebred English Bulldog. I took an ID on a
bitter that was a “white boxer” – it turned out to be a real B&T doberman!
There is a big difference in a well bred purebred and one from a pet
store or “for the money or to get a repeat of Rover or show the
children birth” breeder that will never show – from their story-
“Because AKC shows are rigged” but in reality because their stock is
inferior and often have disqualifying features. Unfortunately more
people know Chinese Cresteds from the abhorent “ugly dog contests” –
and GHU that long time winner is a father, passing on his horrid
genes, than they do what a beautiful animal they can be when
properly bred and cared for.
The well-bred dogs are immediately recognized when they come in to a
shelter, often because they have identification if picked up by
animal wardens..and they are claimed quickly. They are not the “25%
population. The last time I went to our area shelter to check on
that supposed percentage, only one dog in the place was a quality
purebred, and his owner came in while I was asking about it. The
rest were mostly mixed dogs of popular breeds, such as labs and
beagles and shepherds (very mixed) Dogs do get loose on occasion –
not always because they are allowed to run. In quite a few cases I
worked, the dogs were under anothers care when they escaped. One shy
Swissie was loose for a month, working its way back home when I
found and kept it in the area with food while the owner drove over
to retrieve it. I had a call from 2 states over when I picked up an
Australian Cattle dogs (over 30 years ago, when they were pretty
rare). My point being that nicely bred dogs are seldom in the
shelter long enough to go up for adoption.
Unfortunately many are turned in – including those on contracts that
say they have to return the dog to the breeder. PUT CHIPS in your
puppies! In one case the breeder was still co-owner on the 2
Frenchies that were put up on air for adoption. Every breeder in the
area that showed knew who probably bred them and called that
breeder. He called the shelter immediately to tell them he owned the
dogs and could prove it. (they still adopted the dogs out before he
got there, and they did it on purpose, opening up the country to a
big lawsuit) Just 2 weeks ago, a top breeder of quality bloodhounds
was called because of a chip in a bloodhound that was turned in to
the Tallahassee shelter (hooray for them) She drove right over to
get this dog that had been sold on a return contract to someone that
sounded like a wonderful home…yet he sent a worker to turn the dog
in rather than call her to get this beautiful (my POTL) bitch – who
was a sack of bones. In this day in age when someone who swore
before God to love and honor you can walk away or even harm you,
there is no way to be absolutely sure the home you vetted to be a
good one will not prove to be less than hoped for…but by George,
those dogs that are well bred are standouts in a shelter population
and rescue organizations try to have good report with area shelters
to get them back home.
Tam: The only problem with UKC is that there are so few shows out of the
mid-west. One or two show weekends a year is about all you get in
Andrea: I’d like to point out that more and more exhibitors are moving over
to UKC because it is more fair to the dog and the owner. AKC is all
about the professional handler and the judges they’ve wined and
dined to give them a win. UKC makes things more fair by not allowing
professional handlers to show someone else’s dog!
I want to show my dogs myself, but when I arrive and see all these
big handlers walk in the ring at an AKC show and know that the judge
is in their pocket, it makes me sick. They can be showing the worst
dog there, but yet they are the ones taking home the points. Stop
telling the judges to put up professional handlers because it’s
their “profession” and they need the income!
I am tired of paying entry fees just to see nothing but big named
handlers winning and the judges most times don't even look at a dog
that’s owner-handled. It’s pathetic! And its the same damn people
winning over and over.
My dogs are just as nice or NICER than some of the dogs these so
called “pros” are handling. My dogs have already lost to dogs that
should not have won!
It really saddens me, because I am passionate about my breed and I
know my dogs are not only well bred, but championship material!
Equusarian01: Hmm, it would be nice if research was done prior to writing but…oh
well. Anyway, yes, AKC is a registry. So are UKC, ARBA, IABCA, FCI,
CKC and more. They get most of their income from REGISTERING dogs.
However if anyone thinks that is ALL they are – they are sadly
mistaken. I deal with AKC and UKC mostly so will stick to those two.
BOTH have DNA parentage testing available – I don’t care who did it
first or how much it costs. Both have health programs. AKC backs a
LOT of health related research into our beloved canines. Both have
programs to disprove the b***s*** that the animal rights groups (HSUS,
PETA, ASPCA, ALF, etc) are trying to force down the throats of our
Congress and the general public. UKC has been much more ‘friendly’
to owner/handlers over the years but AKC is catching up on that with
their new program “the National Owner/Handler Series”. I’ll admit
that I gave up showing in AKC many years ago because of the
professional handlers. I felt they took the fun out of the
competition. I was happy to see a few owner/handlers at Westminster!
the drop in dog registrations/ownerships is a bit scarey to me but
unfortunately, understandable. the good breeders are afraid that if
they advertise – the people knocking at their door will be the
animal police who will take generations of work and throw it all
away. (small advertisement here – check out “The Cavalry Group”).
Shelters do have some purebred dogs in them – about 25% – I did the
research. there are areas that have an overpopulation problem but
overall the amount of dogs in shelters has dropped. here, the key is
EDUCATION! it is expensive to properly care for any animal. and, if
you add showing to the equation – the price climbs astronomically.
the good breeders (and they far outnumber ‘puppy miller’) still do
all medical testing appropriate for their breed(s). they have
contracts for potential owners to read/sign. they take back dogs the
don’t work out for the new owner. think about it – what do YOU see
on the news? you rarely see any GOOD things but always the bad – the
killings, the break ins, the domestic violence crimes and the bad
puppy/kitten mills. you don’t see the work, the time, the sleepless
nights we have watching and waiting as a bitch is preparing to
Nancy, in North TX:
I’m logging nearly 40 years as a dog fancier and professional
trainer. Back in the 1970’s as a less than confident beginner in the
sport of purebred dogs, I attended some rather small shows and fun
matches for over a year and then got my courage up to enter a big
show at Cobo Hall in Detroit, MI. The handlers, owners and other
exhibitors basically ate my lunch; I was brazenly criticized,
stepped in front of, stepped on and ignored. For sure no one offered
help or a kind word. The humiliation sent me home with my last
purebred dog purchased for over 10 years. I went into service dog
training, raising a line of cross bred retrievers that were very
nice dogs, I did household obedience classes, took in bright,
attractive mixed breed dogs for my personal dogs and class demo dogs
and basically got along fine without the #&*!% AKC.
Then a purebred dog snuck into my life from a local trashy pet store
– I bought the little Rat Terrier in the cage that had been there
for over 2 months, tugging at my heart every time I shopped for
parrot food. She was a typey little dog with reasonably good
conformation, and her temperament was stellar. Soon many, many
people were asking me to breed her, it seemed everyone wanted a
little dog like Hattie Rat, and I didn’t blame them !! :) I
investigated how to find a male Rat Terrier – Hattie didn’t have
papers, but there was a process in which she could be accepted by
the UKC, if she had UKCI papers and to get those, I could send
pictures and vet statements saying she was “typical of the Rat
Terrier breed”. The helpful people at UKC talked me through the
process and congratulated me over the phone when I’d finished all
the steps to having my first UKC registered dog.
Within the same time frame, I was becoming more and more interested
in one of the “Rare Breed” dogs listed in the back of Dog World
Magazine. I spent 2 years and several thousand highway miles doing
research on that breed. I purchased a breeding quality female, I was
encouraged by my breeder to attend Rare Breed shows, including ARBA
and World Wide Kennel Club. In the world of rare breeds I found
people that were much more like me in the quest to have dogs with
good physical and mental traits to perpetuate our chosen breeds.
There were wonderful conversations at the shows, often whole
families were there and often would take pity on my childless
condition and send kids to help me with any and everything that
needed done. We shared food from our coolers, talked about the
individual traits of our not very well known breeds and probably
most important, had genuine feelings of good sportsmanship and joy
when our new friends did some big winning. It was FUN to show dogs,
not stressful or frustrating.
In the later part of 1996 my rare breed club was feeling the
pressure of having a club President and Secretary (husband and wife)
who were getting older – ALL the pedigrees and records of our dogs
since they were brought to the United States were in this couples
house, with the exception of some floppy disks holding the
information that were stored elsewhere. Our very bright President,
along with the V.P who is an American Dairy Goat Association senior
judge (an organization where the Judges have to give VERBAL reasons
for placement) asked our club to vote on seeking breed recognition
from either the AKC or UKC to have our pedigrees kept by a
professional national organization. I still remember the pride and
feeling of belonging I felt when we were accepted into the UKC – the
club was required to do educational seminars for judges in several
locations for one year and in 1998 we were a fully recognized breed
with full show privileges and pedigree service from the UKC. We
signed a contract that allowed our club to have a Single
Registration process, the indefinite right to keep the stud book
open for imported animals and encouraged us to bring our working
dogs to the conformation ring, as long as we knew we had physical
control of the dog. UKC had people that were knowledgeable and
experienced with small gene pools that helped us write the contract
and actually helped ringside with our unsocialized dogs at the
annual Premier event in Kalamazoo, MI. Our breed, as well as the
owners, breeders and exhibitors had found a registry we could call
The times are changing at UKC. The quality of the dogs in the ring
improves every year as breeders strive to achieve their breed’s
standard and good AKC dogs bred to their standard(s) join the ranks.
The judges are improving, also. And so is the quality of the lesser
known breeds that have had their owner’s and breeder’s confidence
boosted by an organization that cared about us. The shows are still
often small, but not always. I don’t show as much as I did from 1999
to 2009, but when I do go there is still a friendly atmosphere at
the shows, the judges will explain their placements when the Breed
judging is over, the kids in Junior Showmanship are treated like the
valuable resources of the future that they should be – along with
any other child that shows an interest about a dog in any way. The
animal rights people are being allowed to provide teaching material
to kids in learning situations all over the country. There has to be
a “next generation” to keep the art and science of dog husbandry
functioning. Anyone that wants to participate should be given some
encouragement and a friendly environment to attempt to learn about
the activity that is so dear to us. I invite probably 90% of the AKC
show and breeding people that I meet to come on to the little show
in the little town near-by. And yeah, it’s at a fairground and some
of the breeds might show out in a livestock show barn. We’re not
uncivilized or anything, the toy dogs, non-sporting and dogs suited
to the mats will have mats in a climate controlled building !! My
breed club requested the outdoor area for our Specialty next month
and I’m absolutely pleased not to have to take my working guardian
dogs inside – I’ll bring more dogs, make more entries and ya know, I
just can’t wait to be there !! If you are an AKC exhibitor, and have
been thinking about trying a UKC show weekend, please do it. Plan to
dress down and don’t expect much dazzle … until you stand ringside,
or even better, handling your dog in the line-up for Best In Multi
Breed Show – there will be no doubt you are at a dog show!
Shirley and the Shelties: My son works at a shelter and he says a lot of the dogs are puppies
from local breeders we would call puppy mills. He thinks they buy
them because they make money from selling them.
Laura: Like most that the comments above reveal, I am leaning very much to
showing mostly at UKC shows. I have been showing dogs for 46 years
and have never been so disheartened with the AKC shows. I have
always shown my own dogs and truly love showing dogs. Through the
years I have won in the group ring, National Specialties, etc. but
it’s really difficult today for an owner handler, regardless of the
quality of the dogs, to win. Personally I cannot afford the time or
money for serious advertising, top handlers or attending shows
weekend and week out. No matter how good your dog is, if you do not
advertise, hire top handlers you are not going to win most of the
It is said that judges put handlers up because, after all, that’s
how they make their living. I have nothing against handlers. I don’t
blame them, I blame the inferior judges. The dogs that are the top
winners are the dogs that will produce the next generations of
purebred dogs. If showing dogs is just a political game and held
mainly for the benefit of professional handlers and the owners who
can afford to promote their dogs in the manner that is necessary
today, then what’s the point?
I know that there are excellent breeders who use great handlers,
advertise and have wonderful dogs who deserve the wins, but there is
no way that the percentage of the group and BIS wins that go to the
professionals means the dogs they show are that much better than the
breeder/owner/handled dogs. Perhaps it’s time to have non-pro
shows/classes and open shows/classes.
The AKC has not done enough to protect the breeders of purebred dogs
from the animal rights movement. In many places it’s almost
impossible for small hobby breeders to operate. I am afraid that in
the future, the only breeders will be the large commercial
operations. That is very sad. In my opinion I think the AKC should
spend most of the money it takes in to fight these organizations
legally or else we won’t have to worry about the dog shows as there
won’t be anyone left to participate.
Becky: I am so tired of the AKC asking for more money to fight Anti-Dog
Legislation when they have huge Corporate office in Manhattan! Why
not move ALL the offices to New Jersey & cut down on the overhead?
Why do the officers of the AKC get such big salaries?
Something needs to be done about the judging & judges at AKC shows.
Yes the professionals are favored by the judges. Most handlers do a
better job of presenting a dog to the judge & can make a bad dog
look better than the good dogs. But not all.
Money talks in the show ring. The dogs with the ‘Big money Backers’,
do most of the winning. Very rarely do you see a dog go BIS that
didn’t have BACKER?
When I enter a show I look at the Judging History of the judges for
the weekend. There are many judges I will never show to. Several
reasons, they don’t know the Standard, they are rough on the dogs,
they only put up their friends, they only put up wpemen, they only
put up gay men.
Mariko: As an owner/breeder/handler, I found it necessary to have a handler
on my Special. I have received group placements while handling, but
never a Group 1, as has my handler. I do believe that sometimes a
handler can do a better presentation, but overall the handlers have
the eye of the judges. I believe as breeders we have to breed
better, to have more competitive dogs, and we all certainly work
harder than any professional handler. If you wish to make money, it
cannot be done with well bred, health tested, and well cared for
dogs – this is a passion for your chosen breed. A “Limited” class is
only going to point the current divide of the breed type vs. the
handlers’ “show” dogs. There are some good judges, great judges, and
those who are in it for their own egos. I will not pay to have the
latter’s opinion in the ring. The bbreed standards have been so
homogenized, I think some judges feel free to make their own
At my local shelter we have a majority of mixed breeds, if there are
ever any “purebreds” those are obvious back yard or poorly bred
dogs. I have yet to see and groom a well bred dog, thank goodness.
Sydney Morgan: AKC IS THE PROBLEM. ALL needed changes are needed to be made BY AKC.
FIRST, AKC needs to re-prioritize. If priorities are aligned
properly, the $$$ will follow. AKC needs to elevate the altitude of its attitude toward the Hobby
Breeder instead of trying to abandon the Hobby Breeder as they have
in the recent past by getting in bed with large pet stores for the
sole purpose of increasing registrations. That, alone, says volumes
about AKC’s REAL priority, which we all know is $$$$. In this, they
are no different and no better than HSUS.
SECOND, AKC needs to provide a system for exhibitors to file
complaints against judges, providing photos to substantiate
erroneous or political decisions. I have a long-haired breed that is
NOT to be cut, yet every dog that wins has blatantly obviously cut
coats. Consequently, those who following the standard, lose.
THIRD, AKC needs to find a way to stop the politics. As an example,
a person in my breed has been showing for many years and always wins
in their home state. Someone there told me they saw this person give
a judge a card before that judge was to judge groups. That same
individual won the group….. No one minds losing to a better dog. The
breeders of this breed in that state no longer show AKC, because
they know they have lost before they pay their entry fee. This is
not good for the breed. This creates a special hardship in western
states as those breeders only have about 6 shows available to them
per year, and even those require travel, lodging, and food expenses.
FOURTH, AKC needs to require judges to write a written critique of
the dogs they are judging as they do in Europe and Canada. It’s not
so easy to make a political decision when you have to back it up in
FIFTH, AKC needs to provide local advertising for all AKC kennel
club dog shows.
SIXTH, AKC needs to provide a step-by-step dog show manual for all
AKC kennel clubs to give them the tools to ensure the public
attending can find all of the events and schedules, as well as
understand the schedules.
The Hobby Breeder dedicates their blood, sweat, and real tears for
the love of their dogs and their breed. They spend their own
hard-to-earn money for quality foods and supplements, vet bills,
health-testing ($200+/test), training classes, travel expenses, and
grooming equipment/supplies. Think about the income from 1 puppy
compared to the above costs. Most of the support for these dogs
comes not from the puppy income, but first from the heart and then
the pocketbook of the Hobby Breeder.
Commercial Breeders are profitable businesses constantly checking
the bottom line. Quality food, vets, health-testing, training
classes, travel expenses and, as we all know, grooming
equipment/supplies, do not appear on their Cost of Doing Business
lists. Nor do they spend dedicated time socializing and potty
training their puppies. And they certainly don’t provide the
unsuspecting public with a 2-year, 5-year, or lifetime genetic
If AKC continues to climb in bed with the commercial side of dog
breeding and showing, and start helping and supporting the Quality
(Hobby) Breeders, the quality pure bred dog will be extinct in
America. If the Quality (Hobby) Breeders can spend so much of their
own time, love, devotion to the dogs, certainly AKC could freeze the
enormous salaries for a year or two and shovel some of that excess
fat into doing what’s right!
AnnMarie Saunier: As a breeder I do not sell to anyone who is not willing to return
the dog if the situation occurs. I feel that it is the
responsibility of the breeder to be responsible for the life of any
puppies produced. I do show and have been very frustrated when a
lesser dog wins over one of mine. This will hapen in any venue but I
have in the past few years shown my dogs more with the United Kennel
Club than the American Kennel Club. Why because it is on fair
playing ground for the most part. Yes there are politics and there
always will be but I can win more often and have more Chapions and
not spend a fortune. With AKC you have to have a professional
handler what fun is that and it will cost between 2,000. and 10,000
just to finish a dog. I finished 5 dogs for 10,000 with the UKC in
2010 and had 5 dogs in the top ten. That is a big difference and it
was fun. I was inspected by the AKC twice last year. No I had no
problems and passed with flying colors but when I asked about how
they chse they told me they only go to new breeders and I have been
breeding since 1986. I also asked if there was a way to give them a
heads up on kennels they should be inspecting and they flat out told
me no. So do they really care about the way animals are cared for
because I DO.
Loretta Tully: Showing has become a sport only for the rich . The AKC does nothing
to see that judges are following the standard when they judge dogs
to be winners. I think that should be the AKC’s main duty. If I
believe in and breed and show according to the standard I expect to
be rewarded. Instead I have seen that the handlers win with dogs
that are very inferior to mine (or other owner handlers) and it is
disheartening. To me the AKC has become more like the HSUS, more
interested in having money to pay their salaries than in upholding
the standards for each breed. It is a sad day for those who really
love their breed. And they wonder why the average person quits
showing after 5 years…Duh!
Tam: I think the system of awarding judging assignments needs to change.
The good ol boy system needs to change as well as the handlers. If
all the judges names in a given breed were put into a hat and chosen
at random rather than by a show committee it would go a long way.
There also need to be amateur division and a pro division just like
in golf and tennis. Of course, for those of you who know me,I think
Best of Breed should be the ultimate win. Eliminate Groups, BIS, and
the infernal rankings.
Kathy Graves: Why are so many purebreds in shelters? Are there? Please provide verified numbers before making these
How to get the public to dog shows again? I’m not sure that the public finds dog shows relevant any more. If
you don’t know what’s going on the judging process is baffling and
boring to JQP. If Westminster were broadcast without the hoopla and
expert/entertaining commentary it would be a bust.
Are there no longer big wins for the average breeder? I don’t think so, at least in AKC. Heck the Bred By awards at Euk
always go to some big hat breeder who is often a pro handler as
well. The “average” breeder can’t afford the $$$$$$$ needed to
promote their dogs so the ex pro handler judges will know which dogs
to put up. UKC is a whole ‘nuther matter which is why I only show
conformation in UKC. My homebred/owner handled dogs have
consistently been in Top Ten and winning Top Ten BOB since the breed
has been eligible for Top Ten ranking.
Do Judges care less about adjudicating quality purebreds than
patronizing handlers? Duh! When every judge on a panel is an ex pro handler what do you
expect? Hobby breeders don’t have the time or $$$$ to pursue a
What should AKC do to promote well bred purebreds? Spend as much money on well produced ads promoting purebreds as the
shelter industry spends on commercials promoting the PCness of
buying dogs from shelters. Tell the public that purebred working
dogs are leading the blind, saving lives in the police and military
fields, finding disaster victims, etc. Make companion events way
more average dog/owner friendly. Promote the advantages of knowing
what you are getting when you buy a dog.
How to get the public to dog shows again? Are there no longer big
wins for the average breeder? Do Judges care less about adjudicating
quality purebreds than patronizing handlers? What should AKC do to
promote well bred purebreds?
Dolores: The new AKC program, The OWNER HANDLER SERIES, that chooses one dog,
owner handler ,non-professional , to be awarded the Best of it’s
breed to go forward to Group and then BIS judging, is a step in the
right direction. Only AKC has it backwards. THE ONE CLASS SHOULD BE
FOR T HE PROFESSIONAL HANDLERS AGAINST EACH OTHER, NOT THE OWNER
HANDLERS. We would then see who the best PROFESSIONAL handler is and
they might even have the best dogs, BUT MAYBE NOT, And the owner
handler winning dogs should be entitled to the same number of points
toward the dog’s title. The article is correct that pros should only
compete against pros and owner handlers that are not taking money
for showing their dogs, should compete only against other owner
More people are getting smart and showing their dogs in UKC. where
NO PROFESSIONAL HANDLERS ARE ALLOWED TO SHOW.
Martha: Many judges are former professional handlers. And they ‘reward’
their friends who are handlers, or they ‘reward’ people from clubs
who get them assignments – judges need to return to the days of
judging the dogs correctly, according to the AKC standard.
I began showing almost 35 years ago, when there were few
professional handlers in the ring. I saw so many great dogs at that
time. Now, in many breeds, my humble opinion is that the quality of
some breeds has suffered in proportion to the number of professional
I have heard handlers laugh that they can finish dogs, no matter how
bad they are, and if someone has a bad dog, bring it to them and pay
them the big bucks and they will put a championship on it.
I have heard at least 2 dog owners through the years who won ONE
show, say “oh, now I can breed him/her because I know they have the
quality”, when, in fact, their dog did not have good quality, it was
just handled by a professional. Those dogs never won another show,
and were never finished as champions. Breeding them did nothing but
hurt the quality of the breeds they represented.
AKC has copied UKC on a number of things through the years. The
grand championship and the Reserve Best in Show, to name two. They
need to coy them in not allowing professional handlers to show dogs,
so that the DOGS are being judged.
Judges need to be encouraged, no – required, to judge to the AKC
conformation standard for the individual breeds and to NOT give
ribbons to dogs they feel are inferior.
Many of the old time breeders who tried so hard to breed correct
dogs, have left the fancy due to losing to inferior dogs, handled by
professionals. Or have left when it became apparent that many judges
are putting up inferior dogs, and ignoring correct dogs. It is
expensive and frustrating to continue trying to breed correct, just
to lose. One person said they were actually told by a competitor
that “maybe you should breed what the judges are putting up” rather
than breeding to the standard, if you want to win. How sad is that?
And what a sad commentary on the AKC.
Any more there are a number of us who are beginning to prefer to
show in UKC shows if there are both in the area at the same time.
Karen: There have been many suggestions but the problem is getting AKC to
listen. I have suggested that new judges have to critique their provisional breeds. This should teach them to use the standard and
be familiar with by using its terminology. It would tell the
breeders if the Judge has potential as this breeds judge and if they
need to go back to school. The problem is AKC. They need to change.
Tam: Incorrect. Most dogs are labeled, by people who proudly state ” they
don’t know a cocker from a brittany” as purebred. Most are mixed
breeds, not only two but many mixtures. Many are also maladjusted.
As purebred fanciers we have a responsibility to make purebreds
visible. Show in obedience. Take your dog out and about in town.
Show your expertise by teaching free and open access obedience
classes. When others see how the purebreds perform they will be
Fred Lanting: I’ve been in purebred dogs since 1937, a breeder about a decade
later, an exhibitor/competitor for ages, and a judge since 1977. I
think there are a number of factors causing dog ownership (and
registration) to decline relative to human population. First,
economic… more households where both “parents” need to work to keep
up with rising costs and the Joneses, less money and physical space
in living quarters (cities replacing rural/suburban life. Second,
government pressures such as local restrictive laws passed by
non-doggie politicians who want to run other people’s lives. I have
seen the same decrease overseas (I have judged in some 30
countries). Similarly, lack of available space, insurance
requirements, plus more municipal restrictions make it expensive and
difficult to put on dog shows. Additionally, the nature of shows
(competition) leads to dog owners/competitors forgetting the other
reason shows got started: exhibition. It started by a bunch of good ol’ boys getting together to have a tankard and show each other what
a nice hunting dog each had. In the beginning, it was all about
utility… which farmer had the best sheepdog or hunting dog. Now, it
is mostly which foo-foo dog looks prettiest and complements the
owner-handler’s spiffy outfit (except, thankfully, some clubs like
non-AKC GSD specialties and the UKC shows (which discourage
professionalism of the business type, and stress fun and the dog
instead). Fred Lanting — Mr.GSD @ juno.com
Denise: Shelters? Most of the dogs are puppy mill purebreds. Dog shows are
boring and you can’t ever find the breed you’re looking for. Maybe it is better to go to the shelter.