The Glitz, Glamour And Competition Of Dog Shows
Survey Results "Why Dog Shows Are Failing"
Over 900 subscribers responded to
Why Are Dog Shows Failing? Here are the most thoughtful survey responses which we are sharing with AKC and UKC.
June 2017 | TheDogPress.com Subscribers
The previous edition stated "Attendance at “regular” dog shows is at an all-time low
and many clubs have folded. Has AKC or UKC asked you what could be done?"
We observed that low exhibitor attendance does not
bode well for the future of dog shows and asked for your response to the questions below but with this background in mind. In
March of 2014, Alan Slay, American Kennel Club Director of Event Programs, did a presentation on "Attracting Exhibitors and the Public to Your
Event." He said in part, “We are going to
talk about ways to attract exhibitors and the general public to your events, how
to make your dog show an event." He also observed “The
fellowship that they once got by going out and participating in a dog show or
some other hobby, they can do that online now.” He made the
point (Exhibitors) “are
demanding more value for their time and money."
We agreed but stated that we didn't believe what breeder-exhibitors want are "more
opportunities" to win meaningless titles. Most subscribers to TheDogPress are judges, handlers, and breeders so we asked YOU what AKC and UKC can do to revive the sport.
Failing or Ailing? Dog Show Diagnostics
NOTE: Contact information embedded to "protect privacy"
- click the name if you wish to contact that person. Here's some Instant Info on ii Protecting Your Privacy
This report has been sent to the American Kennel Club and the United Kennel
Club. We thank you for the overwhelming response!!!
Why Are Dog Shows Failing?
survey is now closed. Selecting a variety
of comments succinct enough for the Registries and our readers to digest was not easy! The dog fancy is grateful to all who responded so thoughtfully and we will
be using those comments and quotes as reference in future articles.
Why are "ENTRY FEES" not enough income today?
DS Absolutely nothing gained by paying entry fees and not enough of the
Melissa Less entries because of poor judges = less $
Cheryl The economy has a lot to do with this. Also, some sites are charging
way too much.
Deb Entry fees are plenty high enough. unfortunately the costs of renting the venues and liability have gone up while #s have gone down. we need outdoor areas again. too much worrying about the handlers big rigs.
Keith Entry fees pay expenses, but our club has a puppy match, a raffle, an eye clinic, and sells t-shirts also to help pay for the club's expenses of putting on a show. I kept trying to submit this survey with my name, but kept getting "NAME you entered does not appear to be valid." I guess you ONLY allow surveys from your select friends!
Mark Cost of venues and judging panel expenses.
bev Entry fees are high, cost to get to a show are high, so nice to enter a few, but then it is really too expensive.
Upcraft We have done fine at out specialties, but we are very cost conscious and work very hard at fund raising to supplement the show.
Shirley It should be but the people who run AKC want more money for themselves. Not for the purebred dog any more!!
Melody Low entry numbers, higher expenses.
Vicki Judging costs??
Eva Because the entries are low.
Patricia Expenses to put on an event have increased. Entries are down. Too many events - spreading the lower number of exhibitors between many shows.
Parker The higher and higher the entry fees are the less and less people are able to afford to enter and it certainly limits the number of dogs we can enter.
Anna Because there are less dogs being entered, so they have to jack up the prices, which deters people from entering 5 or more dogs. so they just enter 1.
Sue Show facilities are so expensive anymore. Our 4 day cluster cost us $70,000 for the fairgrounds.
Barry Entry fees from a reduced total entry do not cover the fixed costs involved with a show.
Pat Vendor participation is way down.
Sandra Usually when entry fees aren't enough, it is due to building rent and ribbon expenses.
Janice High venue costs; Club mismanagement; smaller entries; long-standing circuits no more (back to back rule destroyed them)
Mike We are an Obedience club and
our events are very profitable. The reason is that are event space is very cheap.
Shamika Resources required to prepare and host the show far supersedes the revenue generated due to the fact that entries are not numerous and cost prices for awards etc. have gone up.
Joyce The high cost of the venues and security.
Dan There are too many people leaving the sport and the number of entries are lower than before due to many factors including fairness of judging and the overall attitude of the show environment.
Marylyn Site costs...harder to find suitable sites at a reasonable cost. And equip them for a show, which brings in superintendent costs and tenting if outdoors.
helen Most judges come for minimal reimbursement. AKC fees continue to rise.
Royce Too much nepotism and bias among judges.
Pearl Show site rental has increased, as have other expenses. Recording fees and initial show application fees, expense for judges, etc. take a big bite out of the bank account. Raising entry fees only serves to decrease entries.
Mary Because the entries are not enough to cover the expenses. It takes so few to make majors that you just cannot equalize.
Teresa I am not upset about the costs of entries.
baevue Facility rentals have become almost prohibitive in some areas.
Dog Show Exhibitors What is YOUR reason for making "FEWER SHOWS"?
Sara Getting older, like so much of the showing population.
Mitchel It is becoming more difficult to win as a breed-owner-handler in my breed. Pro handlers used to be the exception, last week half the entry was shown by pros...often, the best specimens don't win.
DS Honestly, I'm not a professional handler therefore I don't have a chance.
Melissa Being much more particular about judges.
Nancy I work more hours, do not show as many dogs , the shows are too handler driven and it isn't very but too predicable
Cheryl Judges. Why should I spend my money on a show where I know the judge will not put up Standard Dachshunds, because she is a mini breeder.
Henderson Majors ---single points are easily achievable pretty quick but the majors are few and far behind ---the increase in the numbers of dogs to make a major only compound the problem because the more dogs it requires and hence fewer shows. This is self perpetuating problem. One area gets more entries, the next year the entries go up and then we are back to the cycle.
DMH Entry fees are high and judges don't seem to adhere to the standards of breeds.
Paula I am actually showing more than I ever have.
Deb time, cost, judging panels that only see the handler, cost.
Keith I have a list of judges that I will NOT show too because they do not judge the dogs by structure but by the "cutest expression", or a "pretty head". I look at the judging panel, then decide if it is worth my time and expense to attend a show.There are certain judges that will only put up a dog that is expertly handled, which usually means by a professional handler, or someone they know.
Sabre Competitors are unfriendly and too intense. They take the fun out of the sport.
castegavig People are so totally fed up with the politics and lack of judges knowledge of their breeds. Judges put people on the end of the leads instead of judging the actual dogs.
Patricia Entry fees are too high, especially for performance events when the dog is entered in more than one class.
Bonnie I am older and less able to show my own dogs. Higher entry fees and less interest in people who want to buy a purebred dog, even from a conscientious breeder who does health testing. The "adopt", don't shop, people are making headway. Breeding dogs is hard work and expensive. Not enough young people are interested in following in our footsteps.
Pat Cost of entries, gas & poor judging.
Andrea Tired of the favoritism between judges and professional handlers. Pro handlers in MY ring have agendas to finish dogs they are party to in regards to the dog's breeding. I feel dogs they are hired to show (that are not part of handler's breeding program or associated with handler's breeding stock) are not shown as well and are handed off in order to show the dogs the handler has agenda with.
Gail I can't afford the entry fees, hotel fees, gas nor time off to make a weekend of showing my dog to people who haven't a clue as to what one of my breed should look like or be. I've seen so many in my breed that judges put up because they are "showy" and not correct in either structure or temperament.
DB The cost and the travel and staying. I'm in a dog show wasteland
Mark Lack of majors. Higher entry fees require selective entries to ensure that judges that judge dogs and not people are entered under.
bev The cost of the weekend. Hotel, food, entries, ferry, gas.
Upcraft Same handlers seem to be put up with lower quality entries. Judges only seem to understand one point about the dogs and ignore balance and structure.
H Too many handlers being being used and put up. Inferior dogs placed on handlers winning.
Shirley Because it costs too much for all the travel expenses and other fees that I do not have to pay if local. Also too many handlers that I can not afford and Judges are putting them up over owner handlers. AKC only wants your money now!
Pearl FINANCES. AKC entry fees have increased and are now $30 or more, with few or no breaks. Add cost of parking ($10 a day or more) and factor in that many AKC judges still prefer to put up pro-handlers. It leaves few shows to pick from.
baevue Finances - when it costs $70 to enter one dog for two days, parking is up to $15 at some venues. Gas and RV parking is also up.
BS Often only dog entered for my breed. Had been entering but then not traveling if it was only me and one other in my breed. Now, I don't even enter at all. Have our GrCH, but even though over halfway there, not worth the time, effort or money to try for Bronxe.
SH Lack of time and money (I work a 50 hr/wk low salary job), trying to avoid shows with too many "pros" in attendance.
Mary Getting older
Michelle It is expensive especially if it is an out of town show. Judges don't seem to be judging the dogs anymore just picking out their favorite handlers. Exhibitors are not that friendly either. My dogs have gotten suck at shows. It isn't fun to do.. something that is just tolerated to get the coveted title so once you have the title why waste the money.
Kathryn primary reason is cost of entries; and that AKC has put in so many unnecessary 'achievement' awards -- 'Grand' Champion, Owner-Handler, etc. And that the Judges are not following the breed standard, but putting up what they perceive as the 'best' dog in the ring, regardless of what the standard calls for.
Cynthia There are very few judges thst I feel actually judge the dogs and award wins based on the dog, and not who is handling. I have Goldens and the cheating is so pervasive I can pretty much tell who is winning under a given judge before the show begins. And forget about showing without a handler. I see little value in an AKC championship when I know that it's not based on the dogs in most cases. The quality of our entries is declining.
Mari Handlers rule, dominate the rings. Favoritism, plays a huge roll today. Nothing like 20 years ago when you actually competed against your peers.
Kathleen Judges putting up Pro-handlers with inferior dogs over non-pro handlers. Many times the judge only looks at the handler dogs and you know before the judge even looks at the first dog which one will be put up. Waste of time and money to show under some judges.
Jackie Expense. No current dog to show.
Parker My friends I travel and show with are older and have more health issues, it seems we have the same judges and AKC needs to encourage new judges.
Fred Travel, lodging, & entry-fee costs; Too many non-dog demands on time.
Patricia Fewer shows should increase the entries to shows.
Royce travel expenses and lack of cooperation by hospitality businesses.
Timothy We pick our judges by who will give us a fair shake and shows by whoever has NOHS
Anna cost. I used to enter multiple dogs, but I can't afford to enter lots of dogs, so I may enter 1 or 2. plus, the handlers usually get the win points anyway, so what is the point?
Joseph Cost and quality. Less return for the investment.
Shirle Shows are no longer about choosing the best breeding stock. Entries are often mediocre. But with well known handlers, these dogs do finish.
RJ Cost. I've switched to ukc more because its cheaper and normally have 2 shows a day and don't need a handler to win and fewer politics.
Sam entry fees, AND it's back to the old days of politics where professional handlers dominate the rings. I remember long time ago when AKC promoted bred by exhibitor entries. Now it's back to the same old, same old handler politics.
Kathleen The economy and the politics that are becoming more and more evident with the dog owners and judges. It is very simple to see from the sidelines what goes on, my first year as a handler had me throwing in the towel and I was handling for one of the Nation's top dogs. Poisoning of competitors dogs happening too frequently.
Cynthia Always money! Travel and entry fees continue to explode, and can't afford to go to as many as I once could.
Sue I am now 72 and not breeding anymore, but have a 2 year old male worth showing. Can't find a good young person to show him for me. The younger generation is not as dedicated as us oldsters.
Barry Fewer shows are caused by prohibitive costs to travel and stay overnight unless show clusters can be the show venue
Christine Entry fees are hivher, parking fees are higher and its the same judges over and over.
kathryn Entry fee costs, judges who put up handlers.
Linda Too Political! Too many Judges have their favorites!
Nancy The judges are sour faced and politically motivated. Favorite handlers and breeder handlers know who to follow. Others might just as well stay home. Taken the fun out of it.
Tom The economy and cost of things definitely, but would probably attend more if there were more shows in our area, helping to cut down on some of the travel expenses. Also finding decent accommodations can be tricky, not to mention crazy hotel pet fees that some places charge. Thank God for motor homes and Motel 6's!
Ron Overall escalating costs. Parking fees rising, show fees rising. Same judges, same pro winners, week in, week out.
Teresa I make fewer because of the politics and lack of judges that do not engage in "handler" judging.
Carole My breed has been dyed, trimmed, bleached to the point it is artificial. No one cared. The breed standard was changed by a small group in the illustrated standard showing a incorrect tail straight up the back as the correct tail, leaving out the description of the nest which would tell how high and tight curled the tail was to the body. Judges putting up long backed, high in the rear dogs with no pants or tail and unsound.
Pat As an amateur who must compete with the top tier pro handlers of coated terriers I pick judges that are knowledgeable and impartial and only show dogs that are good enough for Group competition.
Susan To many shows are catering to pro handlers. They reward judges who look at the wrong end of the lead and continue to hire them.
Linda Entry fees keep going up, now parking & grooming fees, coupled w/rising fuel, food, lodging costs.
Jan Rampant cheating (dyeing of dogs), that is IGNORED by the AKC.
Michael Judges who put up handlers instead of the most deserving animal. They don't have enough respect for the exhibitor to even try and make their actions look legitimate.
Sandra Lack of close availability.
Ryan None in my country.
Jaclyn Expenses are too high. Motels, meals, etc.
Carrie Prices keep going up; judging quality goes down and the same judges seem to be on many tri-state panels. I won't travel to a cluster if at least one judge puts up lower quality with a 'face' on the lead. If I lose fairly to a nicer specimen I will go back to that judge. Some judges act as though they'd rather be someplace else while some are always a pleasure.
Janice Bad Judging and cost have become astronomical , motels , and entry fees , etc. Also bad sportsmanship
Jim Judging has gotten so poor that we no longer feel justified in traveling 300+ miles to a dog show. We limit ourselves to local shows and our national.
Roger Winners appear to be pre-determined prior to the show. I've seen dogs and handlers have or commit extreme flaws and still come away with the win. Hand signs to judges to indicate which dog it to win. Common knowledge is its not about the dog, its about the face. Its a farce to know and actually witness the issues with the judging program. Therefore, I don't spend dollars anymore to go to distant programs already knowing who is going to win.
Janice It's the economy stupid! And Judging panels, repetition, lack of integrity/politics; pro handlers. I am an owner/handler/breeder-won't play that game! Quality, form & function should be key, they're not!
DB Because the judges are judging the wrong end of the lead
Kathleen Too expensive and too hard to find majors and I'm showing a Labrador and Chinook.
Sunnie AKC - poor judging panels. Too many unqualified judges who do not know the standard of my breed.
Joyce Less time. Less knowledgeable judges. Less ROI. Smaller entries, hard to find points.
Mike Cost and ability to get time off
Helen I'm entering as much as I ever have. I'm new.
Suzanne Cannot afford the travel mostly
Glenn Cost & disgust watching poor breed specimens win because they are shown by professional handlers!
Suzanne too expensive: Entry fees way up, hotel fees way up, gasoline cost up
Deborah The COST of entries, to start with. Multiple shows means multiple entry fees - and too often, little or NO COMPETITION !! Now that I am retired, I can no longer afford all of it, and my situation is similar to most of my friends who used to show. Just can't afford.
Juanita Lack of quality judges and higher entry fees
SC Not Aplicable to me.
Joyce The rising costs of hotels.
Dan Because there is too much politics in showing so people move away from the sport along with the cost and the time that has to be put into it. Some of the judges are rube by not giving your entry a fair review and just looking at the professionals for the win.
DM Time and distance
Marylyn Too many shows have diluted my own enthusiasm...and too many shows during the week when those of us with day jobs cannot attend.
Angela Poor judging panels. Historically political judges aren't going to get my entry because it costs me far too much to go to each show, especially if there isn't a fair shot at winning. Some of this is due to politics and I think some of it is due to lack of education. Judges are being approved for new breeds rapidly and I don't feel they truly understand the standard of the majority of dogs they are judging.
Melody Expense, poor judging, owner-handlers really get the shaft.
Vicki High numbers needed for majors (Dobes/Ohio) and leading to higher travel costs to get to majors, loosing entry fees when shows don't make majors,handlers getting breaks over worthy OH dogs
Eva I am an owner handler and can not compete with the politics
Joanne ALL my expenses are up,including entry fees. Choosing between showing and DNA testing a litter for a health concern is often tipped in favor of the health testing.
Helen The world is full of various activities.
Is the "CAMARADERIE" and learning opportunities still there?
More than 65% our readers felt the camaraderie is not found or felt like it once was at the shows.
Are "JUDGING PANELS" less appealing to owner-handlers today?
About 80% our readers felt there is less appeal due to the under qualified and status quo judges.
Are Dog Shows Still About Comparing "BREEDING STOCK"?
Our readers over-whelming said NO, it's more about the pro-handlers, politics
and pageantry than the dogs!
More about win of the day.
For me, I look at dogs, regardless of the outcome. I know the standard and what
Melissa Sometimes. Many poor dogs are finished and even specialed so less and less about breeding.
Nancy No who has the most $$ to back a dog good or bad I am now seeing the poor specimens in the ring from their offspring in many cases.
Cheryl No - it is whatever the judge likes, the heck with the standard.
Henderson No because of inconsistency in judging quality and subjectivity -a handler will win hands down for some judges
DMH More about who has the most money to push their dog(s).
Paula Yes and no. It all depends upon the breeders & the judges.
Deb Not really. Too many dogs handled by professional handlers w/o regard to quality of exhibit.
Keith They used to be, but not so much anymore. A show I attended 2 weeks ago had one judge put as winners the worst structured dog in the ring, because she had a pretty expression. I have petted out much better dogs than she put up.
Sabre Judges are to blame for the poor structure changes happening in breeds - Bull Dogs, German Shepherds and many others. If the judges would not put up dogs with such smashed faces they cannot breath or over angulated dogs that can hardly walk.
castegavig Sometimes, but a LOT of time it is who is on the end of the lead, especially at bigger shows. Yes, handlers do have decent dogs but not necessarily the best dog.
Patricia Unsure - seems more political than it used to be.
Bonnie Mostly, though I see dogs in the ring that would be pets if they were out of my dogs :(.
Pat Yes and no. It depends upon the judging panel.
Andrea No its about getting a dog finished regardless of quality by putting on a handler to get job done
Gail I would hope mostly but from what I see, not usually. We have judges that have no experience in some breeds passing judgement on them.
DB No the standards aren't being followed Define coat in moderation... for example.
Mark No. Have not been so for a very long time. It's all about group and BIS wins.
bev With some judges it is. With others it is a waste of time to pay for their opinion.
Upcraft No, they seem to be about who can spend the most chasing judges and ads.
H No. People breed for winning. Not soundness. Our breed is losing sound fronts and rears, losing pretty heads. Lots of health issues. Considering getting out of a breed we have been in for 26 years.
Shirley No, it is whoever is on the end of the lead!
Pearl With AKC, NO. It's all about presentation and popularity. Overall quality of the dog is way too often over-looked or covered up.
baevue Some judges don't have any idea of the breed standards they are judging, some tend to 'look up the lead' and give points to a lesser dog because it's handled by a well known handler.
BS Not for my breed, that is normally at Specialties or our Natl., where you will actually have some to see and compare.
SH At the lower levels maybe, but then it becomes who has the most money to campaign and advertise every week seeking rankings.
Mary No its about who is on the other end of the leash!.
Michelle No-one it's about campaigning & advertising, not about breeding stock at all.
Kathryn No, because people are not breeding to the standard, they are breeding to what the judges are putting up - dogs with poor movement (GSD's) and Poodles with Hair Extensions, no 'body' but the Judge won't reach thru the chalk and spray to find it.
Cynthia No... its a total social event for most people. Infuriates me!
Mari No. Handlers can finish any dog.
Kathleen No it is about pro-handlers and fluff and buff not quality of dog.
Jackie More like trend setting.
Parker For some, for others it seems it's just all about the win.
Patricia I don't think so.
Royce Prejudice against dog characteristics exists.
Melody Not even remotely.
Timothy No, it is about who on the leash or what kennel is on the name.
Anna Not always, it's usually according to who is on the lead.
Joseph NO! They are about big handlers and POOR judging.
RJ Depends on the breed. Judges need to emphasize soundness and quit rewarding fads.
Sam No they are all about the professional handler showing them.
No.. most show winners after finishing, tend to be neutered and placed in pet
homes, no stud out anymore.
I think so, at least it should be.
Yes but few breeds perform the function for which they were developed.
Christine Seems more about getting the most points. Who has the most money.
Kathryn Some competitors are so aggressive in the ring that it’s a turn off. Running up on dogs and ring blocking. I propose an "Exhibitor line" in the ring that handlers cannot go beyond to get in front of others.
Linda No! It's who you know not how good your dog is.
Nancy No most judges don't seem to even know the breed or the standard. If they themselves are into sporting dogs they want all breeds to move the way sporting dogs move.
Tom Don't you mean comparing and representing better breed examples and standards?
Ron No, it’s about winning the points, ribbons, championships. It is no longer about judging breeding stock.
Teresa No, I feel like many judges "face" judge instead of judging the dogs.
Carole Please! Judges are no longer stewards of the breeds. That seemed to have ended years ago.
Pat Hell no! They're a beauty pageant.
Susan Unfortunately no. Judges are tearing generic show dogs instead of following breed standards.
Linda Yes, but due to rising costs, less owner handlers & more professionals handlers get to exhibiting dogs becuase of the wealthy owners with big budgets.
Jan Too few breeder-judges. I won't show to an all-breed judge that doesn't understand my breed.
Michael Dog shows are about winning, regardless of all other considerations
Sandra No. They seem to be about handlers and grooming.
Jaclyn No, but they should be.
Carrie No. Soundness and type seem to be of minimal importance anymore.
Janice No, they are mostly being judged on if you are a pro-handler or not.
Jim No. Dog shows are about who is on the other end of the lead.
Roger No, they are about who you are and who you know. Remember, judges are breeders and other breeders are friends and wins for breeders is a money making proposition to sell their dogs. This is regardless of variety or NOH, class, etc.
Janice NO! Our Breeding programs are still made in the ring, but ask judges, they don't agree that is basis of their judging.
DB No, some handlers could show a 3 legged dog and still win.
Kathleen It doesn't seem like it to me.
Joyce Generally, it's all about the faces they know and the showmanship. Judges don't have the knowledge of my breed to select good breeding stock.
Mike I think that the Grand Ch. has made this more so. However, breeder education is needed badly. Exhibitors who intend to breed need education.
Helen Yes, definitely.
Glenn No more about comparing professional handlers!
Suzanne No, they are beauty pageants, complete with polit
Juanita No It's all about the generic show dog now. TRAD is not for every breed but thanks to the handlers and judges that's all you hear about.
SC It’s about the correct standard of the dogs which allow patrons to learn and understand how imperative breeding stock is.
Joyce No! More about who can afford the campaigning to rankings.
Dan I would say yes but if you have the right face on your dogs you are most likely to win most of the shows you enter but as a breeder when you do this yourself the wins are much less. The judges seem to look more at face than good breeding stock.
DM No, it's a popularity, and friends are doing the winning.
Angela No, I do not think this is true. I feel it has become more of a popularity contest for the handlers AND owners who send dogs off with handlers, than it is about the quality of the dog and it's adherence to the standard for the purpose of breeding.
Vicki No, More about the hottest, winning dog/handler.
Eva No, dog shows are only about who is the most political.
Joanne Yes. I enter to have my best pups seen by other breeders, and I am there to scout out theirs.
Shirle In my opinion, no. Judges seem to be putting up the best of what's there- not the best of the standard.
Helen They certainly should be but many of the judges do not know the standards. They do however recognize the professional handlers.
The POINT of the Survey: How Can We "SAVE THE SPORT" Of Purebred Dog Shows?
Sara Hire more experienced breeders as judges, not just rotation of the usual few.
Mitchel The best dogs need to win the vast majority of the time.
DS Make it about the dog. Not the handler or the advertising dollars.
Melissa More judges education, more mentorship to people as many are clueless and more fair judges.
Nancy Judge dogs. Have more fun matches. Make it about the dogs not elite handlers and I handle not at an every weekend level anymore.
Cheryl Re-train the judges, find better sites.
Henderson Change the point schedule. Improve consistency among judges. Handlers do not always have the best dog for a reason.
DMH Less catering to professional handlers more focus on the owner handlers. More focus on the standard of breeds. Judges who are willing to use a breed standard checklist while judging and be specific as to why a dog has won.
Paula We need to quit hiding the fact that we breed & show purebred dogs. We need to involve the public in dog shows. Advertise & then have ambassadors at shows to guide spectators through them. The ambassadors will advise them on what is ok to do at shows.
Deb judges need to recognize quality. Judges who don't know the breeds should not be invited - but they are CHEAP and no one has the job to educate them.
Keith Educate the judges to try to judge the dog's structure over performance in the ring. ! Not all breeds of dog should be judged by how well they perform in the ring. A good judge can pick out a good dog, regardless how the handler handles the dog.
Sabre Entry fees are too steep and many judges are very unfriendly.
castegavig Stop people from owning the "Clubs" and make them public clubs.
Patricia Improve the image of the sponsoring organization (AKC/UKC). Animal rights extremists have warped the perception of purpose.
Bonnie AKC is trying, by allowing mixed breeds in performance. UKC has altered dog classes. Maybe AKC should try.
Pat Make it less of a money machine - handlers, advertising, etc.
Andrea AKC doesn’t seem to care about the "special relationships/friendships" between judges and professional handlers. Not about the dog, it's about the handler.
Gail Allow the breeders to actually become judges more quickly, like the handlers, who only show to win, not for breeding purposes. I know many breeders who are not even trying to become judges because of the hoops that have to be jumped through.
DB I'm not sure if it can be saved.
Mark Stop the judging process at Best of Breed. Remind judges that they are the guardians of the breeds that they adjudicate.
Bev People need to bring the fun back into it and be good losers. You cannot be a good winner, until you first become a good loser. You are not going to win on your first shows as often.
Upcraft Judges have to judge for breeding stock purposes - not flash, handler face and ad money spent.
H Encourage new judges on panels. Stop rewarding handlers only. Handlers become judges and they perpetuate the cycle of putting up handlers.
Shirley Not with AKC!!.
Pearl AKC needs to be a venue for BREEDERS (not pro-handlers) and dedicated to PURE-BRED dogs. UKC needs to NOT follow in AKC's footstep.
baevue No Idea.
BS That is a very good question. As a novice owner handler 3 years ago with a good dog, even people in my breed were not welcoming but were way too concerned about a new person. You would think they would like more in the breed ring.
SH New exhibitor education, breaking up some of the clusters so that novice handlers don't just become 5-day point fodder for the pros.
Mary I have no idea.
Michelle Judges need to start judging dogs and make it more fair & fun for owner handler exhibitors.
Kathryn I would like to think so, but unless things seriously change - no.
Cynthia Ban professional handling. Judges are not judging dogs. When I know who is winning Westminster and our National Specialty as soon as I see the judging panel, it's gotta stop!!! Judges are beholden to pros. I have the only BIS GCHS CT dog in AKC!
Mari Separate the handlers from the owner-handlers. But this will never happen because the handlers need the points to insure promotion of their clients.
Kathleen Educate the judges to look at structure and movement not pro-handler or product laden fur. 90% of time in Toy ring only furry dogs on Pro-handlers are put up in group ring.
Jackie If you are going to charge lots of money, make it worth it.
Parker Encourage younger generations, use social media.
Fred Make them more fun, less cut-throat, ban AKC reps from grounds.
Patricia AKC needs to get back to supporting the purebred dog.
Royce Eliminate camaraderie between judges, exhibitors and owners.
Timothy It is past time to look at dogs instead of familiar faces and people who advertise.
Anna Keep it affordable, and judge the DOGS not handlers.
Joseph Have matches.
Shirle Have altered classes. Be more rigorous in choosing intact classes. Have education classes for exhibitors- taught by provisional judges. Teach structure and movement. Have fewer shows. And it's not a "sport." It's the evaluation of sound, correct stock.
Helen Support the 4-H groups and all junior handler groups.
RJ Lower costs and have more advertising.
Cynthia Don't know, make judges see that owner handlers are more plentiful than PHs, and deserve a better look, fair chance! And, lower entry fees!.
Kathleen Make sure that dogs being shown are legitimately licensed full purebred dogs to begin with. A wolfhound is a wolfhound, you cannot put a deerhound in the wolfhound category and call it a wolfhound it makes them look like they are starving them.
Sam Stop the pro handler politics and give owner handlers and breeder owner handlers a chance.
Barry Emphasize consistency of temperament in each breed as the reason for breeding purebreds and exhibiting against a standard.
Christine Make sure judges only judge at the same show every 3 years or more.
kathryn Have family days? Free training sessions for non-exhibitors to "give it a try" at shows. More meet the breeds.
Linda Make it fair for everyone and get rid of those blatantly breaking rules instead of slapping hands.
Nancy Make shows more like international shows. More than 1 judge on a more personal low key level. No professional handlers allowed in more classes and stick to it! People just add their handlers to their papers and proceed. It's all a joke that AKC backs.
Tom Promote and advertise more! Many shows come and go with the general public being largely unaware. More people might be inclined to visit and even participate if they knew shows were being held in their area.
Sara Get new young people in charge these mummified 90 year old hypocrites out please.
Ron Reduce the number of shows, reduce the participation of professional handlers.
Teresa The AKC needs to "man up" and begin to protect the sport. It is VERY clear they do not care about the sport anymore. It's all about the money to them. With their attitude, the sport is doomed.
Carole I truly think it can’t be done.
Pat Written critiques. I have developed a system that is quick and comprehensive and can be tailored to each breed utilizing a line rather than numerals or categories.
Susan Reward judges for following breed standards.
Linda Honor your commitment to the dedicated breeder/mentor. The AKC WKC Show Feb 2017 had Petco ad showing family getting a pet from a pet store...shameful. Is Petco going to be the mentor for that family? Also "animal rights" has a negative effect.
Jan Enforce the rules and make it a level playing field
Michael Knowledgeable judges who judge legitimately. Eliminate the obvious conflict of interest where a judge is compensated on a per dog basis.
Sandra Go back to the day when we wanted the dog to be judged, not the person on the end of the leash and their expertise.
Ryan I need more dog shows in my country.
Jaclyn Judge to the standard, not who is handling the dog, or the latest fad.
Carrie Make judges learn standards of their breeds! Tell people watching why they made their choice. Stop worrying about making money; make about dogs!!.
Janice More variety of fair judges who don't pick just the pro . Judge on the dogs merits . And in my area we need different judges not the same old local ones time after time.
Jim NO HANDLER SHOWS. Exhibitors are tired of not getting a fair look with comparable or better dogs. No more meaningless titles (GCH, etc.).
Roger A complete overhaul of the judging system to make it accountable. If the standard says no cut whiskers and the dog has them, DQ them. Have AKC monitor onsite to insure compliance, but don't let judges know you are there. Contact me for more ideas.
Janice No more credit cards, mixed breeds, etc. Judge License breeders quickly, not handlers. Address integrity of judges. Clubs - 1 show/yr in their area-market to all ethnicities.
DB Have the judges actually judge the dogs.
Kathleen It looks less and less likely as time progresses.
Sunnie HMMM - more honest judging. Quality judges will bring more entries.
Joyce Good question. Focus on training judges to learn the standard and quit emphasizing showmanship so much.
Mike I think smaller breed and specialty clubs are needed. A focus on the total dog. Bigger shows are not the answer.
Helen I think so. I hope so.
Suzanne Make the judging fair, make it about the dog and not about who is up the lead.
Glenn AKC Suspend judges who do not judge dogs per the breed standard and who consistently 'SUPPORT' professionals rather than correct dogs!
Suzanne You can't save the AKC. My friends are all going to UKC.
Deborah POSITIVE media exposure of breeding & breeders. Currently, breeders are disliked by the public due to A/R propaganda. Also - we need young people getting involved.
Juanita Make it more family and exhibitor friendly, not so much about professional handlers. UKC shows are so much more welcoming then AKC. I've shown dogs for 47 years.
SC Public education and maybe incentives.
Joyce We may have to toughen up and have more outdoor shows.
Dan It may already be too late. The lack of fairness in past judging has affected AKC's future by making the owner-handlers leave the fancy!
DM Demand judges follow the breed standard. Take complaints serious. Stop advertising that you're here as a registry. Stop "skimming" $.
Angela Find a way to make judges take their assignments more seriously and make them accountable for their selections so they work harder to select dogs based on the breed standard.
Melody Yes, but AKC needs to rethink its role and expenses.
Vicki Take it to the masses....you have to be an insider or very determined to get started. It was 2-3yr after I entered my first show in 2010 that I figured out the entry, superintendent system. Need to work on evening the playing ground for OH and newbies against handlers.
Eva I have worked over 15 years to produce better dogs from my kennel. Newbies come with lots of money, hire the most political handler and take all the breed top awards. We need to open the door wider for the owner/handler community.
Joanne Continue to make them more fun and varied, like the "themed" shows and fun venues that make the whole experience enjoyable.
Sue We need to get the younger generation more involved. Clubs are mostly old people. Not enough young people interested in improving their breed.
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