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End Of The Dog Show Era
Dog show clubs are closing down, even major kennel clubs. There is no purebred dog breeding stock comparison, just power plays and judging assignment brokering.
Carol Hawke, AKC Judge, ShowShots Commentator
If this disastrous course is
not changed there will be no dog shows as we know them and zero
breeder-owner-handler competition. I mean, the entire middle class of the dog
show world will be GONE. That leaves either puppy millers (who also hire
handlers now to promote their product) or wealthy backers to produce quality
stock. You can see where that will go.
I'm reiterating for you a
legitimate concern expressed by a number of people complaining about AKC's bait
and switch program. I refer to adding on the Owner Handler competitions - which
are nothing and they all know it - it's 4H without the pleasantry of children or
education. Just one more silly offering at dog shows, like the Bred-By classes
which are now dominated by handlers who found it more convenient and financially
rewarding to breed their own line of dogs to promote.
Indeed, it can be tiresome to sweet talk the best dogs away from their breeders
for wealthy backers to promote, giving credit only to the dog and handler in
What your audience still doesn't grasp at all - because
AKC has never addressed it - is the fact that their two minutes per dog in the
ring, (the current procedural allotment per dog for the judge) is now reduced to
only about a minute because of these ‘special class additions.'
No additional time allowance was ever granted the judges for doing these
additional classes and therefore, you now have judges cutting all the corners.
For example, it is common for judges to walk up to the dog on the table or floor
before it has been set up. It is also more common to move the dogs together,
instead of individually and then making fewer comparisons between dogs which
always lends itself further to the pro handler (whose dogs are usually glued
into place.) All of this has reduced competency as well as quality in the show
ring because of the time constraints.
I cannot fathom a board of directors and judges department that has not enough
insight to actually analyze and comprehend the deep impacts of this
hurry-up-and-judge program. Dog shows were once about dogs, not judges.
AKC switched from focus on the judges education, mentoring and field staff
oversight toward throwing bait at the owner handlers to somehow compensate.
Instead of doing what is right by providing better direction in the judges
department, it seems that the American Kennel Club just throws more pieces of
bait at the breeder/owner handlers to distract them from the actual degradation
and failure of today’s dog show system.
As it is, there it is....
Reference and Related Articles: Carol Hawke’s bombshell column
In The Clowns
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