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Two-shows per day = a four-show WEEKEND instead of long cluster shows which are hard on the dogs and impossible for owner handlers who work!


June 2010

Barbara "BJ" Andrews, Editor-In-Chief


2-show days might add scheduling difficulties for handlers but two-shows per day would save clubs a ton of money and generate more entries per show.


Retirees who owner handler could sell those mile-long show rigs because they wouldn't have to spend nearly as much time on the road. Part-time handlers could do likewise. Parking fees would be cut in half which is a good thing because owner handlers have no one to pass expenses on to.


Local Two-show Days Preserve Club Identity

AKC says it is important for clubs to preserve their identity yet every year we see more out of state shows approved! In order to cut costs, clubs are forced to cluster long distances from their home locations. With 2-show days, two clubs could still "cluster" in a mutually close location for a 4-show weekend. Easier for everyone. Drawbacks would be almost exclusively limited to inconvenience for professional handlers, many of whom live on the road, going from cluster to cluster. I'm sorry to say this because I have so many ii Pro Handler friends, but owner handlers wouldn't object to seeing things equaled out a little. They often have to drive four or more hours to get to a "local" show and most owner handlers work where they live.


Lose The Owner-Handlers, Lose The Sport!

While its true that the professionals represent multiple entries to clubs, resulting in bigger shows and bigger egos for both club officials and officiating judges, that does not change the fact that registrations and dog show entries are shrinking? That was clearly evident by 2005. Infodog noted “all the creative thinking in the world cannot increase entries if there are fewer and fewer dogs being registered each year and there are more and more events.” Again, according to Infodog, 78% of all-breed shows in 2005 were less than 1500 dogs but only five years later, small entry shows climbed to 84%. In fact, the number of clubs with less than 600 dogs nearly doubled! By 2010 it took a concerted effort to build a major in most breeds and in 2012 constructed majors come at a hefty price as entry fees skyrocket and we wonder Where Has Everybody Gone?{1} (see display below)


So what’s the answer? The DSSA (Dog Show Superintendents Association) already offered one. We simply refined it. Cat clubs hold multiple (club) rings on the same day. TICA holds up to 12-Ring Shows, i.e. 6 separate rings (shows) per day for two days! Each judging ring, including (Group) Finals is a separate show with separate judges, wins and awards. The DSSA proposed that small clubs currently holding back-to-back shows be “permitted to hold their two events on the same day.” DSSA is right: not only that but two clubs could combine their 2-Show Day into a 4-Show weekend, further reducing expense and workload on clubs. 4-Show weekends will evolve quickly as exhibitors support pioneering clubs and 4 majors in two days become reality.


The 2-Show Day Petition{2} we presented was to persuade AKC to allow clubs that option, thereby reducing expenses for everyone and potentially increasing entries. Converting to a 2-Show Day would free up what has become a very crowded dog show calendar. That lowers entries in every division. AKC should support failing clubs instead of continuing to approve more new clubs. Precedent is set; Obedience clubs are already allowed to hold two events in one day. It should be noted that the petition failed but the concept did not.


For owner handlers, a 2-Show Day would relieve the boredom of having to sit around an extra 24 hours in order to show again the second day. Think about it. Do you ever show late the first day and early the last day? If you have an early judging time the first day, you'll sit around the second day waiting for late afternoon judging so you can pack up and try to get home before midnight! Or vice versa.


A 2-show day, 4-show weekend recovers lost entries!

No disrespect to my handler friends but if show breeders and owner handlers don’t show up, how will you finish dogs for your clients? Who will make the ratings points pile up for those Group wins? Owner handlers were once the backbone of the sport, that’s where you got clients.  There's no downside here. If pro handlers insist on going to “regular shows” that means owner handlers can win the breed and hustle to get to Group judging.


Okay, I know some of my handler friends are powerful enough to convince AKC that 2-Show-Days are a bad idea. Is that why AKC resists an already proven concept? Busy handlers might have to hire an extra assistant to run dogs to ringside or help cover the second string if there’s a conflict but they would realize the same savings as owner handlers, plus they get paid twice the handling fees each day! Expenses and workday cut in half and income doubled? Plus reduced stress on their string ? And a two extra weekdays to kick back and relax, or even to make it home between shows? I know, a lot of handlers have adjusted to living on the road so there would be no next show to rush to, and for some, camp grounds are home!


Handlers are just one part of the show scene. A 2-Show-Day lowers judging costs. A couple of multi-group or all-breed judges plus a handful of provisional judges would make everyone happy. Judge's catering, lodging and transportation will be significantly reduced and DSSA points out superintending expense and set-up crews would also be much less. The savings could result in lower entry fees and increased entries!


Many 2-Show-Days will quickly expand into a 4-show weekends because exhibitors are greedy; we want the most bang for our buck, more chances to win, less time off work, and an earlier drive home. So if a 2-Show-Day appeals to owner handlers and part-time handlers, a 4-Show-Weekend would be irresistible! (see petition below!)


2-Show Days Can Save The Sport

Do we throw out an overblown, antiquated show system and let small clubs survive? Or stick with cluster shows that tax the budget, turn off exhibitors, and drive owner handlers to desert dog shows faster than a sinking ship?


BARBARA "BJ" ANDREWS BIOHere’s something to chew on... Litter registrations for January 2010 dropped by nearly 5,000 litters and it has little to do with the economy. Breeders have found it hard to sell a show puppy when they tell a buyer that they will have to hire a handler to finish the dog. How does that unpleasant fact attract the starry-eyed newcomer to the sport? Didn't you start out by learning to show your own dog, winning, and getting hooked? Not today.


So if show breeders can’t sell show puppies, why bother to register? In fact, why bother to breed at all?  Why bother to show? Show breeders and owner handlers can no longer justify the price of gas, restaurants, motor home or motel costs, and the time lost from work because the only way to get majors is to drive hours to a cluster show.


It is just logic. The sport needs breeder-exhibitors and owner-handlers. AKC needs the litter registrations and the individual dog registrations. Professional handlers are needed by AKC and all levels of exhibitors. The two-show Day / 4-show weekend is a solution for everyone. EST 2002 © #10061207

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Is Everybody Gone?{1}

It's not the distant future, analysis of cluster shows is stark realism.

2-Show Day Petition{2}

Comments from exhibitors who know how to keep dog shows alive.

AKC's 2 Day Show

UKC's had them for 20 years, cat shows even longer so who's AKC kidding?


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