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FINALLY! AKC experiments with the Two Show Day to reduce expenses for dog show exhibitors and clubs, and provide handlers more opportunities to win in a single weekend.


Oct 2014

Barbara "BJ" Andrews, Editor-In-Chief


BIS Bloodhound "Knotty" at Westminster KC Dog ShowIn June of 2010 again stressed the advantages of the 2-show day{1} (see below), pointing out that a lot of exhibitors and kennel club officers were in favor of the two shows per day concept but it seemed to be going nowhere with AKC.


Later that month we set up a petition to get feedback from exhibitors and club officials and surprisingly, a lot of handlers were in favor, especially those who were so successful that they only carried a few dogs. (days of Toddie and Houston…)


Anyway, the petition to AKC to hold 2-show days finally stirred up some discussion on the board.


By April of 2014, after all those years of nudging, the 2-show day was on the fast track and congratulated AKC for developing a Pilot Program to explore what it called “two all breed shows per day”{2}.


In July 2014 the two-show-day finally became an officially sanctioned AKC event on Long Island. Dog News carried a great write-up on the pilot show, presenting both positive and negative assessments. The two pioneer clubs, Riverhead and Brookhaven, are to be applauded for advancing the sport. We’re told it was short notice and ok, there were a few glitches with the double-shows concept but everyone seemed to enjoy and approve the trial format.


Cat shows are shows within each show day, featuring breed judging in rotating rings and finals (Groups) each dayWe've often referred to the cat show system, pointing out that TICA (The International Cat Association) has filled Madison Square Garden with avid exhibitors, lavishly decorated judging rings, and a crowd that rivaled any dog show ever held there!


Had they had more time to plan, the Long Island 2-show-day pilot shows could have avoided most of the frustrations. TICA easily runs up to 12 ring shows but they've been doing it forever! The Cat Fanciers Assoc. (CFA) offers about half that many judging rings at their shows. To be fair about it, cat shows are all indoor "benched" affairs, not spread out over acres outside or in immense exhibition halls.  That does make it much more difficult for our ii Pro Handlers or even for owner-handlers without assistants.


Cat show judging may be quicker per class since they don’t gait cats (try that for funsies!) but judges play with the cats, judging temperament according to breed requirements. They hold each cat up for the audience and really examine each exhibit, checking for tail and spinal defects, coat quality, etc. All of that takes 3 times as much time as the cursory "exam" most show dogs receive.  Depending on the breed, a cat may be judged numerous times in one day as it advances from one division to the next and if good enough, to the Finals.  They take it all in stride, as do seasoned show dogs.


Owner handlers and breeders will be impressed that TICA judges have no idea whether a cat is in its first show or is a National Grand Champion. Sure, politics exist but as a novice I took a homebred Bengal kitten to top Regional Ranking with obviously, no influence over any judge. And since most cats within a breed look pretty much the same, every cat has a fair chance with no preconceptions based on knowing which cat is which.


The United Kennel Club (UKC) has held multiple shows on the same day for 20 years. But then UKC doesn’t have professional handlers. When we first presented the 2-show day concept, most professional handlers were opposed whereas owner handlers were vastly in favor of 2 show days.


Here’s the way the 2-show day survey lined up:
99% of owner handlers were in favor because they want to win just as much as the pro handlers but nobody pays their bills. Their expenses would be cut in half and opportunities for majors would be doubled as the shows caught on and entries increased.


Some top handlers were also in favor of two shows in a day because it would double their fees while substantially cutting equipment and travel expenses. Several mentioned they could carry fewer dogs in a van (remember Tommy Glassford and Carlos Rojas?) instead of those monster motor homes and potentially finish more dogs per trip.


One handler who is a retired math teacher laughed and said “The opportunity to add up majors will increase exponentially as more people catch on to multiple shows in one day. Cool!


Established handlers who are invested in big rigs to carry a lot of dogs and staff to care for the dogs, were understandably opposed. They have big obligations. Several said they would have to hire more runners, could still miss ring calls and have insurmountable conflicts. Some scheduling conflicts occurred at the AKC's NY 2-show day pilot shows but most can be avoided with better ring planning and scheduling of ring times as is the case with cat shows.


Many dog show clubs were opposed to the concept of 2 shows per day. Easy to understand if the club is

A) trying to make big profits for your club, or

B) isn't concerned with owner handlers who once were the backbone of the whole sport.


On the positive side, just as many club officials pointed out that they could forego the big coliseums or costly fair grounds rentals and still break even or actually make money for the club.


Judges saw both sides of the 2-show spectrum. Some hated the concept and obviously would miss being wined and dined and wearing the throne of exclusivity when brought in for Group or BIS. More than a few thought it would be “good for the sport”, warmed to the idea of more owner handlers, some “worried about overloads” whereas others thought if it would be easier to get more assignments at multi-ring shows.


BARBARA "BJ" ANDREWS BIOCertainly it would benefit provisional judges who have to politic double-time to get assignments and then pay their own travel expenses to fulfill the required number of shows.


It would help breeders and owner handlers who can’t be away from home or work for the big cluster shows but who would welcome 4 opportunities on 2-show day weekends.


Several respondents to the survey coined the term “Double Shows” and one race track fan called it the “Daily Double”. We like both terms, they are easier to say but which one do you think best defines the potential? Email 2-SHOW DAYS PRIVATE COMMENT 


Or better yet, cast your vote for the name choice above and share your comment with over 22,000 subscribers.  AKC is working on this as of January 2017 so let's do our part. EST 2002 © 149s172r3


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2 Days 4 Dog Shows

Are easily handled by the dogs, judges, and handlers.

2-Show Day Petition

Supported by exhibitors who want 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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