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Where Have All The Show Dogs Gone?

by on August 25, 2014

K9 Shrink has co-authored an article Where Have All The Show Dogs Gone? published in the July 11 issue of Dog News. This article discusses AKC conformation classes and the competition between Breeders/Owners/Handlers and Professional Handlers. How do you feel about the competition in the AKC shows? Please vote and let us know if you agree or disagree with the opinions in this article.

We will screen the comments before they are posted so don’t worry if you don’t see your comment immediately.

You may also provide feedback to one of the authors by sending e-mail to Jim Tomsic

From → Barks & Bites, Dogs

  1. Kathleen Baldwin permalink

    I started showing for the first time about seven years ago– I bought my pup through owner/breeder/handlers. I went with them to many shows– it was extremely obvious that the handlers were given preference at ribbon time.
    What I thought was a sport/hobby became a money pit — traveling/hotels/entry fees for what I considered unfair practices. Even the breeders I purchase my dog from agreed.
    I am headed to obedience and rally as I can still compete with my dog but know that it is a much fairer system.

  2. Judy permalink

    I have been breeding/showing Bostons for 24 years. In CO, the Boston ring was usually dominated by breeders/owner handlers showing, unless it was a large show and Handlers would come from CA, etc.
    About 9 years ago there was a Professional Handler that aquired a male Boston and started showing him. He finished him easily since he goes to all of the outside shows (which his clients pay for!). He’s since aquired a bitch and also finished her “easily” and then bred them and are finishing their offspring (which some of the puppies should have gone to “pet” homes).

    I see over and over certain dogs winning just because they were better trained, or the person on the other end of the lead knows how to handle better or knows a certain judge. I thought we were supposed to be showing off our “breeding stock and the dog(s) that come closest to the Written Standard for that breed should be the dog that wins. That’s not always the case, and we all know it.

  3. D picard permalink

    I watched a complete farce this weekend at the eukanuba. If anyone breeds to the professional handler who won, note Not the dog, they deserve the resulting addition to their gene pool. Disgusting display of besotted old judge catering to a has-been handler. No wonder no one showed up the writing was on the wall.

  4. I have been showing dogs for 16 years and I have been saying exactly what is in this article! I have beautiful dogs and I am very professional and handle as good if not better than most professionals! However, because I am not in the popular click my dogs cannot get a major and most of the time I don’t even get looked at! I use to get 5 point majors relatively easy now I have some 20 points on my beautiful boy and cannot finish him! Sad! I love showing but fed up with the blatant bias opinions of dishonest judging! I think it is time to stand up and stop burning our money and then see where AKC ends up!

  5. Nadine cooper permalink

    The basset hound is one of the breeds that are becoming existent in the show ring. I totally agree that there should be a separate class for professional handlers. Let them complete against each other. Between that and the entry fee and the fact that we have to pay parking which I don’t agree with considering that we are already paying to enter and fuel costs it is nothing to spend over $100 just entering 2 dogs not including food or hotel if needed and it seems like every 6 months they raise entry fees by 1 or 2 dollars. I know times have changed since 1996 when I first started showing at $18.00 an entry at that time I entered 4-5 dogs at a time and it was nothing to have an entry of 12 + bassets. Now we are lucky if we get an entry of 2. Again that would be great if AKC would put professional handlers in their own class.

  6. So true, and so sad. My husband and I have shown and bred Bearded Collies for 30 years. We’ve bred MBIS and MBISS winners and have owner handled many dogs to top ten rankings. The past decade has seen the shift described in this article. I refuse to play in the Owner Handler series. Nor will I show dogs beyond championships for grands. Our dogs will earn grand championships without trying simply by doing well at specialties if they are of sufficient quality to be specialed. The issue lies first and foremost with the quality of our judges… Too many do not know the fundamentals of structure and movement and lack talent. They just do not have “an eye for a dog” and therefore could not breed anything exceptional nor find it in their rings.

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  1. Wake Up, AKC! | K9 Shrink

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