The first article I ever had published was a positive outtake on dog shows. I spoke to several exhibitors and asked them what they enjoy about showing and the care that goes into their dogs. A recent article by Liz Jones has expressed a negative light on dog showing with an array of false information and uneducated judgement and opinion.
Allow me to first state that I do not agree that any dog should be lifted by its tail. I don’t agree that the Crufts BIS winner was handled in this way and fully agree that the KC should penalise handlers who pick their dog up in this way.
Other aspects of the article go on to call into question the care that show dogs receive and suggests that they do not get to enjoy life. A quote by John Bradshaw said that dog show only emphasises on looks. May I suggest that Mr Bradshaw actually look at the rules of judging, more specifically to the point that a dog must be fit for function and does not purely base itself on looks. These dogs are not only a joy to look at, they’re athletes. But more importantly? These dogs are pets first and show dogs second. A lot of them are in fact worked and used for what they were initially bred for. These dogs are probably better cared for than a lot of pet dogs out there and receive the best of care.
Liz Jones stated that Crufts is about treating dogs as ornaments. Perhaps next March Liz you could actually attend the show? I would be more than pleased to show you agility, obedience and Heel work to music competitions where the dogs are trained and in peak physical condition. These dogs are also trained to the highest standards and are a joy to watch. I would also like to show you the countless service dogs who attend the show to raise awareness. Surely someone who claims to have four hearing dogs would know about this?
Now I know a lot of dogs who do not like having their feet wiped nor do they enjoy being combed. So does that mean that general pet dogs should not be walked or allowed to get their feet wet thus resulting in their feet having to be wiped? Is that also a suggestion that pet dogs, no matter what type of coat should not be groomed if they don’t like it? Sounds like a recipe for disaster and a lot of matted coats and dirty dogs if you ask me. But then I have only been around dogs for my entire life and worked with them for over fifteen years.
The article also called into question the fact of meeting a dogs parents and that people were wrong to want to pay money for a well bred pup. Again Liz I would like to suggest that you do your research on dog breeding and buying a puppy. Ethical and responsible dog breeders will spend thousands on health testing and ensuring the puppies they breed are healthy. Yes rescue dogs deserve a home too but that choice is not for everyone. By selecting a specific breed you have a rough idea of their temperament and the needs the dog will have. Rescue centres don’t always have backgrounds on dogs they have and they may need an experienced owner who can handle whatever issues the dog may have. Liz Jones called it a ‘fetishisation for the perfect pup.’ I call it buying a puppy from a responsible breeder who actually cares about the pups they breed and will provide lifetime support to the owners of the pup they worked hard to raise properly and love.
Show dogs I can assure you are not shut in doors all day and not allowed to run around. I can provide many pictures of winning show dogs running around outside and getting muddy. How anyone can make that statement from visiting one show is beyond me.
These dog exhibitors are also responsible for running breed specific rescues, raising money for other rescues and doing everything they can for dogs. Several dog show groups stood up and put money together for Manchester Dog Home when it burned down. Rest assured Liz Jones that these people know full well the plight of dogs and are aware of the true problems facing dogs. Unlike you who had attended one dog show, drawn together several ridiculous and false conclusions and even worse had them printed. Crufts does not need banned and neither do dog shows. What does need dealt with are people like yourself who sensationalise and concoct works of fiction that unfortunately the public read and a lot believe to be true.
Dog exhibitors adore their dogs and to these people, their world revolves around their dogs. As with everything in life there are a few bad apples but rest assured that the decent people don’t condone these people’s actions.
As I stated before. I would be more than happy to show you round Crufts next year. I would also be more than happy to educate you on dog exhibition and that there is so much more to dog shows than you seem to think.