|Barked: Fri Oct 26, '12 8:53am PST |
|While I don't agree with the way this person expressed it, conformation pretty much is a beauty pageant. It's all about the genetics and fitness for the dog or bitch to breed and carry on the breed's accepted standards. That's why someone emphasized that the person handling didn't breed the dog (just purchased it), because it's the breeding that is stressed. If someone buys let's say a very uncommon breed in the US so there's little actual show competition currently and then starts pretty quickly in conformation, I've heard that called 'ribbon shopping'. All it takes is having enough money and being able to import from good lines. If a breed club is trying to up the number of breeding individuals in the US to gain wider acceptance and promote the breed...well, let's just say it's not discouraged in any way. And those on older well-established breeds with a huge show fancy scoff at them. (This could be regional, I live where the fancy is full of 'old money', and they used to employ a lot of people in dogs) I'm not saying that I agree with any of this, it's just what I've heard.
I've worked for breeders and their pro-handlers that show conformation and as with anything else in life that can be done well, it requires serious skills at the highly competitive level. Otherwise the breeders wouldn't place their dogs out with them. I agree that it would be better to offer respect for those who are skilled at working with dogs in any capacity. How about the groomers?! I've watched and waited for a Dale to be hand-stripped that came off a hunt just miserable looking, talk about hard work to get show ready! And yet I've seen talented groomers treated like crud.
I've more experience in working dogs, so I can see where that sentiment comes from, although I would never condone being cruel to someone in a class. I'll be honest, I've seen and heard just as many people in conformation downgrading working dogs (most especially if there's a huge fault line on work/show in a breed as there was in the breed I was on at the time) and heaven forbid!!! if a dog is anything less than a purebred. Those in agility or anywhere else with a type or a mixed dog is probably sick of hearing that, too, and IMHO what's starting to come out is the backlash. You can lay a lot of that directly on the AKC in the US and their various positions on events and their requirements; although they're beginning to re-think some of their positions as registrations sharply decline.
More and more people now compete in dog sports that do not require a pedigree or involvement with the AKC, so this rub doesn't suprise me.
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