April 06, 2009

Making excuses...

I love dog shows. It's my hobby, it's what I do on weekends. But sometimes it's frustrating.

We all know our dogs aren't perfect. At least we all know that's what we're supposed to say...there is no perfect dog. And, at the end of the day, we each love the dogs we take home, win or lose.

But when people lose, why can't they be honest? "It's all political" Ever heard that one? It's what you say when you don't win. I can't imagine any judge takes delight in putting up a dog with super visible faults for political reasons. "She/he only puts up handlers" Yeah, that's another good one. Last I checked, everyone in the ring was a handler. Do the pros do it better? Heck, they'd better if they want to eat next week! "That judge hasn't read the standard" Right...they got to where they are by faking it. I may not agree with the judge, and I may never show under them again if I really didn't like what they put up....but to think that they don't know the standard? Now "I don't like how the judge appears to interpret the standard based on their placements" that's honest enough. Or "based on what the judge put up today with these dogs here, I probably won't bring this style of dog to the judge again." That's honest and fair.

This weekend was especially fun because it was a specialty. The 2nd show's judge was someone who's been in the breed for eons...and while I won't always enter under a breeder judge for one reason or another, this time I did. And then I heard someone say "well, I'll never enter under this person again...they don't know Siberians." I about fell out of my chair on that...asked the person "Do you know who this is?" Nope, they didn't. How can you show Siberians (or any breed) and not take some time to learn about the history of the breed and the kennels that have been influential? Whether you like a breeder's style of dog or not.....they've paid their dues.

How about honesty? My dog has (insert fault here) and the judge didn't like him/her as much as someone else. Dang, almost never hear that one. No one likes to lose. But admit that the dogs who win may have virtues that you don't see or feel and that the judge found and likes them. Doesn't mean that you have to enter under that judge again...but they probably had reasons. If you get a chance, without being pushy, ask them what they liked about their Winners. Every now and then one of them is so thrilled to hear the question phrased positively that they'll forget themselves and answer!

We lost this weekend...the judge liked another dog better. There's nothing wrong with admitting that. Don't have to like it....but I can admit it!

Besides, there's always another dog show!