Can someone explain DOG SHOWS?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Aurel Savin, Feb 12, 2003.

  1. Aurel Savin

    Aurel Savin Supporting Actor

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  2. andrew markworthy

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    The criteria are set down in rule books (surprisingly enough ...) about the ideal specifications for each breed of dog. Thus, a panel of experts has decided what the right proportions, height, length, coat length, fur colour, etc, should be for each breed of dog. In addition, attention is paid to such things as temprament of the dog, ease of movement when walked around, etc. A dog is thus judged on how close it comes to the perfection of a hypothesised perfect example of the breed (a bit like the approximation of something to a Platonic form, if you know your philosophy).

    Best in Show (where different breeds of dog compete against each other) is simply based on which dog is the nearest to a perfect representation of its specific breed.
     
  3. Jefferson

    Jefferson Supporting Actor

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    And realize too that to get to the Westminster, these dogs have been through many contests and trials and become champions. The "dog community" is so much larger and organized than i realized. My aunt is heavily involved in New Jersey, and these contests are costly, and demand almost total devotion to training the dog and going to classes, and these contests. It is more than just a hobby to most of them. It is sort of like the olympics..for dogs.
     
  4. Justin Lane

    Justin Lane Cinematographer

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    I have seen these shows on television a couple times and always noticed how many of the dogs have handlers which are not the owners. At the top level it seems like a sport for the rich, merely for bragging rights after others do all the work with "their" animal. Similar to what you see with horse racing.

    J
     
  5. Gary Q

    Gary Q Extra

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    I just can't believe that darn terrier won…
    I was blown away by the German Shepard and the Newfoundland and was pulling for either of them for Best in Show. The Shepard, esp., was amazing.
    But I’m a big fan of the large, working dog types—don’t go much for the poodles, terriers, and other smaller dogs.
    The most beautiful dog I’ve ever seen close up is my father’s Shiloh Shepard.
     
  6. Michael St. Clair

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    My dog always seems happier than a lot of those show dogs.
    And he is always with his family, not some handler. To each their own, I guess.
     
  7. Ryan Wright

    Ryan Wright Screenwriter

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    People with top champion dogs often charge tens of thousands of dollars in stud fees. Wouldn't that be nice?? Fido gets a new bitch (literally) every week and you retire early. It's a win-win situation for the both of you.

    Funniest thing about dog shows is hanging out with the clubs before or afterwards. My wife was vice president of a dog club for some time. Once per month everyone got together for dinner. It was hilarious sitting in a restaurant and listening to these people carry on about "this bitch" and "that bitch" and "I can't believe John's bitch picked up that trophy", etc. Great fun!
     
  8. KyleS

    KyleS Screenwriter

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  9. gregstaten

    gregstaten Supporting Actor

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    My oldest dog (a Pembroke Welsh Corgi) is a retired breed ring dog. I bought her from the breeder after she had had three litters and was "retired." To get her I had to get to know the breeder and traveled to several dog shows in Connecticut and Massachusetts. Plus, my brother's wife's family shows dogs. No question it is an interesting and very different world. The film BEST OF SHOW absolutely nails the culture.

    BTW - breed ring dogs are extremely well cared for and pampered. "Finishing" a dog takes a lot of time and money. And, despite what you think, most of the owners are not wealthy but are solidly in the middle class. Virtually all of what they make in stud or sire fees are put back into shows (including lots of travel time).

    -greg
     
  10. DonRoeber

    DonRoeber Screenwriter

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    I'm sure the people showing their dogs are wondering why on earth people would dump tons of money into a home theater [​IMG]
     
  11. Vickie_M

    Vickie_M Producer

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    Do people who are part of that world like the movie Best In Show?

    One of the entertainment shows had a piece yesterday about the Westminster and intercut it with scenes from the movie. It was hilarious.

    From what I could tell, looks are *definitely* not a factor in winning. The dog that won was one of the ugliest dogs I've ever seen in my life.
     
  12. gregstaten

    gregstaten Supporting Actor

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  13. Philip_G

    Philip_G Producer

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  14. Vickie_M

    Vickie_M Producer

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  15. Yee-Ming

    Yee-Ming Producer

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    I just read an interesting article in The Economist's Christmas issue (yes, I'm almost 2 months behind in my news periodicals), on how the breeding (or rather in-breeding) of "pedigree" dogs to meet dog show requirements (the "rulebook", as Andrew MW put it) is also carrying on genetic defects, e.g. dalmatians now tend to get deaf, setters go blind, boxers have heart disease.

    American owners of border collies actually fought to keep their dogs OFF the list of breeds recognised by the American Kennel Club, to prevent their working dogs turning into "fluffy useless creatures".

    for that matter, the specific traits that are "prized" themselves cause problems, e.g. dachshunds are now longer and get hernias, bulldogs' heads are so big they have to be born by C-section because they're too big for their mothers' birth canals, and apparantly a Pekingese's eyeballs really can pop out. lifespans of so-called purebreeds are also shorter than cross-breeds.

    ouch. oh well, my wife's family's dog is a 12-year old mutt (Pomeranian-spitz cross, they think; it was a stray) which is still quite sprightly and active for an old dame.
     
  16. Aurel Savin

    Aurel Savin Supporting Actor

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  17. Lee L

    Lee L Supporting Actor

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    Here is a listing at the AKC website of the recognized breeds. Click on one to see the standard. The judges are comparing each dog to this info. The judge for Best I Show must know all the 150 plus stadards well. I can't see how they do it.

    As far as purebred dogs having health problems it is definitely true. We have 2 Basenji's that are pets, not show dogs. The Basenji breed is originally from Africa and there are not that many in the US. 10 or 15 years ago, a group of breeders actually went back to Africa to get more dogs to introduce into the breeding stocks in order to try and limit the issues that were beginning to crop up.
     

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