Wednesday, 8 September 2010

The Growler is depressed about pups dying at shows...

Here's the latest from our dog show insider:

It's only a hobby we all say, but we travel hundreds of miles a year, spend a fortune in time and money preparing and showing our dogs. So how far will we go?
Some just enjoy a day talking with friends, no stress and a day out with dogs but to some it's about winning at all costs.

We all know the stories about bad judging or displays of bad sportsmanship and a lot of us have experienced some nasty maneuvers in the show ring. 
Dogs are transported, groomed, exercised and promoted via heavy advertising.
Some brave souls even camp in all weathers at various show sites around the country no matter the weather using up all their holidays and driving for hours.
So is this a rewarding hobby any more?
I heard on the grapevine of one breeder who recently allegedly camped on a showground with puppies under one week old and another bitch who whelped on site. 

Apparently the resulting puppy losses were large.
All I can say is that is going a step too far.  I hope those 'in the know' are making strong protestations to the KC!
The show scene has changed dramatically over the years and it must be very off putting to the new exhibitor. Gone is the friendly atmosphere at a lot of shows. Competition and winning is the name of the game, learning about the breed from the older generation is to some extent a thing of the past as is respect for the judges. Fast track now seems to mean scratching the right backs.

Our hobby is changing and not all for the better lets all work to change it back!
The Growler

Reading the latest growl from the Growler I am moved to say that I think that the show world hasn't really changed that much in the last 30 years, that what has probably changed is the Growler's perspective. 
The more angles you see of the show world structure, the more you see how all the pieces fit together. Successful dog showing at the highest level is a very people-orientated game and those that play it best see it for what it is and enjoy the challenge of mind games. It's a game of strategy and influence.
The problem is that the dog plays quite a minor part in this 'game' and as above with the pups dying on site, nothing can get in the way of attending some shows. 
I've known an otherwise lovely person who missed their own daughter's wedding because it clashed with a favourable judge at a championship show! Someone who lost their job by pulling too many sickies to attend midweek shows. And worse, I remember the call I got from the husband divorcing the wife who had bumped off their dog because it hadn't won enough - claiming the money back on the insurance so she could buy a new one. It was when she did this twice with two different insurers that he realised the death's weren't tragic accidents.
The people who forget or simply don't care how special dogs are is why we need a strong logical Kennel Club prepared to protect the dog's best interests in what can become and unhealthily addictive hobby. To stop dogs being viewed as lottery tickets. If dog showing has a point it is for the healthiest most functional dogs to win and mind games really shouldn't be allowed to have a place.
Depressing Growler. 
When you first start you think everyone has a chance to win and sometimes a novice does break through who isn't playing the larger game, and there are lots of lovely people at breed level who do love their dogs blissfully unaware. But if you want to become an international judge and win groups and best In shows, chances are you're playing the game on another level, not visible to those paying their entry fees, taking their chance in the ring and going home at the end of the day rather than hanging around in the show hotel etc and networking.


Anonymous said...

How utterly sad, sickening and shameful. Little lives cruelly taken for a rosette. Again, SHAMEFUL.

Anonymous said...

sounds likes growler does not do much winning so their sour grapes are being pressed in this piece

Anonymous said...

no anonymous a bit of card is not worth one dogs life or are you another one who turns a blind eye

Anonymous said...

re: bit of card, I presume you are asking me who mentioned a life for a rosette! Perhaps I do turn a blind eye, to my shame, but I am not part of the disgraceful show ring sect if that is what you are really asking. I have no liking for it and all that it stands for. As I said, it is sad, sickening and shameful. A life is precious and should be treated so, not used as a commodity in a showring. Do you turn a blind eye too !!

Anonymous said...

No i agree with you i was asking 'sour grapes' who obviously thinks winning is everything

Anonymous said...

if Growler is the person I think they are, I wouldnt trust what they say as they have spread many nasty rumours in the past about dogs in my breed, all of which were lies, its a shame they dont look with open eyes at their own dogs and then they could see the faults in them and why dont win all they expect them too.

ScotchEgg said...

hold on...this is about making bad decisions in animal husbandry...that has nothing to do with dog shows, instead it has everything to do with STUPID people........and you can find lots of these around if you bother to look.

for instance a neighbour in our estate just lost a litter of 6 staffies because he had no absolutely no clue how to care for a litter....they basically died of low body temperature in a cold, drafty room......and sadly mum ended up dying as well from a severe infection within a week of the pups being born.

so whilst growler, or the editor, or whomever has tailored this story to suit their own agenda, i think it is important to remember that STUPID is for LIFE, not JUST for CHRISTMAS (or Dog Shows!)

Anonymous said...

We have just returned from a 'doggy event' - a neighbouring campervan had a litter of pups in it - they looked about 4/5 weeks old. I have seen this type of thing countless times before. Parents of the pups appeared to be agility competitors. Another person pitched near us slept THREE Collies together in ONE cage in the back of her SMALL car. One clearly domitated the incredibly cramped space and one (everytime we looked) was squashed upright in the corner head turned away. It was all very distressing. Just walk around the car park or camping field at any event where dogs can participate and you will always find stuff like this. It never ceases to amaze us.

Belle From Across the Pond said...

I have to agree with ScotchEgg. This isn't about the shows, it's about people making bad choices. Frankly, the sheer stupidity of someone taking week old pups to a show and a bitch in whelp so far along that she whelped on the grounds is both astounding and appalling to me.
Poor choices can be made by anyone at any time, but as dong owners we have to make responsible ones for our charges, and put what is best for the dog ahead of what we want, and if it comes to a show and my babies, my babies win out.
The only exception I might make is if I am bottle rearing, I once had to take pups with me to school (9th grade, I was 14, I don't know what your equivalent is). Fortunately I went to an agricultural high school, and none of the teachers or staff blinked twice.
The pups weren't so clear cut knowing my own history, but you know when a bitch is ready to whelp. It is poor husbandry to lug a ready to whelp bitch out of her home.
I'm sorry for their loss, but really, I would have been surprised if there weren't puppy deaths from such stress.