Comments on You Said It: Dog Show Bullies

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Dierdre   Albany, New York

3/20/2014 6:03:08 PM

I recently had to block a Kuvasz dog breeder who breeds and shows dogs. The woman insulted me and my Veterinarian numerous times. She often cursed publicly on my Facebook wall. It was clear she had great disdain for Veterinarians and as a puppy buyer she often bullied every mention I made about my new pup. Not only was this woman without a Veterinary degree it was so clear to me she had zero human social skills. She often engaged in online bullying with anyone who questioned breeding ethics. I was so disgusted with her low class demeanor I finally blocked her. If this type is what you find at dog shows I want no part of them.

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Joy   Coatesville, Pennsylvania

3/19/2014 2:37:03 PM

Bullying IS poor sportsmanship. But not all poor sportsmanship is bullying.

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janagram   Sumner, WA

3/19/2014 8:07:54 AM

I do know a dog show bully. I see it happen over and over again with this same individual, towards many people. It was only directed at me once, since then this person goes through "channels" to try to intimidate me...which only makes me laugh. I have even seen this person be mean to her own "minions" and talk down to them. Sad
really.
Remember, they can only get to you if you allow it.

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Isabelle   International

10/16/2013 2:48:12 PM

Unfortunately bullying is happening in a lot of dog sports including agility . . . as an adult I find it hard to stand up to a bully when walking away might be the easier path. . . the problem is when you have to decide leave what you enjoy or continue being bullied as it is such a small world. . . :( Not easy.

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Dresden   NEW YORK, New York

8/26/2013 10:35:12 AM

As a Pit bull victim, I've been experiencing bullying by Pit bull
owners,
when I REFUSE to allow their Pits to interact with my current
dog.

Altho more "life" related than dog show. I am not only
horrified,
but have also been put in situations that are dangerous.

I was also "mentally prepared" when another Pit bull jumped out of a dog run (over the
fence)
& charged at me & my last (14-yr-old leashed)
hound.
... was able to dominate-yell him down long enough for the owner to get his
Pit.
Owner left before cops
arrived.

Dog owner bullies ... no eXcuses for
them.
They shouldn't be allowed to own
dogs.

btw, the woman/nurse who owned the Pit-mix that killed my dog, owned him 8
years.
He was
nice.
She took him to training
classes.
He played with other dogs 8
years.
We had NEVER even been near
him.

One beautiful afternoon, as my 12-yr-old hound was smelling the
grass
(on leash, next to
me)
he just ran across the park, grabbed her whole neck in his
jaw,
pinning her to the ground, & crushing her
neck.

WHY do ppl bully me, & not want to accept the
truth?
Why does U.S. accept this behavior, when they are banned/ or controlled in Canada, most of Europe, & other countries?

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Lynda   Grayslake, Illinois

8/25/2013 9:24:39 AM

I've only have one professional handler ever give me a hard time, I reported him to the AKC rep who did nothing ... however, the owner of the dog apologized to me profusely when she found out, and he never bothered me
again.

But I didn't take it lying down, it is true that bullies do it for your reaction. When they don't get the expected reaction, they usually knock it
off.

All that being said, I know of VERY few professional handlers that would do that. I've had more problems with other owner handlers!

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Angie   International

8/25/2013 8:26:56 AM

My daughter a junior is being bullied by a "professional" handler at just about every show, he is also a provisional jr's judge. He and another part time, self proclaimed, professional handler (which he employs from time to time) routinely trash talk my daughter's dog in the grooming areas. We have had several people come tell us the trash talking that they share with everyone in the area. It is quiet sad that people presenting themselves as professionals are trashing a young junior handler and her one and only show dog. Not very professional in my view. My only hope is that others witnessing this behavior are taking notice and they will someday have Karma give them a visit. The funny thing is we(neither the parents or the child) have ever even had a conversion with the Male Bully, but the female bully is in our breed and she seems to be cause of most of it. He just helps her out whenever he gets the chance. Blocking her in the ring, trashing her dog, going up to judges for private conversations before ring times to let them know her dog's faults (yes we had a judge tell us she came up and let in drop in conversation that out dog has a fault). I can only hope that if they keep this up long enough that other competitors and judges see them for what they are. All because she has beaten them once or twice in the ring. For the record my child always congratulates them if they win, they just walk out of the ring and never congratulate her (it is a small number of our breed entered at shows, so yes people notice) and go back to the grooming area to start trashing them.

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Elaine   International

5/29/2013 8:50:44 PM

This is all codswollop!! The only way you can be bullied is if you let yourself be bullied. Walk away...laugh at them..don't go on to the computer site where it is occurring. I am an old. Lady who has worn glasses since I was 7 years old and as you can imagine that was a time when wearing glasses was to others freakish, when I was called four eyes I would retaliate with that's better than you, you only have two! It soon stopped. Sometimes just a comment will be pronounced as bullying, but it depends on how it is taken whether it will continue or not. Bullies do it for reaction, if you don.t give it to them they will soon tire of it

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Anonymous   Ithaca, New York

5/29/2013 4:39:40 PM

It even needs to be said that novices are not the only ones open to being bullied. I witnessed an exhibitor, who was incidently also a judge, bullying another exhibitor who has been in the sport for over 20+ years. I also went with said exhibitor to talk to the AKC Rep about this persons behavior and the AKC Rep met the complaints with disdain and negativity. This exhibitor was treated like their complaint didn't matter! The exhibitor being bullied has since stopped showing dogs and has not since gotten another dog when their last show died. When behavior like this is condoned the entire sport looses!

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Teresa   Wichita, Kansas

5/29/2013 11:55:30 AM

Had professionals block my 8 year old daughter and 9 year old dog in the corner so you literally could not see the dog for 3 out of 4 days..I was pretty mad wondering what they were so worried about a kid and an old veteran...black and tan borzoi even,,,.well they did not block her the 4 th day and she and the old dog took select over several specials...guess they knew why they wanted the old dog and little girl blocked in the ring...but alas my daughter luckily had no clue of their rude behavior and is not very competitive so I was hurt more than them. I have had pros be very helpful to me though when I obviously had no clue what to do in the group ring

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Doris   Van Nuys, California

5/29/2013 11:10:07 AM

Such important information. One thing I would like to mention is that exhibitors aren't the only bullies. There are some judges out there who also enjoy their sense of power. Sending a dog on the up and back and then turning around and not watching, berating an exhibitor for what they feel is a poor dog, poor handling,or whatever, and just abhorrent ring behavior. I am lucky, I have made great friends and have had wonderful mentors so I have always had sounding boards and an amazing team to fall back on. I am sorry that Kara felt she had to give up showing. We need the new competitor if we want our sport to survive. I wish I had been at a show to see this - I would have done what I could to help.

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liza   International

5/29/2013 9:46:40 AM

This is so relevant. There is SO much bullying in the dog show world, and most of it is really subtle. As a junior handler I had numerous incidents where handlers much older than myself felt the need to dress me down for minor errors. This is an abuse of power,and as an incredibly shy and anxious kid, it was gutting. And it was never "oh you should really try to do X", it was "you should really know that when you do Y you're embarrassing yourself and your dog". There was no attempt to teach, only to cut me down and make me feel
bad.
At my first, and last, sojourn as a professional handler, I made an (admittedly fairly major) error and although the owners I was working for were more than understanding, I had the pleasure of being dressed down by a prominent member of my breed club. Luckily by this time I was able to tell her where to stick her snide opinion, but still. It was the last time I will ever show a
dog.

It just isn't worth it.

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Kara   Chicago, Illinois

5/23/2013 2:07:00 PM

Thank you Susi for telling my story. While people around me saw what that bully was doing to me, no one stepped forward to help. I hope through this article that eyes are opened and people step up to stop bullying in this sport. Without new people entering the show ring, the future of dog shows will be very bleak.

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Cindi   Elon, North Carolina

5/21/2013 8:25:49 PM

I love all your blogs, but this is especially relevant. Thank you!

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