Show Dog Behavior and Temperments

Are the temperaments of our show dogs getting worse?

By | Posted: Thu Jun 23 00:00:00 PDT 2005

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We are supposed to judgeand hopefully, breedfor type and soundness. Let's remember that soundness of mind is at least as important to a breed as the ability to walk to the end of the ring and back.

One more thing about temperament. It applies to people, too. Let's get rid of the ringside spectator who seems to revel in loudly objecting to everything any judge doesunless, of course, her dog wins. Boycott the handler who chases a judge to the parking lot demanding to know why he didn't win. (First of all, this handler should be taken to the show committee immediately.) At a show a while back I walked by as a tall handler towered over a diminutive female judge, practically spitting the words in her face as he questioned her decisions. I simply took the woman by the arm and walked her awayafter I asked him if he would like to join us while we spoke to the AKC rep. He just walked away.

Unfortunately, there are also judges who are not immune to boorish behavior. I have seen a judge literally smack down the hand of a handler who was trying to bait his dog and this handler was a 12-year-old boy. The judge is lucky that the boy's father did not see this. There is no place for the judge who shows up for the show at 7:30 a.m. and immediately starts telling the new group judge to make sure she judges quickly because this veteran judge had an early flight to catch. I am tired of hearing the judges who do nothing but complain at every show about everything: the dogs are of terrible quality, the stewards are bad, the food is poor, the travel is excruciating.

Guess what? If you are that unhappy about judging, do us all a favorquit!

Anyway, that's my two cents.


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