Last weekend was the first time I had ever attended a dog show. This one was held at the Ohio State Fairgrounds in Columbus. Oh, sure I had seen the Westminster Dog Show on television but, until you actually sit in on one there is so much you don’t see.

First of all, I was of the mindset that everyone had just one dog. That notion was blown out of the water when I saw one woman with 10 dogs of all the same breed. I also wrongly presumed that these dogs are just dogs; in this environment, far from it. These animals represent hundreds and sometimes even thousands of dollars invested into breeding, grooming and showing these dogs.

There are no ‘mutts’, Heinz 57 variety, mixed breed or any dog of questionable lineage attending these shows. This is all pure breed stuff, paper work and all. One of the participants told me that these shows accept no ‘riff raff.’
Once a dog has been judged to be worthy of a title, their picture is taken and the discussions begin. ‘What are your stud fees?’ ‘When will you allow her to breed?’ ‘How much do you charge for a pick of the litter?’ These questions don’t just lead to agreements and arrangements they pilot the dog’s owner into profit and prestige.
None of the dogs have been spayed or neutered. Each animal has the potential to be part of the next bloodline of a champion; basically big bucks. I felt badly for the male dogs in the show each one had their profit producing equipment checked as part of the competition. Not at all the standard ‘turn your head and cough.’

If you attend one of these shows you need to be prepared for several things. First, all anyone talks about are dogs. No politics, no discussions of the economy and sadly, no one even talks about the weather just dogs.

Secondly, expect many of the dogs to live better than you do. Thirdly, most of these K9s smell better than you do.
Regardless of the bashing these shows tend to take from the dog ignorant public they are a lot of fun to go to. There is an entire culture dedicated to man’s best friend that needs to be experienced to be appreciated.

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One Response

  1. 1 Debie Pettry (@mybrocante)
    2014 Sep 25

    Reputable breeders always do extensive health screening which means they never make a profit showing dogs. Unreputable breeders don’t for very long as the dog show community self polices. It is an interesting sub culture, people who nearly go broke for the sport they love and the chance to produce a healthier, more beautiful bloodline. If it weren’t for these people the breeds we love would cease to exist altogether as the puppymillers and backyard breeders are destroying the health of dogs. The AKC health foundation is a valuable resource everyone should be aware of. I am very concerned about irresponsible breeding and I salute those dog show people who sacrifice their time and money to breed the best dogs possible.