AKC Champion is a coveted title that signifies outstanding breed type, personality, function and soundness - unless these hidden factors come into play…
by J. Byer Jr.
At an AKC event I recently watched a judge award points to a poor specimen. The judge was later asked what he thought of the dogs in the breed today and his answer is as baffling as one can be. He said, “I don’t like
them, it's not the breed we knew. They are too long.” and yet before him in the ring was a dead-on, square specimen as described in the standard and he passed
The Doberman Pinscher standard is very clear in calling for a SQUARE dog. You’d expect an AKC Judge who has been involved in the sport of purebred dogs since childhood to develop a keen eye. He has owned, bred, and shown multiple Best in Show and specialty-winning dogs in several breeds. You’d expect this judge to thoroughly know the standard of the dogs in his ring.
When reading this story many will think I lost and that’s the basis of my complaint. Not so, I’m saying the bitch he put up was long and not square when he had a perfectly square bitch sound, typy etc. in the same class.
Others may say that his pick had other redeeming qualities to overcome the fault of being out of square. Well that’s NOT what the judge cited as his reason. No other features were mentioned as important enough to disregard the standard with his pick. And other parts of the winner were of questionable merit as well.
This is the crux of the problem driving people out of the sport. When you know that you will NOT get a fair shake in the ring, that is a deal breaker for any thinking man or woman.
I personally watched a 6-month puppy compete at a cluster of shows and finish its title by taking the breed each day despite competition from several finished Champions. It can only be surmised that the judging panel had to be so weak on knowledge that they turned into copycats! They just copied what the judge did the day before them and put up the same previous winner.
Compare that to a nationally recognized breeder with a 50+ year history of producing fine specimens who must spend months, sometimes years in the show ring to achieve a Championship title. Oh, yes, many other factors contribute to the decline in participation in the sport, but when fair and knowledgeable judging cannot be had from experienced judges, let alone from “newbie judges” – the conclusion for a reasonable person has to be to abandon the quest for a title.
So much can be rationalized in order to continue to show your dogs, but when the gatekeepers (judges) fail to deliver a fair assessment, it ruins the sport.
And worse, by not properly awarding Championship points to ideal specimens. the judges are taking very good dogs and bitches out of breeding programs and diminishing purebred dogs. Is that why decent people no longer join clubs and novices who enthusiastically joined the dog show sport become so uncomfortable that they drop out???
Novices often drop out of showing and in the end give up on proving that their dog may be of superior quality. If they
stop showing and the quality is
not there, they may just start breeding a dog without first getting the AKC Champion
title or at least an AKC Obedience title. Either title should mean better genetics
which will result in better offspring. To do less is to lessen the breed.
Related Article Information by Joe Byer, Scamming Dog Show Exhibitors
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