|The Westminster winner: a dog that cannot breathe. It's own death will be its own relief.|
|A dog that cannot herd won the herding group.|
|This is the winning bitch for the Neopolitans. Say no more!|
|This is the winner of the hound group. |
Neither judge, owner or dog has ever hunted anything but rosettes.
|This English Bulldog was given an "award of merit for breed."|
It's the morning after the Westminster Dog Show, and the litter and trash are being swept up at Madison Square Garden.
In the newspaper Victoria Stilwell tells us that we have to get on board with pedigree dogs and dog shows:
"We can't ignore dog shows, For one thing, they're so popular. So, I say 'get on the boat.' I don't think the world is going to exist without pedigreed dogs. I don't think the world should exist without pedigreed dogs. I love pedigreed dogs as much as I love the mutt. If there is no responsible breeding, what will happen to the dog? But I am talking about breeding that must be responsible."
Responsible breeding of the English Bulldog?
The Pekingese? The Pug? The Neopolitan Mastiff? The Basenji?
The Lundehund? The Chinese Crested? The Boston Terrier? The Shar-pei?
How can one have responsible breeding when the breed standard calls for intentional selection for defect and the Kennel Club calls for breeding pedigree dogs within a closed registry that affords ZERO points for health?
In fact, Victoria Stilwell is bit clueless as to the issues here, which is not a complete surprise since she has never actually shown dogs and has only had a dog herself for a few years.
She supports adoption and mixes (good!) but she is also a celebrity-chaser and would not want to piss off any big names or big money which might advance her career.
Like so many before her -- veterinarians, dog handlers, breeders, trainers, book authors, and magazine editors -- she has simply looked past the institutionalized violence done to dogs by the show ring. Now she cages the debate as being between "responsible" breeders and "irresponsible" breeders.
In fact, the debate is not about vague terms like "responsible" and "irresponsible," or "good" and "bad," but about measurable terms such as health and work.
You will never have either when you select for defect and mandate breeding within a closed registry that ignores temperament and coefficients of inbreeding.
You will never have health or work if the show ring affords zero points for health and work, and if you celebrate fantasy, celebrity, cash and ego over what is good for dogs.
Get on board with the Kennel Club and the show ring pretenders?
Sorry, but in America we are going the other way and we are voting with our feet and our wallets.
The AKC has seen a 70 percent decline in registrations in recent years, and the decline is speeding up, not slowing down.
If Victoria Stilwell wants to cuddle up next to Martha Stewart and her Chow, she is free to do so, but that's about celebrity- and fame-chasing, not dogs.
If you stand for dogs, you do not stand for the Kennel Club.
You do not 'get on the boat' -- you get off the boat and tell everyone on the dock to avoid the Titanic mistake that has been the 120-year venture called the Kennel Club.