HBO Sports called me back in January. They wanted to talk about dog showing as sport. As sport! As I noted at the time:
Dog shows are not a SPORT. They are a competition, but they are not one in which the dog or the owner is showing any athleticism, nor any expertise, nor much of any skill, unless you consider paying other people to walk your dog around a ring and brush and cut the hair to hide all faults a special skill, in which case I can hardly wait to see the "Wide World of Hair Dressing."I am told the segment will be on tonight. Will it be different than what the BBC's Pedigree Dogs Exposed or ABC's Nightline show already did? Hard to know. One thing for sure: It will not reverse the crashing fortunes of the American Kennel Club, which has already announced that it can no longer count on money from dog registrations to keep its doors open.
To be clear, at the top of the AKC dog showing game, the owner is often not the breeder, and the person walking the dog around the ring is almost certainly a paid professional handler.