Saturday, November 19, 2016

Mistaking Tits for Talent at the AKC

The February 2009 AKC Gazette
has an article in it from Dorothy MacDonald entitled "Not Just a Pretty Face." You can read it here.

MacDonald is an ancient AKC judge of the type that has clocked several hundred thousand miles in cars and airplanes on behalf of dogs, is qualified by the AKC to judge every type of dog under the sun, and never mind that she has never worked the breed in question, or even owned it.

How are we to know the dogs we judge, she asks? A good question. And the answer?

By reading! Not by DOING. Not by seeing if a fox terrier can go down a hole, not by seeing what it actually takes to make a good bird dog, a working sheep dog, a fast coursing dog, a solid sled dog, or a man-stopping molosser.

She opines that Nornay Saddler, a famous smooth-coated fox terrier that won many shows in the terrier-crazed 1930s "could show today and win," but she does not ask if that dog ever worked a fox or could. (It didn't, and it couldn't.)

She lectures that we need to judge soundness, and suggests that a bird dog should have a sense of smell, but she does not explain how you judge a sense of smell in the ring.

She suggests a terrier should have good teeth, but I have never seen a working terrier with bad teeth. Scissors bite, level bite, or shot bite, it hardly matters. What matters is whether the dog has voice -- an element Ms. MacDonald does not mention. And how do you judge voice in the ring? Not easily!

This is the American Kennel Club today, repeating the ancient chestnut that "form follows function," and never mind if that is not true in the AKC, and that it is not even true in that sentence!

Instead, what we get is regurgitated rhetoric, gleaned from a book, and spewed back out for the next generation of young puppies to lap up.

The core message of the American Kennel Club is a simple one: The best dogs (or people) are the ones who win beauty pageants! They will be the healthiest and the smartest workers.

"Look at that movement" says the boss of the young lady who has just left the interview.

"Yes," says his Number Two. "That girl sure has talent."

"Yes. As soon as she walked in the room, I could see she was sound."

"I wonder if she can type?"

"Does it matter?" asks the boss.

And they both burst out laughing.

"No, not at all. She starts Monday."
 A repost from this blog, 2009.
Donald Trump with Westminster winner.


Patti said...

A former president of a sporting breed's parent club once commented on how he would like to see the Sporting Group judged.

He remarked that he would like to see the best of breed winners enter the ring, and stand on a loose lead next to their handlers. Next, the group judge would enter the ring, and fire two shots from a twelve-gauge shotgun into the air.

Finally, the judge would start evaluating the dogs that remained in the ring.

I've always wanted to see that...

PBurns said...


And if I were a judge, I would actully do it!

I would also hide a dove in my breast pocket and watch to see which dogs even noticed ;)


Eirik Gabrielsen said...

Luckily for that Pekingnese, Donald Trump has tiny hands...

Eirik Gabrielsen said...

In Donald Trump's defence, that Pekingnese kinda looks like p...y. Sometimes you have to grab it, just to make sure...

Donald McCaig said...

Dear Patrick,
During the Dog Wars we Border Collie people set up working sheepdog demos within one hour's travel of every AKC Director and invited them to see the real/actual/living/working dogs they were thinking about putting in the show ring.

Guess how many took us up on it?

Donald McCaig

jeffrey thurston said... check this out...