In the February 13, 2002 edition of The National Review magazine, there is an article entitled "The Westminster Eugenics Show" in which the author writes of the Search And Rescue dogs trotted into the Westminster Ring in New York after the September 11th terrorists brought down to the twin towers of the World Trade Center:
The problem is that Westminster does not judge breeds for those traits which rightly make a breed a breed. The Pointers aren't asked to point (even though the logo of the Westminster Kennel Club has been a pointing Pointer for over a century). The Bassets and Bloodhounds do not track. The Otter Hounds are not tested to see if they could kill, let alone identify, an otter. And so on and so on.
With the exception of a handful of breeds who were bred to do nothing but either keep your hands warm or wait until some Aztec chef could cook them, not a single breed at Westminster is expected to do what it was bred to do. The beautiful German Shepherd in the competition last night no doubt looked at the visiting search-and-rescue dogs the way Alec Baldwin looks at people who actually know how to read, and said, 'I wish I could be like them.'
The cohost of the Westminster broadcast repeatedly declared 'This is not a beauty contest... because we have definitions for how a dog is supposed to look and feel.'
Someone needs to tell this blow-dried Afghan-breeder that that makes it more of a beauty contest, not less of one. Simply writing down the criteria does not make a pageant any less of a pageant.