Friday, November 5, 2010

Mr, Mrs, PFC, Ch, RA, etc

I was raised to call anyone I was talking to as ma'am or sir, as in "yes, ma'am" , "no, sir". It's never Linda, it's Mrs Johnson. What I find very interesting is that in this day and age, respect for someone's title is actually thought to be rude or condemning. Go figure.

The quest for titles in many circles is never ending. Who can get the most stripes? Who's got the most stars on their chart? Or how many titles can my dog get?

I show AKC. I've tried UKC. I've got dogs titles in IABCA, AHBA and CKC(that's Canada not Continental). But I've sat back and really analyzed those titles and am looking at it a little bit differently then I did a few years ago. Are they all really worth it and are they just cheap labels or actual titles worthy of the money we put into them?

There's an IABCA show coming up in MN. I thought about going with a couple of dogs. Abbey has her international championship. After Sheryl's experience up there a few years ago, we both think it's just a waste of money. She went up just for the heck of it and to see what all the fuss was about. Unfortunately, Abbey was beat by a dog that had no call for even being in the show ring. Guess what, it went on to BIS that day. Want more? The dog that beat Abbers that day was ungroomed, fat, filthy, couldn't move and the owner wasn't much better. But because that person had been participating for so many years and it was a milestone day, the judge thought it was only right to give it to him. You have to be kidding me that you will seriously go to that show with any anticipation of being subjectively judged with the merit and the quality of the dog above the politics. But Abbey did become an Int'l champion that day, so I guess it counts or does it?

Recently one of my students went to help out at a "local" dog show. Turns out it was more of a fun match held in the local legion hall. Put on by the pet breeders assoc. They had breed classes, juniors and such. Fun prizes too. But what got me was this-this was a serious show awarding titles to dogs. The judge, a local veterinarin offered to judge. Nothing against the profession as a whole as many good vets are also great breeders but most have no clue there are two corgi breeds, that collies come in two coats, etc. The organization has no written breed standards, no rules on how the show runs, the cost is the same as an AKC show too. Dogs have to have 30 day health papers, microchips and dna but no need for a real registration on the dog as they also have classes for the designer breeds. I could have taken a cardigan. I would have lost, even with a group placing or BIS winner. And the winners, can now advertise that they have champion dogs that they breed and sell.

Step back a little and think about this when entering a show. Is the person you are asking to evaluate your dog worthy of it? Are they a person who knows your breed, that can give an honest unbiased opinion with a comparison to the written standard and a true understanding of the function of the parts of your breed? I will grant that many an AKC judge isn't worthy of that, as shown by last weeks judging fiasco, but for the most part they understand what is correct and what is not or at least they go and check the standard. Is the organization one that has a reliable reputation as having solid stud books, integrity and is in it for the dogs, not the breeder?

Are the titles really worth it? How desperate are you to pay for your title? How honest are you to explain how you got your title? The dogs you beat(where they just your own or others?), the judges you showed to, the organization's background, it's reliability? Or are you just trying to justify your actions with a cheap title?

Later gators....

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