On National and International Dog Shows our dogs have won many titles and trophies. It's nice to meet on these exhibitions breedlovers, breeders, old and new friends and to compare your own dogs with others. Again and again you can see that the personal impression is a very different but, from what we know of photos from the Internet. Ultimately, however, we must exhibitions really be considered only as shows, see and be seen, for breeding, they are irrelevant. Please refer to the article, which we have nothing to add: Breed shows are completely worthless for breeding

Breed shows are completely worthless for breeding

In my early days as an exhibitor, an acquaintance used to say at the racetrack to me, „You go on exhibition? Give the money to me, I‘m gonna make your dog bad“ . If I think today, after 20 years of breed show experience, it might have been more correct. Definitely cheaper – but not as nice and exciting. Never we have had so far crisscross traveled through Europe and have experienced so much with our dogs, so many people come to know and visited cities and learned so much about the individual dog breeds. That and the competition among the exhibitors ultimately makes it – most dogs is relatively no matter, the main thing they can spend the whole day with us. The presentation they can usually endure, but there are also some who downright enjoy it. Our Pharaoh Hound dog Zardos was such a „Show Dog“. Only someone needed to say: „You are a beautiful dog... „ and then he stood immediately in show position with the view„ ... and who gets the second place?“. But even a few hundred trophies that we won with our dogs do not prove that these dogs were really the best. Too many factors influence the show result to derive a rating of the quality of real dogs bring forth. A good exhibitor wins also with a bad dog and a good dog yet so can not show his qualities when he is dragged from a beginner through the ring. And unfortunately there are few judges who really recognize these subtleties. The dog owner is anyway always convinced that his favorite is the fairest and the way it should be so, is the only no vote. The principle is simple and correct: From any dog breed a breed standard is created that describes the ideal form. Since there are not that ideal, they are, in order of how many points deviate from it. Here, however, there is a huge degree of discretion in the eye of the beholder.

First of all the breed standards themselves are not all formulated hundred percent and some have many options open to interpretation. There are also some important differences between the racial descriptions of the various associations. Comparing and translated to English or American standards with those of the FCI , we sometimes thinks it would be described entirely different breeds. On International Exhibitions formally bounce different worlds. But even at small club shows the differences between the individual breed representatives are serious. True like „Imagination is something that is many can not imagine“ it is amazing what some will read from the breed standard. And the judges, one often has the impression that just as the first to make the judge‘s license those who have never achieved anything for breeding. Frank Zwahlen (†), chief editor of the magazine „Der Windhundfreund“ (The friend of Sighthounds) has once put it so aptly: „An allrounder is a judge of the FCI believes that he knows all 348 standards currently recognized breeds exactly. That would not be so bad – the bad thing is that many of the all-rounders believe that themself. „But even with the special judges called one can not assume that they are able to take into account every detail of neutral. Often policy and sympathy plays a big role and also the days form of dogs, exhibitors and judges is relevant. Having a dog in an open air exhibition to pull through the wet grass can be just as negative an impact on the presentation, as an extreme background noise in a hall. In Paris I once experienced it, that any hunting dog exhibitors as part of the examination tested the bullet-proof nature of their dogs and walk around frequently shoot in the next ring with blank cartridges in the hall. At the World Dog Show 2003 in Dortmund, the organizers had our show ring relocated for reasons of space outdoor parking area, separated only by a hedge from the busy main road. To make matters worse they had built an auditorium next to the ring, were held on the all-day demonstrations with Frisbee dogs with loud music. Obviously they wanted to drown out the traffic noise from the road yet. You did not understand in the ring your own word and was able to follow the instructions of the judge only by hand signals. And that to our hounds that have the best hearing of all dog breeds. But such a world champion title compensated for everything – and if the event is bad, one looks forward to when you can drive again. How much the whole stress drags on the nerves, you realize always at the end of the exhibition and the dogs are happy when they can go to the hotel or take the drive back home.

he result is always the same: A more or less beautiful trophy and a certificate, or depending on the number of dogs that correspondingly more, a little feeling of happiness for a victory or frustration with an undeserved second place, a huge bills for entry fees, hotel and travel costs and what tells us the show result and the judge report on the quality of our dogs? – Absolutely nothing! But you‘ve made a lot of friends, maybe go be joined by dinner or even hanging a few days holiday on, we meet new people and often new dogs of the same breed. Here you can live even compare the dogs to each other, bring ancestry and origin in experience. Just so you get even a sight of the essentials, an „eye“ for the breed. You can see and be seen – very often your future puppy buyers already in the audience and see regardless of the judge‘s decision, the quality of your dogs at the presentation in the show ring. That was already everything, but you pay a high price, and you can not assume that you bring it back in with the breeding amount ever again. In this respect, our old friend was absolutely right that we had given the money to him and he judged our dogs bad, we would have saved a lot of time and trouble and had safely more at the end left.

And the result is far to begin the prerequisite with a breeding. In our dogs in addition to the external beauty of the hunting skills and play perfection in motion a major role at least equal, if not greater. Only the correct angulations and the overall physique allows this maximum performance required for hunting or racing. Some dog breeds have already lost their beauty ideal the skills that they once received as a breed. Therefore, many clubs have declared the slogan „beauty AND performance“ to the target. But this is precisely the quadrature of the circle, the unattainable. A particularly beautiful, aesthetic show dog, neither can provide the requirements in the power range as the pure working dog can reach the goal of beauty. The mix of both is always a tradeoff that a breed standard can not set binding. Not for nothing have emerged, for example, at the sighthounds in several breeds show dogs and racing dogs that have almost nothing in common. A show greyhound, simply by size and weight no longer can run the high speeds like a race grey. And the racing grey has developed an exaggerated muscle building and reared back, which puts him far in the show ring to the rear. A show afghan is slowed down by his luxuriant hair growth and the racing afghan is similar with its scanty fringe almost like a Saluki. If these properties promoted or reduced by breeding, produced either an extreme or an absolute mediocrity. Additionally, however, in many breeds very different properties still play a major role, which can still be assessed neither on the track in the show ring. If the hunting instincts get the good ear, the fine nose, sharp look? Can the dog at all the tasks fulfill , through which the breed was created? The sighthound people trying desperately to develop assessment criteria to demonstrate these properties. For example, to make the end of a run a „kill“, grab the loot and „shake it to dead“. This is to prove that his instinct is still there and he is not stupid as a pure show dog. But that often proves again the exact opposite. The sighthounds are so intelligent that they can very well distinguish a rabbit dummy of live prey. They run for fun of it and they also make the kill only „just for fun“. A greyhound, for example, in real life, needs no kill. He just grabs its prey at full speed and the spine of it is broken by the whip-like movement of his body during the run. A good Ibizan Hound has the so called „soft mouth“ – he retrieves his prey mostly alive. All this and many other hunting properties in turn can be tested only on the living object in the hunt and this contradicts in Germany the extensive laws and regulations. You can not use an Ibizan pack 8 - 10 dogs go hunting to facilitate cooperation and to test the pack behavior of dogs, and also in Spain, the clearance is for more and more restricted. And immediately available then the animal rights activists on the scene and protect the rabbits from the dogs, so that the hunter can shoot them with the shotgun. And these are the same animal rights activists, which demonize the exhibitions as inappropriate for the species and scream out loud, the dog would be malnourished and too thin when they see a good hound. Breed shows are completely worthless for breeding, just like racing, coursing or hunting and use tests because to measure and compare all criteria can not make a good dog, but they are a good way at all to be able to make comparisons and the positive stress for dog and owner can make the show the fever arise again and again.

Bruno Ollik