Tag Archives: Conformation

Dog Show Season

I’m well-known as a bad blogger during dog show season.  My mind is occupied with ring training, travel plans, and ribbons.  This year has been a nice quiet year (mostly by choice).  We’ve scaled back quite a bit, and I’ve only accepted a very few dogs for training or handling.  We hit two shows in April, and two in May, but are only planning on one for each remaining month.  It’s just been too long away from home when I have a wee girlie (who’s now 22 months old) waiting for my return.

In a couple of weeks we head off to Nanaimo.  We’ll be flying to this show, which will be a new experience for me.  Normally my assistant, Jewles, and I drive everywhere.  This one is a 20 hour drive, and I’m only taking two client dogs – so it’s looking like flying will be the most cost effective way to get there and back.  Wish us luck.  🙂

Here are some candids of Sunny (Hileigh’s Blazing Sunshine) and I in the ring at a few different shows, and one of him relaxing in one of our many hotel rooms with Jewles.

Sunny in the ring at his first show, in Battleford Saskatchewan

Sunny in the ring at his first show, in Battleford Saskatchewan

Sunny at the HCKOC show in Saskatoon, SK

Sunny at the HCKOC show in Saskatoon, SK

Sunny, self-stacked, in the group ring in Regina, SK.

Sunny, self-stacked, in the group ring in Regina, SK.

Enjoying some off time at the Tropical Inn with Jewles.

Enjoying some off time at the Tropical Inn with Jewles.

Sunny is now sitting on eight points, and has already earned his first major – all as a Junior Puppy.  Also accompanying us to this next show will be Claire, a lovely black and tan girl who has earned four points being owner handled.  Wish us all luck as we head off to B.C. in June.


Veterinarian Speaks Out Re: PETA and Westminster

For those who are unaware, PETA is currently working to have the USA Network remove the Westminster Dog Show from their annual programing. Their reasoning is that the show promotes inbreeding and genetic deformities. Of course, that is purely ridiculous. The show promotes responsible breeding and rewards the hard work and dedication of responsible breeders who are constantly seeking to better their breed through careful breeding and health screening.

Here is what Libbye Miller, DVM has to say on the topic:

“Adorable mixed breeds” get cancer, epilepsy, allergies, heart disease, and
orthopedic problems just like purebreds. I see it every day in my veterinary
practice but mixed breed dogs aren’t tracked like the purebreds so they have
a reputation as “healthier” that is actually undeserved in many cases.”

It is so sad that a lot of folks, including young veterinarians these days,
buy into the “hybrid vigor” baloney. The vet schools have been infiltrated
by the Animal Rights Extremists, who are teaching them this junk science in
order to push their agenda.

All animals have a certain amount of genetic load, which is to say there is
absolutely no animal without some genetic problem of some sort of another.
Know anyone who wears glasses? Has allergies? Thyroid problems? Weak knees?
Flat feet? A skin condition? Arthritis? A gap between their front teeth?
These are all genetic imperfections.

No human is genetically “clean.” Neither is any individual of any species on
earth. So this idea that dogs should not be bred because they might have a
genetic problem, and that breeders are somehow “evil” for breeding them, is
ridiculous. Every single individual of every single species has at least a
few genetic conditions.

To use PeTA’s logic, all breeding of all kinds (including having human
babies) should halt immediately. And to be honest, Ingrid Newkirk (the woman
who founded PeTA) does believe exactly that. She thinks that humans should
become extinct, along with dogs, cats, etc. This ridiculous scenario is
precisely what she would like to see happen.

So folks, if that is what you want…if you agree with Ingrid Newkirk’s
whacky views, send your hard earned money to PeTA. They will help to ensure
you are not able to own a dog or cat or hamster or any other pet in the
future. They will see to it that you can’t eat meat or fish or eggs or any
type of animal-based nutrition. They will work to shut down places like Sea
World, the zoos, etc. so you cannot observe the many wonderful animals on
the Earth. Eventually, once they accomplish these things, they may turn
their efforts to making it illegal for humans to procreate.

If you don’t agree with their extremist views, wise up and start supporting
those who truly do love, care for and enjoy interaction with other species
here on our little blue planet.

The fanciers of the breeds, those you see exhibiting their dogs at
Westminster and other dog shows, work very hard to eliminate serious genetic
conditions. They screen their breeding stock with every available test. They
research pedigrees before breeding into other lines, to check for similar
clearances in those animals. They contribute money to research organizations
to further the work being done to track down genetic problems. They
contribute blood, cell samples, etc. from their own animals to help with DNA
and genome studies. They have made great progress so far, and they continue
to work hard at it.

Are there unethical breeders? Certainly, there are. Just as in any group of
humans, you will find the good and the bad. United States VP Elect Joe
Biden, for example, managed to find a not so good one when he got his new
German Shepherd puppy. I don’t know who did his research for him, but they
obviously didn’t do their homework if they were looking for a responsible
breeder. Joe has the right to get his dog from whomever he wishes, but if he
was trying to set an example of purchasing from a responsible hobby breeder
he went off the track this time. That’s too bad, but it was his choice.

Unfortunately, breeders like that may be a lot easier to find because of
their high volume and high profile. If you are looking for a nice family pet
from a breeder who will be there for you forever, you need to do due
diligence. You won’t get that from a pet store. You won’t get that from the
guy selling dogs out of his pickup truck in the WalMart parking lot. You
won’t get that support from a high-volume breeder, either. Yes, it takes a
little more time and effort to find someone who really cares and does all
the work to breed the healthiest, happiest puppies possible and then stands
behind those puppies.

This is a living being that will be part of your family, hopefully, for many
years. Isn’t it worth a bit of effort to find a breeder who will be there
for you and that puppy forever?

And guess what? Shows like Westminster are a very valuable resource for
finding breeders who do care and who use the best possible practices, as
well as for learning more about the various breeds.

Bravo to USA Network for broadcasting the Westminster Kennel Club show all
these years. May they enjoy continued success through the ongoing inclusion
of such programs. I will be eagerly watching this year’s show!”

The initial story can be found at http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/unleashed/2009/01/peta-to-usa-net.html