You see them on TV all of the time; people showing dogs in shows. But who are those people? Are they lunatics or fanatics? The dog people have a favorite joke about themselves. They say you don’t have to be crazy to enjoy shows, but it certainly helps! This is because they actually go through many hardships and disappointments but still enjoy it and call it fun. It is one of the fascinating peculiarities of the dog game that the people who are thrown together in the pursuit of this sport are from so many different walks of life: dentists, carpenters, teachers, bankers, housewives, farmers, musicians, engineers, artists, industrialists, young and old, rich and poor, etc. All have the same desire—to take home a blue ribbon.
Perhaps you wonder why they show dogs. You may even be interested in showing your dog as well. However, the the day may come when you will wonder why you ever decided to go in for something involving so much hard work and heartaches but so much sheer enjoyment! Well, why do they show dogs? There are many reasons, and here are a few:
First, we have the serious dog breeder. He makes a promise to himself to improve the breed in which he is interested, and he is anxious to compare his dogs with good competition, for it lets him know if he is on the right track in his breeding program. This is important. Many dogs look very good at home and only when they are compared with other good dogs can you see if they are better. Comparison is the material of which dog shows are made. Every dog looks good in the back yard, but how does he look in the ring? To the serious breeder showing is important for another reason. It gives him a chance to let other breeders and fanciers see what he has accomplished. He may own an excellent specimen of the breed, one which would be very valuable particularly for his ability to sire exceptional puppies, but no one would know about him if he were not shown.
Then we have a group of people who look at the dog shows as a competitive and active sport. The dog game affords plenty of action but is not so strenuous as, let us say, skiing or tennis. As a matter of fact, there are a great many physically handicapped persons who show dogs successfully.
We have another group. A man buys as a pet or receives as a gift a puppy which turns out exceptionally well, and he is advised to show it. He does so, makes some nice wins, and the dog becomes a Champion. Very frequently this man is “bitten by the bug,” he succumbs, he dreams about breeding his own Champion, he stays around and often becomes an important member of the first group, the serious breeder.