WHAT IS A DOG SHOW?????????????
Dog shows have been around for over 100 years. Like livestock shows, dog shows were a way for breeders to
display the quality and type of breeds they were producing.
As the number of breeds increased, kennel clubs decided to set down a description
of what each breed should look like. This included height, color, length and texture of coat, and the structure of the dog.
The idea was to give breeders a standard of what they should be breeding their dogs to look like.
For example, if a breeder had a spaniel that was over 35 pounds and was a solid color, that spaniel would be registered as
a Field Spaniel. If that same spaniel had white on it, it would then be a Springer. And as these dogs met the criteria in
each standard, they were registered as a particular breed.
As breeders progressed in the quality of their breeds, more and more competitons were held. These dog
shows would be designed for breeders to showcase their dogs. As with livestock, judges were
trained to examine these dogs to determine which dog comes closest to the breed standard. Once a winner in each breed was
announced, they were then judged against other breeds that were developed to do simular work. Dogs that hunted foul on land
and water were judged together(Sporting or Gundog) as were dogs that hunted by scent(Hounds), ratters(Terriers), dogs that herded livestock(Herding),
dogs that were guard dogs or performed tasks(Working), pets(Toys) and
those dogs that just didn't fit into the other categories(Non-Sporting). Points were awarded according
to the number of dogs defeated. These points added up to award dogs a championship.
At first, these dogs were judged by appearances in cages on benches but as years
past judges needed to see a dogs' gait to determine correct structure.
Modern dogshows are alot like the first shows. Dogs are still judged against a written standard by a man or
woman who has taken a series of written tests on each breed. Points are still awarded to obtain a championship. Unlike the
early days, there is more hands on by judges. Dogs are groomed to hide faults
and promote their best features.
As the number of dog shows increased, many breeders found the greater number of dogs to compete against and
number of shows to attend were more than they could handle. Breeders started to pay other people to show their dogs. Thus
Handlers were developed. Handlers would yake any number of dogs to shows and present them to a
judge on behalf of the breeder/owner. Soon handlers developed a reputation of showing quality dogs to judges. And judges would
award top prizes to handlers.