What would you like to see more of at dog shows?

Thank you to everyone who offered opinions on this month’s topic. The following is a selection of the responses. Want to voice your opinion to the fancy? Follow ShowSight’s Facebook page for the monthly question prompt! CLICK TO  SUBSCRIBE


What would you like to see more of at dog shows?


Smiling, friendly faces! —Anonymous

Places to sit and rest, especially while waiting for groups to begin. —Anonymous

Inclusion of Miscellaneous and FSS breeds into Non-Regular events such as Best Bred By, Best Puppy, Best Veteran etc. The world did not stop spinning when Misc and FSS were allowed to compete in the 4-6 Beginner Puppy and it would not be difficult to include those breeds in other 
non-regular events.

NOHS would be very nice also and allow judges and the public to become familiar with these breeds. It would also increase those entries significantly. Many with Miscellaneous Breeds get their Certificate and Merit then have zero incentive to spend time or money with anything AKC 
Conformation related.

Allow altered veterans to fully compete. Why in the world should owners of veterans be punished for altering their veterans, especially considering the health advantages of 
such? —Anonymous

Opportunities for exhibitors and owners to get together socially, especially after the show. It is hard to get to know other people with other breeds or even handlers. No one is a person, just someone with a dog. A few years ago a fundraiser for Take the Lead was held after a show, with a dunking tank. Just standing around with handlers allowed me to see them as real people. Something as simple as low cost food/drinks to draw people together might help. —Galen Ewer

I would like to see more clubs offering health screening. Eyes, heart, DNA are all easy to do. If at discounted prices people would be more apt to do it. —Anonymous

Fair Judges. —Anonymous

Good sportsmanship. —Anonymous

How about unbiased judging and easier championships. The reason people are leaving the sport in AKC it’s too expensive to attain a championship on a dog. Let alone campaign a good dog so they give up and go to another registry. 

First is some sort of communication between exhibitor and judge after the ribbons have been handed out. When I started out I had no idea what was not right with my dogs, they just didn’t place well. And other exhibitors aren’t always a good option. Of course this would take the judges really knowing our breed…so there goes that! —Anonymous

More attention paid and recognition given to owner handlers. Without us, there is no sport! We are the backbone of it, but are too often treated as a hangnail.

Clubs: offer NOHS. I’m not the only one who uses this as a tiebreaker between shows. When NOHS is offered, make sure the ribbons and trophies are equal to or better than the open groups. The handlers generally find trophies annoying and I’ve seen some toss them under their rigs to get them out of the way. And look at the AQHA. When they started losing entries and interest, they not only created an Amateur division, but made sure the awards were better. Now they’re just about the largest horse organization around.

Lastly, but not least important, judges look at the dog on the lead, not who’s holding it. A lot of you do, and I thank you for it. But there are still too many who just point at whatever handler they recognize. Take a long hard look at the NOHS BIS lineup. I’ve overheard and been told by several judges that it is often better than the regular one, as long as you’re looking at the dog. —Holly Horton

More polite and constructive behaviour on the part of both judges and exhibitors. Frankly, some of the experiences I have either had or witnessed on the part of both have been truly execrable and uncalled for. We must all remember that this is a sport—an integral part of which should be good sportsmanship. This is in short supply nowadays on the part of many on both sides. It’s really rather sad. 
—Maxine J. Gurin

Awareness of how the animal rights extremists are gradually erasing purebred dogs and fanciers off the face of the earth. —Anonymous

Entries in the classes, not just BOB! —Anonymous

I would love to see a more public friendly atmosphere—handlers are generally very dismissive to anyone in their way—anyone thinking about joining this sport will certainly change their minds. —Pam Williams

Health issue seminars. —Anonymous

I would like to see more general vendors as well as specialty vendors. —Anonymous

Judges looking at the dogs, versus the person on the end of the lead. —Anonymous

Social events (potlucks, BBQs, etc.), seminars/education for exhibitors/breeders and spectators, rescue group promotion and “fun” dog events such as Fast CAT, CAT, Trick Dog, etc. (and promote these events to “pet” owners as well—we should be partners with them as this is where the majority of our puppies go). —Pamela Preston

Bred By exhibitor groups! —Anonymous

Good Sportsmanship. People saying hi. Even if it is a club just providing donuts and coffee in the morning and greeting everybody. A simple, ‘Hi, Good Morning’ goes a long way. I would also love to see people clap for all the dogs in the ring if they are going to clap at all because each one deserves it regardless. —Kimberly Bettandorff

More Performance Events. —Anonymous

Larger numbers of dogs exhibited, more public visitors and media coverage. —Anonymous

Exibitors being kinder to the public. —Anonymous

Judges that judge the dogs according to the Standards and not by the person at the end of a lead. It’s embarrassing to see handlers drag a dog around the ring and then see them win.

It’s also embarrassing to see a handler react in a nasty manner when they lose to a dog that really fits the standard. This handler behavior is destroying dog show competition. 
Many amateur dog show competitors are dropping out because they have been on the receiving end of a Handlers nastiness. AKC needs to be taking steps to correct poor judging and poor dog show behavior. —Anonymous

Bred by Exhibitor groups. —Anonymous

More breeders and or owners (not Professional Handlers) getting placements in the group rings. Judges who are actually friendly towards exhibitors even though they are not pros. —Anonymous

More Veterans classes! —Anonymous

Public food stand options. Often little to nothing to eat. —Anonymous

More non-dog show exhibitor (user friendly) and attention catching activities. More opportunities for social interaction, especially between veterans and new exhibitors. More vendors who are not just focused on pet wear and pet products, but other products of interest to exhibitors and spectators alike. More rings devoted to youngsters, including perhaps an all 4H venue and completion in a fun atmosphere where they can show, but also learn. More outreach by clubs to find juniors and get them actively encouraged to come to meetings and join in, including preparation of extensive local programs to make them want to come and stay and build relationships. I could go on and on. Sorry for all this, since it likely should have been only one answer, and a short one. —Anonymous

Fair and honest judges, not political! —Anonymous

I would like to see more sportmanship and welcoming to new people. —Anonymous

More dogs entered! —Anonymous

I would like to see more spectators. —Anonymous

Dogs! —Anonymous

Working classes for breed specific field titled Sporting, Herding, Working, Terrier and Hound breeds. —Anonymous

More sportsmanship and socializing and less pettiness. 

Comraderie, kindness and good manners —Anonymous

Honest, Knowledgeable judging. Judges judging to the Standard and not to what the advertising or handlers tell them is correct. —Anonymous

Conditions that would favor more entries and more vendors. —Anonymous

Organized programs of Judge Education Seminars. 

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