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10 Reasons Why Some Dogs Lose

Click here to read the full article in our digital edition.

From the archives of The Canine Chronicle June, 2015

By William Given

You do not need to have been showing dogs very long to have been afforded the opportunity to learn that some dogs lose. Some dogs lose as frequently as they win. Some dogs lose far more often than they win. Dogs lose for a whole host of reasons. I am going to give you just ten of them, some very valid and some contrived, but all are real. If you have not been on the receiving end of a hard loss, so much the better.

1. You suffer from kennel blindness. Kennel blindness is as equally tragic and debilitating for the one dog owner as it is for a large breeder. It makes one incapable of seeing the faults in his or her dogs, and unable to recognize and appreciate the positive traits in a competitor’s dogs. Kennel blindness also provides the motivation for an individual to contort the breed Standard to fit the type of dogs they exhibit in the show ring. So, it is entirely possible that your dog really is not all that good, maybe just a bit better than average. You see only his magnificent head. The judge cannot help but notice his short neck, weak back, cow hocks and restricted movement. If you enjoy winning more than you like losing, your best bet is to get a much better dog.

2. Your dog has no showmanship. This is quite probably the most common reason why very well-put-together dogs lose. You have to remember that a dog show is really a canine beauty pageant. Yes, the Standard is the written illustration the judge uses to select those dogs of noticeable quality deserving recognition, but it is a show. It is a very good thing if a dog can show he enjoys what he is doing in the ring. I have seen many average dogs finish because they possessed that special something inside them that made them want to show off, and their owners and handlers used it to their advantage. Hopefully, you can find a way to peak his desire. The dog with showmanship is the one in control in the show ring.

3. Your dog may be the victim of presentation malpractice. This may be limited to one or more of the following: improper grooming, inadequate conditioning, insufficient training for the ring or poor handling. Different breeds have different grooming requirements and different conditioning needs. Most judges have reasonable expectations with respect to ring training often giving great leeway to young dogs. A good dog can easily get lost in the ring as a result of poor handling. All dogs have individual needs when it comes to handling, for example: some need to be shown on a very loose lead and some on a tight lead. Some dogs show with more energy for their owners, some show better for a professional handler, and some dogs give their best effort when a junior is on the other end of the lead.

Click here to read the full article in our digital edition.

From the archives of The Canine Chronicle June, 2015

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