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Getting Tough On Temperaments

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370 – The Annual, 2018-19

by Lee Connor

When I first started writing for (the now sadly defunct) Dog World UK I made a promise to the readers that I would do everything I could to defend the pedigree dog and the show scene. This was something that I felt just wasn’t being done effectively enough. There were far too many apologists and hand ringers. Far too many (even on our side) all too willing to capitulate and throw in the towel. I began my writing career at one of the most tumultuous times in our history, the fallout from that program, Pedigree Dogs Exposed.

So many lined up to sneer at our hobby. “What is the point of it all?” they asked. “Look at them,” sniped the media, “aren’t they ridiculous? Spending so long bathing, grooming, and pampering their dogs just to make them look pretty.” Of course, the same deriding fingers never got pointed at our agricultural, poultry, horse and cat shows which employed exactly the same methods to achieve exactly the same results. For there seemed to be something “honorable” in primping, polishing, and, generally, lavishing attention upon a horse, sheep, or cow that was viewed in a completely different light than when applied to a dog.

I have to admit, the whole period made me question many aspects of our world, but there was one thing that I was always unequivocally proud of, the temperaments of our show dogs.

When I was a lad my family kept “big dogs.” Sure, there were always one or two Dachshunds around the house but we mainly had German Shepherds and Rottweilers. During the late ‘70s and early ‘80s, these breeds became vilified in Britain (after numerous, highly publicized dog attacks) and were subsequently dubbed “Devil Dogs” by the sensationalist press. This terrible time coincided with my first exposure to the show world. I can well remember watching rings full of male German Shepherds and Rottweilers standing so very close to one another and, yet, all behaving impeccably. Not a snarl, not a raised hackle. I watched little children playing around them and their benching, and, even at that early age, I wondered, “If these people can achieve this, why can’t the general public at large?” This was something that our hobby could be justifiably proud of – a public exhibition of knowledge, control, and skill.

Click here to read the complete article
370 – The Annual, 2018-19

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Posted by on Jan 10 2019. Filed under Current Articles, Featured. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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  • June 2019