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The Debt All Show Dogs Owe… Thank You!

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276 – September 2019

By Karen Cate AKC Wirehaired Pointing Griffon Breeder of Merit

Having been in the dog show world for a number of years now, the biggest lesson I have learned is to be grateful. This sport, like most others, is dependent on good people of goodwill participating. With success should come an awareness of how much we owe other people. Here is a little overview, to give you some perspective, on the debt all show dog owners owe to their fellow competitors.
If you have ever finished a champion, other people invested so that you could make this happen. They invested time, energy and a lot of money. Suppose your dog finished his or her championship in the fastest possible way with three five-point majors in a row. In my breed, Wirehaired Pointing Griffons–in most AKC regions–that means that a minimum of 15 other people invested in 15 other entries at about $35 each including fees, for at total of $525, to compete with your dog so that you could have a champion. If your dog is a Golden Retriever or one of the other breeds that require a lot more entrants for a major, then it is much more costly.
Your fellow competitors spent money and drove to the show. They bought their dogs a show lead and collar. They spent money on grooming tools, any meals they ate, and they often bought clothes and shoes specifically for the shows. They probably bought a crate. Many of them may have paid handlers. Some probably paid for lodging. Others took handling lessons. That all adds up. On entries alone the minimum other people could have possibly spent for any dog to have a Grand Champion title is $1400. For a Bronze Grand Champion, it is $4025. For a Silver Grand champion, it is $7525, and for a Gold $14,525. For Platinum, other competitors will have had to invest $28,525 at a minimum. The reality is no dog wins every point, every time. So the amount other people invested in entries, even if you entered some dogs of your own, is really much higher.
Add the cost of people competing with their handlers and the other expenses associated with showing and the actual investment of other competitors in the sport to get your dog to whatever level of championship you achieved is probably double or triple the cost of entries. Then add to that the cost to clubs to put on the shows, the cost of people registering their dogs with the AKC, the cost judges paid to learn to judge your breed, and the enormous contributions of people who have dedicated their time, expertise and money to breed the generations of dogs that produced the dog you have at the end of your lead and it becomes obvious that the debt all who show dogs owe is pretty large and it increases with every level of championship.
So, the biggest lesson any of us can learn when we have success with our dogs is to be grateful. We need to be grateful to our fellow competitors, judges, clubs, and breeders. We need to care about their concerns. We owe them a fair, level playing field. We owe them good sportsmanship, courtesy, and respect. Congratulations if you have a champion. Someone else sacrificed for you to be able to have that champion. The least they are owed is a heartfelt thank you. So, the biggest lesson I have learned in the seven years I have been showing is to be grateful and I want to say to all my fellow competitors, the judges, the clubs, the AKC and the breeders out there: “THANK YOU!”

 Click here to read the complete article
276 – September 2019

Short URL: http://caninechronicle.com/?p=172492

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