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The Demise of Dog Shows? Never?!! But Maybe…

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90 – The Annual, 2019-20

By Amy Fernandez

What’s going wrong with judges’ approval these days? Since AKC isn’t talking, speculation is mandatory.

Granted, the entire subject has always been kind of messed up. I mean the mere idea of objectively evaluating a subjective process seems predestined to fail. In that sense, the fact that it EVER works seems rather marvelous.

Still, there hasn’t been this much nasty buzz since maybe back in the ‘80s. That was a fun time. Judges cheating, taking payoffs, AKC cracking down, allegations of witch hunts, blah, blah, blah… Anyway, in retrospect, it’s generally agreed that the trouble stemmed from the unprecedented growth of the sport and consequent scrambling to meet that demand by approving way too many judges too fast.

That’s obviously not what’s happening this time around. The sport’s been going the other direction pretty consistently since 2008. Anticipation of things picking up to their former level has given way to resigned acceptance of the new normal. Smaller shows and less demand for judges.

But here’s the thing. I’ve been discussing this with plenty of people in the last month or so. (Not cheerful, but I’m here for you.) And although there seems to be a good deal of concurrence on this particular point, well, most of them are reluctant to go on record. Luckily, Helen Haas is not one of them. She’s been watching the sport through 60 years of peaks and valleys and here’s how she characterizes the crux of the problem.

 Click here to read the complete article
90 – The Annual, 2019-20

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Posted by on Jan 4 2020. 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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