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From The CC Vault: Who Keeps The Wheels Turning?

by Ric Chashoudian

Originally published: August 1993

I have noticed, in my fifty years of going to dog shows, that the same people seem to come up with good dogs year after year.

It seems that a very small percentage of the fancy–maybe ten percent and that may be high–have a green thumb in either breeding or finding good dogs. There is a very definite talent required to breed or find good dogs. This same small percentage of the dog breeder and exhibitor population are the ones that usually stick, though thick and thin, and you see them back year after year with the good ones. These dogs do not necessarily have to be Best in Show or Group contenders, but they are dogs that are very competitive in their breed. The dog show starts at the breed level. Some breeds get overlooked because they are not what you call the glamorous breeds, but when one that’s good enough comes along, he, like cream, rises to the top if he is shown long enough and not given up on by his owners or handler.

“The dog show starts at the breed level.”

 I have noticed breeds rise to the top when years ago they were not competitive. Let us take a breed like Brussels Griffons. Here is a breed that in the last thirty-five to forty years has come from unkempt and unsound little dogs to place where they are now consistent Best In Show winners. [Editor’s note: Remember this was 1993] You can put Affenpinchers in the same category; how many of them were noticed enough to win Best In Shows? We can take a look at the Bichon Frisé of thirty-five years ago. They were nice little lap dogs but not considered top show dogs. Look what a small group of people have done with this breed. Decades ago, a small group of people got behind Poodles and look what has happened with them. The same goes for the Siberian Husky. It was not a breed that was winning Best in Shows. However, look what happened to them when a few clever breeders got going.

Breeds go up and down. Boston Terriers were in their heyday, along with Yorkies, back in the ‘30s, ‘40s and ‘50s. There were some really outstanding dog people breeding them.

I believe the reason breeds go up and down in quality is because of the talent, or lack of it, of the people breeding and promoting these breeds. One great breeder can put a breed on the map. Look at what Julia Gasow has done for English Springer Spaniels. Pat Craige [now Trotter] has done that for Norwegian Elkhounds.

I also find this in key people other than the well-known breeders of our sport. Look at the influence a person like Peter Green has made in promoting great Norwich, Lakeland and Wire Fox Terrier stud dogs. Look at George Ward’s influence on the Terrier scene in the last sixty years. Look at Anne Clark’s influence in Poodles, as well as the great Frank Sabella’s influence, along with so many more great Poodle breeders, handlers and exhibitors of the right kind.

Let us look at a man that maybe is not known as a great breeder of his favorite breed–or maybe he is for all I know–through his advice and expertise, but a great spokesman, representative and handler of his breed, Mr. Jim Moses. Jim has attended German Shepherd Specialty Shows since he was a young kid. Jim knows the ins and outs and has the keen eye to pick up on the individual specimens that he wants to promote and handle. He is a master of his trade. I have personally never seen anyone better than Jimmy Moses in what he does. Jimmy is polite and humble, and yet has that spark to get out and fight like a tiger for his charges and what he believes in. Jimmy is a winner. I feel myself lucky to know him.

“These are the people who keep the wheels turning through thick and thin. These are the ones that sacrifice and do so much more than just chase blue ribbons.”

There are so many more like Jimmy Moses that it would be impossible to name them all. In fact, I am positive that I have personally met only one one-hundredth or less of them. However, my hat is off to them, wherever they are throughout the world. These are the people who keep the wheels turning through thick and thin. These are the ones that sacrifice and do so much more than just chase blue ribbons. These are the people that I love and feel comfortable with, not the glory seekers and so-called important people who use the game for their own aggrandizement.

You see people gliding along show grounds, picking up on all the gossip. These are the people who think they are hip and know everything that is happening before it happens. These people are the ones that look with disdain at the talented and dedicated who may not be the type of people that have to be in the limelight or may not be the heavy spenders and party-goers of our sport.

There are people today that come to the shows with dogs that are not competitive in the show ring, that will realize that they are not competitive and in five years will be competitive because they have the talent and perseverance to find and get the right dogs.”

Let us keep these people, who have the talent and who do the self-sacrificing, from being buried under the avalanche of fancy advertising and the promotion of mediocrity.

I love the people that fight for what they believe in and go for it, through all kinds of setbacks and ridicule.

There are probably some people that will read this the wrong way. I do not hold it against the people that have the means to afford heavy advertising and attend the parties in their finery as long as they are promoting the right stuff; the people whose motives are to promote the best, and who know and recognize what the right stuff is when they see it.

The people that promote mediocrity and do not know the difference are the people that need help, but sometimes are blind to the fact that they need it.

It takes all kinds of people in our sport and there are definitely all kinds. This is what makes it so interesting and certainly never boring. If you had a dog show of nothing but good ones it would be a pleasure, however, it never will be that way.

There are people today that come to the shows with dogs that are not competitive in the show ring, that will realize that they are not competitive and in five years will be competitive because they have the talent and perseverance to find and get the right dogs. I would still guess this to be about ten percent of those that show dogs. Then there are the great majority of newcomers with dogs not good enough that will quit for one reason or another, and some even blame the judges for not recognizing their dogs that they love so much.

I get great enjoyment in trying to help people get going in the right direction in the breeds I know well.

Some of these people have the talent and will listen to the people who know. The majority will be in it for six months to a year and then they will be telling you how to do it. I guess this is human nature and it will be this way forever.

Again, my hat is off to people like Jimmy Moses, and the ten percent. You make keep the wheels turning.

Short URL: https://caninechronicle.com/?p=278933

Posted by on Jan 3 2024. Filed under Current Articles, Dog Show History, 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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