To show or not to show, that is the question.

By W.E.Chambers

per kind permission of OzDog International newsletter.


To begin, I must apologize most profoundly to the great Bard of Avon for my distortion of his immortal words. In this instance however, I am using them in the context of people meeting people in our wonderful world of dogs.

As many of us do, I count myself indeed most fortunate to have grown up with dogs, my father and grandfather preceding me.It well may be said we didn't have any toys to play with, just puppies

I have always considered the dog world had something to offer. It most assuredly is a worthwhile interest, that of pure-bred dogs. Healthy competition is encouraged and there is always a sense of achievement for successful owners, handlers and breeders. Possibly one of the finest aspects of dog exhibiting is the family participation, where all the family can enjoy a common interest, showing their dogs and the youngsters competing in the Junior Showman competition.

Without question, the wonderful friendships that are made and endure for many years, are a most positive indication of it's value. This sentiment I know I share with many.

The social side of the dog world is certainly most enjoyable as well. How could one work for clubs, show their dogs, participate in club management and work actively at shows and not make friends?

Experience is probably the finest educator of all, and it has always been my observation that our finest judges have been those people that have the following background:

  • (1) Good exhibitors.
  • (2) Good breeders
  • (3)Had the ability to put a good dog down at its best
  • (4)Been top presenters in the ring



  • A judge must accept the burden of responsibility that goes with the job, and should at all times lead by example.

    At a time of great technological and scientific advancement, none can deny the amazing phenomenon of rumour, with the ability to travel through the dog world faster than the speed of light. How often have you heard someone say, "Are you going to the Cooktown Royal? I'm not. Not with Ned Kelly judging. ben bowyang's Pharlap is a certainty, and besides, they are mates, you know." Consider the following:
  • (1) Pharlap may well be a well performed, quality dog.
  • (2) When top dogs are consistant winners, do you consider that all the judges are fools? or perhaps their owners do have a lot of mates?
  • (3) You may well be casting asperations on a fine judge.
  • (4) If you're not in - you can't win. Don't whinge. !!

    I would be the first to agree that if there was a person judging, with whom you may be at a varience, it could be a good day to mow the lawn at home.

    The finest definition of this situation that I ever heard, was His Honour, Judge Mitchell of the KCC of Victoria, who said,"If there is a judge doing a show of whom you disapprove, the sure measure of your disapproval is most certainly your non-exhibition."

    A wise man told me one day he had a system for grading judges. I asked what it was. This was his reply. "A judge that puts your dog up twice is a very respected judge, but the judge that puts your dog up three times, is a bloody breed specialist."

    Human nature being what it is, then you are not going to show under your enemy, so that leaves only your friends. Be very clear and aware that there are certain strict rules..

    Rules for showing under a friend.

  • Never embarrass a friend with a bad dog, or one that lacks condition or coat. If you do then be prepared for the axe that will surely fall on you.
  • Accept your friends decisions with sportsmanship and good grace, be it in your favour or against you.
  • At the day's end, even if you have not had a very good one, make certain to shake his hand and say, "Good job mate, now let's relax and crack a coldie.

    In this day and age and in this society, mixing as regularly as we do, we make new friends regularly. Consider the impracticality of the following scenario:
    Judges living in seclusion in a monastary on some far distant hill. The're in a sterile and pristine environment, far away from the distractions and temptations of the outside world, in their sacrosant repositories, devoting their total waking hours to meditation and devoted stud of their breed standards. Then, from time to time, on predetermined days, to gird their loins with their armour of knowledge, to journey forth, down to the gathered multitude of exhibitors below, and there to bestow their blessings and approbation to all.

    Not Bloody likely !!.

    I am reminded of the well known dog world figure who one day rescued a butterfly from a spiders web. To his amazement, when he released the butterfly from her predicament, it immediately transformed into a beautiful tiny blue angel, who was in reality a heavenly messenger. Immediately on her release she said to her good samaritan, "That was a most kind and christian act. You must be rewarded".
    Her rescuer replied that no reward was necessary, as he was already blessed with the good things in life. The angel insisted that it was mandatory the "good" must be rewarded. The good samaritan said, "I breed and show dogs and it would be reward enough if you could tell me if they conduct dog shows in Heaven".

    The angel sadly shook her head."No, I'm afraid not."

    "Why is that so?" asked the good samaritan.

    "The reason is most simple", she replied."you must be aware that the dogs are all in Heaven and the judges are all in Hell".

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