It is extremely easy for pet owners to spoil their dogs. Dogs really are our best friends. They wait patiently for us to return home. They are always by our side. Of course, they never talk back. It’s no wonder that dog accessories have become more and more available and mainstream. It is not uncommon today to notice a dog walking outside with small dog clothes covering his fur. We love them so much there is nothing wrong with dressing them in dog clothes. We find great pleasure in giving them life’s little pleasures. While it is fun to pamper our pooches, it is not necessary to do so for a dog to be judged fairly at a prestigious dog show?
In the universe of dog owners, dog shows have become a very popular way of competing. Thousands of dogs as well as their owners (or handlers) enjoy competing in local, national and international shows. The most prestigious shows are for animals registered with the American Kennel Club (AKC). For those that are not purebreds there are dog shows also. Obviously, a mutt is not registered with the AKC, but there are bred dogs like the labradoodle that cannot compete in AKC sanctioned shows. Because of this non AKC dog shows are gaining popularity all over the country. This makes it easier for dogs that are not up to the AKC very rigid standards compete at a less significant level.
The American Kennel Club was established in 1884 to promote the study, breeding, exhibiting and advancement of purebred dogs. Today it is the biggest not-for-profit purebred dog registry in the nation. It is quite prestigious for a breeder’s litter to be AKC registered. AKC registration means a dog, its parents, and its ancestors are all purebred. This should not imply that the animal is healthy. Dogs that are AKC registered can have their offspring registered and compete in AKC events dog bandanas.
The best of the best of these AKC shows are eligible to compete at the biggest of all dog shows- The Westminster Dog Show. This show is so popular it is televised every year. Dog enthusiasts everywhere tune in for a week in February to enjoy the show. At the Westminster Dog Show AKC judges consider the best of a lot of dog breeds. The dogs are placed into groups such as Sporting, Hound, Working, Toy, Terrier, Herding and Non-Sporting. There are up to 25 varieties in each group. At each level, the dog is judged compared to that breed’s standard. The written standard of the breed is the ideal. Usually this relates form to function (i.e., the original task that the dog was bred to carry out), these standards usually depict overall appearance, movement, temperament, and specific physical traits such as height and weight, coat, colors, eye color and shape, ear shape and placement, feet, tail, and more. Some standards can be extremely precise; some can be relatively general and leave much room for individual interpretation by judges. This results in the sport’s subjective basis: one judge, applying his interpretation of the standard, giving his opinion of the best dog on that particular day. The parent club of each breed owns the written and maintained standards. In the end, one lucky dog receives the Best in Show title.