When A Dog Show Judge Decides the Dog Is A Champion

Take a peek into one 1916 dog enthusiast’s concerns of dog show judges’ impartiality.

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Dog World magazine June 1916The Dog World is in receipt of the following communication, which discusses what is of vital interest to the breeders of thoroughbred dogs. It is needless to say that any method that will guarantee the bestowal of the honors on the REAL Champions will have the hearty cooperation of this publication and the great body of dog fanciers. Of course some owners will always be found whose only desire is to get the blue ribbons but the real fancier, the ones who keep up interest in the shows, want to see the best animals only to receive the decorations and one of the essentials is an efficient and impartial judge.

The DOG WORLD will be glad to receive suggestions on how better judging can be obtained and how to improve the present system of bestowing the prizes.

Dear Sir: What is a champion? This question has arisen in my mind after watching the way some of the dog shows are judged. The dog owner who has a really good dog has about as much a chance of getting a blue ribbon as the proverbial snowball in hades unless he belongs to the clique that is running the show.

In nine out of 10 cases the list is made up at some social function in at which the judge is the guest. That is the way he repays his entertainers. I have in mind a show where an exhibitor had a very high bred dog from a line of champions on both sides. When he was going into the ring with his perfect dog he met another exhibitor coming out with the first prize ribbon. In this case the judge had not even seen the second dog but he knew the exhibitor who copped the ribbon. The coppee afterwards admitted to my friend that his dog was the best and should have had the ribbon. He was given the second prize without a question.

This is only one of the glaring instances of the absurdity not to say unfairness of the system that gives the prize to some friend of the judge. Many judges seem to go on the principle that it is rank treason to bestow the prizes on any one not belonging to the club that is giving the show.

Excerpted from Dog World magazine, June 1916, Vol. 1, No. 6. For back issues of Dog World, click here.

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