Here we are at the final point of my “Dog Show Stereotypes”. I have saved the best, or worst depending on how you look at it, for last.
This is also one of the points which frustrates and angers me the most so I want to warn you that I may seem to be very frustrated at points here.
7.) It encourages eugenics principles.
First, in case you don’t know, lets look at what Eugenics means.
Eugenics (/juːˈdʒɛnɪks/; from Greek εὐγενής eugenes “well-born” from εὖ eu, “good, well” and γένος genos, “race, stock, kin”) is the belief and practice which aims at improving the genetic quality of the human population.
Now what it means to dog shows.
Early do breeders and showers did believe in some eugenics principles, that there were good and bad traits or genes that should or should not be passed on. This fell into dog shows when breed standards were solidified because these standards were saying what traits were being looked for and should be upheld in that breed.
During WWII eugenics was one practice which the Nazis became famous for and used to attempt to bring what they believed to be the best human possible into being. This best human was an Aryan Nazi. After WWII especially as everything the Nazis were doing to bring this to reality came to light, eugenics, very rightly, got cast aside.
Now an outside observer would be able to look in on the show ring circuit and say that what is being done is eugenics in play. We may be saying that to keep one breed pure and separate from another could resemble an aspect of this principle. But that’s not truly the case. If dog shows or dog breeding was meant to aim to improve the genetic quality of the dog population, then there wouldn’t be hundreds of hundreds of breeds, there would be fewer and fewer each year as we tried to perfect the dog population.
What we are doing is sustaining and expanding the different genetic makeup of dogs. Some breeds do get very limited in their genetic opportunities and in the quality of their genetic makeup, but more and more people are trying to open these possibilities rather than limit them, because in limiting them we are breaking the breed down.
Also, to say that by creating purebred dogs and upholding their status as breeds, we are encouraging this in people. is preposterous. The way I look at it, which I encourage others to do, is this. In dog shows, every breed has an equal opportunity to win. They are all on the same level at each stage. All breeds are equal. This can be viewed especially in looking at how few dogs can say that they won twice at Westminster.
All in all, dog shows are a wonderful sport and a great way to get introduced to some of the many breeds out in the world. By watching, we encourage responsible breeders to continue what they are doing. By watching, we can learn about new breeds and that could prompt someone to look for their own dog.
I hope that if any of you are looking for a dog you do your research before going to a shelter or a breeder, and that you choose a shelter or breeder that is responsible and knowledgeable of the dogs that they care for and bring into the world.