written and submitted by Pat Hastings
I personally feel that there is VERY LITTLE POLITICS involved in the sport of dogs. As I say in my seminar, one of the most important things you have to learn is that it is not the DOG that is judged at a show. It is the PACKAGE. That package need to include a good dog but it must be properly raised, fed, taught, trained, groomed, conditioned and presented. The judge has 2.4 minutes to judge your dog. That includes his paperwork, winners classes and taking pictures. That does not leave much time to judge the dog. Most judges do not have the ability to see, in that tiny amount of time, other than what the handler presents. Keeping that in mind, it is very simple to understand why the best dog does not necessarily win. The judge plainly does not have time to see past a poorly groomed, conditioned, trained, presented dog to see what might be there if things were different.
Becoming a judge does not change who you were before you were a judge. If you were a crooked handler you will probably be a crooked judge. If you were a stupid breeder you will probably be a stupid judge. If you did not have a clue as a breeder or exhibitor you won’t have a clue as a judge.
That is not POLITICS; that is human nature.
If everything a judge learns about a breed comes from just one area or one breeder then that judge is probably going to judge that breed differently than another judge who has watched the breed all across the country and has been mentored by breeders from entirely different lines. That again is human nature not POLITICS.
Every human uses one side or the other of their brain in a stronger fashion. If you happen to use your artistic side more then you are much more likely to judge more on type. If you use the other side which is more logical and systematical then you are probably going to look more at structure. Who
you are and how your mind works determines to a large extend how you judge. But here again that does not make it POLITICS.
Then factor into it the simple fact that the majority of people on this earth are followers. Not just in our sport but in the world at large. If you are born a follower then you do not like to make waves. If everyone else is doing something then I guess that is what I should be doing also. That is why advertising works. Here again this is not POLITICS; it is human nature.
In the classes there may be a lack of knowledge but very seldom will you see any politicking going on. When it comes to the Groups and BIS there may be a little of it involved but I think the fancy at large would be shocked at how little politics there are, even at that level.
Personally, I feel the least political show in the country is Westminster at the Garden. I feel that every judge there is doing his absolute best to put up the best dog of that breed on that day. No one ever said you had to agree but if the choice is different that yours might have been it does not make it POLITICS.