1998 Newsletter - Volume
2. Issue 10
I am very perplexed about the new
rule allowing move ups to the 12-18 month class. Does this rule
apply to sweepstakes? What do we do when the sweepstakes class is
divided (12-15 & 15-18) with the exhibitor who wants to go to
the 15-18 class from the 9-12 class. Thats not a few days or
even a month mistake. Thats more than a three - month mistake
and I object to it. I was in favor of the 6-9, 9-12 changes and
campaigned for them as we were only changing a division of one
class. Now we are allowing a change to another class. Whats
next? Change all classes? Do we let people move to the Open class
from Bred By Exhibitor because one of the breeders of record is
not an owner? I cannot understand why this rule was adopted and we
still cannot change colors, weights, etc. of breeds and varieties
which have divided classes in open. I have campaigned for this
right at the last three superintendents conferences (about 9 or 10
years) because we would not be changing a class. We would only be
changing a division. So, give me a break 12-18 is not a puppy
class. They dont compete for Best Puppy. So why should they
have an advantage over for instance a novice dog which acquired
three first place ribbons before closing of entries? We dont
allow them to change.
Lets look at other loopholes.
What about entry fees? The puppy class fee at most shows is less
than the 12-18 class. What about the exhibitor entering at the
reduced fee expecting theyre going to get a free ride? If
youre thinking of this dont try it with us. We are going to
collect. What about sweepstakes and futurity money? Its bad
enough now to redo the monies, now youre adding two more
possibilities. Its particularly bad for us as our cash prizes
are checks and not cash. What about ribbons? We may not have
enough ribbons for the original class or the enlarged class. It
bugs me that new rules like this are passed by delegates (some of
whom dont go to dog shows or club meetings and at times vote
their own opinions without polling their clubs). Lets face it,
who knows more about dog shows than superintending organizations?
Who knows more about processing entries, handling prize envelopes
and the clerical work than good supers? Are we consulted? The
answer is Noooooo. We are orphans. I have long maintained
that superintendents (collectively) have a delegate. I feel the
same about field reps.
Get this straight, Im not
against this rule because it will create more work. After all, it
was my idea for the move up from class to Best of Breed (which did
not make me very popular with superintendents even within my own
I believe this rule should be
rescinded or at best modified. We could give them a mistake
allowance of one day to one month. Better yet, let our computers
figure ages. We once had such a program and Bill Stifel, the
President of the American Kennel Club, told us we had to stop
using it because it gave us an unfair advantage over other
superintendents. He stated exhibitors were solely responsible for
their mistakes. I think that was the only time that Bill and I
In the May issue of our MB-F
Newsletter our editor, Tom Crowe, requested dog stories. This
reminded me of one of my favorites.
The greatest Cajun story teller of
all time is Justin Wilson (you may have seen him on his TV cooking
show). Justin was at one time a safety engineer (thats why he
wears both a belt and suspenders). My favorite is about the
Yankee who went to Baton Rouge, Louisiana to hunt ducks. He
hired a Cajun guide who had a retrieving dog. The next morning,
they proceeded out to the Bayou and waited for ducks to fly by.
They did and the Yankee fired his double load shotgun Kaboom,
Kaboom and downed a duck. The guide yelled to his dog
Phideaux, (Fido) fetch dem duck. Phideaux jumped out
of the boat and went trip, trip, trip across the top of the water.
He grabbed the duck, turned around and again went trip, trip, trip
back across the top of the water to the boat. That Yankee didnt
say a word. He could not believe it. He reloaded and waited for
the next ducks. They soon came by and he shot again Kaboom,
Kaboom and downed another duck. His guide yelled Phideaux
fetch dem duck. Phideaux jumped out of the boat and went
trip, trip, trip across the top of the water, grabbed the duck,
turned around and went trip, trip, trip back across the top of the
water to the boat. The Yankee could not contain himself and
muttered, Ill just be damned. I cant believe that. He
yelled to the guide, Did you see that? The guide replied,
Whats dat? The Yankee replied, Your dog is running on
top of the water. The guide answered, Yes and Im for
shamed about dat, I never could taught that dog to swim.
(The parts of the above in italics
is a weak attempt to impart Justins Cajun vernacularisms.)
WHOSE FAULT IS THIS?
This incident occurred at a show.
The club name is not important, the breed name is not important,
the exhibitors name is not important, the judges name is not
important, the superintendent in attendance at the show is not
important. It is that the INCIDENT HAPPENED AT ALL that is
During the course of the second
show day of the weekend the superintendent looked up from what
they were doing at the desk and noticed a family coming toward the
desk with a look of determination on their faces. They were not
happy and spoke with great insistence that something was very
wrong. They had just shown their dog and it had been disqualified
by the judge. They insisted that if only we had put the dog in the
class they had entered, everything would have been okay. They
entered their dog in the Open Class with a color division and if
they had been put in that class they would not have been
disqualified. The dog had shown the previous day in a divided
class and had had no problem.
First we pulled the entry form and
second we pulled the premium list. We advised the family the club
did not divide the breed by color at this show. I entered in
the ** color class and thats what I expected to show in,
said the exhibitor. But, we countered, if the club has
not made the provision for the class to be divided by color it is
not divided by color. It is up to the club whether classes in any
breeds are divided in any way. Well, they had never heard of
anything like this.
Next, we pulled the Breed Standard
and advised them the judge was perfectly correct in disqualifying
their dog for the reason he advised; the class had nothing to do
with it. The AKC representative was there during this conversation
and also tried to explain and showed the exhibitor the copy of the
Breed Standard and the exact wording contained in the Standard.
Whats this? asked the exhibitor. The Rep explained that
for every breed shown there is a Standard by which judges judge
the breed. The Standard is drawn and approved by the breed parent
club and then approved by The American Kennel Club. It is the word
picture of the ideal dog for that breed. The exhibitor had
never seen such a thing.
After some additional discussion
the exhibitor and family left the desk and those at the desk were
not sure they had been successful in trying to explain the
situation to the exhibitor.
Now, whats wrong with this
picture? What has happened here and why?
Here is a family that has purchased
a dog and wanted to show it. Thats wonderful. Were always
glad to have new exhibitors come into the sport. But look at what
When this exhibitor bought the dog,
from whom did they buy? Was this a reputable breeder? Was this a
breeder at all? One would hope that any breeder worth his salt
knows the Breed Standard, has studied pedigrees, has bred
carefully, and would just as carefully place the puppies. We would
also hope this breeder would give honest evaluations of their
stock to the buyer and advise them whether the pup had any
disqualifying faults, whether the dog could be shown in breed
and/or obedience or other performance event, along with the
standard care, health and nutrition information.
In many instances its the
breeder who advises the buyer the dog may be shown. Does the
breeder then advise the buyer where to go for training classes,
matches, grooming help and give information on obtaining the AKC
rules? Shouldnt he/she?
Now lets suppose our puppy buyer
attends some training classes and matches. Are they then given
more information on obtaining AKC rules, how to find a copy of
their Breed Standard, how to complete an entry form? Shouldnt
Now what about our judges? Suppose
our puppy buyer has entered matches. Have the judges read and
understood the Breed Standard? Has the judge advised the puppy
buyer the dog the puppy buyer is showing has a disqualifying
fault? Shouldnt he/she?
Now our puppy buyer is entering
point shows. What about our point show judge? Has he read and
understood the Breed Standard? Has he disqualified the dog and
advised the puppy buyer the dog being shown has a disqualifying
fault? Shouldnt he/she?
Now, for our puppy buyer. In many
cases heres a novice spending hundreds of dollars on a purebred
dog. When spending hundreds of dollars on something thats going
to become part of the family for many years wouldnt it be a
good idea to do some research on what youre getting and from
whom? Shouldnt clubs make it their business to be very visible
in their area to clue people in on what they should expect and
where to get information? The education tables at a show are
invaluable, but shouldnt this education continue all year
round, not just show day?
You would think if one were going
to play any game, or be involved in any sport, one of the first
things you would want to know would be the rules. Well, very
often, this is the last thing we see exhibitors get. We cant
count the number of times an exhibitor has come to the desk
requesting something that is not permitted under the rules, or is
trying to resolve something theyve done that cannot be resolved
under the AKC rules. We usually point out the section in the rule
book, then give them one with the hope they read it. When new
exhibitors come to the desk requesting to be added to the mailing
list because they have a young puppy they want to show we give
them a rule book and hope they read it.
When that entry form is signed, one
of the things that signature covers is a statement the exhibitor
agrees to abide by the rules and regulations of The American
Kennel Club. Shouldnt the rules be read?
The other side to this coin is that
once the puppy buyer receives the appropriate and correct
information, puppy buyer has the responsibility to listen,
understand and follow through appropriately. To be a little
flippant, Denial is not a river in Egypt. If puppy buyer has
been given all the appropriate and correct information and chooses
to ignore it, what then?
Absolutely, this incident should
never have happened. How many people along the way to this
particular day share responsibility for dropping the ball?
Are you going to be part of this
Please send your
c/o MB-F, Inc. Newsletter
P.O. Box 22107
Greensboro, NC 27420
of our Sport)
By Tom Crowe
In the beginning there was the
professional Handlers Association, then the Dog Handlers
Guild and finally the Certified Professional Handlers. The PHA has
been very active for many years and was in times past, to some
extent, loosely supervised by the AKC. The Brumby family Len, Sr.
and Len, Jr. were the dynamos of the organization for many years.
The late Laddie Carswell along with Clint Callahan were also very
influential on the Board of Governors as was Bill Trainor and even
One did not ask to join the PHA.
After many reports from members and discussions of your
qualifications at board meetings you were invited to file an
application. Sometime later, if you were still considered to be
acceptable, in manner and dress as well as ability, your
application might be approved. (I was almost turned down because
one of the old board members thought my mustache wasnt properly
trimmed.) If one unsatisfactory report was heard during this
waiting period you were not considered again until some later date
and more good reports were filed.
The Dog Handlers Guild is mainly a
mid-western organization started by George Ward, Dick Cooper, Tom
Crowe, Charlie Prager and several others whose names escape my
memory. I became a member on the Deep South circuit where it all
started. Charlie Prager walked up to my crates at one of the shows
and said, Give me fifty dollars. I complied. You are now
a member of the Dog Handlers Guild, he said. The ideals of the
Guild as it exists today are basically the same as those of the
All of the members of these
organizations were AKC Licensed Handlers. It was of course a
prerequisite to being a member. We were highly regulated by the
AKC. Al Dick, the executive vice president, knew every one of us
by our first names and woe be unto you if you screwed up. Client
complaints were listened to and investigated and you were
interviewed and then suspended if found negligent. Appeals were in
order but your case had to be good. All in all the system worked
until the day came when a handler, who shall remain nameless, was
suspended and decided to hire a lawyer to sue the AKC for taking
away his right to make a living.
The outcome of this fiasco was the
end of licensing handlers. The AKC Board decided they did not need
this type of headache and washed their hands of the whole thing,
well not quite. It soon became apparent that the persons taking
dogs into the show rings needed to be identified in the catalogs
for a number of reasons. The stewards needed to know who was
handling what dogs etc. The main reason, however, was to
determine responsibility for the dog at the show in case of
emergency, dog bites etc. If it wasnt the owner, then who was
it? The word agent was garnered up and handlers became agents. Big
deal. Everybody became an agent and foisted themselves on the
public as professional handlers with no real regulation or
The real professionals knew this
wouldnt work and they decided with the help of Mel Downing, Tom
Crowe, George Ward, Peter Green, Bob Smith, Connie Barton, Eric
Bergishagen, Mark Threlfall and many others to organize a
Certification Board to establish qualifications and rules for
professional handlers. Hundreds of persons have agreed with the
concept and that board now exists today.
It is chartered in the State of
Maryland and is authorized by law to issue titles of certification
when certain criteria have been met. Today there are over 100 such
certificates and titles held by certain professional handlers. In
effect this board has recognized there is a responsibility to the
public and to the hard working, honest and dedicated professional
to be recognized. One may apply for certification but it is only
attained after much investigation into the background of the
person and their facilities for the care and handling of dogs
entrusted to them.
The CPH Board was able to convince
the AKC Board that there was a difference between an agent and a
professional handler and a compromise was reached within the
Board. The result: the titles PHA, DHG, CPH and AGENT could
henceforth be listed in catalogs. The compromise accomplished
nothing as far as the poor novice or the exhibitor is concerned.
Recent problems that made headlines confirmed the fallacy of this
A licensed professional should be a
responsible person certified by the AKC as having met the
conditions and qualifications as a professional and is entitled to
advertise to the public and be accepted as such in good faith. An
agent is an individual representing the owner only and has no
certified qualifications except as the owners representative.
I have never been able to
understand the present position of the AKC in regard to the
licensing of handlers. I believe they are shirking their duty to
the sport. People participating in our sport have the right to
know the reputations and qualifications of persons claiming to be
professionals. When they have neither the ability, the facilities
or reputations to be called professionals they are misrepresenting
themselves to the public. In other words they are practicing
without a license. In some professions thats a felony crime.
Even as a plumber.
The AKC has grown to dynamic
proportions and has the wherewithal to inspect, investigate and
supervise professional handlers. Why are they reluctant to do so?
When they look for field reps, where do they look? When they
approve judges for multiple breeds whom do they consider as best
qualified? Who are the most respected judges judging today? Who
were the most qualified judges of the past.
When are they going to realize that
professional handlers are a vital part of our sport and that they
must be supervised and regulated. Most of all they need to be
recognized for the part they play in promoting our sport and
keeping it alive. An AKC license properly administered can do all
of this. Its time to right the wrong done in the revenge of a
single person. The Professional Handlers Association, the Dog
Handlers Guild and Certified Professional Handlers Board
will be more than willing to assist in righting this wrong.
A delegates committee should be
appointed to review this situation and work with the AKC Board and
the above organizations to establish the rules and regulations
which will bring this long standing wrong to an end.
Incidentally, dont let the fact
that handlers have (loser) enemies sway your judgement. Just
remember when the professional handler turns to judging or becomes
an AKC rep every one of those enemies becomes an immediate friend.
Support licensing for
The time has
We have had several articles about
special dogs in our lives, this time I want to talk about one of
our Special Shows. Bucks County Kennel Club. It is held in early
May in what has to be one of the most beautiful areas of
Pennsylvania. We stay in New Hope, a quaint little town, its
streets lined with shops and eateries. The drive from New Hope to
the show along the crooked road that follows the Delaware River is
breath taking. There are beautiful old stone homes, weathered by
centuries of storms, nestled in every crook and turn. We pass a
commercial tulip garden with its striped rows of blossoms in
bright yellows, deep reds and dazzling blues. We pass a sheep farm
where they are holding a shearing contest. Then the homes seem to
get larger and larger with each having more acreage than the last.
We arrive at the show - a large
well cared for park - plenty of parking - large tents for grooming
- large rings for showing your dogs - a show hosted by people who
care about the exhibitor. They, under the direction of Dr. Deubler
go to great extremes to provide the fancy with a first class show
and they succeed year after year. The judging panel reads like a
whos who in dogdom. They have nearly 4,000 entries each year.
Its felt a Breed or Group win here adds much to your dogs
record. Even when it rains it only dampens the body - not the
spirit - cause this is Bucks. A very Special Show.
SHAGGY DOG STORIES
Our Dog training club tested canine
obedience by having our pets sit in a row while we placed a
sausage in front of each. The dogs were supposed to resist
temptation until the owners gave them a signal, permitting them to
eat the treats.
One animal had a novel approach. He
ran down the line devouring the sausages in front of all the other
dogs until he came to the one that was at his owners command. -
Contributed by Lucille Gray
My husband and I returned home one
day and found that the down comforter in our bedroom had been torn
to shreds. In a corner our Labrador Retriever and Greyhound were
cowering sheepishly. I wonder which one did this, my husband
said in disgust as tiny white feathers floated throughout the
It must have been the Lab, I
said as he went to bring out the vacuum cleaner.
How can you tell? he asked.
He forgot to wipe the feathers
from his mouth. - Contributed by V.G. Hemingway Kohmetscher
At the end of a visit to Amsterdam,
a friend borrowed an old suitcase for his hosts to carry home his
souvenirs. At the airport, however, a customs officer subjected
our friends luggage to a thorough search and even sent for a
Sure enough, the dog entered the
area, headed straight for the borrowed bag and went into a frenzy.
The customs officer now intensified his search, but ultimately he
After arriving home, the young man
immediately phoned his hosts and told them how puzzled hed been
by the dogs behavior. Perhaps, the owner of the suitcase
said, it was because thats the bag our cat usually sleeps
in. - Contributed by J. Rietdijk-Shepherd
1. How Dogs and Men Are the Same -
Both take up too much space in
the bed. Both have irrational fears about vacuum cleaning.
Both are threatened by their own kind. Both mark their
territory. Both are bad at asking you questions. Both have
an inordinate fascination with womens crotches. Neither
does any dishes. Both pass gas shamelessly. Neither of
them notice when you get your hair cut. Both like dominance
games. Both are suspicious of the postman. Neither knows
how to talk on the telephone. Neither understands what you see
2. How Dogs Are Better Than Men -
Dogs do not have problems
expressing affection in public. Dogs miss you when youre
gone. Dogs feel guilt when theyve done something wrong.
Dogs dont criticize your friends. Dogs admit when theyre
jealous. Dogs are very direct about wanting to go out.
Dogs do not play games with you - except Frisbee (and they never
laugh at how you throw). Dogs dont feel threatened by your
intelligence. You can train a dog. Dogs are easy to buy
for. You are never suspicious of your dogs dreams. The
worst social disease you can get from dogs is fleas. (OK. The
*really* worst disease you can get from them is rabies, but
theres a vaccine for it, and you get to kill the one that gives
it to you.) Dogs understand what no means. Dogs understand
if some of their friends cannot come inside. Middle-aged dogs
dont feel the need to abandon you for a younger owner. Dogs
admit it when theyre lost. Dogs are color blind. Dogs
arent threatened if you earn more than they do. Dogs mean
it when they kiss you.
This months SHAGGY DOG STORIES
where received via the Internet.
is a good thing.
If you have a favorite doggy laff --
particularly a true story --
please send it in and share a good laff with fellow dog
enthusiasts in our humor section.
c/o The Shaggy Dog
P.O. Box 22107
Greensboro, NC 27420
AKC CANINE HEALTH FOUNDATION
MEMBERS OF THE AKC CANINE HEALTH FOUNDATION
In March we began introducing to
you the members of the Canine Health Foundation. We will be able
to continue spotlighting two members of the board until all
nineteen have been presented. You will be quite surprised at the
talent and the power of these volunteers in their regular daily
lives. Indeed we are very fortunate to have such talent within our
midst with the knowledge and the willingness to carry out our
mission of WORKING TOGETHER FOR THE HEALTH OF YOUR DOG.
Highlighted in our May issue, Mrs.
Myrle Hale and Mrs. Susan Hamil.
like our Newsletter write or call and tell us.
want questions answered ask us.
have opinions to share write them for us
and well publish them.
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