Gilberts' K-9 Seminars News & Review
Copyright (c) 2004-2008 Gilberts' K-9 Seminars

A reader wrote in response to the article: DO JUDGES NOW NEED AN ADVANCED GROOMING DEGREE?
”As long as Judges reward overdone dogs, dogs will be shown overdone. If AKC went to the national show or Westminster, taking notes and disqualifying every dog shown with chalk, the next weekend, no one will be using chalk.”

Patricia H. Gilbert responded: Thanks for the feed back on the article.
Good idea but can you make it work? I don't think so. Take notes? How do you match the dog seen on the table with the exhibit in the ring or do you just write up the offender right then and forget about the dog?

How does a judge that comes from say Doberman Pinschers know that a Newfoundland dog is completely sculpted, fluffed, moussed and sprayed? That poor judge has no experience in grooming. The parent club presentations often don't tell you about what they do when many on the education committee are the ones fluffing and spraying. For heavens sakes they are back combing and spraying LEGS to give the illusion of more bone. Too crazy! How does that unwitting judge know a dog is overdone? He comes from a wash and go breed so anything might appear overdone to him. Does he ignore what he thinks MIGHT be overdone and put up the poorer specimen?

The topic as you can see offers more questions, than solutions.

I agree on testing for chalk but when do you check? I would check in the ring. In the grooming area it is not fair to check for chalk. In the grooming area checking for coloring and switches (hair pieces) etc. would be fair.

The original intention of chalk was as a cleaning substance. Many breeds require a coat texture that does not do well with a lot of bathing. I don't have a problem with chalk as long as it is used properly and ALL the loose stuff is blown out or brushed out before the dog is exhibited. It is the sloppy or arrogant grooming that leaves dust trails in their wake that I find offensive. As a judge, if it comes off on my hands, then the dog is not properly groomed and is poorly done. Now often times chalking is used to fake color and fill in or cover up spots. That does rub off and is illegal and offensive. The good fakers make it so it does not rub off. They use dye and not chalk.

So the smart fakers go out to their rigs, do up their dogs, and walk out the door into the ring. You have to be really dumb to do some of the stuff I see done in full view of the world. I shake my head in wonder.

The MinPin woman I wrote about was coloring over a DISQUALIFICATION in front of us and on our table!!! I am still outraged. It makes me sick.

As I wrote, many of the professional presenters are good at what they do. It is the poor novice that would get nailed.

That being said, dog shows are one of the few competitive sports arenas that amateurs compete on an equal basis with professionals. Amateurs need to get professional in a hurry. A poor hard coat presentation on a Terrier because the groomer is an amateur is not an excuse. A badly scissored Bichon or a poor spray up on a Poodle is not an excuse either for an amateur. When you pick a tough breed for presentation requirements, you need to get professional in a hurry to be competitive.

I would love to see random testing of hair samples and I agree with you. If judges didn't award it, etc. But do judges now need an advanced grooming degree, a microscope, quick thumb to pop illegal and extra bands, a sharp and sensitive nose and so much more. What ever happened to just judging dogs?

We (breeders, exhibitors, handlers, judges) all suffer in the end. We get the results in the whelping box. Why do we wonder where it came from?

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