In the USA it's a big deal to have one of your dogs show well against their own breed. In Canada the Ridgeback entries are not very high so mostly we compete against other breeds - our statistics and breed rankings operate a little differently as a result. Although a winning record against other breeds is really nice it is said, by some, that winning against your own breed carries more merit. Comparing like to like can be harder than comparing apples to oranges. It can also be easier depending on how confident in type and structure you are and how familiar with a particular breed you have become.
I guess the arguement is that showing against your own breed makes it harder to stand out and forces the judges to look more closely at the dogs. However, with large entries it is very hard not to fault judge and it can be too easy to dismiss an exemplary dog if it's in the ring with several mediocre dogs. Then again, showing against other breeds forces the judges to know their standards to be able to decide if this Ridgeback is a better Ridgeback than that Basenji is a Basenji. However, you run the risk of them choosing the 'generic show dog' because they do not have the skill or experience to know a correct dog when they see it. I think both levels of competition have their own merit and one does not necessarily trump the other.
Of course, when you have a Ridgeback currently standing in the top ten of the breed in the USA you can afford to be blase right? Not that I did more than whelp his litter and raise them - the bulk of the work has been done by his US owner Erin and his handler Juliet - but I can still boast a bit and promote the heck out of him. I am speaking, obviously, of Zero who as of June 30 was the #7 Ridgeback in Breed Standings. For every dog beaten he earns one point and so far he is winning breed at least once every weekend he is out. He is already multi-group placing as well and we are barely halfway through the year.
Here's to continued success for him and his amazing handler Juliet and for Erin who has gone above and beyond in promoting this fabulous dog.