Monday, April 11, 2011

Winner Takes All

Dogs shows are a roller coaster any time you go but when you throw two shows a day into the mix it can make for some pretty crazy results. The Ridgeback entry in BC is really high with both the RRCBC Specialty and the Canadian Specialty reaching upwards of 100 dogs entered. The satellite shows, meaning the all breed shows held on the same days, have about half that entry. In such competitive crowds it's hard to imagine the same dog winning consistently because every judge is so different in their opinion of a Ridgeback.

Crazy right?

I mean, what is the point of a 'standard' when it doesn't create standard dogs at all? There is literally nothing standard about it because each judge sees the dog described differently in their mind. The standard does describe a brown average looking hound dog with a ridge on it's back. The finer points of the breed description can be left open to interpretation and because of the variety of types within the breed (a result of breeders breeding to what they interpret as the standard) judges are often presented with dogs in the ring that can be alarmingly dissimilar.

I know it's confusing but imagine several contractors being given the same plans of a building's architecture. The end result, regardless of who builds it, should be the same right? In dogs, because these are living creatures, strict adherence to the 'architectural plans' cannot be maintained - they are organic and as such rarely adhere to the strict tenets of a blueprint. This is what makes breeding dogs challenging and maddening. You are trying to adhere to the standard while accommodating and allowing for faults and virtues over which you rarely have control. It's a guessing game much of the time and you can't always predict the results.

Results? Why yes, I do have results! A dismal morning All Breed show for Zero turns into a fabulous afternoon with Best of Winners and another 5 points toward his Canadian Championship at the RR Club of British Columbia specialty! A few people at ringside are putting it down to rubbing his sister's pregnant belly for luck - hope she comes tomorrow! Now that he is sitting on 10 points he just needs another win under another judge to be considered a Canadian Champion. It needn't be anything more than one point, he just needs to have 3 wins under 3 judges to make it official. If he can win tomorrow great but sitting on 10 points after one weekend certainly makes a great start at getting the job done! Once again Juliet piloted Zero to a flawless performance and this team is proving that a great working relationship is the only way to fly.

I must back up and mention the morning's All Breed show with 11 month old Atlas once again taking Best of Breed over a very large entry and then he went on to a group 4th, Best Puppy in Hroup and THEN Best Puppy in Show! Needless to say this dog has had quite an incredible weekend of wins and is now the #1 Ridgeback in Canada. See? Invictus girls make great babies! But ... we already knew that! Congrats to Team Atlas!

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