On your soapbox!!!

greenspun.com : LUSENET : Shih-Tzu Talkshop : One Thread

Thought we could use this thread to have a good old `spout` on our favourite hobbyhorses!(:o)

-- Anonymous, July 21, 2000


Reading an article by Peggy Grayson last week made me chuckle, and reminded me of another `pet hate`.

People who wear various identifying badges on their lapels when they go in the ring. Membership badges. Kennel Club badges, various Breed Club badges etc., really bad form I think.

Also, there used to be a trend for having a towel embroidered with your kennel name, or the top of your tack box embellished with it, and it wasn`t unusual to see grooming tables placed as close as possible to ringside with the name of the kennel carefully placed to be in full view of the judge. Fortunately this practice seems to have been stamped out, just about. Gamesmanship at it`s worst!

What I do think would be quite useful, would be if you were allowed at BENCHED shows to have some sort of plaque with your kennel name on it, that could be placed up next to the bench numbers. Very useful if you are looking for someone, and like me, invariably forget to bring your reading glasses to a show! (;o)

-- Anonymous, February 04, 2001

Hi Sheila, no, of course I don`t think you`re being naive - I think the majority of judges are exactly like you, and concentrating so hard on the job in hand that lapel pins would go completely unnoticed. I suspect that the `Best in Show` towels that I spoke of would be hard to miss, as they were draped over the dogs in the ring! However, as I also said, I think this particular practice has been largely stamped out.

By and large I suspect that the few people who do indulge in gamesmanship, and I do think it is just a `few`, seldom gain any kind of advantage from it. Probably the opposite. as they may gain a dubious reputation. It wasn`t a weighty article by Peggy Grayson - simply another subject dealt with briefly, and with just about the appropriate degree of levity. As Gloria suggested, there are more important issues - I just threw it in as a talking point. (:o)

-- Anonymous, February 05, 2001

One of my pet subjects is `the perils of stud dog ownership`. Before I came into Shih-Tzus, my breed was Irish Setters, one of which was a super dog who was very much in demand for stud work. He was my first `show` dog, and I actually got him by accident! I had gone to look at a litter of cocker spaniels, and saw this one Irish Setter puppy, all on his own, and fell hook line and sinker for him! He was actually destined to go abroad, but the negotiations were dragging on, and the breeder (swayed by the fact that I lived just down the road) let me have him.

The breeder had one of the oldest, and best respected, kennels in the breed. Her dogs were famous for their beautiful, old-fashioned, heads, glorious coats, and fantastic movement. Sadly, the breeder died a few months later, and I therefore was blessed with the last dog she bred, and he came from a litter where he was the only dog.

Being a complete novice in the ways of the dog showing/breeding world, my ownership of `Jake` became a baptism of fire in all respects!

to be continued/.................(:o)

-- Anonymous, July 21, 2000

I was, as I said, a total novice in all respects. I didn`t start showing my dog until he was 18 months old. I had actually taken him to a lady to be trimmed, and she just stood open mouthed as said `you have got to show this dog!` It was hard work learning the ropes with a dog who didn`t know how to stand still, and who`s idea of fun was to wash the judges` faces at every opportunity!

However, as soon as I started showing him, the stud enquiries started flooding in. My mentor and dearest friend for sixteen years, now sadly deceased, was a boon in the early days. Never making my decisions for me, but giving me the knowledge and advice I needed to form my own opinions. My lovely boy took to stud work like a duck to water, he was fantastic, totally laid back, and a joy to live with. He was very prepotent, always passing on the beautiful head, and his male children particularly were like clones. Even now, I can go to ringside and pick out his children, and grandchildren without fail.

However, it wasn`t by any means a bed of roses! And here we come to the nitty gritty. I learned about the `negative` side of the dog world too.........!

-- Anonymous, July 24, 2000

Some of the qualities you require to own a successful stud dog: Tact, diplomacy, nerves of steel, patience, a thick skin, a sense of humour, imagination, inventiveness, and, of course a good dog!

You have to be able to `fib` convincingly (preferably with a list of ready made excuses as to why your dog is not available at stud - this is necessary when you are caught off guard by an unexpected phone call from someone who you would prefer not to have access to your dog!) On the other hand, you have to be able to be brutally honest sometimes. You have to know the limitations of your dog - the old adage `you can`t make a silk purse out of a pig`s ear` comes to mind here. No matter how prepotent your dog is, there are some faults that are just not correctable!

You have to formulate your own pricipals, and be prepared to stick to them. You have to know your pedigrees inside out, be totally honest in your dealings with people, and be mindful of problems within the breed. You have to be prepared to be bullied, maligned, snubbed, talked down to, gossiped about and lied to. ANYTHING, and I do mean ANYTHING, that goes wrong with the ensuing litter is ALWAYS the stud dog`s fault! Your dogs temperament, conformation, movement, soundness, virility etc., will be examined by everyone and their third cousin, in the most insulting and detrimental way!

There`s more...........!!!(:o)

-- Anonymous, July 27, 2000

I think the thing that really annoys me the most, is the fact that you have no way of protecting the offspring of your dog. And yet, if you try to be responsible about who can use the dog, you invariably end up being labelled `standoffish` or `picky`. Many a time when I have asked questions like, `do you have puppies booked?`, `are the puppies going to be reared indoors?`, `what provisions do you make for the puppies welfare in your sales agreements?`, I have been given that `what the hell is it to do with you?` look!!!

I have always thought that if a Breed Club Rescue finds large amounts of puppies coming into their hands from any one particular breeder, then the Breed Club concerned (perhaps via the KC) should be able to issue a warning to that breeder. I think the same should apply to stud dog owners, when large numbers of their progeny are going into rescue.

OK - I`ll stop now! It wasn`t all doom and gloom - I had some joyous moments too, and a wonderful glow when I see my lovely boy carried on in his offspring. I could also write a book on the hillarious, and sometimes utterly unbelieveable things that happened to us. Above all else, it was an incredible `learning` experience!!!(:o)

-- Anonymous, July 29, 2000

Sorry to say Roz I have fulfilled two of your hates - namely that I have, on occasions,(mainly when I take a fancy) at club shows worn a club badge in the ring, and I have a towel embroidered with Redhall Shih Tzu, I had this done by Overhill when I was showing my first Shih Tzu, I was so pleased to get my affix and liked the idea of sitting my dog on said towel (bath mat actually) for grooming, nothing more than that, personally I think there are much bigger issues at stake when showing dogs.

-- Anonymous, February 04, 2001

Hi Gloria. Wearing the Club badge at the Club Show is fair enough, but that wasn`t really what I meant. I mean when badges of affiliation or even office are worn in the ring as a ploy to influence the judge. As a for instance, a few years ago we had an American judge at a big local open show, I could have worn my very distinctive ASTC membership badge (which of course I didn`t) as a ploy to maybe get the judge to look a bit more closely at my dogs?

To be honest, I haven`t seen this sort of thing going on so much lately, but it obviously still does as Peggy felt it worth a mention in her column.

Yes, in the greater scheme of things there are more important issues, and it is only a `pet hate`. It is also something which can be done quite innocently and without an ulterior motive, but it could also be easily misconstrued.(:o)

Another `for instance` - you have a first time judge, feeling ever so slightly nervous, and an exhibitor enters the ring wearing a KC membership badge. It could be a little intimidating.

As for the embroidered towel thing, I wasn`t saying that you shouldn`t have them, merely that I don`t like to see them waved under the judges noses at ringside (which I don`t for one moment think is something you would do). And I have seen this done.

Another bit of gamesmanship which was very common, certainly in the Irish Setter rings for quite a while, was the habit of taking Best of Breed or Best in Show towels into the ring and draping them over the dogs to keep them cool.

-- Anonymous, February 04, 2001

How odd, the paragraphs in my last posting have all changed sequence! Oh well, I expect you still get the gist of it!(:o)

-- Anonymous, February 04, 2001

Hi Roz, I had a little time to sit and read my mail so I thought I would make a comment on the pin subject. I hate to sound naive but do you think the judges really notice people wearing their pins, etc? I know when I am in the ring judgeing I could not tell you what someone is wearing let alone something as small as a pin, necklace etc. and I LOVE jewelry. Put it on the dog and I would notice it. When I am talking to someone and not judgeing I would definatly notice then.

-- Anonymous, February 05, 2001

My pet hate in the ring is being stood along side someone who is continually clucking at their dog it can be very difficult when you are trying to keep your dogs attention to hear someone clucking behind you or squeaking a toy, they not only attract their own dogs attention but everyone elses Pat

-- Anonymous, August 21, 2001

Or baiting their dogs and leaving distracting bits of liver all over the place! (:o)

-- Anonymous, August 21, 2001

and heels that clip clop on the floor as your walking around

-- Anonymous, August 22, 2001

and people who place their dogs 2 ft in front of yours in the line up so that they overshadow your dog

-- Anonymous, August 22, 2001

and people in the line up who place their dogs 2 ft in front of yours so that they overshadow your dog

-- Anonymous, August 22, 2001

Sounds like you`ve had fun in the ring! (;o)

-- Anonymous, August 22, 2001

Not really Roz i think im just learning some of the tricks of the trade lol >G< Pat

-- Anonymous, August 23, 2001

Hi Roz, its me again. I have been popping in from time to time but dont seem to see many additions to the contributions in the way of comments or answers. Has everyone gone to sleep for the winter or what?. I want to go back to your origional topic of stud dog ownership. I have just used my black and white boy for the first time and have a written agreement about the resultant litter of pups as this is a proof mating, but what in particular ought I to be on the lookout for? perhaps you could give me some guidance here...Pat

-- Anonymous, December 13, 2001

Moderation questions? read the FAQ