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June 1998 Newsletter - Volume 2. Issue 10

Select an Article

Guy’s Corner

by Guy Walton

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. That’s not a few days or even a month mistake. That’s 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. What’s 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 don’t 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 don’t allow them to change.

Let’s 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 they’re going to get a free ride? If you’re thinking of this don’t try it with us. We are going to collect. What about sweepstakes and futurity money? It’s bad enough now to redo the monies, now you’re adding two more possibilities. It’s 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 don’t go to dog shows or club meetings and at times vote their own opinions without polling their clubs). Let’s 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, I’m 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 company).

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 disagreed.

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 (that’s 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 didn’t 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, “I’ll just be damned. I can’t believe that.” He yelled to the guide, “Did you see that?” The guide replied, “What’s dat?” The Yankee replied, “Your dog is running on top of the water.” The guide answered, “Yes and I’m 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 Justin’s Cajun vernacularisms.)

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by Dorie Crowe

This incident occurred at a show. The club name is not important, the breed name is not important, the exhibitor’s name is not important, the judge’s name is not important, the superintendent in attendance at the show is not important. It is that the INCIDENT HAPPENED AT ALL that is important.

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 that’s 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. “What’s 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, what’s wrong with this picture? What has happened here and why?

Here is a family that has purchased a dog and wanted to show it. That’s wonderful. We’re always glad to have new exhibitors come into the sport. But look at what has happened.

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 it’s 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? Shouldn’t he/she?

Now let’s 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? Shouldn’t they?

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? Shouldn’t 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? Shouldn’t he/she?

Now, for our puppy buyer. In many cases here’s a novice spending hundreds of dollars on a purebred dog. When spending hundreds of dollars on something that’s going to become part of the family for many years wouldn’t it be a good idea to do some research on what you’re getting and from whom? Shouldn’t 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 shouldn’t 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 can’t 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 they’ve 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. Shouldn’t 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 happening again?

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Please send your comments to:

MB-F, Inc.
c/o MB-F, Inc. Newsletter
P.O. Box 22107
Greensboro, NC 27420


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Professional Handlers

(Pillars of our Sport)

By Tom Crowe

In the beginning there was the professional Handler’s Association, then the Dog Handler’s 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 Tom Crowe.

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 wasn’t 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 PHA.

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 dog’s etc. The main reason, however, was to determine responsibility for the dog at the show in case of emergency, dog bites etc. If it wasn’t 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 supervision.

The real professionals knew this wouldn’t 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 compromise.

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 owner’s 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 that’s 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. It’s time to right the wrong done in the revenge of a single person. The Professional Handler’s Association, the Dog Handler’s Guild and Certified Professional Handler’s Board will be more than willing to assist in righting this wrong.

A delegate’s 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, don’t 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 Handlers.

The time has come.

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Special Show

By Jean Witt

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 who’s who in dogdom. They have nearly 4,000 entries each year. It’s felt a Breed or Group win here adds much to your dog’s record. Even when it rains it only dampens the body - not the spirit - cause this is Bucks. A very Special Show.

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Canine Capers

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 owner’s 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 room.

“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 friend’s luggage to a thorough search and even sent for a drug-sniffing dog.

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 found nothing.

After arriving home, the young man immediately phoned his hosts and told them how puzzled he’d been by the dog’s behavior. “Perhaps,” the owner of the suitcase said, “it was because that’s the bag our cat usually sleeps in.” - Contributed by J. Rietdijk-Shepherd

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Men And Dogs

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 women’s 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 in cats.

2. How Dogs Are Better Than Men -

• Dogs do not have problems expressing affection in public. • Dogs miss you when you’re gone. • Dogs feel guilt when they’ve done something wrong. • Dogs don’t criticize your friends. • Dogs admit when they’re 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 don’t feel threatened by your intelligence. • You can train a dog. • Dogs are easy to buy for. • You are never suspicious of your dog’s 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 there’s 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 don’t feel the need to abandon you for a younger owner. • Dogs admit it when they’re lost. • Dogs are color blind. • Dogs aren’t 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.

Humor 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.

Send to:

MB-F, Inc.
c/o The Shaggy Dog
P.O. Box 22107
Greensboro, NC 27420





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.


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