Sunday, February 22, 2009

(Dog) Beauty Pagents

An interesting article from the UK Telegraph: Size Zero row reaches dog shows.

The Kennel Club has banned weigh-ins for the breed at Crufts in response to fears that owners were denying food and water to dogs in the hours before they were due on the scales. It has also relaxed the regulations for other shows, leaving it to individual judges to choose whether to hold a weigh-in or not.

I don't know how much truth is behind this, but it is logical to suspect that it might be somewhat widespread. The real tragedy is that using scales to keep a dog at a certain weight for a breed, which is supposed to be a tool to indicate function (yeah, take that for what it's worth) has NOT had the desired effect of encouraging breeders to actually breed a dog that naturally reaches that weight.

Now, if this same dog was required to actually do something (standing on a pair of scales is not doing something) functional, form (weight in this case) would follow. Agility competitors are learning this, and doubtless building the foundation for more than a few breed splits down the road...

And if the dog doesn't have to do anything, then the competition is only a superficial beauty pageant.

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