I must admit, I have been becoming more and more uncomfortable with the idea of purebred dogs as of late. I still get a kick out of dog shows, especially the big ones like Westminster, in the same way that I like going to zoos. But, but, but … I’m finding it increasingly hard to justify the practices behind both these institutions.
I am getting the feeling we are approaching a turning point on this whole issue. Here’s what Joseph Harvill, publisher of Great Scots Magazine, has to say:
Judges who make pronouncement upon breed ‘perfection’ based upon atypical, one-dimensional, solely appearance-based assessment, and those whose selective breeding is influenced by such parodies of true breed assessment, in truth know little of the breed. The modern Scottish Terrier, the contemporary poster-dog for the National Institutes of Health’s genetic bladder cancer research because our Scotties are 20 times more at risk for bladder cancer than any other dog, is broken and we broke him with our trivial pursuits. The Scottish Terrier needs friends of deeper connection than the superficial, friends who reject quick, shallow appraisal of perfection in this ‘garden.’
For too long we’ve abdicated the Scottish Terrier to showring culture to trivialize our dogs’ function as well as our breed’s health and well-being. The Scottie’s future depends upon a new breed of friends who will circle slowly, walk through lingeringly and intimately and compassionately, and who will thereby become true defining instruments to fire the old ‘gardener’ if necessary or at least the old practices as needed to cultivate in the Scottish Terrier authentic “well-bred” perfection that embodies life and health, not mere show.
Please add your opinions and I would really like to hear from those who show Scottish Terriers as well as breeders.