Or should dog shows be a competition? This was something that was brought up at 4H yesterday. We all know conformation shows is to evaluate breeding stock. But WHY is it a contest, WHY are their winners and losers? If dog shows are truly about evaluating breed stock, and not about winning a ribbon, shouldn't each individual dog be judged on its own? They could keep the point system and the requirement of different judges evaluating the dogs, but instead of saying this dog is number 1, all dogs that show be awarded points based on how close they are to the breed standard. They could then be issued a certificate saying that they worthy being a breeding dog. Maybe then we could get away from all the chalk, dye, hairspray, wigs, and all the other substance that is added to the dogs fur to make them "look pretty". The reason we got into this discussion is... One of our former 4h kids is now an advisor. She is learning to be a professional handler and a dog trainer. She is currently working with a Mal,(part of her training) that comes from a kennel that breeds/trains dogs for schutzhund and police/military work. She has gotten some guff for working with this kennel from show people, because this kennel does not show their dogs in conformation. I think it is ridiculous this kennel is being put down because they don't "show" their dogs. Obviously these dogs have to be excellent conformation to be able to do what they are doing day in and day out! The military/police would not keep buying from these people if their dogs couldn't hold up to their everyday job! Which is more than what I can say for the majority of the so called AKC Champion dogs! Which led us to the discussion of why is conformation nothing but a contest/brag fest? It just seems to me that dog shows have gotten away from the true reason of what there purpose is. Please explain to me why or why not I am wrong!!