Where is the equity at the Westminster Dog Show?

By Dr. Harold A. Black



I’m a dog person and dogs know it. Perhaps they sense it because they very seldom are aggressive toward me. I once was called by my vet who wanted to know if I was interested in another female German shorthaired pointer (my favorite breed). They said her owner was terminally ill and wanted to find her a nice home. The only problem was that she didn’t like men. I said, “She will like me.”

When I went to see her I met her in the back of the building. She came right to me, wagging her bobbed tail and looked at me with sad brown eyes. I took her home. Her name was Greta. She was wonderful and protective. She was patient and loving with my grandkids, including my then-young grandson. But if a strange male came to the door she would literally attack the door. However, if I told her it was all right and let someone into the house, she would either go into her crate or lie on her pillow and forget about the visitor.

I would occasionally host a poker game. Greta with my other two GSPs would be on pillows in the kitchen while we played in the dining room. I would tell the players to ignore the dogs and don’t pet them. Once I was ignored and one player reached down to pet Greta. She bit him. He never played in our game again.

The only time she threatened a woman was when my other half was recovering from a horrific automobile accident. A nurse would come to the house periodically to take blood and do other ministrations. One day the nurse hurt her while drawing blood and continued even though told to stop. Greta jumped up on the bed and growled deeply at the nurse who asked, “Is she going to bite me?”

“Yes, if you don’t stop.”

The nurse stopped. From that point on, Greta had to be put in another room whenever that nurse appeared.

A few years ago a German shorthaired named CJ won best in show at Westminster. CJ made my GSPs look like mutts and got me wondering which breeds had never won best in show at Westminster. I was shocked to find that 11 of the top 20 breeds had never won best in show including the Labrador retriever and the golden retriever. In fact, 160 breeds have never won best in show. Obviously, the judges are prejudiced with blind spots. How else to explain it? The breeds that have won the most are the wire fox terrier with 15 wins, the Scottish terrier (my other half’s favorite breed) with eight, and the English springer spaniel with six wins. The standard poodle has won four times and this year the winner was the miniature poodle. Personally, I hate the poodle cut and would disqualify the dog because of it.

If your breed is one of the 160 that has never won best of show, then why bother showing up? All the goldens, all the Labs, the dachshunds, rottweilers, Welsh corgis, Great Danes, Shih Tzu, miniature schnauzer, Australian shepherds and French bulldogs are just wasting their time. Even those that have only won once have the odds stacked against them like the Pomeranians and cocker spaniels. They might as well stay home.

In today’s world, there should be massive protests by those on the left demanding equity and fairness at Westminster. Even though the best of every breed gets a participation trophy, equity would demand that one of the 160 win best in show. That means that for the next 160 years, one of those dogs should take home the top prize. It would only be fair!