So I was reading an article on the internet about dog shows. Did you know that some people spend up to $250,000 in a year to show their dog in order to get to Westminster? Yes. You are seeing 4 zeros. Now not EVERYONE spends that amount of money – and you may be wondering how that is even POSSIBLE. Well for people who don’t show dogs, here’s my take on dog shows and what they cost…
- Entry fees. Every time you enter a dog show and spend sometimes less than 2 minutes in a beauty pagent ring being examined by a judge, you pay a fee. The entry fee can be somewhere around $30. That’s BALLPARK. For big shows like Westminster, the fees can be double that. But your average weekend show would be AROUND that. And if there are four shows in one weekend, that means four entry fees.
- Travel and accommodations. If you are going to a show in your home community, this isn’t a big deal. BUT, if you enter a show that is more than an hour or two away, chances are you will be staying near the show. So you have accommodation fees. If the show is closer, you have your multiple transportation costs. When people get into “campaigning” their dogs (yup – just like a human political campaign!) they may even fly the dog across the country for shows. So then you have airline costs. Really. By campaigning your dog, you hope to win LOTS of times – and become the top ranking dog in your breed, in your group – or overall the most winning dog of all breeds for a particular year.
- Professional handler fees. Now not everyone has a professional handler show their dog. Some people, like my human, like to give it a try on their own. She’s a glutton for punishment. The pros really know what they are doing. A pro can make a so-so looking dog look like a million bucks and a non-pro can make a REALLY good dog look not so great. The fee for professional handlers can range anywhere from $100 to several hundred dollars. And you pay that every time your dog walks in the ring. So again, if you enter 4 shows in one weekend, mutiply that number by 4.
- Grooming. Some people who show dogs, have professional groomers or even the handler get the dog ready for the show. Groomers cost money too. Many people who show their dogs MAY groom them on their own. But you still have to pay for fancy shampoos, conditioners, brushes, combs, dryers, grooming tables…..There is a cost to looking beautiful.
- Advertisement. IF you are winning a LOT and campaigning your dog, you may wish to advertise your accomplishments in dog show magazines. Yes – these do exist. And let’s just say that although the judges are not biased in ANY way, a dog that is seen frequently in shows and in ads will become familiar to the judges – because even judges read dog show magazines. So that’s NOT to say that it is a GIVEN that a top winning dog will win every time – and really, they DON’T. But the better you are, and more you are out there, I THINK the better your chances MIGHT be.
I’m not going to include the costs of treats or food – because we would have those whether we went to a show or not!
So those are the general expenses. And you want to hear THE most crazy thing? So after humans spend all this money, let’s say they WIN the show. And guess what. 90% of shows do NOT give monetary prizes!!! Even Westminster! Sure you get a pewter bowl, a nice ribbon and probably loads of endorsements – but in terms of PRIZE winnings – nada.
So. They asked dog show humans WHY they do it. Some said they do it to raise awareness about their breed. They want people to see and learn about their breed – and some of them are preservation breeders. They want to get their dog out there so people can see a good example of the breed. It’s important to have knowledgeable puppy owners and one way to do that is by showing your breed to the public.
But one of the big reasons that people show their dogs is for the bond that is established between them and their canine companion. It requires a good team to go in that show ring – and one that is working together and looking like they are having FUN. And as someone once said, ribbons or not, you still go home with THE best dog at the end of the day!
And speaking of shows…the FG and my human will be strutting their stuff this weekend at the Halifax Kennel Club show. I’m a BIT jealous because HE will also be doing Meet the Breed this time. The reason Einstein and I are not doing it was purely a timing thing – my human won’t have time to go back and forth to show the FG and have us in Meet the Breed. And she can’t take all three of us – so the wild thing gets to meet the public this time. My human PROMISED we get to do it the next time. It actually is fine with me – I didn’t really want a bath…
They have been practicing a BIT for the show – but let’s just say that Mr. Gawky is unpredicatble when it comes to standing and looking like he is having fun. Getting those ears up and attentive is a work in progress – and clearly the cornflake catching practice did not result in a dog who can catch. I hope someone takes some video…
We’ll let you know how it goes…
Have a good one!
Peace and paws up!
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