American Kennel Club Annually Licensed Superintendents | Member: Dog Show Superintendents Association

Dog Show Superintendents Association

October 23, 2013

A Club Having Multiple All-Breed Shows the Same Day

The DSSA has proposed AKC consider allowing some clubs to have two all-breed shows on the same day. Numerous shows around the country have experienced continued drops in the number of entries to the level that some shows are half the size they were five to 10 years ago. In 2005 there were 126 clubs that had 600 or less dogs. In 2009 that figure rose to 226 and in 2012 there were 313 clubs with 600 or less dogs. The trend continues comparing all breed shows held through September 22, 2013 there were 262 shows with 600 or less dogs compared to 236 for the same corresponding period in 2012. In addition, as entries decline and shows become smaller, sponsorship is also declining. More all-breed clubs will be forced to cease holding shows if something is not done to help them with finances. The loss of shows will lead to a loss of active clubs in all areas of the country which in turn means a loss of people to voice the message regarding the value in owning and registering a purebred dog and, in turn, fewer people to purchase purebred dogs.

Many of the overhead costs remain the same with the clubs having excess capacity with show grounds. Given adequate ring space and an appropriate number of judges, multiple-event days can be successfully managed within reasonable time limits for the welfare of the dogs and exhibitors. Numerical (and some time) limits could be imposed for each show based on available resources. AKC has already set a precedent in permitting two obedience trials in one day as well as concurrent classes for specialty shows held with all-breed shows. Multiple all-breed shows would occur within normal show hours resulting in no more stress on dogs and exhibitors than a normal dog show.

Among the benefits of Multiple-show days:

  • Clubs would benefit in having overhead, judge's travel, site expenses, superintending overhead and other show-related costs divided among a greater number of entries.
  • Clubs would be able to better plan and utilize judges to maximize the use of their eligibility among breeds. Two clubs sharing these expenses for four shows would be more cost effective.
  • Exhibitors would get the benefit of four shows over two days - spreading their travel overhead with a greater opportunity to show, earn points, and evaluate breeding stock. In addition, stabilizing club expenses may help to stabilize entry fees.
  • Spectators would also have more opportunities to see breeds in which they are interested. Many times they miss seeing breeds they specifically attended the show to see if they arrived after the breed was judged in the morning.
  • There is potential to free up some dates on the calendar if a club that is having small back-to-back shows over two days can now accomplish that in one day. Having a second club in the same situation joining in could free up an entire weekend. This is not adding events to the show calendar, it is simply taking events held over two (or four) days and permitting them to be held on one (or two) days.
  • Has the potential for both clubs and AKC to experience positive revenue as opposed to a loss in income.

One possible argument against this concept could be the potential for conflicts it could create for handlers. This is possible at single shows now. However, if we do not have a strong foundation of nonprofessionals, from where most of the entries now come, we will not have enough owners left to become (or remain) clients of handlers.

Another argument is clubs having to hire more multiple group judges. Not so. Clubs are presently contracting for panels to cover multiple days. They are not hiring only multiple group judges. Could there be overloads? Yes, but entries are down so much that many judges frequently have much time left at the end of their assignments. If clubs choose their panels and assigns the breeds carefully, and take advantage of the many provisional assignments available, you may find there's more opportunity for more judges to judge. Another argument is the day would be too long. We presently do shows with 1500, 2500, 3000 dogs in one day now. Certainly, using two 600-dog events as an example, we can get 1200 done in a day. And, just as it is now, depending upon the space at the show site, if more rings are an option, the day could finish earlier. In addition, the opportunity of showing a dog twice in one day means they will not be confined to their crates for such long periods of time stretched over the day.

The DSSA strongly believes this concept could help shore up some of the clubs that are dying or in (or about to be in) dire straits due to their declining entries. We would like to see the idea at least be given a reasonable test (perhaps a year) before making a final decision. We know there are clubs now that would like to have the opportunity to give this a try. We all must be flexible enough and willing to try new things if we are going to keep the sport alive.

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