What perfect timing that I should receive this DVD about Show Dogs when the Westminster Dog Show was on television this past Monday and Tuesday. I just watched it this morning and it was a delightful way to spend 61 minutes of my time! Show dogs, no matter which breed you favor are really different from your next door neighbor’s dogs. Or better put, it’s the people that own them that are really different from your other neighbors! Yup, we show dog people are unique among other folks that one might know. Can I say that we live and breathe dogs?
CAUTION – SHOW DOGS is a dogumentary that was orchestrated by Leslye Abbey. This is what the outside of the DVD case says. “Repeatedly throughout the year, at the many prestigious Dog Shows, hundreds of breeders from all over the country present the very best of “Man’s Best Friend.” While showing at these events, the dogs are evaluated alongside all the other competitors to eventually contend for the highly coveted top prize – BEST IN SHOW.
Behind the glamour and excitement lie endless hard work, enormous amounts of love and an all-consuming dedication difficult to imagine. Get to know four top breeders and their dogs and share the years of knowledge and experience required to produce consistent champions. CAUTION – SHOW DOGS puts you behind the scenes so you can feel the excitement and exhilaration of the big world of SHOW DOGS! It you love dogs and are just a wee bit curious about the intrigue and hoopla of Dog Shows, this is your movie!”
In easy to understand language, follow some breeders, handlers and judges as they take you along with them on their road to a dog show. I found the interviews with these people refreshing and enlightening especially for the novice person just getting into the world of show dogs. And even then for those of you that just simply love dogs, it’s an amusing way to get a little educated about the sport of showing dogs.
Some of the subjects they talk about are showing, handling, judging, agility, etc. They even touched a bit on politics and the show ring. You’ll see a German Shepherd breeder who has a lot of success breeding and showing her Australian Shepherds as well. She showed some pictures of her Australian Shepherds winning with Jimmy Moses as their handler. I have to admit for me, it was a little unusual seeing Jimmy with anything but a German Shepherd. Then too, there is a little interview with Alan Stone who was very well known in the breed for many years. Alan is no longer with us, but it was good hearing what he had to say once again.
Naturally this DVD is not just about German Shepherds, but anyone who is a show person in another breed goes through very similar things that we do with our breed. I loved hearing what some of those handlers from other breeds had to say and a couple of judges as well that talked about politics and some “tricks of the trade.”
Do pay attention even at the end when the credits are being shown because the camera will cut back to more comments from some of the people on this DVD. What was really interesting and amusing was what a professional handler had to say about a dog that was being shown. Apparently this dog had one testicle as a youngster and the breeder liked him so much that she wanted to show him. So doing the “unthinkable” she had a plastic surgeon “sculpt” him a second testicle! Yup, it’s done folks. I’ve heard of this one before even in our own breed! Well on this particular day in the show ring, it seems that the judge was spending too much time “back there” with the dog’s testicles. Finally, he shakes his head and says, “Geez, this dog’s got three testicles!” I laughed out loud. Apparently the owner never checked her dog any more after the testicle surgery. Seems like if she would have been a little more patient, she would have found out her dog “grew a new one” all by himself! The truth was out. She got caught!
I also loved the saying that seems to go around the show ring about show dogs. It goes something like this: “A good dog will win some of the time. A great dog will win most of the time!” Love it!
CAUTION – SHOW DOGS doesn’t take itself too seriously. Rather it shares information and stories about the show dog circuit and what it’s like to be part of it. One thing remains true throughout this movie. These people love what they’re doing and most of all they love the dogs that they’re sharing their lives with! All in all, a light, breezy and most of all entertaining little piece of “dogumentary.” In my opinion this is a great way to introduce the novice to the world of dogs and to show them that what we do is a lot of fun and to encourage them to get involved in the world of the show dog. Dog shows should be fun and this movie showed that indeed, it is!
My rating: CAUTION – SHOW DOGS: (4)!