As most of you guys know, I love to show and trial my Anatolians. This is a hot topic in the working LGD world. Show dogs can't be working dogs. There is no need to show a good working dog. And don't get me started on performance! Anatolians don't do obedience, agility, etc. Anatolians shouldn't ever be off leash. No one cares about performance titles. So why do I do it?
So what is conformation showing for? Conformation showing is about judging how closely a dogs conformation, or physical characteristics, fit the written standard for their breed. While I evaluate all of my own dogs, I also want other peoples opinions. When I show, after breed judging is over, I will often take the time to ask the judge why they placed the dogs the way they did. Different people will have an eye to different aspects of the dog. This does not mean I only breed based off of shows, but it is a tool in my box for evaluations.
Why performance? I mean, it doesn't demonstrate any kind of ability to guard... And it is counter productive to their independent thinking and decision making. Isn't it? No, it doesn't, and no it isn't. What it does do, is demonstrate a level of mental stability in your guardian dog. The ability to know when aggression is not needed. The other thing, that is more important in my opinion, is that in the process of training for trials, whether obedience, weight pull, or agility, you build a solid working relationship with your dog and having some fun. Unless you are using old school, force based training methods, teaching obedience or other performance sports, does not take away from the dogs ability to make decisions, and think for themselves. In exposing them to different situations, you create a more level headed dog that is more likely to make correct decisions independent of you.
At the end of the day though, it really isn't about the show, the trial or the ribbons. Your dog doesn't care about any of that. And there are an awful lot of people who don't necessarily care what ribbons your dog has earned. Your dog doesn't need show wins, performance titles or anything else like that. Whether your dog is a companion, a full time guardian, or some combination of the two, it really, truly is about the journey, the time spent with your dog and having fun with them.
A special thanks to Hounds in Motion Photography, Kaytlin Winkles Photography and Jenna Soltis for some amazing photos of my dogs.
I am Alison. I enjoy writing now and again, I love my simple life with my dogs, my horses and other critters.