14 Feb Dog shows and the Presa Canario.
Those who already know me, and have read my articles along the years, know that I´m not a lover of dog shows. The reason? Because they are the death penalty for the useful dog.
It´s true that dog shows have the right to exist, of course they have! Dog shows are very popular all over the world, especially the western world, and they move vast amounts of money in sales of dogs, accessories and all articles related with the dog world. To show their dogs many people travel, staying in hotels, eating out etc., etc. They also create illusion and projects which, my friends, helps to move the economy. It would be a lack of vision not to recognize this fact. However, limiting our analysis from a health and functionality perspective regarding the Presa Canario, they are no less than catastrophic. The dogs which are shown, are presented with one goal in mind, to win prizes, and become champions, champions of what? I ask, because there is no demonstration of physical or psychological capacities. But these points don´t interest the vast majority of kennels that participate. A friend of mine once said that these shows are very important acts. Yes, I answered, no doubt that is true but they are also a factory of useless dogs. What´s more, to compete it isn´t necessary to present a certificate stating that they are free from hip and elbow dysplasia. It´s true, that in some countries this is contemplated, and those breeders who have a regard for their animals, breed dogs free from these problems, but not all breeders are so ethical, and the majority in a lot of countries produce the breeds that we are discussing here. From Canada to the fire mountains, and all of Europe they are not exactly a good example to follow.
How much better would our breed be, if in all these countries it were necessary to present an official certificate pertinent to all animals shown in these acts. No more than that. Then, each person can breed the kind of dog they want. The breeder that chooses the functional dog, would then have a plan to follow, to produce the best examples from this perspective, and the dog lovers who require a useful dog would then know exactly where to go to acquire what they want. Obviously, we don´t all think alike. However, there should be some sort of obligatory and reliable control which ensures the quality of the canine breeds.
Many years ago, in Madrid, a well-known and “prestigious” breeder, who was also a canine judge and prolific writer of articles concerning the dog world, took a break from the show in the Casa de Campo, to let his English Mastiff breathe some fresh air and have a pee. The animal walked with its tail between it´s legs, spiritless and timid as though it wasn´t really there. On seeing the dog, I said to my friend Carlos – let´s say, he was my friend and his name was Carlos-“don’t compete with him, he is absolutely terrified”, to which my friend answered me, telling me not to judge by appearances, “when he enters the ring, you will see his tail go up and he will have an arrogant attitude that will win him the competition, he has won other times, he is the champion of Spain”. “OK”, I answered “Save me a puppy”.
Manuel Curtó Gracia
Tenerife, 13 de diciembre de 2014