Over the last few weeks, UHM and I have had lots of conversations about things that are objective vs. subjective. UHM is a highly competitive person who has always played sports (although if you ask my mom, golf isn't really a sport). The sports she has played are of the objective variety; golf, soft ball, field hockey. Either you make the putt, or you don't; you score a goal, or you don't; you hit the ball, or you don't. You don't get any extra points for doing any of those things stylishly. There is a referee or 'judge' involved but he/she is there to make sure the rules are followed and is rarely expected to make a subjective call.
While not a sporting type myself, my competitive endeavors have usually been more subjective in nature. I was on the forensics (speech) team, played in the band, a member of the livestock judging team and showed livestock. Those experiences make the ups and downs of showing dogs - while still sometimes frustrating - a little more understandable to me. The judges in speech competitions decided, subjectively, who had the better speech. We competed for first chair, second chair, etc. in band and the director was the subjective judge of who played better. Showing and judging livestock, like showing and judging dogs, is extremely subjective. It is an individual's interpretation of which animal best represents the breed or style of animal currently favored.
Given the conversations UHM and I have had, it seemed serendipitous when my friend Karen, at Dog Show Newbie posted a link to an article/editorial on DogChannel.com. In the piece, the writer likens breeding and showing dogs to art more than sport and I think he's right. What's really great is, the piece was written by a long-time Cardigan breeder; Paul Chen of Afara Cardigans. Take a couple minutes to check it out and see if you don't agree with his thoughts - as well as get a chuckle out of his description of what it's like to breed and show dogs.
1 day ago