Who are the people that make up what we call Dog Fanciers? Finally, the Dog Show Fancy is defined!



What Is The Dog Show Fancy?

"Dog Fancy" doesn't necessarily mean fancy dogs but its origin defined purebred dogs - and the people who love them.


Bobby Barlow, the Handler's handlerA college professor who frequently visits TheDogPlace asked us to define "the dog fancy" as it might relate to career choices for his students.  We were amazed to find no definition for such an important segment of society.  So we wrote one for him.


The “dog fancy” is comprised of professionals and hobbyists who are invested in the sport of showing dogs in judged competitions. 


Those competitive events range from traditional dog shows (selection based on structure and breed type) to performance events such as Obedience, Agility, Field Trials, and a growing number of popular spectator events such as Terrier Racing, Dog Dancing, Lure Coursing, Weight Pulling, etc.


The Dog Show Fancy is comprised of:

  • Judges who are licensed or approved by AKC, UKC, NCA, etc. to chose the best dogs in each class at each show.

  • Professional Handlers who train, condition, groom, oversee, transport, promote and present the dog to the judges.  Incomes exceeding a half million are common.

  • Exhibitors are owners or breeders who train, condition, groom, promote and present show dogs themselves.  They spend a lot of money doing that.

  • Breeders are those dedicated people who artfully create generation after generation of quality pets and show dogs which they sell.

  • Kennel Clubs who members are local people from the above four groups, who host and operate dog show venues.  They rarely receive personal remuneration.

  • Breed Clubs whose members promote an individual breed

Peripheral groups that derive significant income from the sport of dogs include:

  • Veterinarians who take care of the show dogs.

  • Dog Show Media provide information and advertising.

  • Writers, Reporters, and Journalists who write about dog shows.

  • Photographers and Artists who specialize in show dogs.

  • Suppliers of nutritional, veterinary, and dog show accessories.

  • Boarding and Training kennels operated by show dog handlers.


A big dog show can pump over $800,000 into the local economy as show dog handlers, owners, and out of town spectators frequent motels, hotels, restaurants, shopping, gas stations, RV service centers, and local attractions.


Dog show events may be three or more days in the same location but hosted by individual "Kennel Clubs", each offering learning opportunities, seminars, and ring competitions adjudicated by different judges (approved by their respective registries) for each breed, each day.


Media photographers at Westminster Kennel Club Dog ShowThe most famous dog show event is the televised Westminster show in New York City every February.


A special press box is set up for newspaper photographers as shown here and of course TV cameras are shooting from every angle.


The group judges wear tiny microphones so that viewers can hear their greeting and instructions to the handlers as each dog is examined and gaited.


Unlike most sporting events, spectators can get up close with both the "exhibitors" (the person showing the dog) and the dogs themselves.  Always ask before petting a dog that may be on its way into the judging ring.


Tired of explaining who you are and what you do to?  Click to send them this page!


Click to read's exclusive Interview with Bobby Barlow


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