Tuesday night was the 140th Westminster Dog Show and I could not help myself to feel that this was the same old, same old. Like every year, there was the usual drama of the most beautiful bitch in the room against a scrappy underdog. But not unlike the recent years, there was a strict adherence to the breed standard.
The breed standard has been defined as a set of guidelines covering specific externally observable qualities such as appearance, movement, and temperament for a dog breed. Breed standards are not scientific , but are written for each breed by hobbyist and their breed clubs for their own specific requirements. These qualities are what breeders use to select and mold traits in their dogs. Essentially they are designing the ideal dog based not on science or the health of the creature but for cuteness and funzies!!
How would we feel if we had the same approach with humans? What would be the breed standard for the American Negro male? Would it be Cam Newton? Cam Newton has great hind quarters and smooth skin. Although fun loving, his temperament runs counter to the docile breed standard. Does he know any tricks? I will just check the NFL combine. Maybe we can breed him with a mate that has the proper temperament. I think Gabourey Sidibe would fit the bill? If not, Cam’s mother temperament is much more suitable and offspring between the two of them would ensure Cam’s physical attributes would be passed on.
There were a group of people whose approach to humans were similar. They were the Nazis. It’s no coincidence that formation of the Nazis racial theories and the creation of the Westminster Kennel Club were around the same time. They both bought into the same psuedo-science of social Darwinism. So the question is , if we debunked these racial theories in humans why not dogs?
I am not advocating abolishing the dog show, but maybe doing away with the breed standard. The Miss America pageant doesn’t have a breed standard (that I know of) and its doing just well.