World Dog Show 2021 in Brno

The Czech Republic had the honour of taking on the host role and providing a venue for the World Dog Show organised for exhibitors, breeders and dog breed enthusiasts. It was agreed among the visitors that the event was successful. As a venue for the event was chosen the Congress Centrum in Brno, which got praised for the organisation. We interviewed one of the medallists, Zdeněk Pěnkava. "This is the most prestigious event you aim to attend with your dog," he states during the interview.

At this year's World Dog Show for all breeds, Brno welcomed over twelve thousand dogs from 54 countries, almost five thousand of which were from Czechia. In the Moravian metropolis, you could have met at the turn of September many exhibitors from Poland, Italy, Germany, Hungary or Slovakia. Also, participants from more distant parts of the world arrived at this prestigious event, for example from Peru, Canada, Malta, Ethiopia, San Marino, Australia or the Philippines. The future happiness of winning or the grief of losing was in the hands of thirty-two judges. They judged male and female dogs in the total of twelve rounds. Puppies as young as four-month could attend this world show and there was even a veteran category, which was for male and female dogs aged 8 years and more. And what disciplines were to be seen at the show? They were junior handling (young exhibitor), best puppy, best junior, best dog pair, best breeding group, a veteran of the day, junior group winner and group winner.

Zdeněk Pěnkava with his dog friend Adam Black Happy Diamond Monte Nai (Pacco for short), a Great Swiss Mountain Dog, landed second place in the male junior class category. 65 dogs were registered in this category and our Czech representative competed with nine others in his class. This was Pacco's seventh show and he had held the Czech Junior Champion title from a previous show. With his owner, they regularly attend the club, national and international shows. And we had the honour of being able to talk to our Czech representative, Zdeněk Pěnkava, about what these world-class shows are like.

Zdeněk, who could register for this show?
Any dog owner with a pedigree certificate and is club-registered.

Tell us about the registration process.
Registrations were done through the so-called "dogoffice", where everyone fills in their animal's details. All you have to do is to choose a show where you want to register. It automatically gives you options of categories where you can register based on the details of the breed. 

How did you and Pacco prepare for the World Show?
In Pacco's case, it was quite easy as he is short-haired. And also, the day before the world show, Pacco attended a club show for Great Swiss Mountain Dogs. It was planned the day before intentionally, because of the preparation.

You'll have to explain that (laughter). Is it different with long-haired Swiss Mountain Dogs?
In the case of long-haired breeds, the coat has to be standardised. The dog goes through several hours of preparation, which involves blow-drying, curling, brushing, etc. This doesn't apply to us (laughter).

What about D-day? How did it go? 
I got up at six and got there at 7:45 a.m. After the COVID-19 testing at the entrance to the Congress Centre, Pacco and I walked around the venue so the animal had a chance to calm down after the drive. But also so he could stretch and sniff the surroundings. His category started at nine. And at half nine we had the results. So it was quite quick.

What did you like the most at the World Dog Show in Brno?
The World Dog Show is considered to be the most prestigious competition an exhibitor can attend. I really liked the variety of competitors that participated this year. We saw many beautiful breeds from different countries. It's a beauty contest and everyone perceives beauty differently. It's very subjective and that's what makes these shows so interesting.

How do the judges evaluate it when it's so subjective?
It's a matter of a full demonstration of the dog together with his exhibitor. The way you show your dog, dress code, dog-handler synchronisation, posture, movement, for example, whether he can stand up by himself, how he performs. Everything is rated. Males have their testicles checked, otherwise teeth, coat colour, coat quality, type of brindle, leg angles, running movement, tail, dog's character, size, body condition, etc.

That's quite a lot of criteria...
I completely understand that with such a volume of evaluated dogs, it's not possible to judge every single one transparently. Nevertheless, I would like the judging to take place in front of the audience with an explanatory comment as to what the judge likes about the dog and vice versa. I realise that it would be time-consuming but we'd enjoy it more as a group.

You came second, which must be a great honour at such a show...
I'm very happy with our achievement. Being on the podium at such a prestigious show is a massive success for us. We received a record of the results, which no one can take away from us. It's a great feeling. The dog becomes recognised within the exhibiting society. In addition to that, we're soon going to get rated*. Then we'll see what the future holds for Pacco and me.

Thank you very much for a nice conversation and congratulations once again on your results!

*Rating is a specialised breeding activity intended for gaining knowledge about the behaviour and character of the show dogs, their shortcomings and defects in comparison with the breed standard. The data obtained for the rating is recorded in the form of a code in the pedigree certificate and is part of the data about the male or female dog. (source: Bonitační řád RKČR)

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