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(Author Ed Granger (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Each country has their own method of conferring the title CHAMPION on dogs. The basic requirement of four certificates with a period of one year and one day between the first and last certificate seems common. The waiting period works something like this:
- you receive your first CAC on 01.01.95;
- you carry on and win another seven CACs;
- the first two, for a total of three count.The other five are passed on to the RCAC winner;
- after 02.01.96 you must win another CAC for a total of four, to be made a Champion.
We have shown in various countries and the eastern European countries (old communist bloc) are the easiest to earn titles.
France requires four certificates (C.A.C.) from three different judges with a waiting period of one year and one day. In addition, one CAC must be won at the National Specialty or the June show in Paris, another must be won at an all breed (CACIB) show, another must be won at one of the five or more specially designated Club shows and the fourth may be won at any other show. This means very few French Championships for Afghans and Salukis per year.
Germany depends on what championship one is aiming for. The National Kennel Club (VDH)gives out a title. To earn this title there is a waiting period of one year and one day, four certificates must be earned. The certificates are earned by coming first in your class, adult classes only. Two of the certificates must come from CACIB shows and you must send the certificate you get at the show to the VDH in order to have it confirmed. Naturally there is a charge. When you meet the requirements for a VDH Championship you may send for a certificate, enclose money again, and are entitled to enter the Champion Class. The German Sighthound Club (DWZRV) gives a Champion title. You must win four certificates at DWZRV shows, meet the time requirement and have your CACs confirmed. Only one CAC is given for the males and one for the females. Certificates are awarded to the top male of the Working or Open Class only. The German Afghan Hound Club also offers a Championship title. The requirements are four CACs, one year and one day and you may use one CAC from DWZRV shows. CACs are given in the Champion, Open, and Working Class for a total of up to six CACs per show. All three Clubs require the certificates to be awarded by three different judges before the title is awarded.
Switzerland only requires three CACs to earn your title. However, two certificates must come from CACIB shows. There are approximately five CACIB shows per year in Switzerland. There is only one CAC awarded per sex. Therefore, Open, Working and Champion Class dogs vie for the coveted CAC. The one year and one day time limit apply.
Croatia requires four certificates with a waiting period of one year and one day. The CACs must be awarded by three different judges and two must be earned at CACIB shows. Croatia has four or five CACIB shows per year.
Slovenia requires three certificates from two different judges with a waiting period of one year and one day. At least one CAC must be earned at a CACIB show. There are three CACIB shows per year but they were trying to cut back on the number of breed specific shows to increase the number of CACIB show.
The Dutch, Belgian and Luxembourg titles are similar to the others but I am not sure of their requirements.
There are basically three types of shows in Germany: all breed (CACIB), Group (CAC) and Breed specific (CAC). There are also two all breed shows in Germany that only award CACs not CACIBs. The Group and Afghan Hound shows are usually held on a Saturday with a coursing or racing event on the Sunday. Points are awarded for placings at the show and in racing and the male and female with the highest point score is awarded a title "Schoenheit und Leistungs Sieger -------- 96." This translates to Beauty and Strength or Show and Racing/Coursing Champion. Each Club may award this title once a year. The German judges are well qualified for their task. They are breeders or owners of very famous show dogs and can be qualified for one or more breeds. Some of the people are happy just to judge their own breed. There is politics involved and in some cases it is very obvious. The exhibitors know this and take it on the chin when a dog of higher quality is beaten by a specific kennel. The majority of the German judges look for full dentation and the German type. What is the German type? Depending on what judge is judging specific kennels will have, in their eye, the German type. Largely accepted it the black masked red Afghan and from there who knows (judge dependent).Exhibitors wear clothing that fits the weather as most shows are held outdoors. It's not uncommon to see shorts and T-shirts in the ring. CACIB shows are the exception with exhibitors wearing appropriate semi-formal attire. The German owner is usually not an American handler and gets by. There are a few that excel and attempt to imitate the videos they watch of North American handlers. This sometimes proves comical. Exhibitors' attitudes are changing and some are willing to do anything for the win.
The French tend to be more professional when it comes to showing their dogs. They have adopted the North American style for dress and exhibition. Some of the handlers could give their North American counterparts a run for the money. The dogs are more refined and hair care has become an art. The French judges are well qualified but there is still that hint of politics and intrigue during placings. Overall the French are friendlier than their western European counterparts.
The Swiss have no native type and a mix of French, German Italian and North American are seen throughout the country. There are a few exhibitors that have perfected the American gaiting of Afghans and they are totally out of place among the other exhibitors. It's almost like the clown act of the circus when these people perform. The judges are very political and clubs only invite judges that have put up their dogs. Quite the criteria for a judge.
Some of the countries and their various Clubs are attempting to get away from the politics by inviting highly qualified judges from other countries. It's very interesting when the top winning dogs of a country are given ratings of Good or Very Good (including Champions) while the average dog is awarded Excellent and placed. The problem is that the judges can not forget the standard of their own country and place dogs according to the picture they have in their mind rather than the standard of the show giving country.
Language should be no problem as English is spoken in all of the European countries. Whether the people choose to speak it is another thing try to speak in the native tongue and someone may come to your aid when they find out that you are not from their country. We have always been lucky in the communications department.
Overall, the European continent offers wonderful shows, dogs and people. If the English government abolished quarantine it may be the best thing to happen to the Afghan hound since the original importation of the breed. A whole new blood line would be available to all the people of Europe and the breed could benefit.
(Our grateful thanks to Ed Granger for the above.)
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