APART from the central role of dog shows in ensuring that the future generations of purebreds are faithful to their respective breed standards, dog shows also provide an avenue for dog owners to develop values and skills that will make them better individuals and members of the society.
Dog showing being a sport and because the utilization of professional handlers could be expensive, participating in this undertaking provides the opportunity for dog owners to become dog trainers and handlers themselves. In the process, they learn the fundamental skills of canine obedience and dog show training.
Also, since conformation showing requires a dog to be presented for assessment of structure, appearance, and movement, it is necessary that a “handler” is to be at the end of the leash of the dog. Being at the end of the leash would mean having to be fit because the judging requires running around the conformation ring multiple times during class, breed, group and best-in-show categories.
Moreover, a show dog is required to be well-muscled and skeletally correct, a condition of the dog usually achieved through adequate exercise, among others. This would then mean that the owner would have to make the dog to become more active; preferably outdoors, thus the owner would have more physical activity in the process.
More importantly, the dog owner will also learn the values of patience, cooperation, hard work, determination, and sportsmanship. Looking for an outstanding show puppy, conditioning and training it to become show worthy, campaigning for its championships, ensuring it’s in healthy, looking for the right breeding partner, raising the ensuing puppies and finding their respective loving homes, is a ton of work and time, and would require the aforementioned values.
Indeed, one learns that it is not the winning and/or being able to produce sound/champion puppies that is more important and fulfilling, but how these milestones are made into reality.
On April 12, 2019, I had the privilege to attend the press conference of Alaska Milk Corporation for their Alaska Power Camp 2019 which would be held in Baguio City, Metro-Manila and Bacolod City. The camp, mentored by Alaska Aces assistant coach Jeffrey Cariaso and rising PBA stars Simon Enciso and Abel Galliguez, hopes to instill among the participants the fundamental skills of basketball. But more than that, the other objective of the camp (which I believe is the salient one) is that of developing the values of determination, hard work, teamwork, and the spirit of sportsmanship among the participants.
It was noteworthy that when Coach Jeffrey was asked about the ultimate goal of the camp, he emphasized that he was putting more focus on inspiring the young trainees how to overcome challenges, and achieve their dreams and aspirations, rather than developing sound basketball skills. He opined that the true spirit in basketball is not only the winning but also the learning of values that would make them better individuals and members of society.
Furthermore, Coach Jeffrey also stressed that Alaska believes that being fit also entails having proper nutrition. According to the Food and Nutrition Research Institute (FNRI), malnutrition and obesity plagues the 5-10 age group of young Filipinos. This is one of the reasons why Alaska has been committed to developing low cost nutritious food.
Indeed, in the dog sport and in basketball, what matter most are not the ribbons or the championships. The things in these particular sports that are paramount are mostly intangible but will stay with those involved forever and have far reaching influence in most of their respective undertakings.
Behind a successful dog and breeding program, behind a remarkable basketball career, are the thousands of hours dedicated during training and learning anchored on the human values of the genuine love for animals and basketball, determination, hard work, teamwork and sportsmanship.
These values are what most successful dog owners have been learning through the years and what the 251 young participants during the Alaska Power Camp 2019 held at the Coyeesan Mall on April 13-14, 2019 have also learned.
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