View Full Version : Do you know of any African-american people who show dogs?

07-02-2012, 08:50 PM
I'm interested in hearing about any experiences of black folks who show dogs in obedience, agility, or field trials. (Conformation, I'm not so interested in--different mindset entirely.) I'm planning such a character for my next novel.

I emailed my sister, who has one of the top 25 obedience dogs in the country right now and has shown all over the Midwest and into the mid-Atlantic, and I asked her if she knew any people she could e-introduce me to if I had questions on issues of race in the dog ring. She said, in twenty years of showing in 13 states, she has never once seen a black face at a o. trial. I'm still getting over my dumbfoundedness at this. I know that there's a history with black people and dogs being sicced on them, particularly in the South, but...I dunno, I thought, Obama is President and I've seen plenty of black people walking dogs, and the world has changed and surely by now. But no! Not surely. (We are endlessly reminded the world isn't changing that fast.)

So if you know of anyone, I'd be interested in hearing about her (probably her, as fewer men do this) life in the ring. I'm sure some gazes linger longer, there are people who are rude and people who are over-solicitous (oh goodie, look, a black person to befriend!)...but I'm surely not imagining other details that would add to my character. Please let me know if you know of anyone who might be willing to answer an email full of questions, or better, who blogs about it so I can read about what's on her mind. Thanks!

07-02-2012, 09:27 PM
My parents showed Lhasa Apso's, German Shepard's and Chows. I used to travel to a lot of dog shows on the weekends with them. I remember seeing AA's showing dogs, but admit, in the 60's and 70's they were few and far between, especially in the non sporting breeds. I am not sure if this was a culture thing, or a money thing because show dogs, training, and professional handlers, and traveling can get very expense and political within the sport.

I have not been to a dog show since the mid seventies so I have no recent experience. But I do recall Bill Cosby and his dogs going all the way to Madison Sq. and wining with a professional handler just a few years ago.

07-02-2012, 10:40 PM
thanks. Yeah, I was thinking, with the larger black middle class today, surely someone has gotten into it. But...no, not that I've found so far. I've googled, I've even scrolled through a thousand images of obedience trials, and my sister wasn't just akiddin'. Not a black face in the crowd.

07-02-2012, 11:05 PM
LOL at Black people maybe not liking dogs :D I know a lady who may show her dogs. They are very frou-frou and groomed up and purebred and the whole lot. I don't live in that neighborhood anymore, but my dad does, and I'll get him to ask her.

I only know one family who had show animals. It seems like a very insular culture, imho. Snobbish is the impression. I wouldn't be surprised if they were the racist type, just because it's a wealthy white person thang, I think ;) I hope I'm wrong, but that's the impression I get.

07-05-2012, 08:09 AM
I have no idea. I have a PWA,a Pekingese With Attitude. I can't get her to do anything!

I would think that's an insular and snobbish world. I expect ye olde racism is around as well.

07-05-2012, 08:36 AM
Actually, I remember being worried about that when I was a teenager and wanting to get a dog to train for obedience and agility trials. Not many young black girls out there working their dogs...

I ended up with a puppy without papers, so it became a non-issue, but you're right. Everyone I know who shows, either just showing or for agility/obedience/herding are all white.

07-07-2012, 11:56 PM
Yes, I went to high school with an African American that shows...wait for it...shihtzus! And he's a big guy. You look at him and you don't think he breeds and grooms little lap dogs. Lol! If anything you might think, okay he breeds dogs. Maybe great danes or something. Something big to match his size.

He's super into his dogs and LOVES them like no one I've ever seen.

We don't actually talk much - it's one of those "we went to high school together so I'm going to friend all of my schoolmates on facebook" things so I don't know that I could tell you anything about him. But I'd bet he'd be willing to talk to you about it if you wanted. He was always a friendly guy back then, at least. I can't imagine he's changed so much that he wouldn't talk to you about being an African American dog breeder/shower (or whatever the term is) in a mostly white business.