THERE ARE, without doubt, plenty of dog judges who feel hard done by when their judging has not met with universal approval at a show. However, any British judge who has had to run he gauntlet of disgruntled mutterings from exhibitors at the ringside or maybe even face to face comments and swearing worthy of an A42, might spare a thought for the judge of Dogo Argentinos at the recent World Dog Show in Argentina.
A number of Dogo fans did not like the Best of breed selection made by the judge, Latino tempers flared and they chased after him with knives!
Trouble was already brewing on the Saturday at the show when the crowd’s favourite dog lost out on the BOB, so its owner went up to the Judge in the ring and punched him in the nose.
When the Dogo result was announced, two men, standing at ringside threw two canisters of tear gas into the Dogo ring causing panic and many injuries. Many exhibitors, especially Americans, thought it was a terrorist attack. Readers can perhaps picture the melee as owners and handlers tried to get to their dogs and then get them out of the building – such scenes can hardly bear thinking about.
To add insult to injury the police took the highly questionable decision to shut the main doors, locking in many people who, in panic and pain, crashed out of the plate glass windows to get air and be able to breathe. Many people were taken to hospital, whilst many dogs were to the emergency vets, some having bad eye injuries caused by the tear gas as well as lung damage. It is reported that a number of dogs died at the scene.
Since the dog is the country's favourite breed, show organisers allowed Dogos to enter for $20.00 per entry instead of $120.00 like the rest of the dogs, thus attracting an entry of over 100 Dogos.
The FCI have banned the Dogo Argentino from being exhibited at shows for two years and have cancelled all awards given during the World Show weekend. Many observers say that this is too little, too late. They claim the FCI were aware of the danger before the show but did nothing about it.
The show officials then went on to close the show after ventilating the building late that afternoon under the threats of more violence from some angry exhibitors, with over half the entry missing.