Press pass for Westminster Dog show. Help me come up with interview q's!
February 7, 2017 1:29 PM   Subscribe

Yay, we got our press passes, so I want to ask you what questions would you like to ask the dog handlers/ owners/ groomers or dogs at the Westminster Dog Show? Smart/ funny/ serious/ what would you want to learn or ask? This will air on In Real Life next Wednesday on WFMU. Here is a link to the show page.

Dog lovers unite!
My co-host and I will be going to the Westminster dog show starting this Saturday and we want to use the audio for a radio show that we host on WFMU called In Real Life. (This is a Jersey City, NJ based terrestrial free form, independent radio station. Its fun and different and very eclectic. Our show is a curiously based talk show where we search out people and topics that we want to know more about. We've interviewed nudists, taxi drivers, The Amazing Kreskin, we talked about death, current events, all sorts of fun subjects! Now our show is going to the dogs. nyuck nyuck.

Anyway, I really want some great questions for the dog handlers, groomers, owners and I would love to get your help on some really creative and interesting ones. We tent to be more earnest in our questions rather than snarky, but silly is fine too. For example I want to ask "So, what side of the bed does your dog sleep on?" But also, I want to ask "why do you have to wear business attire when handling a dog in the show ring?" The more questions the better.

Thanks all!
posted by brinkzilla to Pets & Animals (23 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
"How accurate was Best in Show?"
posted by griphus at 1:32 PM on February 7, 2017 [4 favorites]

Did they pick their particular breed to show before or after they started showing dogs? Did it start as a passion for [breed] and then evolve into showing, or was the breed choice more incidental?
posted by Grandysaur at 1:37 PM on February 7, 2017 [5 favorites]

How did they decide this particular dog was the one to show? Does the handler own the dog? If not, do they have dogs of their own? What kind? What is their favorite breed and why? What is their most memorable show experience? What is their number one tip for people thinking about getting a dog?
posted by dpx.mfx at 1:44 PM on February 7, 2017

When the dog isn't working what is his/her favorite past time?
posted by ReluctantViking at 1:45 PM on February 7, 2017 [1 favorite]

Do the dogs know when they've won, or when they've had a bad day in the ring?
posted by COD at 1:47 PM on February 7, 2017 [12 favorites]

How do you respond to people who claim that showing dogs is 'cruel' and 'inhumane' because it prevents dogs from leading a 'normal' dog life?
How do you respond to people who claim that you are exploiting the animal for your own benefit?
How do you respond to people who claim that these shows cause an unhealthy amount of stress on the dogs and can lead to a shortened and miserable life?
posted by BozoBurgerBonanza at 1:59 PM on February 7, 2017 [2 favorites]

I have a client who shows dogs, who also does a lot of volunteer work with the Ronald McDonald House. Sick kids love seeing the dogs, and showing them doesn't really take up a lot of time after they're trained, so it's a nice complementary activity. You might ask if there are any similar complementary activities that these guys do. If they're anything like my client, they'd be much more interested in talking about that than about the actual dog show.
posted by kevinbelt at 2:10 PM on February 7, 2017 [1 favorite]

If you could create an entirely new breed of dog, what would it be and why?
What is the rudest thing your dog has done?
Do you have or would you ever consider having just a regular old mixed up mutt dog?
Do you think robot dogs will eventually replace flesh dogs?
posted by theodolite at 2:19 PM on February 7, 2017 [1 favorite]

Who's a good dog? Are you a good dog?

But seriously, I'd ask them about why they love the breed they own/show. I bet you could get them talking for a long time. Interview enough people and you've got a lot of passionate people talking about wildly different breeds.
posted by cyclopticgaze at 2:20 PM on February 7, 2017 [3 favorites]

These are all so great, love them, keep 'em coming.
posted by brinkzilla at 2:22 PM on February 7, 2017

Despite how responsible show breeders are, there are still breeds that are prone to suffering from medical issues that can't be eliminated without drastically changing that breed's standard. Is it time for the major kennel clubs to consider changes to those standards, or even retiring certain breeds from the show outright?
posted by radwolf76 at 2:25 PM on February 7, 2017 [20 favorites]

What is the goofiest/most embarrassing thing your dog has ever done in the ring?
posted by suelac at 2:27 PM on February 7, 2017 [4 favorites]

If your dog had a pet, what would it be?
posted by girlhacker at 2:29 PM on February 7, 2017 [1 favorite]

Besides the breed of dog you currently own/show, what is your favorite and why?

What is a common misperception about your breed of dog?

What is your dog's favorite treat?

What is the oddest command you've seen a dog trained to do?

If you could mix two breeds for the perfect dog, which would you choose?
posted by hydra77 at 2:39 PM on February 7, 2017

posted by radwolf76 at 5:25 PM on February 7 [4 favorites −] Favorite added! [!]

You really have to ask this question, because COME ON.
posted by cooker girl at 2:46 PM on February 7, 2017 [2 favorites]

i would just interview each individual pupper and ask them if they know WHO IS A GOOD DOG and then make a glorious montage of them all snuffling the microphone in response
posted by poffin boffin at 2:54 PM on February 7, 2017 [16 favorites]

"Why do you suppose Boston Terriers never even make it to "Best in Group?"
posted by BostonTerrier at 2:56 PM on February 7, 2017 [1 favorite]

What are you doing in your screening and breeding lines to mitigate pain and shortened lifespans?
posted by DarlingBri at 3:01 PM on February 7, 2017 [3 favorites]

"What is the naughtiest thing your otherwise Good Dog has ever done?"
posted by corb at 3:14 PM on February 7, 2017

99.98% of the handlers at Westminster will be professionals and if they are in the group they often have had the dog handed off to them from the handler that won the breed competition. Ask how long they have had the dog. Many of the questions above are directed towards the breeders and/or the parent club for the breed.

If you can find the breeders or the Junior handlers they are the most passionate, it's not a job to them.

But you want to keep your audience interested so the silly/personal questions about each dog might be best. So, you want ones that the handler might know even if they haven't had the dog very long on the show circuit:
What's his/her favorite toy/wubbie. Does he have any trick that he will do on command (think Bloodhounds and baying here, smiling Irish Setters, jumping Fox Terriers) What is the dogs favorite leisure time activity/sport.
Ask about the best colors for the handler to wear for that breed of dog (the handler is the background for the pictures, you don't want the dog to blend into what you're wearing)

Serious questions would be: how long does it take to groom this dog. What are the best things for getting a shiny coat; nutrition or coat products? What's the best speed to show the breed at for the go around. If they are a hunting/working/herding breed ask if the dog has been out in the field/water/paddock etc. What training tips do they have for the dog to free stack (stand in position and look good)? What do they do to calm down a novice/excited dog before going in the ring.
posted by IpsoFacto at 3:27 PM on February 7, 2017 [4 favorites]

What is your least favorite dog breed.
posted by sciencegeek at 3:39 PM on February 7, 2017

Has your dog ever pooped in the ring?
posted by OrangeDisk at 8:52 PM on February 7, 2017

Thanks all. These questions are really great! I am going to try for the soft questions and see if I can also address with owners about the responsibility of breeding and what the impact does all the way down to the puppy mills. I love dogs and love seeing so many wonderful representations in one place. I personally have owned shelter mixes and have also researched and purchased a pure bred dog in my past (not bred for confirmation, she was from a hunting line, which I feel makes a big difference) but yes, these questions should be addressed as well. But... I just love the silly questions and don't want to poop on everyone parade.
posted by brinkzilla at 5:54 AM on February 8, 2017 [1 favorite]

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