No matter where you live in the English-speaking world, you probably have a pet-play contest that represents your area. From bar titles, metro-area competitions, and regional contests to national events and international organizations, there are lots of contests designed to find the pet-play enthusiasts who best represent the image of a particular geographic area. We have a TON of titles in our worldwide community. In this episode, we’ll dive into what they are, what they do, and why people should (and shouldn’t!) run for them. You’ll get pointers from folks who have competed in some of the world’s biggest contests. And you’ll learn why titleholders are a great resource, particularly if you’re new to an area or event.
These titles represent more than they seem to at first glance. For some people, they may look like pageants, but there’s lots more to them. They can hold a great deal of meaning, value, and history for the communities that host them. Title contests are complex and imperfect. They are also ever-present and to one extent or another, kind of a big deal. So they’re worth spending some time on in order to better understand them. You’ll hear some of the criticisms of title contests. You’ll also hear ways titleholders can make a difference, both within and outside their communities.
In this episode, I bark at Pup Turbo (IPTC Puppy 2016, Nortwest Puppy 2016, and IPC Best in Show 2015). He shares tips for how to decide whether to run and how to prepare for a contest. Puppai Buumi (Pup UK 2018 and Puppy Europe 2019) discusses how title events work. He also talks about the differences between American and European events. But most importantly, he identifies how titleholders benefit their communities by serving as a focal point for communication. These focal points help connect other pups with resources and a sense of shared community.