Project info

Dog exhibitions are mainly seen from two perspectives, the breeders’ and the spectators’. The animals’ interests seemingly don’t belong to them. The series wants to create awareness for this aspect as a third perspective.

Breeders attend dog shows because they rely on awards to prove the quality of their puppies to the customer. Spectators who are not involved see a strange and on the first sight maybe even sort of amusing microcosmos when visiting a dog show.

I expected the latter when I visited a huge dog show in Hannover, Germany. I aimed to photograph the strange and maybe even funny aspects. Being a dog owner myself, my mind changed already on the way to the exhibition area when I saw dog owners who left the exhibition pretty early, because their animals didn’t qualify for awards. Disappointment was drawn into their faces. It didn’t count that they have well behaved, cute pets that are considered as family members.

Mixed feelings arose and I shifted the focus towards documenting the less funny aspects of strangeness and of the treatment the dogs get from their owners.

Hundeleben is a german word that translates to "a dog's life".