The Ole’ “Hidden Ball Trick” Threatens the Legitimacy of Dog Shows


“Something is rotten in the state of dog shows.” Or, “The doggie doth have testes too much.” Whatever it is, there’s a scandal that’s rocking the high brow world of dog competitions and the phrase, “Where’s your ball?” is literally becoming, “Seriously…where’s your ball?”

Over the past three years, there have been 67 documented incidents where neutered male dogs have been illegally entered into sanctioned dogs shows while sporting a pair of fake testicles dangling behind them. Both the AKC and UKC (American Kennel Club and United Kennel Club), who sanction most of these shows, require that any male dog stepping into the ring must have a “real and working set of testicles properly encased in a living scrotum.”

So why do it? Why bunk the rules? It’s simple. A neutered dog is calmer, easier to handle, and generally more obedient. Rather than wanting to hump everything it can grasp on to, a neutered male is more food-driven and as long as the handler has an ample supply of kibble in his/her sport coat pocket, he/she could get that dog to spins plates if they wanted to. However, keep the spheres attached and the juices flowing and you’ve got a potentially rambunctious animal that could end up acting out like a sex-craved Burt Reynolds in the 1970’s in front of thousands.

So who’s responsible for this? A third party investigator was brought in and the findings are intriguing. The first dog to be outed was a Bloodhound named “Buford T. LePetomane” who hailed from a kennel just outside of Lynchburg, TN. Buford was competing in a regional lead-up show to the Westminster just outside of Nashville in the fall of 2014 when an eager Weimaraner decided to greet him with a little more physicality than Buford and his owner, Randall P. Dickerson, would’ve liked. Reports say that the dog’s snout hit Buford’s package with enough force to dislodge it from it’s poorly-made harness, thus sending it to the floor with a thud that sounded like a small bowling bowl being dropped by a child. When confronted by the judges, Mr. Dickerson immediately fessed up and said, “I had no choice. The real ones were so large that they had become an optical distraction.”

Needless to say, Buford, his owner, and handler were all disqualified and banned from future competitions by both the AKC and UKC. Since that fateful day in October, a new rule has been put in place where judges are now required to perform one more check in the ring before moving a dog further along in the competition. For purposes of brevity, I’ll simply state that the move involves a “grab and a tug” and is immensely unpleasant for all involved.

After doing some further digging the investigator was able to trace the origins of the fake testicles back to a man from Alabama named Terry Parsons. If you don’t know the name, you surely know his work. Terry is the founder, owner, and CEO of a company called “Truck Nutz”. You’ve seen the occasional Dodge Ram riding around with a lift kit, beefed up exhaust system, the whole “redneck works”. And then you’ve heard your 6 year old in the back seat ask, “Daddy, what’s that hanging from the back of that man’s truck?” “That’s a fake ball sack made out of metal, son. And you can thank Terry Parsons and a couple cases of Busch Light for that one.”

Three years ago, Terry wanted to expand and started a spin-off company called “Show Nutz”. He’s moved beyond the automotive world and into the dog show arena. He can sell you fake dog testicles in any shape, size, color, and texture that you need. While the crackdown here in the States have certainly put a dent in his domestic revenues, business is booming in Southeast Asia where bending the rules is the rule. Revenues are so high there that he’s actually set up a sales network consisting of distributors and associates modeled closely after what’s been done at Amway for decades. And until some sort of global agreement can be reached about what is and isn’t ethical when it comes to a dog’s balls in the show ring, opportunists like Terry Parsons are going to continue to prosper on the notion that a calm dog with a set of balls that won’t steal focus always shows better.

Naturally, the concern with any issue like this is, where does it go next? Does it move from dogs to livestock, from livestock to racehorses, and from racehorses to Olympic swimming? Now, your natural intuition would tell you that a neutered swimmer would lose his edge and the lack of testosterone flowing through his system would kill his drive, but you would be so wrong because that can easily be remedied with a plethora of illegally masked supplements. And think about this; swimmers are all about reducing drag. Just imagine that you no longer have that sack holding you back in the water. Not only that, now you can replace that baggage with a pair that’s hollow and floats! All I’m saying is, has anyone given Michael Phelps the ole’ “grab and tug” lately? If so, this writer would certainly be interested in the results.

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