Maintaining the Standard

New learning resources for judges - 19/04/2017

Recently I have been asked on a few occasions if I will sit ringside with a judge and mentor them on my breed. It is a practice that is a required part of judges’ training in some countries and can be a very valuable experience both for the...

A hobby just for the rich? - 11/04/2017

A FRIEND of mine would have dearly loved to go to National Terrier the other week. An ex-exhibitor, she has found it difficult to get to many shows since her partner died.

The ups and downs of the ABS - 05/04/2017

Recently a poster on social media asked the question, “Should puppy buyers, new to any breed, trust the KC mantra, of buying from a KC Assured Breeder?” Over one hundred replies later, and the overwhelming conclusion was, quite simply, no.

Can we improve our greatest show? - 28/03/2017

I have no idea how the selection was made as to who should be targeted, but I wasn’t actually sent the email inviting exhibitors to take part in an online survey about my Crufts experience.

A Crufts with no major incidents - 22/03/2017

Well it’s all over bar the shouting – and this year there wasn’t really much of that. Sour grapes comments about the American Cocker not being a proper gundog were countered by some fabulous action shots of lots of different...

The aim is responsible breeding - 14/03/2017

Writing a column in the run up to Crufts, knowing that it will be published a week after the event, is always a bit tricky. I could wax lyrical about the greatest dog show on earth and the coming together of exhibitors and enthusiasts from all...

The best way to buy a puppy - 08/03/2017

A couple of weeks ago I wrote in this column about the new ‘breed’ of puppy buyers, and how breeders react to them. While many people appreciated the points that I was making there were some who, perhaps not having read the article carefully...

Breed health needs communicators - 01/03/2017

Post Pedigree Dogs Exposed the KC has, at least in theory, had canine health very firmly towards the top of its priorities. There is no doubt that, despite what was said at the time, some excellent work had already been done – not least due to...

Time to promote pedigree dogs to the full - 22/02/2017

Even if you didn’t know it, you could almost certainly tell that we are in the run up to Crufts by the number of newspaper and TV articles that feature dogs, sadly nearly all of them bashing pedigree dogs, breeders and the Kennel Club.

The overscrupulous puppy buyer - 14/02/2017

When we have a litter of puppies to sell we all want the very best possible homes for those puppies. Responsible breeders build up a waiting list before a mating is even considered, and by the time the pups are ready to go have hopefully built up...

More expense for the honest breeder - 08/02/2017

At a first glance the new DEFRA proposals to tighten up the rules concerning the breeding and sale of puppies looks to be a very good thing. But further consideration throws up some serious questions...

Frenchie rise not helped by KC - 31/01/2017

I think that if I were a serious breeder of French Bulldogs I would be verging on the suicidal by now. This spunky, appealing breed is under attack from all sides it seems, which is especially sad since of all the breeds that have been perceived...

What’s happened to free speech? - 24/01/2017

It is to the French philosopher Voltaire that the quotation ‘I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it’ is attributed. Another, perhaps less well known saying of his, ‘It is dangerous to be right when the...

Are you prepared for emergencies? - 17/01/2017

As I sit here writing this column it is, quite literally, blowing a gale outside my window. In this country we don’t have extremes of climate, we just have weather – which is perhaps why we talk about it a lot – and we aren’t very good at it.

KC’s IT strategy lagging behind - 11/01/2017

I SEE THAT the German Kennel Club is utilising the Finnish online entry system to cope with the expected large number of entries for the World Dog Show later this year.

Good intentions for the new year - 04/01/2017

It’s traditional at this time of year to sit down and make some new year resolutions, and a few such would not come amiss in the show dog world. First off, let’s make a big effort to be nice to each other – especially on social media.

A step forward and a step back - 22/12/2016

I really hoped that I could have started 2017 in a spirit of goodwill, with positive praise for the Kennel Club and its efforts to promote the pedigree dog, and in promoting breed health.

The unexpected saviour - 20/12/2016

The puppy whimpered quietly. He was sure it was time to get up because he was feeling a bit uncomfortable and he knew he had to be clean in the house.

To Good Citizens, one and all - 14/12/2016

When something has, on only the second occasion it has taken place, already become something of a tradition, I think that indicates it was a pretty good idea to begin with.

New KC initiatives; who knew? - 07/12/2016

There are times when I just can’t get my head around the way in which the Kennel Club functions – or doesn’t – with regard to its public relations.

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