Alternative Viewpoint

Back BVA’s brachy breed ban - 21/06/2017

HYPERBOLE is something of an occupational hazard for a newspaper columnist – and commentators on the dog scene are no exception.

Avoiding the echo chamber effect - 24/05/2017

Every May I use this column to dissect events at the Kennel Club’s annual general meeting. I wonder if it’s worth bothering this year. We can’t have fireworks at every AGM but this time around there wasn’t so much as a sparkler.

The things that unite and divide us - 26/04/2017

My favourite dog is dying. She is two months off her 11th birthday and until recently I had confidence she would see 14 or 15. Sadly, this is not to be.

Are we still compromising welfare? - 22/03/2017

I CAN REMEMBER various commentators making exasperated calls for unity in the world of dogs. Why, oh why, don’t we close ranks against our enemies like we did in the good old days? By and large these calls have been welcomed, applauded, and then...

Crufts coverage both new and familiar - 14/03/2017

It’s been a while since my last review of the media coverage of Crufts. In that time, we’ve had ‘poisongate’, ‘tailgate’, ‘GSD-gate’ and poor Lisa Tarbuck’s meltdown on live TV.

Will the KC embrace free debate? - 22/02/2017

The late Victoria Wood said the public like to imagine everyone off the telly all living together in a sort of light entertainment ghetto. In the dog world we don’t have to imagine it...

An unnecessary move by the KC - 24/01/2017

It will come as no surprise to learn I’m not a member of the Kennel Club. It’s very doubtful they would ever have me and, in any case, I couldn’t afford the membership fees!

A good year for dogs? Humbug! - 20/12/2016

The tumultuous events of 2016 may have left you buoyant, bereft, or just baffled but there is no doubting this has been a very big year in the wider world of politics.

Risks, neglect and prosecutions - 23/11/2016

I’m not against the idea of gingerbread latte, black forest gateaux flavoured hot chocolate or chocolate coated mini Christmas puddings. I just question whether my local Costa coffee should have gone into full Christmas mode as early as November 4.

Teaching responsible ownership - 26/10/2016

This year my birthday, October 10 if you want to put it in your diary, fell on World Mental Health Day. I made a joke of it at the time but I’m not embarrassed to say I have had brushes with mental illness.

Splitting Danes is not the answer - 21/09/2016

It takes about five minutes at an ambling walk to cross the three fields between the front door of Colwill Cottage and the cliff edge. It’s a route I take most days with the dogs.

Is it time for compulsory insurance? - 24/08/2016

I’m writing this column in the wake of a yet another tragic dog attack. David Ellam was killed defending his Yorkshire Terrier from another dog. The facts of the case demonstrate, if any demonstration were still needed, that the way we enforce the...

Looking after our vulnerable breeds - 20/07/2016

If you’ve followed this column over the years you’ll know one of my recurring themes is our vulnerable native breeds. Some years I’ve written with a degree of optimism that we might be moving to a more secure future for these breeds.

How far should a judge’s discretion go? - 22/06/2016

I’ve a big confession to make. I’m guilty of judging the ‘wrong end of the lead’. On my last judging appointment I awarded around 20 per cent of first prizes to dogs that were not the best in their class. In some classes I went on to deny the best...

A Standard measure of health - 25/05/2016

I was going to start this column by saying that the debate surrounding the German Shepherd Dog is really an argument about who has ownership of the breed Standard.

More common welfare traits - 20/04/2016

“Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum.” It’s a line that’s prompted more than its fair share of juvenile hilarity over the years. It’s also the one and only line that appears in every Kennel...

The fault is not in our stars - 23/03/2016

I’m afraid I couldn’t muster much enthusiasm for last year’s Crufts Supreme Champion. He was, without doubt, a consummate showman but his presence in the BIS ring reminded me of the days when big American stars were flown over to headline the...

Would we be better off CC free? - 24/02/2016

THIS COLUMN has been the subject of quite a bit of speculation over the years. Some people argue I’m so consistently out of step with the majority of the dog world I must be employed to play devil’s advocate.

All hail the new King of Canines - 20/01/2016

You’re reading this because I didn’t manage to select the six winning numbers in the recent multi-rollover lotto game. In fact I didn’t even manage a meagre £25 win.

A fascinating year in dogs - 22/12/2015

THERE’S something rather nice about appearing in the edition dated December 25. Of course I know this article will appear online several days before Christmas and you’ll be able get the printed paper while there’s still time to grab a few last...

1 2 3 4 Next Last
section 2153 section_viewpoint.html