Alternative Viewpoint

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, donít 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

Itís been a while since my last review of the media coverage of Crufts. In that time, weíve had Ďpoisongateí, Ďtailgateí, ĎGSD-gateí and poor Lisa Tarbuckís 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 donít have to imagine it...

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

It will come as no surprise to learn Iím not a member of the Kennel Club. Itís very doubtful they would ever have me and, in any case, I couldnít 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

Iím 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 Iím 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. Itís a route I take most days with the dogs.

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

Iím 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 youíve followed this column over the years youíll know one of my recurring themes is our vulnerable native breeds. Some years Iíve written with a degree of optimism that we might be moving to a more secure future for these breeds.

How far should a judgeís discretion go? - 22/06/2016

Iíve a big confession to make. Iím guilty of judging the Ďwrong end of the leadí. 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

ďMale animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum.Ē Itís a line thatís prompted more than its fair share of juvenile hilarity over the years. Itís also the one and only line that appears in every Kennel...

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

Iím afraid I couldnít muster much enthusiasm for last yearís 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 Iím so consistently out of step with the majority of the dog world I must be employed to play devilís advocate.

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

Youíre reading this because I didnít manage to select the six winning numbers in the recent multi-rollover lotto game. In fact I didnít even manage a meagre £25 win.

A fascinating year in dogs - 22/12/2015

THEREíS 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 youíll be able get the printed paper while thereís still time to grab a few last...

Could 4.5 million be better spent? - 25/11/2015

Weíve all been there, you blow the budget buying the perfect present for your mum then get that sinking feeling as you realise your partner will want a similar amount spent on their side of the family.

A Jack out there for everyone - 21/10/2015

The American politician Lloyd Bentsen is probably best remembered for the put down delivered during the vice-presidential debate back in 1988. His opponent, Dan Quayle, had been asked about his relative youth and inexperience.

An open, outward facing KC? - 23/09/2015

If youíve ever worked for a large organisation youíll probably be familiar with the motivational posters some bosses like to hang about the place. One such picture hung in the corridor outside a former colleagueís office...

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