Boxing Clever

The criteria for judging at Crufts - 28/03/2017

I didn’t think I would ever be brave enough to tackle this subject, but as we are now a few weeks after Crufts I am feeling the urge to talk about that most thorny of topics, the selection of judges at our most prestigious show.

Seminars will play a vital role - 22/12/2016

At Midland Counties, Andrew Brace looked over his expensive designer glasses and peered down his nose at me (I was seated at the time, you understand) “Oh,” he said from a couple of inches above me...

A memorable and uplifting walk - 28/09/2016

Every so often things can drag you down. This is very rare for me but I do get particularly depressed by individuals who jump onto social media and make cryptic comments about experiences which have recently made them fed up with our sport.

Respect for the show administrators - 27/07/2016

I’m going to have a bit of a rant this time, prompted by a very unsavoury rant which I was unfortunate enough to witness at Three Counties. We had arrived nice and early on a promising summer’s day...

Raising the standard of judging - 27/04/2016

It was interesting to see recently that the Kennel Club is turning its brainpower towards judges’ training but tantalising not to be given too much information about what this will mean in practice.

Let’s leave the negativity behind - 27/01/2016

I really wish that I could bottle the spirit of Manchester championship show. It has a great date on the calendar, presuming that the weather plays ball and it always has an upbeat, start of term feel about it.

Try to be a little more inclusive - 28/10/2015

There are two things on my mind this time. One is a sense of belonging and the other is breed history. This probably means that I am in contemplative mood but then again I am on the other side of the world, about to judge in New Zealand, and...

Assessing quality of judging - 29/07/2015

Recently, I gave a breed specific seminar and was then on the panel for the subsequent hands-on assessment. I never mind doing these and usually learn quite a lot from the experience.

Flexibility needed on endorsements - 27/05/2015

IN THE PAST I have written about the urgent need to encourage more newcomers to our hobby and as every week goes by I see more and more people from many different breeds expressing similar views, presumably as they see show entries and litter...

What constitutes a ‘head’ breed? - 28/01/2015

I think I am very good on Facebook. In fact I think I am so good that I occasionally find myself sending little private tutorials to other people when I see them getting entangled in public slanging matches they are never going to win.

Is anyone encouraging newcomers? - 29/10/2014

This is not the column that I intended to write but the sad deaths of Carl Johnson and Judy Averis, within a few days of each other, prompted a change of plan.

Blankety Blank and Jackanory critiques - 27/08/2014

You may think I’m quite tragic, but each week I do read the dog paper from cover to cover. This includes every set of breed notes since I like to see what the ‘competition’ is up to and almost all of the critiques – certainly from championship...

Less surveys, more innovation - 28/05/2014

I think the world has gone survey crazy. It doesn’t seem possible to do anything these days without getting a follow up phone call, email or text asking ‘how was it for you?’.

Exaggeration in and out of the ring - 29/01/2014

Exaggeration in many aspects of our sport bothers me. If a long back is good then maybe a little more length would be better? If an eye should show a little haw, then what about a little more? And so it goes on...