The dog showing world is not attractive, says KC General Committee member


A KENNEL Club General Committee member says he is ‘disgusted’ that some of those present at the club’s annual meeting seemed intent on turning shows into beauty pageants’.

Shows should be about selecting dogs who ‘best represent the breed Standards’, Alan Rountree said this week.

In a letter to this newspaper, he said: "The show world needs to come to terms with the fact that it is a minority. In the real world people want fit, healthy dogs, which in the case of my kind of dogs can do a day’s work, day after day. They do not want a dog held together by hairspray, nor one who is in pain because of the extreme construction of its eyes.

"In short, the show world needs to see itself as others see it. The view is not attractive!”

Mr Rountree took exception to Andrew Brace’s comments in his Going Around column last week, saying they were based on ‘secondhand and hearsay’ information as the writer had not been present at the AGM. Mr Brace had suggested that contentious items on the agenda, in particular the high-profile breeds checks and proposals that they be suspended pending a full review, were ‘sidelined’ and the agenda ‘orchestrated’.

"There was no conspiracy or filibuster” on the part of the KC, Mr Rountree said, but there had been ‘a good deal of formal business to conduct’, including the KC being authorised ‘to incorporate the KC… a momentous decision’.

He said the purpose of discussion at an AGM is for those present to hear argument and decide on the basis of it what should be done.

"That is exactly what took place at this year’s AGM,” he said. "Those present saw the sense of what was argued before them and came down heavily on one side. Those on the other side should accept that and move on.”

He went on: "The afternoon discussion left some of us who participate in the working activities regulated by the KC disgusted by those who seem intent on turning dog shows into beauty pageants when they are supposed to be about selecting dogs which best represent the breed Standards.

"We are no happier to be associated with the protests at the implementation of health testing. Sadly, in the eyes of the public we are ‘all tarred with the same brush’! The very least the public can expect of dog shows is that the winners are healthy and fit for purpose, and if it takes health tests to prove this then so be it.”

See Letters page in this week's Dog World.