Kennel Club Insight
Your monthly guide to what the KC is doing for you and your dogs
by the press team at the KC
September saw the Kennel Club create history with the opening of two new centres, one being the opening of Emblehope and Burngrange Estate and the second the Kennel Club’s new offices in Aylesbury.
On Saturday 2nd and Sunday 3rd September, gundogs and gundog clubs gathered in Northumberland for the official opening of the Kennel Club’s Emblehope and Burngrange Estate, which the Kennel Club aims to develop as a centre of excellence to support a wide range of working dog and shooting activities.
The Emblehope and Burngrange Estate was purchased by the Kennel Club in 2016 as an investment in working gundogs, as fewer pieces of suitable land are becoming available to hold working dog activities such as field trials, Bloodhound trials and gundog training.
The development of the estate for this purpose underlines the Kennel Club’s strong support for working dogs and features suitable facilities and land for working dog activities.
The official opening of the estate saw an introduction delivered by Kennel Club Chairman, Simon Luxmoore, a tour of the estate and its facilities, and the opportunity to accompany a mock field trial, held by the Scottish Field Trials Association, for attendees to fully experience what the estate can offer. Some of those attending the opening included those from the dog and field trial press.
The moorland of the Emblehope and Burngrange Estate stretches to some 7,550 acres and is ideal for walked up trialling and training for retrievers, spaniels and hunt, point and retrieve (HPR) breeds.
The estate offers both pheasant and partridge shooting and the varied terrain offers opportunities for all breeds of gundog to demonstrate their natural working abilities. Woodland cover provides excellent hunting for spaniels, whilst the stretching moorland is ideal for challenging retrieves and for HPR and pointing breeds to show off their hunting abilities.
For more information on the Emblehope and Burngrange Estate, please visit www.thekennelclub.org.uk/our-resources/the-emblehope-and-burngrange-estate.
The Kennel Club also opened its new offices in Aylesbury, having moved a matter of yards away from its previous home in the Alton House Office Park in Gatehouse Way.
The Kennel Club moved its core operational activities to Aylesbury from its headquarters in London in the summer of 1999, namely the registration, Petlog and call centre services. In the original move, five members of the London team relocated to Aylesbury, while other members of staff were recruited locally. Alton House was originally obtained on a ten-year lease which was then renewed in 2009.
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The Aylesbury office handles high volume activities on behalf of the Club, with the monthly average equating to 48,000 telephone calls, 20,000 puppy registrations, 14,000 transfer applications and 70,000 microchip recordings.
The new address for the Kennel Club offices in Aylesbury is Kennel Club House, Gatehouse Way, Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire HP19 8DB. The telephone number remains the same – 01296 318540.
Kennel Club Question Time came to Kent
On 26th September, the Kennel Club held a Question Time at Brandshatch Place Hotel. Over 50 people attended and had the opportunity of talking to Chairman Simon Luxmoore, Vice Chairman Steve Croxford, Gerald King, Mark Cocozza and staff members Caroline Kisko, Kathryn Symns and Bill Lambert. Much of the discussion centred around the Judges Competency Framework as well as discussion about current dog show venues, especially those easily accessible to Kent.
Other topics discussed included stud book banks, DNA testing in Shelties as Bill outlined the new breed health plans, changes to the Junior Warrant system and discussions on the Assured Breeder Scheme. Feedback received from the attendees was that it was a very worthwhile evening.
Importance of KC Dog
The Kennel Club public affairs team recently led a successful campaign against Thanet District Council’s plan to make dog DNA registration compulsory as a means of tackling dog fouling in the area. While the Kennel Club is firmly in favour of targeted measures to deal with irresponsible dog owners, it doesn’t believe that a DNA registration scheme would be effective as it would penalise responsible dog owners in the area and make things difficult for law-abiding citizens.
The team attended a meeting with the council and the company who sells the dog poo DNA technology earlier in the year to raise their concerns. Following the initial meeting, the Kennel Club’s access advisor Stephen Jenkinson also spent a day with the council discussing alternative more effective options to tackle the problem of dog fouling such as the effective placement of bins. Following these meetings, the council decided to discontinue their plans to use the dog poo DNA scheme and instead focus on more cost effective methods of targeting irresponsible dog owners.
Eukanuba Discover Dogs press launch
On 12th October, the Kennel Club held a ‘pet a puppy stress-buster’ clinic in Hackney as its official launch for the forthcoming Eukanuba Discover Dogs event. The press team invited a selection of Londoners with stressful jobs to spend some time with puppies to help reduce their stress levels. A psychologist was on hand before and after to measure the stress levels of representatives from the Metropolitan Police, city workers and a midwife. They were joined by sportsman, TV presenter and dog lover Iwan Thomas who was just out of the jungle after taking part in Bear Grylls’ Celebrity Island.
Each person had their stress levels monitored (heart rate and blood pressure) by psychologist Sophie Hall, a Research Fellow from the University of Lincoln, before and after interacting with the puppies. The puppies included a Chihuahua, Golden Retriever, Cocker Spaniel, Havanese and Eurasier. The professionals were also set a crossword task before and after playing with puppies in order to measure their cognitive function and productivity levels. It was great to see the positive results experienced by the professionals which showed that stroking puppies lowered both blood pressure and heart rate.
Radio interviews took place with the attendees and photographs taken and distributed to the press in advance of Eukanuba Discover Dogs, with a mention that the ‘stress-buster’ clinic will move there next. Filming took place at the event at the request of both ITV London and BBC London. The launch was also mentioned on BBC Radio London.
The purpose of the event was to highlight the benefits of being around dogs to try and encourage people in London and the South East to visit the event and experience these themselves.