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By The Kennel Club

Kennel Club Insight-December

Kennel Club Insight-December

Kennel Club Insight

Your monthly guide to what the Kennel Club is doing for you and your dogs

By the KC Press Team

The Kennel Club holds a number of high-profile competitions which culminate at Crufts each year. One of our roles in the press office is to ensure these contests are promoted widely so that pedigree dogs receive some well-deserved publicity and exhibitors are aware of how to enter the qualifying heats and/or finals.

Crufts this year on the Saturday will once again stage the final of the Kennel Club Vulnerable British and Irish Breeds Competition. This time, the format is slightly different and the finalists will be the Best of Breed winners from selected group championship shows.

Development of breeds

The competition is a platform on which the press office is able to raise awareness of these breeds and it provides the opportunity to recognise those enthusiasts who are dedicated to the survival and prosperity of the breeds which are native to these islands.

If you own a vulnerable British or Irish breed which won Best of Breed at one of the following shows in 2017, your dog has qualified and you will have been sent an invitation: Hound Association, National Gundog Association, National Terrier Club, National Working and Pastoral Breeds Society and United Kingdom Toy Dog Society.

The final will be judged by Tom Mather, breeder and owner of the Barklots Japanese Chin. For further details, including a list of the 30 eligible breeds, please visit:

Breeders at Crufts

The Kennel Club Breeders Competition will also take place at Crufts, on the Friday. The format is similar to last year as it is a stand-alone event where the entries are limited to 40 teams and accepted on a first come, first served basis. Each team will comprise three or four dogs of one breed, all bred by the same breeder or breeding partnership.

The judge for the final is Ronnie Irving, third-generation Border Terrier breeder whose wife Kate owns the Dandyhow kennel name. The event, for which entries have already closed, is sponsored by Agria Pet Insurance.

Exciting new format

There is a new and exciting format for the Kennel Club Breeders Competition for those wishing to qualify for Crufts 2019. Heats will take place at every general and group championship show throughout 2018, with points being given for 1st – 4th place. New for the competition will be the allocation of prize money courtesy of Agria Pet Insurance, where teams awarded first place will be awarded 30 points and £20, or £25 if a Kennel Club Assured Breeder. Teams in second place will be awarded 15 points, third place 10 points and fourth place 5 points. The top 40 teams will qualify for the final at Crufts 2019, of which two positions will be for the breeders competition winners from the European and World Dog Shows.

All general and group championship shows will be scheduling a Kennel Club Breeders Competition heat each day of their show for the relevant groups in the main ring and there will be a suggested entry fee of £15 set by the individual shows. Points will be recorded and published by Our Dogs, which will publish a leader board within the newspaper throughout the year. The first qualifying show will be Boston championship show being held on 4th – 7th January.

Popular feature

The Breeders Competition has proved itself to be a very popular feature at Crufts after its inception at Crufts 2011. Although the competition took a break in 2016, it returned by popular demand in 2017. The competition is always a sight to behold with all the breeders’ teams competing in the main arena, and we hope that the new competition format helps to provide the opportunity for breeders to showcase their pedigree breeds and breeding stock, while at the same time promoting the importance of ensuring dogs are bred to lead long, healthy lives.

To find out more about the Kennel Club Breeders Competition, please visit'-competition/.
KCAI Trainer of the Year

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The Kennel Club has announced the five finalists hoping to win the KCAI Trainer of the Year title. The public vote is now open to decide the winner, who will be announced at Crufts.

Returning for the fourth year, the KCAI Trainer of the Year award recognises the outstanding talents of Kennel Club Accredited Instructors (KCAI) scheme members who go that extra mile to make a positive difference to the lives of dogs and their owners.

Dog owners were invited to nominate a dog training instructor or canine behaviourist who they felt was most deserving of the award. Over 400 nominations were received, shared between 39 individual scheme members from across the UK.

Helping the community

The nominees were shortlisted to five finalists by a panel of judges consisting of representatives from the Kennel Club and City & Guilds. The judges based their decision on the following criteria: making a positive difference to the behaviour of dogs, changing the lives of dogs and/or people, helpfulness and dedication, and making a positive contribution to their wider community.

The finalists are: Kay Attwood, Camberley, Surrey; Barry Harris, Wirral, Merseyside; Denise Hubbard, Middlewich, Cheshire; Hilary Mears, Wellingborough, Northamptonshire; and Corrine Kennedy, Perth, Perthshire.

The extra mile

This award provides the public with a fantastic opportunity to recognise the hard work and achievements of KCAI scheme dog training instructors, who are going the extra mile to make a difference for dogs and their owners. Their dedication to dog training makes the finalists all deserving winners. We wish them the very best of luck.

The finalists have been invited to attend a ceremony at Crufts on the Saturday. As well as receiving the title of KCAI Trainer of the Year, the winner will also receive a trophy, certificate and a £500 voucher for a dog-friendly holiday, courtesy of the sponsor of this award, Hiscox UK (Kennel Club Trainer insurance provider).

Vote now

The public vote will close at 4pm on Friday 26th January – to find out more about this year’s finalists, please visit To find out more about joining the Kennel Club Accredited Instructors Scheme, please visit

The Scottish Government has announced its intention to continue to allow the sale and use of electric shock training collars on dogs, despite the overwhelming evidence that these devices are detrimental to dog welfare.

Shock collar update

Despite all the evidence supporting the need for a ban on electric shock collars and support for the campaign across the welfare and veterinary sectors, the Scottish Government has announced it will merely regulate their sale and use, which will serve to legitimise them and put dog welfare at further risk.

The Kennel Club is now urging dog lovers and anyone with an interest in dog welfare in Scotland, to sign a petition being run by Maurice Golden, Member of Scottish Parliament for West Scotland, to show their support for an outright ban on the sale and use of shock collars. Dog lovers can sign the petition and share with friends by visiting

We take this opportunity to wish all our readers a very merry Christmas and a happy new year. Whatever you have planned for 2018, we wish you and your dogs every success.

Image: Ch Clingstone’s Hot Shot at Foxearth, a Smooth Collie owned by Trevor and Birgit Hayward, won the final of the Kennel Club Vulnerable British and Irish Breeds competition at Crufts 2017. Thirty finalists will compete for the title at Crufts in 2018.
Photo credit: onEdition / Kennel Club


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