Kennel Club Insight
Your monthly guide to what the Kennel Club is doing for you and your dogs
By the KC Press Office
Holyrood Dog of the Year
Maurice Golden MSP and Leo, his gold Cocker Spaniel, have won Scotland’s coveted Holyrood Dog of the Year title for 2018 with second place going to Christine Grahame MSP and Chloe, a Pomeranian borrowed on the day from Dogs Trust. Third place was awarded to Mark Griffin MSP and Alfie, his Beagle.
Not to be outdone, David Torrance and his Golden Retriever, Buster, won the ‘pawblic’ vote after campaigning extensively on social media while creating greater awareness of the issues currently facing dogs and their owners in Scotland.
The competition was organised jointly by the Kennel Club public affairs team and Dogs Trust. This annual event which began last year is an opportunity for members of the Scottish Parliament to celebrate the unique bond between man and dog. It aims to promote responsible dog ownership and was hosted by last year’s winners, Emma Harper MSP and her Border Collie Maya.
This year’s event focused on the importance of dog training and how this can improve the bond between dog and owner. The competition has been recognised in two recent Scottish Parliament Motions which acknowledges the positive impact of the welfare work of the Kennel Club and Dogs Trust.
Judges’ Critiques website
The Kennel Club recently launched its Judges’ Critiques website which can be accessed at kcjudgescritiques.org.uk. This free website has been developed as a tool for breed judges to publish and manage their written critiques and it also provides a free service for exhibitors and members of the public to view critiques in one place.
To use the website, judges are invited to register and set up an individual login based on their email address, with a password.
The Kennel Club takes its responsibilities seriously and aims to support the education and training of judges and support the standard of judging at licensed dog shows. The new Judges’ Critique website will help to complete the circle of services offered to exhibitors, judges and Kennel Club licensed events by providing a facility to publish and view critiques anywhere. Once a judge has published a critique, a copy of it will be sent to the registered email so the judge is able to keep a copy for their own records.
For more information on the Judges’ Critiques website, please email JudgesCritiques@thekennelclub.org.uk.
The Power of Dogs
As part of its 30th anniversary celebrations, Dogs for Good is running a series of inspirational evening events focusing on the phenomenal Power of Dogs.
The events comprise short, powerful talks from well-known celebrities such as Brian Blessed and Peter Purves, and the Kennel Club’s Stephen Jenkinson will talk about creating sustainable green spaces that benefit wildlife, dog and human health. Other speakers include respected academics, veterinary behaviour experts, photographers, authors and Dogs for Good Chief Executive, Peter Gorbing. All events aim to provide an interesting insight, from different viewpoints, into all that canine companions bring to the lives of humans.
Dogs for Good is a UK charity that brings dogs and people together to help overcome specific challenges and enrich and improve the lives of both. The charity uses a range of different approaches, including highly trained dogs (Assistance Dog service), support to families and their companion dogs (Family Dog service) and therapeutic support using animal assisted intervention techniques (Community Dog service).
A study recently carried out by the University of Lincoln, supported by Dogs for Good, found that dogs are saving the UK health sector an estimated £2.45bn a year; primarily the result of fewer visits to the doctor and improved mental wellbeing.
The talks are in London on 31st October and Cambridge on 15th November, 7-9pm. Tickets cost £10 each and all proceeds will go to support Dogs for Good’s life-changing work.
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To book tickets, please visit www.dogsforgood.org/powerofdogs or call 01295 262600.
For more information on Dogs for Good, please visit www.dogsforgood.org.
Question Time comes to Glasgow
The views of dog owners in Scotland are being sought as the Kennel Club’s Question Time event visits Glasgow on Tuesday 26th June.
The Kennel Club’s Question Time evenings aim to give dog owners the opportunity to air their views, ask questions and find out about the latest issues that may affect them and their dogs. Hosted by the Kennel Club, organisers of the world’s greatest dog show, Crufts, Question Time events have been held throughout the UK for over a decade.
It is particularly hoped that attendees will take the opportunity to ask questions about the initiatives which have recently emerged from the Dog Health Group as well as the Dog Show Promotion and Judges Competency Framework working parties.
The event will be held at 7pm on Tuesday 26th June at the Westerwood Hotel, 1 St Andrews Drive, near Glasgow G68 0EW. The venue is located near the M80, just 15 minutes from Stirling and Glasgow and 40 minutes from Edinburgh.
The session will offer the opportunity for anyone to air their views and question the Kennel Club Chairman and other senior representatives from the organisation. The event is free for all and guests are invited to arrive from 6.30pm for tea and coffee.
The Kennel Club hopes to engage with dog owners and encourage them to ask any questions, share thoughts and ideas and encourage dialogue with the Kennel Club about how everyone can work together to promote dogs in a positive light.
The panel members at the Question Time will include Simon Luxmoore, Kennel Club Chairman; Mark Cocozza, KC Board member; Kathryn Symns, KC Governance and Education Executive; and Charlotte McNamara, KC Health and Welfare Portfolio Manager.
The event is free of charge but places must be booked in advance. Contact Sue Sampson to reserve a place by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone on 01296 318540.
To ensure that questions can be tabled on the night, please submit them in advance to Sue via the same email address.
Scottish consultation on dog breeding and ownership
In Scotland, Christine Grahame MSP has put together a consultation on the introduction of a Member’s Bill to improve the health and wellbeing of dogs throughout their lives by strengthening the regulation of the activity of breeding, and of selling or transferring puppies, and by establishing a more responsible and informed approach to acquiring and owning a puppy or dog.
The Kennel Club supports the overriding objective of the Bill, but does have some concerns about how particular proposals would work in practice, and whether they would adequately address the problem we are looking to solve, ie rogue breeding/puppy farming.
To respond to the consultation, please visit www.parliament.scot/parliamentarybusiness/Bills/108400.aspx.
JCF Eye for a Dog assessments
The Kennel Club has hosted the first of its Judges Competency Framework (JCF) ‘Eye for a Dog’ assessments and received valuable feedback. Run in an innovative collaboration between the Kennel Club and Finnish Kennel Club, the 72 places for the pilot were fully booked within three days of invitations being issued.
The Eye for a Dog assessment is a key component of the JCF and a necessary requirement to attain JCF level 3 (equivalent of current A3 list). This one-off assessment is also required in order for a judge to be approved to award Challenge Certificates (JCF level 4) to a first or subsequent breed under the JCF.
Those invited to take part in the assessments were candidates who had passed multiple choice exams at recently-held pilot breed appreciation days, as well as group judges who are currently approved to award CCs in at least 70 per cent of eligible breeds in a group. Candidates ranged from judges on B lists right through to those who are approved to judge BIS at championship show level.
In the event, 68 candidates took part, split into morning and afternoon sessions of three hours on both days. Each candidate was required to participate in one of the four sessions, and afterwards much positive and constructive feedback was given to the Kennel Club, with candidates often commenting that the assessment had made them think carefully about the construction of a dog. The concept was widely welcomed by those taking part.
The pass mark for the assessment was 70 per cent or higher, with 65 per cent of candidates achieving this result.
The catchphrase of the day was very much ‘say what you see’, as those taking part had been encouraged in the candidate briefing to describe exactly what they saw when examining nine different dogs of varying sizes, shapes and coat types. The assessors wanted to see descriptions such as ‘short neck’ rather than ‘correct neck’, for example. The reasoning behind the assessment is to develop the candidate’s general canine knowledge to the standard expected of someone approved to award the Kennel Club’s premier award, the Challenge Certificate.
More information on the JCF can be found at www.thekennelclub.org.uk/jcf.