Kennel Club Insight
Your monthly guide to what the Kennel Club is doing for you and your dogs
By the KC Press Office
The Kennel Club Gundog Working Tests were held in June at the glorious venue of Chatsworth House, Derbyshire by the gracious permission of the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire.
The two-day event was kindly sponsored by Skinner’s Pet Foods and saw gundogs tested on their natural working abilities under the relevant sub group: Spaniels, HPRs or Retrievers. Each sub group is tested on a variety of different skills. HPRs are required to demonstrate that they are able to hunt with style and purpose and retrieve with efficiency, Retrievers are required to mark the fall of a dummy and retrieve quickly to hand with pace and drive, and Spaniels are required to hunt with style, pace and courage, and retrieve quickly and cleanly to hand.
The principal winners from the two days were:
• 1st Open Retriever – Brackenbird Lucas, Labrador Retriever owned by Mr PW Travis.
• 1st Open Spaniel – Gorsebay Snipe, English Springer Spaniel owned by Mr C Lewis.
• 1st Open HPR – Hawkstalon Aberfeldy at Turtonmoor, Hungarian Wire Haired Vizsla owned by Mr A Blackledge.
• 1st Novice Retriever – Hookamslade Zulu Warrior, Labrador Retriever owned by Miss P Graystone.
• 1st Novice Spaniel – Shalloakwest Sol, English Springer Spaniel owned by Mrs J Thatcher.
• 1st Novice HPR – Water Germander over Borderpoint, German Shorthaired Pointer owned by Mr and Mrs R Steel.
For more information about gundog working tests and to see a full list of results please visit: www.thekennelclub.org.uk/GWT.
Horse and dog safety
Conflict between horse riders and dog walkers in Scotland’s forests has no doubt reduced this summer thanks to signs produced by a partnership between the Forestry Commission, the Kennel Club and the British Horse Society (Scotland).
Horses, just like dogs, can behave unpredictably, but when half a ton of horse with a rider in the saddle is spooked, the consequences can be especially serious, and even fatal.
Recognising that part of the problem is riders and walkers who don’t always know how to behave around each other, the new signs explain how best to pass each other safely and respect each other’s access rights. Unlike elsewhere in the UK, most paths and tracks in Scotland are open to horse riders as well as walkers.
Lack of early socialisation with each other makes horses more likely to be spooked and dogs more likely to chase. To address this, an increasing number of riding centres and dog trainers across the UK are collaborating to run ‘getting to know you’ sessions.
Even if there isn’t a course in your area, you can help stay safe and reduce conflict by:
• Introducing your dog to horses in a controlled way at an early age
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• Rewarding him for being calm around horses and not barking
• Making sure an approaching rider can see both you and your dog
The advice on the horse and dog safety signs includes:
• Have your dog on a short lead at your side
• Step to the side but always stay in sight
• Keep an eye on both the horse and your dog
• Smile, say hello and thank riders for slowing down
• Let horses get well past before unclipping the lead
Further details can be found at www.scotland.forestry.gov.uk/.
Kennel Club Roadshow
As usual, the Kennel Club Roadshow is attending a number of events throughout the year. In August, the stand will be at both the BBC Countryfile Live event and the Welsh Kennel Club championship show.
BBC Countryfile Live is taking place at Blenheim Palace in Blenheim, Oxfordshire from 2nd to 5th August. Situated alongside the KC Roadshow stand will be an activity ring where visitors will be able to see the various canine activities in which they and their dogs can get involved – everything from agility to gundog work and obedience. There will also be information on how to find a responsible breeder when looking to buy a puppy.
The Welsh Kennel Club championship show will take place in Builth Wells, Powys from 17th to 19th August. Visitors to the stand can get advice from Kennel Club staff and pick up information on everything from responsible dog ownership to litter registration forms and rules and regulation publications. Information will also be available on health testing, the Assured Breeder Scheme and the Judges Competency Framework.
The Kennel Club Roadshow travels around the whole of the UK, as well as some overseas venues, to promote all of the work done by the Kennel Club, and to be on hand to offer support and answer any questions that visitors may have. From showing your dog, to registering your new puppy, it is there to keep you up to date with the latest information direct from the Kennel Club.
Come and meet the Kennel Club and see how we can help you have fun with your dog. For further information please contact the Kennel Club Roadshow Manager, Sue Sampson, on firstname.lastname@example.org or 01296 318540.
Kennel Club social media activity
You may have noticed that there are five new official Kennel Club Facebook groups covering the following areas: dog showing and Crufts exhibitor news; field trial, working trial and Bloodhound trial news; obedience, obreedience, rally and heelwork to music news; agility, flyball and canicross news; and dog health and breeding news.
You can access these groups by going to www.facebook.com/TheKennelClubUK/ and clicking on ‘groups’ in the left-hand column. Then merely choose which group(s) you wish to join. News relevant to each discipline has already been posted in these groups, so make sure you join now so you don’t miss any news!
The Kennel Club marketing team has been busy during these summer months adding posts to the Kennel Club’s main Facebook page, offering advice for problems associated with warm weather. Among the topics covered have been toads, grass seeds, ear infections and bee and wasp stings. Two films were also created and posted – one on adders and another on how to keep your dog cool in weather – with a good level of engagement with the general public with a large number of ‘likes’ and ‘shares’.
Kennel Club Secretary and KC spokesman Caroline Kisko also conducted a live question and answer session on Facebook with Pc Dave Wardell and his inspirational Police Dog ‘Finn’ who were both stabbed on duty in October 2016. Since the attack they have been campaigning for Finn’s Law which will give greater protection to all working animals. The interview was very well received and naturally Finn stole the show. Hopefully this will have drawn attention to a very worthwhile cause.