Something for everyone at Crufts
Crufts will welcome around 27,000 dogs this year, taking part in a wide variety of competitions and displays at the NEC, Birmingham from 7th – 10th March.
The show is also set to be better than ever, with over 200 pedigree dog breeds in contention for the famous Best in Show trophy, which will be awarded live on Channel 4 on the Sunday evening.
In total, more than 20,000 dogs will be competing for just seven places in the show’s finale. Three breeds will compete at Crufts for the first time – the Russian Toy, White Swiss Shepherd Dog and Black and Tan Coonhound. As usual, this very British show of shows has attracted more than 3,600 dogs from overseas, giving Crufts a truly international flavour.
As well as the breed class judging which leads to Best in Show, visitors will be able to watch some of the world’s finest dogs and handlers in action across a range of disciplines including agility, obedience, heelwork to music and flyball. And with a huge array of trade stands offering a wide range of doggy items, there truly is something for everyone at Crufts.
The Obedience Championship for Dogs will take place on Saturday 9th March, with the Obedience Championship for Bitches on the Sunday. The Agility Championships will also take place on the Sunday.
Other highlights of a busy programme taking place in the Resorts World Arena are the Kennel Club Friends for Life competition, which celebrates those dogs in our lives that provide lifetime service, support, love and devotion, and the final of the nation’s favourite crossbreed competition, Scruffts.
To buy tickets, visit bit.ly/2BGam1P.
For details of Crufts TV and live streaming, visit bit.ly/2NcfVtn.
Friends for Life
The annual Friends for Life competition celebrates the unique relationship people have with their dogs, the important role man’s best friend plays throughout our lives and the support they give us in the face of adversity.
Judges from the Kennel Club, the UK’s largest dog welfare organisation, have selected five inspiring finalists to go forward for the public vote, with the winner being announced on the final evening of Crufts, Sunday 10th March. These five dog heroes are just some of the dogs having their day at Crufts and are celebrated at the show for the ways that they enrich our lives.
The five finalists for 2019 are:
• Extraordinary Life of a Working Dog – Lance the Labrador Retriever and Pte Lee Hampson
• Breed Rescue Dog of the Year – Ringo the Greyhound and Sarah Candy
• Hero Assistance Dog – Emma the Golden Retriever and Milli Gunn aged seven
• Child’s Hero – Snoopy the crossbreed and Olli Gage aged five
• Man’s Best Friend – Finn the German Shepherd Dog and PC David Wardell
The winner of the Friends for Life competition will receive £5,000 from the Kennel Club Charitable Trust for the dog charity of the choice, with the other finalists receiving £1,000 for their chosen dog charity.
The public can now vote for their favourite finalist until midday on Sunday 10th March, by visiting www.crufts.org.uk/ffl.
Respiratory Function Grading Scheme
The future health of French Bulldogs, Pugs and Bulldogs has taken a huge step forward with the launch of a new health screening scheme.
Developed by the University of Cambridge and funded by the Kennel Club Charitable Trust, the new Respiratory Function Grading Scheme assesses dogs for the presence and severity of a breathing problem known as BOAS (Brachycephalic Obstructive Airway Syndrome). The scheme is currently available for any Pug, Bulldog and French Bulldog, and has the potential to improve the health and welfare of these breeds for generations to come. The scheme provides breeders with a means to know more about the health of their dogs, giving them the information they need to reduce the risk of breeding puppies with BOAS.
The assessment, which can now be carried out by a number of specially-trained assessors located across the UK, involves listening to the dog’s airway both before and after an exercise tolerance test. Assessors, who are all specially-trained BOAS vets, then use a pre-defined protocol to grade the dog from zero to three.
For Kennel Club registered dogs, these grades will be recorded on the Kennel Club’s database and published in the Breed Records Supplement, on the dog’s registration certificate, and on the Kennel Club Health Test Results Finder and Health webpages. The BOAS scheme will be supported by guidelines for breeders, which enable them to understand the grade for their dogs in terms of risk when considering potential matings.
For more details, visit bit.ly/2HPuW5l.
Dog Photographer of the Year
The Kennel Club has once again begun its search for the best dog photographers in the world, with the launch of its annual Dog Photographer of the Year competition.
The prestigious competition, which is free to enter, welcomes submissions from budding and professional photographers from across the globe and of all ages.
Founded in 2005, Dog Photographer of the Year has attracted thousands of images from photographers around the world, and last year received 10,000 entries from over 90 different countries, including China, Israel, Russia, Argentina and South Africa, making it the biggest and most popular canine photography competition in the world.
The competition is accepting submissions until 10th April 2019 for each of the ten categories:
• Dogs at Play
• Dogs at Work
• Puppies • Man's Best Friend
This article continues after the following advert:
• Young Pup Photographer (for entrants aged 11 and under)
• ‘I Love Dogs Because …’ (for entrants aged between 12 and 17)
• Assistance Dogs
• Rescue Dogs
For more information and to officially register and enter, please visit www.dogphotographeroftheyear.org.uk.
Have a Go dog showing
The Kennel Club’s new 'Have a Go' dog showing initiative was launched at Manchester ‘all breeds’ championship show at Stafford in January and has since been widely praised in the canine press as well as on social media. The general feeling seems to be that this is a worthwhile idea which will hopefully generate new interest in participation in the discipline of dog showing.
Thirty relative newcomers took part in the event in order to have a taster of life in the show world. They listened to a talk on this discipline by Christina Chapman and then each received advice on how to stand and move their dog, and then had the opportunity to show their dog at a 'mini show' at the end of the afternoon.
A number of volunteers from local ringcraft societies acted as stewards and helpers, and generous goody bags were sponsored by a number of trade stands and given to each participant.
There will be further Have a Go dog showing sessions held at other ‘all breeds’ championship shows throughout the year. The cost is £10 per head and participants are asked to check if there is an additional car parking fee (some shows require one). The next confirmed dates are Birmingham National (Staffordshire) on May 12, Bath (Somerset) May 25 and Leeds (West Yorkshire) July 27. For further details and to book online, visit bit.ly/2THMHEM.
The Kennel Club is pleased to see ‘Finn’s Law’ has taken the next step towards becoming law in England, after it passed its final reading in the Commons. This is a huge breakthrough for the way that we view and treat service animals, who perform such a crucial job in protecting our service men and women.
Finn’s Law is named in honour of Retired Police Dog Finn, who was attacked in October 2016, and whose owner, PC Dave Wardell, launched the Finn’s Law petition, which was read in Parliament on February 8.
Finn has been nominated as one of the finalists for the Kennel Club’s Friends for Life competition, which will take place at Crufts on Sunday 10th March. You can watch his story at bit.ly/2GSiJuj.
A change to the law would ensure that offences such as the injury and/or killing of service animals such as police dogs and Army dogs in the line of duty are treated as major crimes. At present, such offences sometimes result in a mere fine or suspended prison sentence.
It is sad to think that much loved, highly trained animals that are injured or even killed in the line of duty are not treated as sentient beings by the law.
It is time this changed and those who injure Police Dogs are charged with assault or attempted murder instead of being charged with causing ‘criminal damage’.
Not only does this reflect that the injury of police dogs is more than simply ‘collateral damage’, but it may even deter the sort of brutality that was shown to police dog, Finn, in the future.
For more details on the Finn’s Law campaign, visit www.finnslaw.com.
Kennel Club Building closes temporarily
Kennel Club Building at Stoneleigh was closed temporarily for a week recently following the sad death of a dog from parvovirus.
The dog had attended an obedience class held by Leamington Dog Training Club at the Kennel Club Building the day before it showed symptoms. While it is extremely unlikely that the dog contracted the disease at Stoneleigh due to the incubation period for the virus, the Kennel Club took the precaution of closing the building and conducted a deep clean and sanitisation of the premises and kept the building closed for a further seven days.
The Kennel Club advises all dog owners to ensure that their dogs are fully vaccinated and maintained according to their vet’s recommendations against parvovirus which is the best way of protecting dogs against the virus. For further information owners should contact their vet or see the PDSA website, which contains useful information, at bit.ly/2V8KQts.
Survey on dog breeding licences
The Kennel Club has been working with Our Dogs newspaper on a survey about dog breeding licences. Concerns had been heard from many breeders and local authorities about how the new licensing guidance for dog breeding in England is being applied. The guidance is complex and, from what the Kennel Club understands so far, areas of it are being misunderstood and applied inconsistently.
The Kennel Club wants to survey people to find out their experience of applying for a licence in order that we can feed this information back to Defra. The more people who fill in the survey, the better, so we would urge all dog breeders to participate and tell their dog-breeding friends to do likewise, whether pedigree or crossbreed, so we can get as clear a picture of the situation as possible.
Those who wish to complete the survey can access it at bit.ly/2SqWHWT.
Anti dog meat campaigners visit Kennel Club
The Kennel Club Public Affairs team met with the World Dog Alliance lobbying group recently to discuss their campaign to #bandogmeat in the UK. World Dog Alliance are based in Hong Kong but have brought the campaign to the UK and US due to governments in Asia using the fact that dog meat is legal here as a defence for not tackling the practice themselves. The US banned the consumption of cat and dog meat in December last year and the Alliance are hoping the UK will follow suit.
At the Kennel Club’s London headquarters, Holly Conway of the KC Public Affairs team met with Charlotte Chung and Charles Napier of World Dog Alliance.
Bob Blackman MP has put forward an amendment to the Agriculture Bill to ban dog and cat meat consumption in the UK which has been signed by 15 MPs so far.
Find out more about the campaign at www.worlddogalliance.org.
Photo caption: The Kennel Club recently met with the World Dog Alliance lobbying group to discuss their campaign to ban dog meat in the UK. Holly Conway of the KC Public Affairs team is pictured (centre) at the Kennel Club’s London headquarters with Charlotte Chung and Charles Napier of World Dog Alliance.