Kennel Club | DogFocus

By The Kennel Club

Kennel Club Insight For August

Kennel Club Insight For August

People tend to think of communications work in relation to print, broadcast and digital media. However, the communications work of the Kennel Club involves a whole range of other activities that enable the Kennel Club to get its messages into the public domain.

One way in which the Kennel Club reaches out to the people who use its services, or have the potential to do so, is through having a presence at large events attended by thousands of dog owners and prospective dog owners, such as the recent Game Fair at Hatfield House in Hertfordshire and the BBC Countryfile Live event at Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire. At both of these events the Kennel Club had a stand where visitors to the show could receive information on the various activities they can become involved in with their dog, the benefits of pedigree dogs and details of how to go about acquiring a puppy in a responsible manner.

Gundog displays

Being able to educate the general public about the various breeds of pedigree dog is a very good public relations exercise for the Kennel Club. Our colleagues who worked at these events reported that there was a lot of interest expressed in the Kennel Club and especially in working gundogs which have a large presence at shows such as these. The gundog displays were great crowd pullers and it was especially pleasing to see the general public ‘meeting and greeting’ the dogs housed in the marquees for working terriers, hounds and gundogs. All good promotion for pedigree dogs.

We know it is very important for the Kennel Club to have a presence at events, which is why the Kennel Club Roadshow will be in attendance at Darlington in Ripon, North Yorkshire on 15th – 17th September and at LKA at the NEC in Birmingham on December 9th – 10th. If you are planning on visiting one of these shows, please drop by and say hello. Kennel Club staff will be on hand to assist you with any queries you may have.

Judges Framework

City of Birmingham Canine Association is kindly offering breed club officials and other interested parties the opportunity to ask questions about the new Judges Competency Framework (JCF) at its championship show at Stoneleigh Park, near Coventry, Warwickshire on the weekend of 2nd and 3rd September 2017.

The Vice Chairman of the Kennel Club Judges Committee, Jeff Horswell, will be on hand along with Kennel Club staff at the show where informal ‘drop in’ sessions will be held at noon and 2.30pm on both the Saturday and Sunday. The noon session is designed for breed club officials, while the 2.30pm one is aimed at a more general audience, although people are welcome to attend whichever time slot suits them best.

The venue will be the Strollers restaurant, between halls 1 and 2, which will be well sign-posted within the halls of the show. Admission to the show is free of charge, as is parking, and people who are interested in attending the sessions are welcome to turn up at the appointed time. Tea and coffee will be generously provided by the Association. More information about the show, including directions to the venue, can be found by accessing

Question Times

You will have further opportunities to meet with Kennel Club Board members and senior staff in September and October when the Kennel Club’s Question Time evenings will be held in Kent and East Anglia. These events 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.

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.

Kent and Cambridge

The Kent Question Time will be held on Tuesday 26th September at Brandshatch Place Hotel, Brands Hatch Road, Fawkham DA3 8NQ and the East Anglian event will be held in Cambridge on Tuesday 10th October at the Quy Mill Hotel, Church Road, Stow-cum-Quy CB25 9AF.

These events are free of charge but places must be booked in advance. Contact Sue Sampson to reserve a place on email or by phone on 01296 318540. To ensure that questions can be answered on the night, please submit them in advance to Sue via the same email address.

Cambridge is the final Question Time event for 2017. Suggestions are sought for locations which may be suitable for such an event next year. Once again, if you have any ideas, please contact Sue.

KCAI Scheme in lights

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We were excited to see in the Times recently an article entitled Lola, Britain’s best connected dog, in which Claire Zambuni talked about her working Cocker Spaniel Lola who has found celebrity status by not only having her own twitter and Instagram following but also by seeing her siblings being taken on by the Ramsays and the Beckhams.

It was refreshing to read such a positive dog story that included so many important messages to the readers of the Times. Lola is well known to the Kennel Club, especially to Board member Paul Rawlings (former chairman of the KCAI Scheme) who trained her when she was a puppy, and contributed to her beautiful manners. Claire, who runs a PR agency for luxury brands in the country lifestyle sector, was quoted as saying: “I’d never had a gundog before and I didn’t want to mess it up. It’s the wrong breed to take on without understanding what they need. Walking in a London park is not good enough for them.”

If you want to find Lola on twitter or Instagram, just search @Lolazambuni

Specialist knowledge

Since its inception in 2004, the KCAI Scheme has offered its members the opportunity to gain a nationally-recognised vocational accreditation based on a robust standard set by the Kennel Club.

The main purpose of the KCAI Scheme is to provide dog owners with a wide and accessible choice of dog training instructors and behaviourists who have proven specialist knowledge, skills and experience.

All Kennel Club Accredited Instructors Scheme members have undertaken to abide by the scheme’s Code of Practice which sets out the principles governing their professional conduct and training practices.

For more information on the KCAI Scheme visit

Scottish policymakers

The Kennel Club public affairs team recently met with policymakers in Scotland and has made considerable progress in achieving our policy aims on behalf of Scottish dog owners, with the government agreeing to introduce a tail docking exemption for working dogs to prevent tail injuries, regulate the use of shock collars, and review breeding and sale legislation. In conjunction with colleagues from the SKC we arranged meetings with a number of MSPs and civil servants to advance these campaigns.

At the time of our visit, the department of Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform was actively considering the government’s draft tail shortening legislation. We presented our position on tail shortening and the welfare importance of an exemption for genuine working dogs to a number of the committee members and their fellow MSPs. Shortly after our visit, the committee heard formal evidence from Roseanna Cunningham, Cabinet Secretary for Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform. The committee proceeded to approve the draft legislation, which then advanced to the full parliament for consideration and a vote, which was passed.

Shock collars

While the Scottish Government’s work on shock collars is less advanced, current indications are dog walkers will be required to visit a government approved trainer or vet before being able to use a shock collar legally in Scotland. We are now working to ensure that restrictions are effective and guarantee that shock collars may be used only as an absolute last resort.

Finally, we held constructive talks regarding legislation on the breeding and sale of dogs in Scotland, discussing how the ABS could help in improving dog breeding standards in Scotland.
Photo montage
Photo 1: The Kennel Club once again had a presence at the Game Fair, held this year at Hatfield House in Hertfordshire. Here a young handler sends his English Springer Spaniel to retrieve in one of the gundog displays which proved very popular with the crowds. Photo by Kennel Club

Photo 2: The Kennel Club Roadshow will be visiting Darlington championship show at Ripon Racecourse in September where visitors to the stand will be able to purchase publications, obtain forms and ask questions about Kennel Club services. Photo by Kennel Club

Photo 3: Lola the working Cocker Spaniel, described by the Times as ‘Britain’s best connected dog’, pays a visit to the Kennel Club’s headquarters in London. Photo credit


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