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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Issue: 17/02/2017

'They are
the future'

I  was delighted to read in last week's issue letters to the editor we want to help and its contents referring to newbies; submitted by West Country Dog Club. 
 As usual this Society is always forward in its thinking and is always proactive.  It's a great idea to assist new exhibitors giving them as much advice and help as possible especially if it's their first every dog show.
Something very similar was put in to practice at the recent Cardiff Canine Society and the result was an unforgettable experience for one such young handler/exhibitor.  The Officers and Committee of Cardiff Canine Society are only too pleased to welcome newcomers to the show scene and are more than willing to be helpful in being part of their experience.
Long gone are the days of the Sanction Show were most exhibitors broke the ice into the showing world and hopefully progressed on to bigger and better things.  It does not cost anything to give out free encouragement and advice to newcomers after all they are the future.
Yours etc
Martin Sanders
Cardiff Canine Society   

Failing breeds?

In August 2016, eight breeds were summoned by the Kennel Club to the Kennel Club Building at Stoneleigh for a meeting with the Dog Show Promotion Working Party and were told by Mark Cocozza, not the Chairman, but patently leading the meeting, that, because they were failing to attract sufficient entries, they would be "encouraged" to reduce their number of Breed Clubs and run more shows in partnership with General Championship shows.
 No data was provided to substantiate either the problem statement nor was evidence provided to justify the solutions. The feeling of the two meetings (four breeds present at each) was that the clubs would be used as feeders for the General Championship shows, and since that day, many obstacles have been placed in the way of Breed Clubs in the desire to "encourage" them to do as they are told. 
The eight breeds were:  Afghan Hounds, Bulldogs, Cocker Spaniels, Dachshunds (6 varieties), Poodles, Rough Collies, Staffordshire Bull Terriers and Yorkshire Terriers. 
With the recent announcement of Crufts entries we can now see just how badly these eight breeds are failing: 
Afghans have 193 dogs entered; 4th highest in the Hound Group.  Almost double their annual registration numbers. Really failing! 
Bulldogs have 282 dogs entered; highest in the Utility Group and this year providing a breed record holder for BIS wins at All Breeds Championship Shows. 
Cockers have the highest entry (381 dogs) of all the Spaniels and only three other Gundog breeds have more dogs entered.  Really, really failing! 
Dachshunds have 656 dogs entered; collectively across the 6 varieties, this is the highest in the Hound Group. Trying hard to fail, but just can't help having such a huge entry!
Poodles (3 varieties) have 335 dogs entered. Must try harder to fail!
Rough Collies have 246 dogs entered; third highest in the Pastoral Group. Complete failure, and without so much as a well done! 
Staffordshire Bull Terriers have 369 dogs entered; the most in the Terrier Group. Complete failure, group highest entry! Shame on them for not trying harder to fail even more!
Yorkshire Terriers have 89 dogs entered. In this day and age an amazing entry, good try, but no failure!
Collectively, these eight breeds (out of nearly 200 scheduled) account for 12% of the 2017 Crufts entry, representing over 70,000 of entry fees. It is hardly surprising that seven of the eight breeds felt so strongly after the KC meeting that they wrote to the Dog Show Promotion Working Party to express their disappointment at having been targeted and being told what they had to do to improve their entries. We hear an awful lot about "alternative facts and fake news" on the news these days; the Crufts entry facts for these eight breeds speak for themselves and they definitely don't say "failing". 
If only all other breeds were failing as badly as these eight!!
Yours etc
Linda McCulloch

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