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All About Dogs

Roy and Carol Dyer did what most thought was impossible, and that was to make this year’s 'All About Dogs' Event surpass the previous years’ shows, writes Jane Waller.

I think that this show really lives up to its name, as one person remarked “This show is so doggie! It’s just so natural, so normal, so real, I can learn about almost everything I ever wanted or thought I could possibly do for my dogs happiness, I love it Thank you!”

At this event you had everything: from Dog Grooming to Flyball, from Agility to Husky Racing, from Obedience to Heelwork to music, from Exemption show to Whippet racing.

There were over fifty Breed stands, all giving such interesting information about their chosen breed, bursting at the seams with pictures, and the well behaved dogs were real ambassadors for the world of dogs. These ranged from the super Canaan Dog (a breed I love) to the Segugio Italiano, a breed that until All About Dogs I had no knowledge existed, and to honour their knowledge of the breeds. The Mayor presented each Breed advisor with a certificate, stopping at all stands to admire and enquire about the dogs.

The two-day event beat last year’s world record attempt at the sponsored 'Downathon.' With last year’s total being 321, and this year’s being over 400. Peter Purves, the commentator, having super persuasive powers, persuaded the entrants to just come in to the ring and give it a go. I know that wrestling a seven month pup to the ground whilst it’s playing silly devils with my other Maremma had the crowd in hysterics. A lone Newfoundland also decided that it was so beautiful, it should at least show its appreciation to the admiring crowds, delaying the countdown, but all dogs finally in place, the countdown of five minutes started, and it was an awesome sight to see. It was quite amazing when a sudden hush descended on the entrants, not quite sure whether it was to keep the dogs still, or because you felt so proud to be taking part.

Many of the outside rings had events taking place as well, one being the Police Dog Inter-Counties dog trials. and the entertaining commentary showed the happy crowd the fun and serious side to the dog handlers.


In another Marquee, the ladies of Essex Police Dog Team, deserve a mention as they gave the much needed teas and coffees, and food to the breed stand experts and all the officials of this event. I feel that these ladies worked so very hard and deserve our grateful thanks - so well done girls!

Kath Hardman gave a super demonstration of The Canine Freestyle/Heelwork to music. In fact, on Saturday and Sunday, all were invited to take part in the biggest heelwork to music training session, and thanks Kath it was an incredible feat.

The Ditton Dog Training Club promoted the Kennel Club’s Good Citizen Scheme with one very proud Pyrenean Breed advisor’s five month old puppy managing to gain the Bronze and Silver medal. I know Bryany was so chuffed that she failed to tell me the pup’s name, again I will let you know when she sends me the details.

All the have-a-go rings were busy and one being the fenced off Hide and Seek section. With the fastest dog to find its owner each day winning a rosette. I know that The Scurry course, that’s where hay bales are placed over a 40 metre area, was non stop, and one for my, 'Must have a go at,' next year. I’m not sure the rosette will be adorning my jacket though as I think if the dogs are quick then I probably wont have left the start line.

On the saturday the Grand Parade was well supported, with a massive crowd applauding all the different organisations and breeds that were represented at the event. The weather didn't seem to spoil the sunday’s Grand Parade slightly less crowd but with at least fifty different organisations braving the rain. A thoroughly entertaining two days. All the rest of the show’`s information I will write about next week.

On a slightly serious note though, I know that the many rescue organisations raised an awful lot of money for their prospective charities. Shows like All About Dogs are unique and gaining year by year in popularity.

For more news and photos from All About Dogs 2003 see next week’s issue.