'Business as usual in Clarges Street'
The Bi-Annual General Meeting of the Kennel Club, which took place a week last Thursday at the Royal Aeronautical Society in Mayfair’s Hamilton Place, attracted 148 members.
There was little to report in the way of formal agenda items, with the approval of the 2004 Annual General Meeting minutes or matters arising. The chairman’s detailed report had been circulated to members and is reproduced on these pages with the appropriate sub-headings detailing a progressive year so far.
The election to Honorary Life Membership of that great Kennel Club supporter and grandee Mr Warwick Winston was proposed on behalf of the Kennel Club General Committee and receive unanimous support. Mr Winston is a former chairman of the KC’s Club Committee and has been a member since 1975.
Using the upgraded multi-media facilities of the re-vamped Bill Boeing Lecture Theatre, the KC press office and education staff appraised members of the successful Safe And Sound scheme designed to promote safe interaction between children and dogs. to date the website devoted the scheme has had nearly 300,000 hits in its first year of operation.
Heidi Lawrence, the KC Education Manager, spoke about the development of the scheme and Mr Jeff Lloyd, Headmaster of the Robin Hood Primary School, Kingston, Surrey explained how it had worked in conjunction with the SAS scheme to produce a series of practical projects. It was an impressive power point display.
Some 30 minutes into the meeting Mr David Cavill took the dais to speak to members about concerns which he and others had expressed to him about the new 75 year rule which prevents CC judges over that age from taking on ‘new’ breeds.
He said he felt the rule discriminatory and felt that it was like using a sledgehammer to crack a nut. He said that he had elected to speak to the members about this despite being invited to talk to the General Committee directly. His principal concern was that the rule often could and did work against those who had given their lives to a breed and their experience to the world of dogs.
Speaking on behalf of the Kennel Club, Judges’ Sub Committee chairman Mr Mike Townsend said that the rule was not meant to be unkind but was designed to protect the integrity of the system in place, the value of KC challenge certificates and to give exhibitors confidence in the abilities of judges, many of whom were accepting appointments three and four years in advance.
Mr Townsend said that the KC had consulted widely on the matter and that they felt that the measure complemented the KC Code of Best Practice aimed at judges and first published two years ago. He also pointed out that the KC reserved the right to discreetly monitor judges’ performances in the ring and to alert clubs and show organisers particularly if the Kennel Club had been alerted to the concerns of others. In closing he underlined that the rule was also designed to strengthen existing judges and encourage those up and coming.
Opening up the discussion to members the chairman thanked Mr Cavill. Mrs Jean Collins set the ball rolling with her total support of the General Committee and its approach. David Paton put forward the idea of the use of video photography of a judge’s performance or ring procedure. Former General Committee member Mr Bernard Hall reckoned that the rule was fair and appropriate speaking as a recent ‘victim’ of the 75 year rule himself. Closing the debate Mrs Wendy Spencer told fellow members of the ‘Roll of Honour approach’ adopted by the dachshund world on to which senior members were elected in recognition of their efforts on behalf of the breeds which make up the varieties. It certainly seemed a common sense idea.
Under any other business Mrs Jennifer Carey queried the number of spaces for names on KC registration and transfer forms, whilst a dapper member in the front row expressed concern about the ‘turn out’ of judges at shows, some of whom are not attired for the job in hand. It was time, he said, that it was job that was treated with the respect it deserved.
There being no further business the meeting closed at 12.06pm.
The Kennel Club chairman, Ronnie Irving
I am pleased to report, on behalf of the General Committee, on the activities of the Kennel Club since its Annual General Meeting in May 2004. At its October meeting the General Committee accepted two further objectives for the achievement of the strategic direction of the Kennel Club. The changes are underlined below.
"To raise the relevance of the Kennel Club in the eyes of the public at large, dog owners and those who take part in canine activities so as to be better able to promote in every way the general improvement of dogs.
This objective to be achieved through:
l Ensuring that the Kennel Club is the first port of call on all canine matters.
l Recognising the importance of canine health and welfare.
l Popularising canine activities focusing on the retention of existing customers and the attraction of new.
l Achieving a widening of the Kennel Club membership base.
l Encouraging the development of all those concerned with dogs through education and training.
l Encouraging more people to provide input into the Kennel Club’s decision making process."
The pace of our performance across all of our activities has not diminished as can be seen from the following report. It is evident as a result that the Club continues to move towards the achievement of its overall objectives.
REGISTRATION & COMMERCIAL ACTIVITIES
Registrations and Transfers
Registrations are up by 5.8% for the first nine months of 2004, as compared to the same period in 2003. Transfers too have increased by 4.3% for the same period. As ever, it is difficult to be certain of the reasons for the continued rises but we believe that this is, in part, due to the re-launch of our registration documents in 2002 and the quality of our registration services and associated products. The additional funding both from the registration increases and the uptake of the Healthcare insurance plans, is reflected in our ever growing investment in educational and charitable activities.
Registration Service Levels
The team in Aylesbury has handled almost 170,000 customer calls in the period May – September 2004, with a call abandonment rate of just 4.15% - which is better than the accepted national average. These figures represent an increase in call volumes and a decrease in abandonment rates in comparison to the same period in 2003, which is a great achievement.
In the period May – September 2004, there have been a total of 177,350 registrations on the Petlog database, and there have been a further 14,074 registrations with Petlog Plus over this time.
Shows and Events
The various Sub-Committees, under the secretaryship of the Shows, Trials & Awards Department continue to meet regularly and a number of positive initiatives are being progressed.
Premier Open Shows
To date six Premier Open Shows have been held and permission has been granted to a further seven societies to hold Premier Open Shows later in the year. In addition an opportunity to apply for Challenge Certificates has been given to those running successful Premier Open Shows.
The Disciplinary Sub-Committee said goodbye to Mr Eric Smethurst, who has joined the Crufts Sub-Committee and become its Vice Chairman. The Committee has been joined by a new member, Mr Steve Croxford, who is the manager of our Agility team at the World Championships.
In September, a meeting was held at the Kennel Club which marked the launch of the ‘Kennel Club’s Vulnerable Native Breeds Group’. This meeting took place following analysis of the returns of a questionnaire and discussions with concerned parties in the breeds involved.
Much of the discussion at this initial meeting centred on ways that vulnerable breeds could be promoted to the public to increase their popularity in a measured and sensible way. It was noted that clubs for some of the breeds identified by the KC as ‘vulnerable’, had expressed the view that their breed did not require excessive promotion. The Group recognised this and will endeavour to ensure that the matter is handled sensitively. This group will liaise closely with the recently founded Preservation Trust, so that the two organisations can work together in the future.
Regional Question Times
The latest of the Kennel Club Regional Question Times took place in Northwich in August and Bridgend in October. These meetings have continued to provide a constructive means for the Kennel Club to address issues posed on all aspects of its work and also to explain the reasons behind new policy decisions. Any questions that were not dealt with at the events, due to time restrictions, have continued to be answered in the Kennel Gazette.
Kennel Club Stand at Events
With the appointment of a full-time Roadshow Manager in April 2004 we were able to maintain a consistency throughout the 2004 Championship Show Diary. Thus far we have had positive feedback from all the Shows that we have attended. There were two shows at which we felt that our location did not enable exhibitors/visitors to find us easily, but at the majority of shows, excellent attention has been given to our location which can often be of assistance to the show committee. We are in the process of planning our Championship Show and events presence for 2005 along with a further refurbishment of the stand and changes of uniform for the KC staff.
Working Trials Obedience and Agility Sub-Committee (WTOA)
Plans for development of Agility have been high on the agenda for WTOA this year and are currently under review.
The Kennel Club has announced that it will take over the sponsorship of the Agility Finals, held annually at the Olympia International Show Jumping Championships in London from 2005. The Kennel Club recognises that the event is one of the most prominent events in the Agility calendar and is important for the sport’s profile. We will also sponsor this year’s event alongside Pedigree Masterfoods.
The Kennel Club Working Trials Championships – hosted by Leamington Dog Training Club – were held at Stoneleigh in October and proved to be a highly enjoyable and successful event.
Group Judges’ Development Programme
The Group Judges Development Programme continues to work towards its remit of giving additional training to judges who are already approved to judge more than two breeds in a group. Seminars have now been held across the seven groups, assisted by some major Group and General Championship Shows and interest in the scheme has been high. The Kennel Club has seen successful candidates approved to judge groups and additional breeds at Championship Shows, and we remain confident that the experience gained through the Group Judges Development Programmes will be beneficial to the world of dogs in the UK.
Kennel Club Training Board
Taking over the work of the Judges Working Party in late 2002, the Training Board has established a framework for the training of judges, show organisers, ring stewards and club officials. It offers guidance to those Group and General Championship Shows holding seminars for the Group Judges Development Programme and monitors the progress of candidates through this scheme. The Training Board also reviews applications from prospective Accredited Trainers and has been responsible for the implementation of the new "Hands-on Assessment for Conformation & Movement", a mandatory requirement for judges applying for inclusion on to a breed club’s A3 judging list from 1 July 2005. A WTOA Judges Training Programme has also been announced, with all new CC judges and first time judges required to attend a seminar and pass an exam on the Regulations and Judging procedures for their discipline from 1 July 2006.
The Judges Sub-Committee’s main activities remain the consideration of questionnaires from judges nominated to award Challenge Certificates at Championship Shows for the first time, A2 judging list applications and the review of evaluations. In 2004, the Judges Sub-Committee has been instrumental in the revision of Kennel Club policy affecting, amongst other issues, the judges of stakes and variety classes, the withholding of Challenge Certificates and judges’ critiques.
Field Trials Sub-Committee
Working Gundog Certificate
Work continues on the Working Gundog Certificate with development of the secondary stage gathering momentum. The information from both stages will be incorporated into a new handbook once the secondary stage completes its pilot.
Show Gundog Working Certificate
A seminar on the Show Gundog Working Certificate proved highly popular with many suggestions for content for a further seminar - hopefully to be held during the winter months.
All Aged Retriever Stake
The Kennel Club hosted a second All Aged Retriever Stake at Lauder in August with Pointers and Setters working alongside the Retrievers. This venture is proving highly successful and adds a new dimension to our field trial portfolio.
Breed Standards and Stud Book Sub-Committee (BSSB)
Breed Standard Amendments
During this year, the BSSB has reviewed the standards of the Pekingese, Tibetan Mastiff, Griffon Bruxellois, Spaniel (Clumber), Akita and Afghan Hound, and amendments to all of these Breed Standards are now in place. Furthermore, after the initiative in 2001 to include tail descriptions in the standards of all traditionally docked breeds, the descriptions for several breeds underwent further review in the light of feed back from breed clubs. As a result, changes were made to the Old English Sheepdog, Spaniel (Clumber), Swedish Vallhund and Welsh Corgi (Pembroke) tail clauses.
Two new breeds have been recognised so far this year, the Entlebucher Mountain Dog and the Korthals Griffon, and agreement was reached for the Russian Black Terrier and Coton de Tulear to be transferred from the Imported Breeds Register to Breed Register. However, the latter breed will not be transferred until 2006.
Other BSSB Matters
Other matters considered by this sub-committee included the decision not to allow registration of inter-variety bred Poodles, the agreement to extend the deadline for cross-registration of Belgian Shepherd Dog varieties until the end of 2009, and the imposition of a restriction on Scottish Terrier colour registrations. A special meeting was dedicated to consideration of separate recognition of Anatolian Karabash /Kangal dogs.
The European Convention for the Protection of Pet Animals Study Group
The Kennel Club’s European Convention Study Group held a review meeting earlier in the year, to discuss the achievements in this area over the past two years and to set future objectives. Work on specific breeds has continued, in the form of a follow up meeting with Shar Pei breed representatives as well as a recent meeting with representatives of the Neapolitan Mastiff Club.
The amendments to the Spaniel (Clumber) and Pekingese Breed Standards referred to above were as a direct result of meetings with the European Convention Working Party. One result of this group’s work has been Defra’s stated view that the Convention is a flawed document and should not form the basis of future legislation.
Health and Information Department
Kennel Club Accredited Breeder Scheme
This Scheme was launched to breeders at Crufts. Eight explanatory seminars were held during the four days, and were attended by around 600 people. The scheme has since been advertised in the dog press and, to date, over 400 breeders have signed up, representing over 120 different breeds. Overall, the scheme seems to be working well; breeders are using the Puppy Sales Wallets and the new puppy owners are returning the feedback questionnaires. The comments about the scheme, and the Accredited Breeders themselves, from those who have used it, are very positive.
We have had to adopt a flexible approach to some of the requirements for Accredited Breeders, the most significant being the requirement to permanently identify both the dam and the sire.
Accredited Breeders are finding it difficult to find sires that they would want to use that are permanently identified. Where this has occurred, we have waived the requirement providing the breeder has informed us, and providing that the breeder has given an assurance that they will inform their puppy buyers that the sire was not permanently identified. We have also had to be flexible in our insistence that certain breeds require both dam and sire to go through the BVA/KC Elbow Scheme. This scheme is not at all popular, hence our need to be flexible. We propose to revisit the health screening requirements and hopefully with the collaboration of breed clubs and councils, to remodel this particular aspect into requirements and recommendations.
We are now satisfied that the scheme is ready to move to the next phase and Discover Dogs 2004 sees the launch of the scheme to the general public as well as the publication of the list of founder members of the scheme. The scheme has undeniably raised the profile of health screening and has also encouraged take up of the DNA profiling service, while giving special recognition to responsible breeders.
Kennel Club DNA Profiling Service
The new Kennel Club DNA Profiling Service, using the new benchmark system endorsed by the International Society for Animal Genetics, is now operating. This new service has been well publicised and we are seeing significant increases in the volume of DNA profiles being requested.
Kennel Club DNA Testing Schemes
These schemes continue to run successfully. There should hopefully be more DNA tests available in the near future, which will, in time, allow for the setting up of more official schemes.
Joint Veterinary Screening Schemes with the British Veterinary Association
The BVA/KC Hip and Elbow Dysplasia Schemes and the BVA/KC/ISDS Eye Scheme have seen increased submissions during the first part of this year. Kennel Club representatives are routinely invited to attend working party meetings at the BVA, which aids communications on all levels.
KC/BSAVA Scientific Committee Health Surveillance Questionnaire
Just over 14,000 questionnaires have been returned, representing an overall response rate of just over 26%. We have contacted breed club secretaries to determine the precise numbers of questionnaires that they sent out to their members. When all returns have been evaluated and the data captured, we will be able to determine individual breed response rates. Data capture is a long and complicated process but it will be completed shortly, after which analysis can commence.
LINK Applied Genomics Programme
The Kennel Club is part of a consortium, along with Masterfoods and Imperial College London, which has received research funding for a project entitled ‘Canine population genetics and study design for Linkage Disequlibrium mapping’. The initial aim of the project is, for the first time to unlock the information present in the KC’s registration database to produce better models for the population structure of purebred dogs. This in turn will provide for better routes to search for the genes that cause inherited disease in the dog, particularly for those conditions that are genetically complex. At present research scientists have to rely on models based on human populations and these certainly do not reflect the population structure of present day dog breeds.
Over the last six months our External Affairs and Press Office activities have continued to broaden in their remit and scope. Good relationships continue to be built and maintained with Government departments such as Defra and we are in constant contact with MPs and Peers on a broad range of issues. The Club remains involved with various external Committees, such as the Pets Advisory Committee, Association of Dogs and Cats Homes and continues to provide the secretariat for the Dog Legislation Advisory Group (DLAG), whose members include the DogsTrust, Blue Cross, RSPCA and the BVA, among others.
Animal Welfare Bill
July saw the publication of the draft Animal Welfare Bill and shortly afterwards the Kennel Club was invited to Defra as part of the consultation process to discuss issues such as tail docking, the use of electronic shock collars and the European Convention for the Protection of Pet Animals. In September, the Kennel Club was invited by the Environment, Food & Rural Affairs Committee to give evidence at Parliament, where representatives were questioned on docking and electronic shock collars. KC evidence majored on the docking issue, making it clear to the Committee that it continues to support the case for choice in docking no matter what the breed - it is up to the individual whether or not they have the tails of pups docked, as indicated by the current Kennel Club Breed Standards. We now await the Committee’s report and recommendations and it is expected that the Bill will be included in the Queen’s Speech in November.
Hunting With Dogs
In June the Associate Parliamentary Group for Animal Welfare (APGAW) published its report into the fate of dogs used for hunting should a ban be forthcoming. This Working Group arose after the Kennel Club approached the APGAW Chairman, Ian Cawsey MP, to highlight the future welfare considerations for nearly 20,000 hunting dogs in the event of a ban. After receiving evidence from a number of sources the report made various recommendations including some hounds being retrained for draghunting and some being suitable for re-homing and suggested that euthanasia should only be considered as a last resort, once all other avenues had been explored. The report can be viewed on the KC’s homepage – www.the-kennel-club.org.uk - and the KC hopes that both Government and the hunts themselves will seriously consider the issues raised.
August saw new regulations relating to fireworks come into force and this ‘Bonfire Night’ will be the first to be subject to these new rules. The KC believes that Government has missed a great opportunity to prevent the suffering of thousands of animals by failing to take into account their welfare before introducing the regulations. The Kennel Club would have liked to see regulations providing for the compulsory advertisement of public displays where the use of loud fireworks is intended – giving owners of dogs and other domestic animals early notice of these, to ensure their animals are ‘protected’ during the display. Whilst the Kennel Club appreciates the enjoyment derived from fireworks, its position reflects the concern of the vast majority of pet owners of the impact fireworks have on the welfare of dogs and other pets.
Westminster Dog of the Year
The KC continues to support the Westminster Dog of the Year competition, which helps to keep the dog in the minds of both politicians and the media alike. The event, as always, attracted a good entry of politicians from both Houses and parties and was won by a Bedlington Terrier named Zack – owned by Vera Baird MP,QC.
International Canine Political Forum
On the 30th June and the 1st July, the Kennel Club hosted a meeting at Clarges Street entitled the ‘International Canine Political Forum’. This meeting was attended by representatives from the American Kennel Club, the New Zealand Kennel Club, the Maltese National Canine Federation, the Kennel Association of Sri Lanka, the Singapore Kennel Club and the Kennel Club of India. Items of debate included dangerous dogs legislation, docking, legislation regarding the breeding of pedigree dogs, the PETS Travel Scheme, artificial insemination, open registers for hereditary disorders and the current position regarding participation in, and the popularity of, dog related events.
Also in July, Kennel Club representatives travelled to Paris for a meeting of European kennel clubs jointly hosted by the KC and the French Kennel Club. Items on the agenda were limited to external political matters including dangerous dogs, the European Convention for the Protection of Pet Animals and lobbying of the European Parliament. A number of proposals are being taken forward and in view of the ever-increasing influence that both Brussels and Strasbourg are likely to have on ‘dogdom’ in general, the KC has started to monitor canine issues within the European Parliament, in conjunction with the German and French Kennel Clubs. This initiative will provide the dog lobby with greater credibility in Europe and help to influence European parliamentarians.
In May, the Kennel Club External Affairs Department held a seminar inviting representatives from breeds which may be susceptible to adverse publicity from the media, with regard to issues such as ‘biting’ incidents, misinformation on breed identification and adverse publicity in general for the ‘look’ of their breed. The seminar consisted of information on conduct before, during and after contact with the media and highlighted the importance of everyone speaking with one voice when incidents occur, for the good of dogs. The Kennel Club intends to arrange further seminars to help breed clubs and dog owners to deal with the media and plans are underway to produce written guidance for all breed clubs.
First Port of Call
Finally, the Press Office continues to give comment to the media on all canine issues and distributes press material and releases throughout the year. On average, 1,500 media enquiries are responded to, over and above the many thousands directly connected to Crufts and Discover Dogs.
MARKETING & BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT DEPARTMENT
Many potential dog owners continue to use media such as Yellow Pages, Exchange and Mart and Loot newspaper to find a puppy. It is vital that the KC provides a responsible message and encourages potential new owners to contact the Kennel Club to find a responsible breeder: if they are looking for a pedigree dog, they should be looking for a Kennel Club registered dog. We now take advertising in these publications on a regular basis.
The website continues to provide valuable information and resources to dog owners. In the last few months additional services have been added to the online shop facility including Kennel Name/Affix registration and Good Citizen Dog Scheme dog tags. The Gallery and Picture Library online databases have recently gone live.
The E-Newsletter has adopted a new format which is proving extremely successful and has received positive feedback. There are now 120,000 customers from all over the world receiving a monthly newsletter which provides useful information and news from the Kennel Club. Additional e-newsletters are being distributed to certain membership sections of the database including the Young Kennel Club, Petlog Authorised Users and Companion Dog Club members.
Hits on the site have increased recently to 13 million a month. This equates to 120,000 unique users visiting the site each month, spending on average 13 minutes each session.
Work continues to streamline and manage the Kennel Club’s print budget and realise areas where the Club can save money and also improve budget management and focus. With the Kennel Club’s huge print requirement, we have developed partnerships with suppliers to get the best value for money and service – at the same time using our internal Publications Department to best effect. We have improved stock management, which also helps with internal planning and strategies.
Responsible Dog Ownership
The Kennel Club continues to strive to encourage responsible dog ownership across the country and has conducted two special campaigns to date this year – one in the West Midlands in March and another in County Durham during the month of August. These campaigns have the support of advertising, so the Kennel Club has been able to communicate to dog owners at all levels. Local authorities distribute leaflets, display posters in parks and community buildings, and distribute thousands of poop scoops.
Feedback from Durham City Council has been very positive. The literature was used to promote education of dog owners and as a result there was a noticeable decrease in the number of complaints received with regard to fouling and only one fixed penalty notice had to be issued during the campaign period. Furthermore, thanks to the increased awareness in pet identification during August five times the usual number of dogs were microchipped in the region.
Marketing for Crufts 2005 began in May with analysis of the 2004 campaign and presentation of the findings of the consumer research conducted at the show. The Crufts 2005 campaign is being developed with a creative approach using photography from the show to attract new visitors, as well as encouraging our loyal return visitors. Planning for the television, press and radio advertising is underway.
Furthermore, the department is in discussion with a number of travel organisations to develop special relationships with travel operators for Crufts visitors. The aim of these new partnerships is to persuade customers to use public transport to attend the show.
Crufts Market Research
A comprehensive electronic, touch screen survey was available for visitors to complete at Crufts 2004. Some 1500 surveys were completed during the show. Visitors were questioned on a range of issues, including their Crufts experience, relationship with the Kennel Club and the world of dogs as a whole, demographic information, buying behaviour and their opinions on potential services that could be offered to them. The results of the survey will provide a basis on which to plan future campaigns for both Crufts and other Kennel Club projects.
The marketing campaign for this year’s event has built upon the fresh approach adopted in 2003. The campaign continues to utilise the strapline "London’s Leading Canine Event" and links in the Crufts name, whilst also making use of the tagline "all canines great and small" on the advertising materials produced. Advertising has been focussed once again on London Underground, and local radio in London.
These newsletters offer the Kennel Club a targeted channel through which it can convey key information about products, services and developments to those important to the world of dogs, including Dog Wardens, Libraries, Club Secretaries and Veterinary Practices.
The marketing of Petlog was highlighted through the launch of National Microchipping Month in August. Over 140 event packs were despatched and 70 events listed online. A positive response was received from animal charities and vets who took part in the campaign to help market their services to responsible pet owners.
The website hosted a survey on pet ownership and identification which enabled Petlog to find out more about its customers.
Companion Dog Club
Re-branding of the Companion Dog Club is being undertaken using a more modern approach. Terms and conditions for the club have been reviewed and a new membership pack developed.
Young Kennel Club (YKC)
The Young Kennel Club has continued to grow and now stands at over 2500 members. The YKC team has been working to improve its image through the redesign of its membership pack and quarterly newsletter.
In line with the increase in membership age ranges, now 6 to 24 years, it was decided to segment the target market and channel activities in two groups – 6-14 years and 15-25 years. In line with this segmentation, the promotional leaflet and membership cards have been redesigned using two different styles.
The continued growth in membership was reflected in the demand for places on this year’s YKC Training Camp in July which was oversubscribed by 40 members. A total of 89 members and 197 dogs attended, and following last year’s successful trial, all activities were organised and run by senior YKC members who had attended the YKC Outward Bound course in 2002 or 2003.
The Outward Bound development initiative was once again offered to members between the ages of 16-24 during August. Ten members aged between 16-17 completed a course focused on teamwork, confidence, and sportsmanship and communication skills, and a further eleven members aged between 18-24 participated in a course based on problem solving, leadership and project management.
Anne Indergaard, Head of the Norwegian Kennel Club committee saw the YKC members in action at Crufts and was so impressed with their performance that she invited the YKC to send two members to train Norwegian youngsters at their first ever training camp in August.
The YKC is continuing its efforts to enable young people to enjoy participation in the management of all activities connected with dogs and as such a number of senior members are now observing Kennel Club committees. The YKC is also working to promote senior members to committees outside the Kennel Club.
Kennel Club Accreditation Scheme for Instructors in Dog Training and Canine Behaviour
October saw the first meeting of the newly appointed Accreditation Board, under the chairmanship of the Kennel Club Vice Chairman. The Board now oversees the progression of the scheme following the pilot and pre-launch years. Several working parties have been appointed by the board to steer various areas of the scheme, for instance assessment criteria and marketing plans.
Merchandise and Brand Licensing
We have continued to licence the various brands associated with the Kennel Club and most notably we have just produced the first Kennel Club Christmas Catalogue. All profits from the sales of Christmas cards in the catalogue will be donated to the Charitable Trust. Further a Kennel Club clothing catalogue has been be produced with all products being branded with the Kennel Club logo. It is hoped to extend the range in the near future. In addition we are starting negotiations with Pet Brands to extend the pet care range licence for a further term.
Good Citizen Dog Scheme (GCDS)
The scheme has once again seen a considerable growth both in dog training courses being offered and participants. The scheme totals now stand at 14,000 Puppy Foundation, 75,000 Bronze, 15,500 Silver and over 6000 Gold passes. Organisations taking part in the scheme now total 1400 which include 250 local councils and 430 Listed Status.
The GCDS continues to promote its Examiner Assessment programme, which aims to educate and recognise dog trainers and scheme enthusiasts who wish to become potential examiners. As part of the course, a written and practical assessment has been designed at each level, which tests each candidate’s understanding and underpinning knowledge of the scheme requirements. In 2004 there have been two courses held to date.
A seminar was conducted in May in London and was attended by 70 delegates. Further dates are planned.
The registration of Listed Status Training Clubs continues to grow and now totals some 430 organisations. This has a significant influence on the rising number of Good Citizen courses at all levels. The total number of Listed Status Clubs now exceeds the number of KC Registered Training Clubs in the UK.
Safe and Sound
The Kennel Club ‘Safe and Sound’ Scheme has now completed its first year in operation. To date there have been nearly 300,000 hits on the SAS site and a lot of interest from schools, parents and children. The site promotes the safety of interaction between children and dogs.
At present the site has three main areas, the Safety Factor Challenge Game, Teacher’s Notes pages and the ‘stay safe’ advice area (Paw Plan). The Safety Factor Challenge is an entertaining and educational interactive computer game. The Teacher’s Notes advice area, is still under development but offers free down loadable material for schools and activity groups for Key Stages 1,2 and 3.
It is anticipated that once the website is completed, the project will seek approval from the Department of Education, which will in turn help the development of the project within schools and educational links.
The Practical Award
The scheme has worked with Robin Hood Primary School, Kingston, Surrey to run the first of a series of practical ‘Safe and Sound’ projects. The first one took place in May and was completed in July. This project involved working with an entire school year of 10 year old students. Each child attended SAS lessons, took part in a written assessment and was tested on their practical skills learnt from the website. Results from the pilot project were encouraging and have helped to further develop the scheme.
In August, the scheme held its first seminar to enrol 8 dog-training organisations throughout the UK. The purpose of this is to test the SAS practical syllabus at weekly training clubs. A review meeting of this initiative will be conducted in December.
Art Gallery Exhibitions
June saw the opening of the Maud Earl Exhibition. The collection included several loaned pieces but the majority were drawn from the Club’s impressive collection. There was an overwhelming demand for tickets to an accompanying lecture by William Secord, and an additional one had to be scheduled. In September the exhibition changed to "The Borzoi in Art" – a fascinating and beautiful representation of some fabulous pieces of art and history of the Borzoi breed.
Donations & Purchases
The Club has recently acquired several new additions to its art collection, including the following donations:
l Pointer Head Study in terracotta by Richard Fath donated by Richard C Fath
l Schipperke in terracotta by Richard Fath donated by Mr William Secord
l Ch Burydown Freyha: A Saluki in bronze by Doris Lindner donated by Mrs Ormsby
l Angela Mulliner pastel of a Saluki, donated by Mr Stephen Green
The Kennel Club was also delighted to purchase a miniature of two Tibetan Spaniels, a water colour by Frances Fairman, as well as a display cabinet previously owned by Charles Cruft, an item that was included in the Crufts exhibition.
The end of May saw the launch of the Kennel Club Art Gallery website. The site has proven to be extremely successful, and is averaging over 80,000 hits per month. The site will be continuously updated with new acquisitions and provides its users with the ability to order catalogues, prints and make donations.
The department has been involved in the design and implementation of official tours of the Kennel Club and its activities to Members, Associates, specialist canine organisations and the public.
Volunteer Members will present the tours. Preparations are now complete and three Members have been trained as official tour guides. It is hoped that the first official tours, for Associates, will be held this month. To assist this project a projector and screen have been installed in the Gallery.
Picture Library Website
The Picture Library went on-line in April. On the day of its launch the site included 500 images of dogs. Today the site holds over 2,000 images with more being added daily and receives an average of over 35,000 hits a day.
The Picture Library attended its first British Association of Picture Libraries & Agencies fair in May. The stand was an immediate success, attracting a wide variety of researchers. After attending the fair, enquiries increased by 20%. The Picture Library will be attending next year’s fair, with ideas on how to market the service even more successfully.
The Library has received 28 donated publications since May. One of the more important donations were 60 Border Terrier Club and Southern Border Terrier Club year books from the Border Terrier Club, the majority of which were donated in memory of the late Mrs Mollie Nicholl.
Once again I wish to express thanks to the very many people who have worked tirelessly for the benefit of the Club over the period under review. They are too many to mention individually. In particular, however, I would thank my colleagues on the General Committee for their continuing support and all those members of Sub-Committees, Working Parties and other volunteer groups who put a great deal of time and effort into making the Kennel Club successful. Special thanks again go from me personally to our Vice Chairman, Bill Hardaway, whose help and advice I greatly value.
Also, on your behalf, I extend thanks to Rosemary Smart, our Chief Executive, and her Staff Team who do such a good job of maintaining and improving the Club’s reputation. On behalf of all Members, I thank again all those who help the Kennel Club by giving so generously of their time in the pursuit of our common objective – to protect and promote the dog and its varied roles in society.