Local dogs win prizes in the Isle of Dogs show

TWO LOCAL dogs, Willow the Rottweiler and Burnsfield the Jack Russell, won prizes in the Kennel Club’s Best of British Companion Dog Show at West India Quay on Saturday 18th July, which was organised to celebrate the 150th anniversary of dog showing.

Willow, owned by Judie-Ann Fursland from Custom House and Burnsfield, owned by Denis Glackin from Poplar, brought home the prizes for the Glossiest Coat and Waggiest Tail respectively. Both were among dozens of visitors who came along to the event to ‘have a go’ at showing. Neither had ever shown their dogs before and both have now been bitten by the bug.

Judie-Ann Fursland, said: ‘My cheeks were aching after Willow won her prize, I was smiling so much. I had never shown my dogs before but am definitely going to start now. Willow had the time of her life and everybody was so friendly, I was really proud of her. I suppose her achievement is doubly important because Rottweilers get such a bad press. However, I am learning to be a dog training instructor so she has been properly socialised which means that she knows how to behave both in and outside of the show ring. Willow is such a soppy dog and the fact that she did so well just goes to show that there is no such thing as a bad breed, it is all down to the owner.’

Denis Glackin, said: ‘I was chuffed to bits when Burnsfield won. I couldn’t quite believe it but am now definitely going to take him along to a few more shows because he loved it so much. His rosette and certificate are now proudly displayed on the wall at home.’

Jackson, a Dandie Dinmont Terrier owned by Sheila Bullock and Paul Keevil from Dormandsland, Surrey, beat both Willow and Burnsfield at the last hurdle to walk home with the coveted Best in Show prize. This helped to raise the profile of his breed, which is on the Kennel Club’s British Vulnerable Breeds list because it numbered only 119 puppy registrations with the Kennel Club last year. It is estimated that a breed needs at least 300 registrations a year in order to maintain its future survival.

Other vulnerable breeds were also at the event, accompanied by their handlers dressed in historic costume associated with the breed, including Mr Dandie Dinmont, from Sir Walter Scott’s novel Guy Mannering and Queen Victoria’s Rat Catcher, Jack Black, who will not have previously been seen around the docks for quite a few years!

Caroline Kisko, Communications Director at the Kennel Club, said: ‘We are really proud of all of the dogs that tried their paws at showing and came home with prizes. Willow’s win is particularly significant and goes to show that Rottweilers are lovely, friendly dogs, so long as they are properly trained and socialised. This goes for any dog and showing is a great way for people to ensure that their dog behaves well around people and other animals.

‘The day really gave people the chance to meet vulnerable breeds whose profile is being raised through showing and to find out more about how dog shows can help improve the future of our pedigree dogs. It gave people and their dogs the chance to have a go at showing for the first time, and to see if it’s something that they would like to take up as a hobby in the future.’
Paul Keevil, who won with Jackson, said: ‘I was delighted when Jackson came home with the prize for the best dog on the day. I have no doubt that the judge saw what a happy, healthy dog he is and how much he loves life and that is why he won the prize.

‘It’s a double celebration for us to win the show, because Dandie Dinmonts are a vulnerable breed and this will really help potential dog owners to find out about this wonderful breed and whether they might be right for them.’

View pictures from the show by clicking here

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