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Gundogs are a passion!

Frank Kane talked to Helen Davenport about his new book

Frank KaneQ. Frank, what prompted you to write a book covering judging all the gundog breeds?

A. Gundogs have always been my first passion and it was a book I always wanted to write, feeling very strongly as I do about the quality of judging. Added to this, of course I still have a little of the college lecturer in me, so I do hope it will be a resourceful book.

Q. How long has it taken you to write it?

A. The actual writing of the book did not take a long time because I have judged most of the gundog breeds for a lot of years. I specifically wanted to discuss things that I thought were important which are sometimes just implied in the breed standards rather than stated. Be that as it may, the production of the book has taken much longer owing to various circumstances. For example, there was the change to the docking rules which meant that with some of the photographs we had taken for intended use, needed some alterations. (The new book contains photographs of some undocked dogs in the hitherto traditionally docked breeds.) Then there was the overhaul of the breed standards and since the book contains all of the KC breed standards, it made good sense to wait for them to be published in order for the book to be right up to date.

Q. Would you say it has been a labour of love?

A. I enjoy writing and it is my third book, but I could not really call it a labour. However, when it comes to technology such as computers, downloading photographs etc., that certainly is a different matter, since I am a real technophobe.
I have been very fortunate in having the publisher, Caroline Reynolds of Show Dogs Ireland to help in this department. Added to this, John Hartley has been incredibly generous with his photographs, so too Andrew Brace who has kindly supplied me with many personal photographs as well as many people have let me use their own photographs.

Q. Why did you decide to publish the book yourself?

A. The original publisher decided, after a while, that there was not a market for a book which covered more than one breed. I however thought there was a real need for this sort of book, so I took a different track. Time might prove me wrong!

Q.Is the book intended for experienced judges/beginners or both?

A. I think you will find the book has something in it for everyone. For example, it contains a chapter on conformation and movement which I feel is the backbone of all judging. Added to this, there is an in depth discussion covering breed type in all the breeds as well a section on ring procedure. I even get a little philosophical and personal at times too, so readers could possibly learn some of my pet hates!

Q. As a successful published author what plans do you have?

A. I would really like to get around to doing my PhD in English Literature, however we will have to see about that!



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(Frank will be signing copies at the Our Dogs Stand)




Contact Fiona Simpson by e-mail at or call 0844 504 9008



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