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Issue: 19/04/2024

We need to send positive messages

I am an exhibitor, a breeder and a judge of dogs. I love all dogs, not just purebred, I like cross breed dogs as well. I am in awe of what dogs can do for our society, as support dogs and rescue dogs or even just as the best friends anyone could wish for. I am concerned about the anti dog lobby and how they condemn our dog related hobbies. They paint us as not caring about our dogs, being cruel and unscrupulous breeders and owners. This anti dog lobby is very strong, very vocal and they are a united force.
I have just come home from four days at the World’s Greatest Dog Show, it’s a heaven for dog lovers. What worries me is that instead of the dog show community being united, we are fighting among ourselves and some of the posts on social media are only helping to strengthen those who are against all of us and our dogs.
Instead of focusing on the beautiful dogs appearing over the four days, some choose instead to berate judges, select unflattering images to portray winners in a bad light and take pleasure in dogs not performing at their best. We might not all agree with every judge’s decision or we might not like every breeder’s stock, but we should share these thoughts among our own associates in private. To press ‘Post’ on these derogatory comments, is not only getting your message to your breed community and maybe your fellow competitors, it is sending a message out to the world.
We need to send positive messages to the world wide audience to preserve our hobby, we need to highlight the winning dogs, to their virtues be kind and to their faults a little blind. Celebrate the wonderful healthy veteran dogs like the Jack Russell and was there anything nicer in the BIS line up at Crufts than the sweet happy Papillon wanting to kiss the judge. These dogs competing in a totally strange environment, with lots of music, noises and applause, very hot under the lights after a long day of competition, cameras catching their every movement and obviously owners and handlers also passing some nervous energy down the lead too. 
Let us not give ammunition to those who want to destroy our sport, let’s promote our dog world and continue to love all dogs..
Yours etc
Paul Lawless

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