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Issue: 31/08/2018

Laughing stock!

Reading about Mr Luxmoore and the KC's latest "problem" suggests that the Kennel Club is in serious danger of becoming the laughing stock of the canine world. Respect for this organisation (or is it company?), is being eroded very quickly and the members need to stand up and sort it out quickly.
Charles Green in his Friday Essay said it all. The list of problems just seems to get longer with no end in sight. No doubt the KC will clamp down on all of us who dare to criticise, but it is a fact that the KC will fail to see these issues as problems.
And if Mr Luxmoore thinks that printed hard copy is to become a thing of the past, will that mean the following? No more registration certificates, no more Kennel Club Gazette, and probably worst of all, no more menus in the Clarges Street caff?
Yours etc,
Andrew Height  

What's the world coming to?

What is the world coming to when Our Dogs, the media partner of the Welsh Kennel Club, is denied a copy of the transcript of the Kennel Club Chairman's speech which is delivered annually at the Welsh Kennel Club Show? 
For as long as I can remember this "state of the nation" speech has been available for all to read in the canine press the week after the show. Indeed, for some, it is eagerly anticipated and quickly becomes a topic for multiple conversations not only here in the UK but worldwide.
I have no social media account and have not had sight of any of the multiple posts which have appeared following this sad and sorry situation. Thanks to the wonders of modern day IT, I learned of it from a friend in the United States who sent me a screenshot by e-mail of a posting made from Nepal! These days when the words 'openness and transparency' are uttered so much by virtually everyone we encounter and we thrive on conspiracy theories, the effective gagging of Our Dogs only serves to fuel the speculation which is becoming rife as far as what is really happening behind the closed doors of Clarges Street.
Are the limited resources of some staff at the Kennel Club going to be stretched even further in having to initiate some form of damage limitation exercise by the production of a comprehensive communication? In the meantime the fancy faces challenges in the future arising from changes in legislation. One can but speculate as to what has a higher priority in the mind of the Chairman? 
Fiddling while Rome burns springs to mindů
Yours etc,
Charles Dickson

Exhibitors, please take note!

Exhibitors, please when entering an open show put a stamped addressed post card in with your name, date of show, which dogs you have entered and class number. This is then posted back to you signed so you know we have your entry and you know which dogs to bring! This is so easy and stops the Secretary being phoned the day before the show with 'Have you got my entry?' or 'What dogs have I entered?'
 Yours etc 
 Ian Hardman

Changes to Limited shows

If anyone is involved or is a member of a Limited show, have you heard about the changes made to the rules and classifications by the Kennel Club in May this year? 
It wasn't until the schedule for Birmingham Kennel was sent to Fosse Data to be printed, Fosse Data said that we couldn't have it printed as the classifications and the rules had changed since May 2018! thankfully Fosse were up to date with the changes the Kennel Club were making, only because they regularly go onto the KC web site. 
Upon contacting the KC the society had been told that the new rules had been in place since May this year. They also said that FULL consultation and a questionnaire had been sent to ALL societies. This has not happened as many societies like Birmingham Kennel Association have not received any correspondence or consultation from the KC. Up to date we know of five societies that have no idea of the changes, so what will happen to them? The information is somewhere on the web site but it will be too late for some as they have printed their schedules. 
I suggest that everyone involved in a Limited Show contact the KC to see what is going on and why. Why change the Limited shows? gone are the days when any class that you entered could qualify you for best in show. Now classes such as Handled by a Lady, Handled by a man are not eligible for BIS. 
Once again I urge any Society who is not au fait with the new rules to phone the KC regaerding what and where the new rules are. 
Yours etc
Christine Owen

Getting the facts right

I WRITE in response to Charles Green's comments on verbal critiques in his article A Question of Trust (Friday Essay OD 24 August).
Mr Green is rehashing Crufts 2016, and writes of the judge at a GSD show held shortly after that year's Crufts 'he then proceeded to give a verbal critique from the centre of the ring (a practice which is against KC rules). 
Many years ago the GSD Breed Council requested the KC to allow verbal critiques at the end of each class and in a letter dated 25 November 2003, the General Committee granted permission for judges to do so at single breed shows. It was not to be mandatory for a judge to give verbal critiques and exhibitors must be permitted to leave the ring if they did not wish for a verbal critique upon their exhibit.
In the almost 15 years since permission was given, all schedules and catalogues for GSD shows are required to carry, and do so, the following wording: 'At the discretion of the Show Management and the judge, verbal critiques MAY be given after the prize cards are awarded. If you do not wish to receive a verbal critique you will be permitted to leave the ring.'
The GSD fraternity are well used to criticism from outsiders but it would be appreciated if those putting their criticisms in print would get the facts right. 
Yours etc
Sheila Rankin

KC over-reaction was ludicrous

Having read last week's OUR DOGS I now understand the lack of group live streaming on Saturday at the WKC and the incredible overreaction of the KC Chairman regarding his speech.
Consequently I have done two things:
Firstly, I have completed the OUR DOGS survey. Before last week's furore, I was lukewarm, after it I am not. Equally, I cannot see why the Kennel Club Chairman should be contacting you for answers to his questions about what is an OUR DOGS survey. He will have to wait for the results like the rest of us!
Secondly, I am writing to you to ask that Our Dogs leads the way in taking a stand against this undemocratic and overbearing organisation. For the KC Chairman to succeed with his threats regarding the live stream was an excellent opportunity that I think was missed, but there will be others in the future, that's if we have a future in dogs.
In the unlikely scenario that he (or the KC) decides to follow through with his threats - something they would be crazy to do - I am sure that the whole of the dog world will rise up to support you. In one seminal moment, he and the KC might realise that their cosy, over privileged world is in danger of collapsing around their self perpetuating necks.
We have seen recently what happens to individuals who make a stand against the KC but for an organ such as yours, backed by thousands of judges, breeders and exhibitors as well as the great British public who hate injustice, really would make life difficult for itself.
Support would surely come from many sources including flash funding to cover your legal fees (that should raise a million or two) and offers to supply you with photos and reports from shows if the KC tries to ban or damage Our Dogs in any way.
I also wonder if you could encourage your undoubted contacts in the media world to make a documentary about the KC, to be released in Crufts week. There is surely enough material to make an hour long programme on the lines of the previous one that really stirred up the show world - Charles Green's wonderful Friday essay in last week's edition would be a start. You really could not write the script, as everyone keeps saying.
Finally, I have a simple solution. Separate the KC into a private club and a standalone sport operational PLC with shares available for all those interested in the dog world and not just the anointed few. The RAC did it in the nineties, why not the Kennel Club?
Best wishes and keep up the good work.
Yours etc
John Thompson

What a farce

Having read your report on what only can be described as a KC farce at the Welsh Kennel Club, it seems to me (and everyone I have talked to about this subject) that the Kennel Club chairman needs to start putting the good of dog people in front of his personal self interests and ego. End of. 
Yours etc
T Wareing

The best read 
I've had in ages!

Last week's issue of OUR DOGS was, quite simply, one of the best reads I have had in ages.
Everything, from your news stories, opinions and letters was of an extremely high quality. The reporting of the debacle that was the Chairman's speech at WKC was spot on (I had friends at the dinner), and I suspect the Chairman has scored a massive own goal there, if that had been me I would be kicking myself now. It looks like nothing more than a Trump-like tantrum!
I'm not a member, I don't chase judging appointments so I have noting to lose, I attend small local open shows and throroughly enjoy them, so the KC's bullying doesn't bother me in the least.
Keep up the good work, and remember the age old premise, it's never, ever a good idea to annoy the people that put you where you are...or the press!
Yours etc
John Ford

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