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    September 20th, 2016Laura P (Editor)Articles

    The International Canine Health Awards are returning for the fifth year to celebrate some of the world’s finest researchers and scientists whose work has had a positive impact on the health and wellbeing of dogs.

    Nominations are currently being sought for the awards, which are run by the Kennel Club Charitable Trust and include substantial cash prizes donated by Vernon and Shirley Hill, founders of Metro Bank, to go towards new or continued research.

    The awards will be presented at a ceremony at the Kennel Club in London on 24th May 2017.

    With a prize fund totalling £65,000, the Kennel Club Charitable Trust is urging people to nominate themselves or their peers by 13th February 2017.  The awards will be judged by representatives from the veterinary profession and the world of scientific research, including experts in each of the nominees’ selected fields.

    The three categories for the International Canine Health Awards are:

    • International Prize in Canine Health for outstanding contribution in the field of canine health and welfare with a prize fund of £40,000 (approximately $55,000 or €48,000) for future projects. The award will be presented to an individual who is currently involved in world class innovation but with much still to contribute.
    • Lifetime Achievement Award with a £10,000 prize fund – a veterinarian or scientist working in a related discipline who has dedicated much of their career to advancing the health of dogs. The award will be presented to an individual who has made a significant impact on the world stage of canine health.
    • Student Inspiration Awards which will be split into undergraduate and postgraduate awards, with a prize fund of £10,000 for the postgraduate and £5,000 for the undergraduate winner. These prizes will aid further education costs, the development of their careers, or to create or continue a project. The awards will be presented to extraordinary students studying at a British veterinary school, who demonstrate the potential significantly to advance the frontiers of veterinary medicine and research in the field of dogs.

    Last year’s winners included Professor Holger Volk, recipient of the International Award, who was recognised for the progressive work he has carried out in the field of veterinary neurology and neurosurgery. Known for his work in canine epilepsy, Professor Volk has covered many topics within the field, including a study on diets to aid seizure control; an ongoing project on behavioural epilepsy co-morbidities; studies into quality of life issues for dogs and owners; and he has helped to launch a new anti-epileptic drug. 

    Speaking about the award, Professor Volk said: “I felt very honoured to have received the award earlier in the year. It caught me by surprise that the highly respected Kennel Club would endorse our work by giving me this award. I am grateful for all the amazing colleagues, breeders and pet owners for their passion to help battle animal diseases and for making a difference on a daily basis. Without everyone’s support, our work could never have been achieved or have an impact.”

    Professor Mike Herrtage won the Lifetime Achievement Award for his major contribution to veterinary scholarship and research. The Dean of the Cambridge Veterinary School, Professor Herrtage is internationally recognised as a leading expert in diagnostic imaging and small animal medicine. His research has covered a broad range of topics over a 40-year career and he has a specialist focus in the field of metabolic and endocrine diseases.

    Professor Herrtage said: “I was surprised and overwhelmed to have been nominated for this auspicious award. It was a fantastic honour and one that I dedicated to my colleagues, residents and students who have stimulated and supported me through my career, as well as my patients who have challenged and continue to challenge me.”

    Last year’s other winners were David Singleton, who won the Postgraduate Student Inspiration Award for the research he is doing into antimicrobial resistance in dogs and other animals at the University of Liverpool; and Natalie Gibbons, winner of the Undergraduate Student Inspiration Award for her proposed research at the Royal Veterinary Collage into the phenotypic and functional characterisation of canine monocytes, an area which has not yet been explored in depth.

    Professor Steve Dean, Chairman of Trustees of the Kennel Club Charitable Trust, commented: “After four successful years, the International Canine Health Awards will once again, in 2017, recognise those scientists, veterinarians and other individuals who help provide dogs with a healthier future. Massive strides towards improving canine health have been made in recent years and through the generosity of the Vernon and Shirley Hill Foundation we are able to offer these awards to a global audience.

    “The International Award recognises innovative work in dog health that deserves recognition and funding. Individuals may be nominated by others or may nominate themselves. Candidates can apply from anywhere in the world and the winner will receive a prize of £40,000 to support their work.

    “The Kennel Club Charitable Trust has a long history of supporting work that helps to improve dog health and, thanks to Vernon and Shirley Hill, the International Canine Health Awards is proud to be able to honour and reward world-class achievement.”

    Vernon Hill, founder and Chairman of Metro Bank, and whose major gift underwrites the International Canine Health Awards, said: “We are proud to support world leaders in veterinary medicine and its impact on human health.”

    All nominations should be made via the online application form on the Kennel Club website before 13th February 2017 at http://www.thekennelclub.org.uk/health/international-canine-health-awards/. If you have any queries regarding the application process, please contact Denise French at the Kennel Club via denise.french@thekennelclub.org.uk.

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    September 20th, 2016Laura P (Editor)Articles

    When you meet cuddly Lurcher Flash you would never guess what he looked like when he first arrived at Battersea Dogs & Cats Home in Old Windsor. 

    The one-year-old arrived at the Home in an awful state, after he was found as a stray wandering the streets and brought in by a local council.

     

    He was underweight with a severe, untreated skin condition which had left him with multiple sores, and a red-raw belly, face and legs.

     

    It’s been a long road to recovery but, after an operation and multiple skin treatments, Flash is now fighting fit.

     

    However, Flash is now facing a new hurdle, as he is struggling to find a family and has just passed the 100-day mark at Battersea without a home.

     

    Battersea Old Windsor Centre Manager Kaye Mughal said: “Flash was in a very bad way when he first arrived at Battersea and he’s been incredibly brave throughout his recovery. He has never once lost his affectionate and charming nature and his tail has kept wagging. He looks like a different dog now and when you see him running around you would never know he’s been through such a terrible time, he’s a beautifully natured chap.

     

    “But it’s very sad that on top of everything else he’s having such a difficult time finding a home and has now been with us for over 100 days. He really needs a family to come forward and give him the second chance at life he so desperately needs. He’s a young dog but he’s been through so much and we really want to see his luck change for the better. Flash is looking for a home where he is the only dog, with people who have experience of owning sighthounds.”

     

    While the average stay for a dog at Battersea is 30 days, Flash is one of nine dogs currently at the Old Windsor centre who have been at the charity for over 100 days.

     

    Some of the Home’s other long-stay residents include Bluebell, a large, lovely natured two-year-old Mongrel who has been at Battersea for over a year; Bud, a gorgeous seven-year-old Lurcher, who is the Home’s longest-staying resident; Mable, an affectionate one-year-old mongrel; and Neo, a playful two-year-old Lurcher.  

     

    To find out how you can rehome Flash or any of Battersea Old Windsor’s other long-stay dogs, please contact 01784 494 443 or emailbow.rehomers@battersea.org.uk.

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    September 13th, 2016Laura P (Editor)Articles

    Insurance data shows dogs bred under the scheme are less likely to need veterinary treatment

    Responsible dog breeders who put the health of their puppies first could be saving puppy buyers thousands of pounds in vet fees and helping them get a dog that is more likely to live a healthy life.

    Insurance claims data released by Agria Pet Insurance ahead of Puppy Awareness Week (12–18 September), has revealed that dogs bred by members of the only scheme in the UK dedicated to monitoring dog breeders, the Kennel Club Assured Breeder Scheme, are costing owners on average 18 per cent less in unplanned veterinary fees and are 23 per cent less likely to need to visit the vet.

    Furthermore, among older dogs which may experience the health issues the Kennel Club Assured Breeder Scheme specifically endeavours to breed away from, those bred by Assured Breeders are 34 per cent less likely to need veterinary treatment, resulting in vet bills that are 27 per cent less for their owners.

    At a time when irresponsible ‘backstreet breeders’ and illegal puppy smugglers are becoming more common, and are exploiting the public’s affection for dogs by breeding and selling pups without any concern for their health and welfare, Agria’s analysis of claims data shows that the Assured Breeder Scheme is going a long way in protecting the health and welfare of Britain’s dogs, whilst helping to protect consumer rights by increasing the chance of puppy buyers getting a healthy pet.

    Bill Lambert, Kennel Club Health and Breeder Services Manager, said: “The UK is being flooded with pups being bred by puppy farmers or smuggled in from Eastern Europe, and it is absolutely crucial that puppy buyers are aware of how to buy a puppy responsibly. This will not only help to protect them as consumers but will give them more chance of getting a healthy pet. 

    “We know that there are, of course, responsible breeders outside of the Assured Breeder Scheme, but it is the only way we can signpost puppy buyers to breeders who are doing everything they should be for their pups. If puppy buyers are not going to responsible breeders, they may be unwittingly adding to the problem, so it is crucial to do the proper research and only ever go to a good breeder, such as a Kennel Club Assured Breeder. 

    “We have long known that the Assured Breeder Scheme is helping to improve dog health and are delighted that Agria’s data shows just that.”

    Simon Wheeler, Managing Director of Agria Pet Insurance, added: “Our figures are good news for anyone considering getting a dog, as they show that it is not just older dogs that have benefitted from the Kennel Club Assured Breeder Scheme. We are also seeing noticeably lower claims costs for puppies, indicating that responsible breeding practices are reducing health issues that require veterinary treatment.”

    The Kennel Club Assured Breeder Scheme was established to promote the best breeding practice by working together with breeders and puppy buyers to force irresponsible breeders and puppy farmers out of business. 

    The Kennel Club is the only organisation in the country to be recognised and accredited by UKAS as an impartial and competent inspector to certify dog breeders. This offers the confidence to puppy buyers that Kennel Club Assured Breeders are committed to exceptional standards of care and welfare of their puppies, whereas this cannot be guaranteed outside of the scheme.

    Working with Agria, the insurance provider that administers and underwrites Kennel Club Pet Insurance, the Kennel Club is able to monitor the progress of its Assured Breeder Scheme with empirical verification that the scheme is achieving its aims.

    More information on the Assured Breeder Scheme can be found here.

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    September 12th, 2016Laura P (Editor)Articles

    Buying habits when getting a puppy are leading to a welfare crisis and financial and emotional strain on consumers

    • Half of pups (49 per cent) bought online, without being seen first, fall sick and around one in five pups (17 per cent) end up with serious gastro-intestinal problems
    • One in five who bought a pup online or from newspaper ads are forced to spend between £500 and £1,000 on vet bills in the first six months of the puppy’s life – often more than the original cost of the puppy 
    • Over a third of people (37 per cent) who ended up with a sick pup after buying online or from newspaper ads experienced financial problems due to cost, and 35 per cent suffered from emotional problems
    • Over a third of puppies (37 per cent) bought online or from a newspaper ad without being seen first were bought as a spur of the moment decision, with almost two thirds being bought solely because of the way they looked
    • Buying a pup from a responsible breeder can cost owners 18 per cent less in unplanned veterinary fees and pups are 23 per cent less likely to need to visit the vet
    • Kennel Club highlights importance of getting a dog from a responsible breeder or rescue home as part of Puppy Awareness Week (12-18 September)

    Half of puppies bought online without being seen by their new owners first are falling sick, as almost half of people (45 per cent) suspect their pup could have come from a puppy farm.  People opting to buy puppies online or from newspaper adverts, not realising that many could have been bred on puppy farms, is leading to one in five having to spend between £500 and £1,000 in vets’ bills in the first six months of their puppy’s life.  This is resulting in financial and emotional problems as over a third (37 per cent) say they have been affected financially and 35 per cent affected emotionally by the strain of owning a sickly pup.

    Kennel Club research for Puppy Awareness Week, taking place from 12-18 September, shows that puppy buying habits could be contributing towards a welfare crisis, with over a third of puppies (37 per cent) being sold online or from newspaper adverts being bought by people who decided to get a puppy on the spur of the moment – with almost two thirds (60 per cent) choosing their dog solely because of the way it looks.

    Many of these puppies will go on to develop diseases and conditions common in puppy farmed pups, with around one in five pups (17 per cent) ending up with serious gastro-intestinal problems.

    Many people are not prepared for the associated financial cost of a sickly puppy, with around a third of people (32 per cent) who buy online or from a newspaper advert without seeing the pup first, having to spend more on vets’ fees than they had accounted for.  Almost one in five (18 per cent) spending between £500 and £1,000 on vets’ bills in the first six months of their puppy’s life means that many people are having to spend more on their pet’s health than they paid for the puppy originally.

    As a result, over a third of people (37 per cent) who ended up with a sick pup after buying online or from newspaper ads experienced financial problems due to cost and 35 per cent suffered from emotional problems due to the strain of having a sickly puppy.

    The Kennel Club is increasingly concerned about irresponsible breeders who put profit over health and welfare and is keen to highlight the importance of going to a responsible breeder.

    Insurance data released by Agria Pet Insurance ahead of Puppy Awareness Week has revealed that the only scheme in the UK dedicated to monitoring dog breeders, the Kennel Club Assured Breeder Scheme, is improving the health of dogs and saving owners money.  The data highlights that dogs bred by Assured Breeders are costing owners on average 18 per cent less in unplanned veterinary fees and are 23 per cent less likely to need to visit the vet.

    Caroline Kisko, Kennel Club Secretary, said: “It’s absolutely shocking that people are still buying puppies online or from newspaper adverts without seeing the puppy first.

    “Not only do puppies end up suffering as a result of being irresponsibly bred and sold, but consumers are being utterly duped into thinking they will end up with a healthy puppy, when the reality is that buying a pup from a disreputable source is likely to cost them dearly, both emotionally and financially.  This is especially true when a puppy buyer does not even see the puppy before purchase, which is why the Kennel Club is highlighting the importance of seeing the puppy with its mother in its breeding environment before committing to buy.

    “It’s absurd that people are likely to take less care buying a puppy than they do when buying a kitchen appliance, and they may well be unknowingly supporting the cruel puppy farming trade as a result. It is crucial for anyone thinking about getting a dog to go to a responsible breeder, such as a Kennel Club Assured Breeder, or to a rescue organisation, and to know what to look for when they do so to stop puppy farmers from selling sickly pups and causing puppy buyers untold emotional and financial distress.”

    For more information about buying a puppy responsibly and for the Kennel Club’s do’s and don’ts of buying a puppy, visitwww.thekennelclub.org.uk/PAW.

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    August 10th, 2016Laura P (Editor)Articles

    A dog being cared for at Dogs Trust Ballymena, dubbed the one “nobody wanted”, is still waiting on a loving owner to take him home.

    Six months after Dogs Trust Ballymena launched a nationwide appeal to find a home for seven-year-old on Valentine’s Day, Labrador Cross Vinnie, the “gentle giant” is sadly still seeking a loving owner.

    Dogs Trust Ballymena Rehoming Centre Manager, Oonagh Phillips said:

    “Vinnie is such a loveable dog and we can’t understand why no budding owners have come forward yet.

    “Since Vinnie came to Dogs Trust he has made leaps and bounds, having doubled in weight and become much healthier. Despite the love and care we provide, what he really needs is a family who will give him the loving home he deserves.”

    Despite being showered with affection by canine carers at the Rehoming Centre, staff are worried that Vinnie will never find the loving home he deserves as he has been without an owner now for more than a year.

    Canine carers at Dogs Trust Ballymena have described Vinnie as a “wonderful dog” who just needs that special someone to help him become part of a family again. He arrived at the Rehoming Centre in August 2015 after being abandoned and was severely underweight. Vinnie has an ongoing medical condition linked to his kidneys, however it doesn’t slow him down in the slightest and the team at Ballymena can advise on this.

    Vinnie can live with older children aged 12 and over and would benefit from a home where he is the only dog so that he can be showered with attention. He has a lot of energy so active owners would suit Vinnie.

    Some of his favourite things include being outside, exploring and snuggling up for an afternoon snooze on a comfy bed.

    If you’re interested in rehoming Vinnie, contact Dogs Trust Ballymena on 0300 303 0292.

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    August 4th, 2016Laura P (Editor)Articles

    From long jumping Lurchers to hounds that can hurdle, Battersea Dogs & Cats Home are supporting the GB Team with their very own squad of animal athletes ahead of the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio next week.

    To celebrate the world’s biggest sporting spectacle, the world renowned charity are hoping their canine champions will win gold this summer and jump, swim or dive their way into new homes across the capital.

    Among the winning waggy tails is six year old Beau, Battersea’s ‘Sky’s the Limit’ high jumper. This 7 year old bouncy Springer Spaniel is a whirlwind of energy and is unstoppable when it comes to playing ball. He has a jump as extraordinary as his personality and is looking for active owners who are as enthusiastic about exercise as he is.

    Hero ‘The Hulk’ is a 7 year old Pug Beagle cross and has a passion for weightlifting. This quirky little guy prefers to train with his dog toys in quieter surroundings, so would be best suited to a home in a less built up area, without too much hustle and bustle. After being at Battersea for over 160 days he’s one of their longest stay residents and is desperate to show off his weightlifting skills to a new family soon.

    Battersea’s sensational swimmer – Tia ‘she don’t do doggy paddle’ Dogue de Bordeaux is a 3 year old gentle giant. Tia loves nothing more than a paddling pool to practise her swimming skills although there may need to be a pitstop to refill the tank once she’s splashed her way through it!

    RiaRia ‘The Brains’ is a 1 year old Border Collie and the ultimate hound for hurdles (left). A true working Collie at heart, she still has a few more hurdles to jump over before she’s ready for her new home but is looking forward to having an owner who can entertain both her energy and intelligence.

    Taz the ‘Thunderbolt’ Lurcher has most surely secured a mutt medal this summer for his super long jumping ability.  When he’s not stretching his legs and practising his jump in the sand this loving Lurcher is a big champion of cuddles. The finish line is in sight for Taz as his winning streak has seen Battersea staff pass the torch to new owners for him already.

    This paw-some team all arrived at Battersea after their owners could no longer care for them and are looking for a front row seat in a loving new home to tune into the Olympic Games this summer. Our animal athletes are powered by Mars Petcare UK who are proud to be Battersea’s preferred nutritional partner, providing the Home with Pedigree and Whiskas and helping to feed Battersea’s very own four legged GB stars.

    If any of these canine champions win gold for you and you can offer them a home please contact Battersea on 0843 509 4444 or visit battersea.org.uk.

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    August 4th, 2016Laura P (Editor)Articles

    When: 12-18 September 2016
    Where: Various

    What’s happening:

    Pedigree Paws Unite is the brainchild of Crufts 2013 Best in Show winning handler and owner, Gavin Robertson. Gavin and his Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen Jilly won the biggest prize in dogs in March 2013. As a result of the pair’s win, he organised Jilly’s Jolly Jaunt, a sponsored walk from Birmingham to London in the summer of 2013, which raised £49,000 for charity. During this 130 mile walk, Gavin and Jilly were joined by canine friends of all different breeds, shapes and sizes; which inspired Gavin to attempt an even bigger undertaking.

    So, during one week in September, dog owners, breeders, judges and dog show exhibitors in England, Wales and Scotland will take part in a series of sponsored walks totalling 160 miles – that’s the equivalent of 6 marathons! The event aims to raise money for charity, obviously, but also to promote happy, healthy pedigree dogs.

    It is hoped that all 216 Kennel Club recognised breeds will take part in the event, each walking a minimum of five miles.  No other event, not even Crufts, has ever seen all 216 breeds come together at one time, so this is history in the making.

    The event organisers were appealing on Thursday (4 August) for representatives from the final few outstanding breeds to come forward. The dogs required are:

    • Small Munsterlander
    • Anatolian Shepherd
    • Bergamasco
    • Dandie Dinmont Terrier
    • Old English Sheepdog
    • Sussex Spaniel

    If you think you can help, please contact PPU via their Facebook page.

    If you can’t join in on your local walk, you can support the event via their JustGiving account, or by purchasing a special limited edition print by Elisabeth Greenslade starring Jilly herself, plus some other pedigree pals.

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    August 4th, 2016Laura P (Editor)Articles

    When: 20 August 2106
    Where: Colston Hall, Gerrards Cross, Buckinghmashire

    What’s happening:

    Haus of Chihuahuas, in association with Chihuahua Rescue UK, are hosting a world-first “Chihuahua Festival” just outside of London later this month, including a fun dog show, various activities for both humans and canines, trade stalls, and a world record attempt.

    A yoga instructor will be on site to teach you how to do the downward dog (and your dog how to to do the downward human, presumably). The organizers are hoping that more than 271 pooches will join their humans for this class, with the aim of beating the world record for the “Largest Doga Class”, currently held by a group in Hong Kong. (Doga, that’s a portmanteau of dog-yoga; a trendy new form of exercise which involves meditation, stretching, and gentle massage, and purports to strengthen the bond between you and your pet.)

    The dog show will be judged by celebrity Chihuahuas: Lucky (from ITVs Top Dog Model) and Dolly Pawton (an Instagram canine star with 35k followers). Chihuahuas only need apply for the Best in Show title, but all breeds are welcome to the event, which will also include a have-a-go agility and dog grooming lessons. A talent scout from one of the UK’s biggest dog modelling agencies will be in attendance, so if you think your dog has what it takes to be a star this could be your chance to get spotted.  There will also be TV crews and press present, and a professional photographer to ensure that every attendee gets a commemorative photograph.

    Limited tickets are available online now. Further information is available on Facebook.

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    July 27th, 2016Laura P (Editor)Articles, Crufts 2016

    The Kennel Club has been working closely with the German Shepherd Dog clubs over a significant number of years in an attempt to address issues surrounding the breed. However, it appears that the various initiatives designed to improve matters have had very little effect and this in turn is serving to damage the reputation of dog breeders, not just in this breed but across all breeds.

    Matters came to a head at Crufts this year where the exhibition of GSDs once again came under intense scrutiny, which merely served to reinforce the Kennel Club’s concerns for the breed’s future. As a result of this, a review group was established to examine the issues surrounding the GSD.

    In particular, the culture of double-handling widely practised and condoned at breed club shows was felt to be having a detrimental effect on the temperament of dogs which often show symptoms of enormous stress while being exhibited and at other times. Erratic movement and apparently exaggerated conformation were other concerns which the review group looked at.

    In attempting to address the worsening in the breed’s reputation, the General Committee, guided by the review group, initially considered de-registering the breed and/or removing its CC status. Both these measures would have had the effect of driving breeders outside the influence of the Kennel Club, doubtless causing a further decline in the breed, and eventually implementation was decided against.

    Another measure, making it compulsory for breed club championship shows to be held in conjunction with group and general championship shows, was also discussed but has not been implemented at this stage due to the huge changes in infrastructure which would be necessary.

    In June of this year, the Kennel Club issued a press release in which it stated that the General Committee had expressed concern over the current situation which it would not allow to deteriorate further. Included in this announcement was a list of stringent measures the General Committee was considering in relation to the breed.

    These measures have now been discussed and as a result the General Committee makes the following directives:

    • The GSD Breed Standard is to be changed as of 1 August 2016 to include additional wording to emphasise the importance of the dogs being capable of standing comfortably and calmly, freely and unsupported in any way(underlined): “Characteristics: Versatile working dog, balanced and free from exaggeration. Must be capable of standing comfortably and calmly, freely and unsupported in any way, in structural balance, whilst both rear pasterns are vertical. Attentive, alert, resilient and tireless with keen scenting ability.”
    • Each judge of GSDs must understand their role which includes proper control of the ring and adherence to Kennel Club regulations at all times. Judges who ignore the Breed Standard and/or allow double-handling will risk having future CC appointments rejected.
    • All championship show judging contracts for 2018 and beyond are suspended with immediate effect until such time as each judge has attended a Kennel Club judges’ education seminar. The Kennel Club is to establish a programme of these seminars throughout the UK for championship show judges and expects that all judges of the breed will adhere to the points made, which will emphasise that the breed is to be exhibited in the same manner as all other large pastoral breeds. Click here to see details of judges’ training seminars on the GSD.
    • Kennel Club representatives will be appointed as soon as possible to attend all championship shows where CCs are on offer for the breed. They will work with the show societies and judges to curtail double-handling and will have executive authority to put into effect the previously agreed escalation procedure for double-handling if the show societies and/or judges do not do so. Shows which allow double-handling will risk having their future CC status rejected. Click here to see information on the escalation procedure for double-handling.
    • There is to be a review of the Category Three Breed veterinary check guidelines for the GSD breed to ensure that health and welfare concerns continue to be addressed.

    Caroline Kisko, Kennel Club Secretary, said: “The Kennel Club was given no option but to address the issues which the breed itself seemed to be taking far too long to address and which came to a head at Crufts this year.

    “The health and welfare of dogs is the primary objective of the Kennel Club and, where a breed experiences any issues in this respect, the Kennel Club has an obligation to take action where it can. The time for that action is now.

    “This situation simply cannot continue as not only is the health and welfare of the breed at risk but this is having a detrimental effect on the reputation of all breeders, pedigree dogs, dog showing and the Kennel Club.

    “The implementation of these measures involves a considerable financial commitment on behalf of the Kennel Club, which demonstrates the level of investment that has been made to protect the future of this breed.”

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    July 26th, 2016Laura P (Editor)Articles

    Welsh native dog breeds, including some very rare ones, will be among the 9,000 plus dogs which will descend on the Royal Welsh Showground, Builth Wells, Powys from 19th – 21st August for the popular Welsh Kennel Club Championship Dog Show – the largest event of its kind in Wales and among the largest in the UK.

    The show will see more than 200 breeds and their owners from all over the British Isles and beyond compete in a bid to qualify for the world’s biggest dog show, Crufts, which will be held at the NEC in Birmingham next March. 

    The pedigree dogs taking part will be judged on a number of factors in the ring, including temperament and that they are fit, healthy and happy dogs that are good examples of their breed, as they compete for the ultimate ‘Best in Show’ prize.

    The show is one of the largest gatherings of dogs in the UK and will see rare native Welsh breeds competing, such as the Welsh Terrier, Cardigan Corgi and Sealyham Terrier.

    These breeds are bred in such small numbers today that they are considered by the Kennel Club to be at risk of disappearing from Wales’ streets and parks. Alongside these breeds will be some of the more well-known Welsh breeds such as the Pembroke Corgi and Welsh Springer Spaniel.

    In addition to breed judging, the show is holding obedience and agility competitions, so visitors can watch a range of events and find out more about the different activities that dogs can get involved in.

    The show is perfect for families researching the right breed of dog for them, and visitors will be able to meet the dogs themselves as well as talk to experts in each breed about finding a good breeder, what to expect from the breed, and training and care requirements.

    Graham Hill, who is Joint Secretary of the show along with his wife Ann, said: “Ours is the largest dog show in Wales as well as one of the biggest in the UK and naturally we are very proud of that fact. Being held in picturesque Builth Wells, the show is very popular with summer holidaymakers and brings thousands of dog lovers to the area each year. We are expecting this year’s show to be bigger and better than ever.

    “The show is a huge celebration of man’s best friend and visitors will get to meet lots of wonderful dogs throughout the weekend, find out more about dog showing and the various activities they can get involved in with their own dog, and browse the many dog products on the trade stands.

    “Anyone thinking about getting a pedigree dog can come along and research their favourite breeds, as well as some of the lesser known breeds they may not even have heard of, and take the opportunity to meet the dogs themselves, which is definitely a favourite with families.

    “As a special treat, we will have a Welsh Choral Concert on the showground, after the judging on the Saturday, featuring the Bridgend Male Choir and the Builth Wells Ladies Choir. This is something new this year, as well as something distinctly Welsh, and everyone is welcome to come along and enjoy the entertainment.”

    Competition classes are held across the seven pedigree dog groups. Friday 19th August will see the Hound and Toy breeds competing, followed by the Working, Pastoral and Terrier breeds on Saturday 20th with Championship agility and obedience also being held. Gundog and Utility breeds can be seen on Sunday 21st. Sunday also sees the climax of the competition – Best in Show – followed by Best Puppy in Show and Best Veteran in Show. 

    The show is one of 37 Group and General Championship Dog Shows licensed by the Kennel Club throughout the year, which enable dogs to qualify for next year’s Crufts.

    Entry to the show is free and car parking is £5. Only dogs entered in the show are allowed on the showground.

    To find out more, visit www.thewelshkennelclub.org.uk.

    More information on dog showing, and any other activity dog owners can get involved in with their dogs, can be found at www.thekennelclub.org.uk.

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