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A travesty? Print E-mail
Monday, 13 March 2017 14:22

Heaven help the American Cocker!  Winning Crufts frequently spells disaster for a breed as everyone thinks Oh I want one of those! without bothering to investigate whether it is the right dog for them.  Bizarrely this over shamppoed, over conditioned, over combed dog is actually a member of the gun dog group!  Sadly these dogs are rarely used now for their original purpose of a day in the field; they have too much coat for practical use.  Looking at all the gun dogs we couldn't help wonderring how many of them have any hunting instincts left.  How much better it would be if they were tested on the skills for which they were bred - setters setting, retrievers retrieving, pointers pointing etc - before they disappear for ever.  In our opinion, the best parts of Crufts were the flyball and agility competitions.  Here were dogs having a terrific time being dogs and nobody cared less what they looked like!

 
Looks triumph over personality Print E-mail
Friday, 10 March 2017 11:42

Crufts!  A show that attracts - or repels - dog lovers around the world.  Last night was the hound class.  Who could forget the sight of that beautiful, elegant Afghan?  This is an ancient breed dating back to the Egyptian pharaohs, bred to hunt with falcons in the harsh mountains of Afghanistan.  So we viewed with unease the shampooed, conditioned, combed example prancing round the show ring.  Is this really how a working breed should show itself off?  The same goes for all hounds, gun dogs, sheep dogs etc.  The problem with Crufts is that it is all about appearance - not temperament.  Even the Miss World competitions tried to move on from just bathing suit clad girls to those with some of personality!

 
A dog waggon! Print E-mail
Monday, 06 March 2017 11:06

Apparently a Kennel Club survey found that 90% of its members wanted a dog friendly car.  Really?!  Have these owners not heard of towels, crates and boot liners? But in response to this demand, Nissan has come up with a vehicle designed for dogs.  There's a shower and hair drier (yes, really!) as well as a non-spill water browl and treat dispenser.  The one feature we did like was the integral ramp.  This is a must-have for the very young and elderly dogs.  But much more worrying was the TV screen and speakers in the boot which are linked to a camera and microphone on the dashboard so you can watch your dog and talk to him as well.  This seems to us to be even more of a driver distraction than kids squabbling on the back seat! 

 
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