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Crufts 2014

(30 Posts)
snala Thu 27-Feb-14 22:44:17

So I'm going to crufts for the first time on Friday ( hound day). Possibly with a 15 month old in tow. What should I expect? Any hints or tips?

Anyone going? grin

CEvert Thu 27-Feb-14 23:45:37

I just hope no unhealthy dogs with exaggerated features win any categories.

Lilcamper Fri 28-Feb-14 00:12:26

I am going to Crufts, it is mental busy and very tiring, a huge place! Take snacks, and a shopping trolley.

Scarletohello Fri 28-Feb-14 00:19:33

The food there is a bit expensive. There's so much going in its a bit overwhelming. Lots of dogs in cages and on leads. Lots of stalls selling doggy related stuff. I really enjoyed the assault course competition, the dogs were amazing! ( got a bit of a sit down too..)

Butterflylovers Fri 28-Feb-14 09:18:36

I am not sure about shows like these.
Apart from the agility bit, aren�t these just another beauty pageant?
I don�t know how much has changed over the years but in the past dogs with genetic defects, physicals features that made them difficult to breathe, walk, prone to illness etc have won.
More often than not, the judges of a particular breed are themselves breeders of that breed and they have strong views of what the dogs should look like based on standards that were written many years ago taking no consideration modern science.
In a lot of breeds, they look nothing like what they used to.
To me, this doesn�t promote health but perpetuate breeding practices of dogs with similar features that they become so exaggerated that health problems arise and the gene pool diminishing as they use fewer studs.

I know in some other countries, they promote health testing of the dogs before allowing them to breed.
And also they are tackling the inbreeding problem by introducing some kind of �inbred� index.

Lilcamper Fri 28-Feb-14 09:37:40

The breed judging is just one part of a massive event.

CEvert Fri 28-Feb-14 09:51:17

There are some show German shepherd dogs near me and they all have �frog legs�.
Their spine at the back is curved in and they look so unstable with their hind legs.
I�m sure the original German shepherd didn�t look like that but more like the working kind but many breeders will not recognise it!

A neighbour a few house down has a pedigree Pug�. it has a curvature of the spine and the face is so flat it can hardly manage a decent walk without panting.
The double twist in their tails( that the kennel club insist on) is also the reason why many have spine curvature.

There needs to be a lot more responsible dog breeding, and it should be more about health than how the breeds look.

moosemama Fri 28-Feb-14 10:12:54

I stopped going a few years ago due to not being able to reconcile the whole breed showing and exaggeration of type in pedigree dogs thing. I didn't want to give my money to the KC, as it felt like I was supporting this 'scene'.

To be honest though, there is so much more to the show than the breed showing. There's agility, flyball, heelwork to music, lots of rescue organisations and support dogs, lots of educational stuff for dog owners, loads of shopping, some with great discounts - others with inflated prices confused and you can pick up quite a few freebie goodie bags of lots of the stalls.

I do miss going, it was the highlight of my year being in a place with so many dogs and dog-people all under one roof, but it just didn't feel right anymore.

It's ridiculously busy. We took ds1 in his pushchair when he was about the same age as your dc and found it really hard to get round, as every walkway is rammed with dogs and people. We didn't take any of our dcs after that.

There's a shuttle bus from the carpark, but that's a bit of a pain with a pushchair, although it can be a good walk to the show, depending on which carpark you manage to get into. We learned to park a couple of train stations away, get the train to International and either walk or take the shuttlebus from there. Also the queues to get out of the carparks at the end of the day have to be seen to be believed.

The food is extortionate, not very good quality and the proper cafes/restaurants are always heaving, with massive queues and no tables available. We always took packed lunches, snacks and water with us and just bought a couple of coffees while we were there.

You will walk miles. It's spread over several halls and it's guaranteed that if you want to watch a display of some sort you will be two halls away and have to fight your way back through the hordes to get there.

CEvert Fri 28-Feb-14 10:55:38

Maybe the KC wants to do more but is powerless if it doesn�t have the support of its members.
If they start dictating what breeders must do or changing the standards, it would just alienate them and drive them underground.
And the KC would become non relevant.
Maybe the faults lie with certain breeders who are so blind and they could see no wrong in what they do?
That their dogs are of certain lineage / look is more important to them than the health of the breed.
Isn�t all this just eugenics?

mrslaughan Fri 28-Feb-14 11:05:59

I am going to crufts - my dog has actually qualified and being shown by his breeder......I am in two minds about the whole thing. He was chosen to be a fabulous family pet - which he is, and his breeder is all about breeding healthy, well natured family pets. She actually doesn't do many shows Ddog has only done 2 shows total, and is 20 months)
However there is another breeder, goes to every show (it seems) and wins because it is very often only their dogs at the show for our breed. However I can not say they breed for healthy dogs as they are breeding from bitches that have had litters with epilepsy (and high mortality rate), yet for someone coming into the breed - they probably look at the prizes, the wins and think - wow they are amazing dogs because they win all these shows........
I think the responsibility lies with the KC about taking a hardline on health screens, and following up on complaints from the public, who end up with expensive puppies, with diseases like epilepsy, but the KC still let their "assured breeder" register puppies from that dam and sire.......

moosemama Fri 28-Feb-14 11:10:22

I think there's a lot wrong with the whole process, top to bottom. The KC is very powerful and extremely cash-rich, they could do a lot more to change attitudes, educate and implement more rigorous rules and checks. They are happy to take the registration fee for any puppy produced from two KC registered parents, regardless of whether the relevant health checks and breeding standards have been met. This is how puppy farmers can sell their dogs as KC registered.

Registration of breeders is left to local authorities who simply do not have the funds (or very often the interest) to inspect everyone regularly enough to make sure standards are being met and no-one at all requires health checks to be made for every litter born.

Breeders can pay to get KC approved status, instead of all breeders wanting KC approval and registration for their dogs having to meet stringent breeding and health testing requirements and there being KC funds allocated to regular inspections making sure those requirements have been met. With health, it's not even as if they need inspectors going out. All they need is for the breeders to send copies of the test results before they are allowed to register the litter.

Of course there will be those that commit fraud and buck the system, but it would be a good start towards ensuring the health etc of dogs bred in this country.

There are good breeders out there, that genuinely care about their breed and the improvement of it - meaning health and temperament etc, rather than just conformation and physical appearance. BUT there are also a lot of breeders that are very resistant to change and refuse to recognise the problems within their breeds.

moosemama Fri 28-Feb-14 11:11:53

MrsL, I didn't know assured breeders are allowed to breed from parents who have known inheritable disorders/illnesses - that's outrageous! angry

Lilcamper Fri 28-Feb-14 11:22:04

My work is doggie related and I am going more for the trade stalls than the show side of it.

CEvert Fri 28-Feb-14 11:27:55

Maybe introducing compulsory health testing.
The sire cannot be closely related.
Each dog is given an �Inbreed� factor to say how inbred they are.
And the bitch�s first two litters can only be registered?
And show dogs are required to be health tested and it wouldn�t be able to compete if it fails?
Not sure how things like this can be enforced?

moosemama Fri 28-Feb-14 11:40:10

That's what I miss Lil, well that and seeing some of my old friends in the Heelwork to Music comp.

CEvert, something along those lines is needed, definitely.

Enforcement would be by refusal to register dogs of breeders that don't comply. That would, if nothing else, have the immediate effect of eliminating puppy farmers and back-yard-breeders from being able to sell their pups as Pedigree or KC Registered - and it's having that 'label' that makes the majority (although not all eg Cockerpoos/Labradoodles/Maltipoos etc) so lucrative to breed/sell.

KC has the cash to monitor and control dogs allowed to breed and/or compete, according to whether or not they have passed the appropriate health tests. Breeders would have to supply the relevant paperwork before either registering a litter or registering a dog for a KC show. The KC would need to set up and man either one or two department for handling such paperwork - if breeders don't comply, they don't get KC registration, which is effectively supposedly the mark of legitimacy/quality that enables them to sell their dogs at the prices they do. Without the KC stamp of approval and ability to show on the Championship circuit an awful lot of breeders - although not all - wouldn't bother.

It wouldn't eliminate the country's dog/puppy problems, but it would be a huge step in the right direction.

mrslaughan Fri 28-Feb-14 14:38:19

it has apparently been brought to the KC attention, and there is now apparently (and I am hearing this 2nd hand) an investigation....I think they are getting away with it....because of politics etc, and that it is a relatively new breed. They are not the only breeder, breeding from an untested dog, another breeder is breeding from two males who have not been hip, elbow or shoulder scored (an even to an untrained eye they move bait funny).....but still show....however I don't think they are part of the assured breeder scheme....but again they get rosettes at shows, occasionally as they are the only dog their.

But - as an outsider - but who has a toe in the water so to speak, I find it so disappointing that they have not acted sooner. As I said I have only been to 2 shows, the first one that I turned up to with my dog, this breeder subjected me to the worst, hateful abuse...all under her breath, my word against her....and I thought the horse world was bad.

saintmerryweather Fri 28-Feb-14 14:48:07

My mum is taking her dog again this year theyre are leaving at a ridiculous time in the morning so I wont be going. I love discover dogs, there was a beautiful Havanese there last year that I was allowed to have a cuddle with. Take your own food and drinks if you can but bear in mind you cant just pop back to the car. Plan what you want to see. Agility and flyball well worth watching but if the golden retriever display team are on this year theyre not really worth watching. Just people prancing about to music whilst walking their dogs on leads.

Go shopping early or late, it gets very very crowded during the main part of the day. Dont touch peoples dogs unless you've asked and dont be surprised to see a lot of unattended dogs on their benches

Crutchlow35 Fri 28-Feb-14 18:16:05

If you can leave the 15 month old at home please do so. It is very, very busy.

Re getting from one hall to another, it is often easier to leave the show (security will stamp your hand) walk through the concourse and enter again. Particularly got if you need to get from hall 1 to 4 or 5.

I wish people would educate themselves on what the KC do and also remember that 99% of people who participate with their animals love, respect and want the best for their breed. There are sadly a small percentage who don't but sadly this is what is focused on rather than the positives.

nuttymutty1 Fri 28-Feb-14 18:27:56

Crufts is soooooo much more than showing.

There are rescues, training advice, agility, obedience, canix cross, gun dogs, assistance dogs the list goes on.

I am there for all the days working and promoting positive training and assistance dogs.

Loads of shopping and all dog things in one very busy big environment.

It may be very hard going for a 15 month old.

ErrolTheDragon Fri 28-Feb-14 18:36:15

At least they have started doing some vet checks for some 'high profile' breeds. (Basset Hound, Bloodhound, Bulldog, Chow Chow, Clumber Spaniel, Dogue De Bordeaux, German Shepherd Dog, Mastiff, Neapolitan Mastiff, Pekingese, Shar Pei, St Bernard, French Bulldog, Pug and Chinese Crested.) In 2012 some failed, which meant that the breed wasn't represented at group level - I'd imagine this would bring pressure on both breeders and judges.

moosemama Fri 28-Feb-14 19:17:59

Crutchlow I am well aware of what the KC do - and don't do - and what they could/should be doing to improve things.

I agree there are lots of very responsible, caring breeders - unfortunately there are those that refuse to move with the times and accept what is best for their breeds and although things have improved, the showing side of the KC can be very much like an 'old-boys'-club' in the way it works.

That's not evening beginning to get into the numbers of puppy farmers and back-yard-breeders for whom the KC are happy to register their litters - very little is being done, in real terms, to try and stop the damage they are doing in a multitude of ways.

The KC is cash rich and has the power to make a difference, but - and this is just my opinion, based on my own experience, research and knowledge - although they do admittedly do some good, in some areas, they simply don't go far enough to improve the welfare of dogs and control breeding standards.

snala Fri 28-Feb-14 21:42:11

Thank you all for your replies, I hope anyone that's going has a good day smile

saintmerryweather Sun 02-Mar-14 12:42:28

Have a good day out OP! I love going and seeing all the different breeds. One last thing- the car parks are at a standstill as people start to leave. It took us 45 minutes to get out one year, sitting with engines off mainly. Either leave after 5.30-6ish or leave early

LEMmingaround Sun 02-Mar-14 12:53:31

Very mixed feelings about crufts - because i love dogs and i like to play along at home and i usually get the best in show right. I also like to see well-bred, shining examples of breeds, established breeds without silly names (which of course aren't acknowledged by the KC just now, but its only a matter of time). So i like to see a nice stocky rottie with broad head, muscular, lovely waggy tail!, good temprement, I love the working breeds, but then look at the GSDs with their deformed backs sad Then theres the bull-dogs (don't get me started) and the boxers with their cardiomyopathy, cavaliers with their congestive heart failures. Labradors with entropian, pugs, lasha apsos with eye problems, etc etc - I like a dog to be a dog, to have a purpose, not just bred because some idiot thinks making a dog with a face that looks like it walked into a bus (and with all the associated problems) is cute. So yes, very mixed feelings smile But i think you can guess which side i err on.

If you like dogs why not go to the Dogs today show - can't remember what its called, but its a great place to learn about different breeds and fun things to do with dogs.

ErrolTheDragon Sun 02-Mar-14 12:58:51

I wish they could revise all the breed standards so that the first two criteria were health and temperament.

For some breeds these are implicit - working breeds which have to be fit for purpose - but for too many they're not.

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