A response to PETA’s disruption of Crufts…

Chuck’s Mummy here! I don’t often write long ranty posts, but I’m going to, to stand alongside every dog show handler, breeder, and dog. I don’t really care if anyone agrees or disagrees but this article makes me absolutely FURIOUS… and here’s why:

1) You cannot compare the cruelty of a bullring to Crufts or indeed any dog show at any level. If you’re going to stand up for animal rights, go and tackle illegal dog fights. Go and tackle puppy farming, animal testing, the ivory trade, hunting, game sports… go and tackle real abuse. Not a dog show where people put their dogs first.

2) “breeding dogs for their looks” – that’s an incredibly shallow scratch on the surface of what we do. We breed for temperament, health and type. Judges are judging against these qualities, they don’t go “ahhh, cute! First prize!” Many dogs are indeed bred for their looks – look at all the “designer” cross-breeds around. You know what? The KC takes a dim view of breeding for looks. They just don’t shout as loud about it as maybe they should. “Being bred with “pushed-in” faces and weak hips is what puts them at risk” this isn’t actually what Crufts is there for at all… you need to tackle the general public on this one, and the irresponsible breeders who will happily not test their dogs, not pay attention to Inbreeding COI scores and general disregard everything in pursuit of cold hard cash. If there’s a market, they’ll sell to it. Lots is being done to promote healthy stock by the KC, more than ever before, but this is a long multi-faceted marathon to improve, so many of these “deformed” dogs are being imported from abroad now, because UK breeders are taking a stand. It’s a bigger issue than dog shows themselves. Notice that none of these “deformed” dogs were put through to the show you disrupted. Things are moving forward, and you would do better to help promote welfare than protest against showing.

3) In a world where people are in a heightened state of paranoia over terror attacks, what the bloody hell did you think you were doing, storming the show ring? Do you know the panic you caused? It wasn’t helping your cause. You looked irresponsible. You say “my aim is to give audiences pause, to get them to stop and consider” – yeah, do you know what they paused to consider? If they were about to get blown up. Idiot.

4) Do you really know the organisation you’re “speaking” for, with these acts? PETA euthanise perfectly healthy dogs and other animals because they simply can’t be bothered to rehome them. They’ve even admitted to this. Why?

5) “I was no threat to the animals in that arena, but undoubtedly they did feel threatened by the thousands of people, bright lights, music, and loudspeaker announcements in the ring and by being yanked around by the neck, even while wearing choke collars.” They’re not wearing choke collars, they’re literally on the flimsiest of strings… Look at the canine body language of the dogs in that ring, did they look threatened, scared? No. Nobody would take a threatened, scared dog into a show ring like that – they’re well-acclimated to being in this sort of environment. Do you know what threatens them? A crazy person storming the ring and running at them.

6) “when they weren’t being forced to perform, they were being sprayed with products or confined to crates – all weekend long”. Incorrect on many levels, they’re not there all weekend long, you’re there for the time you’re showing, that’s all. You wander around, you go outside, you eat, you snooze… and when did crate training become abuse? Yes, some (but certainly not all) are sprayed with products – most of which carry fewer toxins than the things humans use on themselves. Nobody can force a dog to perform. Have you ever tried getting a Newfoundland into a bath when he doesn’t want to go? Good luck with that one… The steward wouldn’t even let you in the ring if they saw distress.

If I had been in that ring, and you had come within a metre of me and my dog, I’d have taken you down (and Chuck would have probably got to you first). How dare you put me and Chuck in the category of “animal abusers”, you misinformed, camera-hungry fanatic.

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Crufts 2018

What an experience!  I loved every second – my tail was wagging, I was giving everyone lots of kisses and cuddles, mum felt sick with nerves and I came second in my class! You can see the results listed here – I’m Tough Cookie at Bolhaus.

It was a long, long day for the humans.  At least I had my crate trolley to have a nap in, but no chance for M&D!

A picture says so much more than any words, so here are some highlights… not all of these photos were taken by Dad, so he’d like to thank Archie’s Dad, Mollie’s PA and anyone else who took photos of me and sent them to us!

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Countdown to Crufts

The Crufts passes arrived yesterday in the post. It makes everything rather real, all of a sudden. In a mere 17 days’ time, I shall be in the ring at Crufts.

I am one of 39 Welsh Terriers competing, and I’m under no illusions of being awarded any success. I’m just happy to be part of the greatest dog show on Earth!

I’ve been under daily grooming supervision, and yesterday, for the first time since September, we went to Ringcraft class again, just so I could go through the motions of being on display. I love school. I really do. It was full of ladies this time! I decided I’d give the judge a kissy and spend my time wagging at all the lady dogs, like the tart I am. Mum did a lot of eye-rolling.

17 days… Eeek!

Welsh Terrier Champ. Show

Let’s go back to March/April time when I got 3 firsts in three classes at the WT Club Open Show…  Few exhibitors, no challengers for my crown…. Skip forward to Sunday and the WT Club Championship Show.  Nearly twice as many exhibitors (for the championship alone!) and I only entered 1 class – Postgraduate.  I was beaten in the class.  I came second.

Why, one might ask?

It’s about what it means to be exhibiting at an Open or Championship.  At an Open Show, you won’t get the “title-hungry” exhibitors.  Open Shows are just as seriously judged, but don’t have tickets on offer to the winners, so those who are looking for their CCs or even their Championship often won’t bother.  Hold a championship show and everyone comes out of their little dens to try and grab a CC or BIS.  Some of them you will rarely ever see again.

It irritates me somewhat – not that I came second, but that Open Shows aren’t well supported across the exhibitors.  They struggle for entries quite often, or – they struggle for good quality entries.  And for a rare breed with small numbers anyway, you’d expect that everyone will pull together for the Open Shows to support the breed, the club and showing in general.  No.  They don’t.  And that’s my rant of the day over, pals.

My show?  I actually walked really nicely, stood nicely, but quite simply, the dog who won the class was far better groomed and more like the judge’s definition of a “correct Welsh” than I was on the day.

On to the next shows – two in one day !!!

Meeting Twitter Pals

Mostly I travel to places for dog shows.  Sometimes I travel to simply showcase my breed.  I go to Discover Dogs and the Game Fairs mostly!

This year, I’ve already done Discover Dogs at Crufts in March, and a few weeks ago I did the Game Fair at Hatfield House.  They traditionally have a Terrier Tent, where vulnerable terrier breeds are on display to educate visitors and, most importantly, to have a good ol’ cuddle with us!  I do love a spectator cuddle!

I had told my twitter pals about my attendance and was delighted to be able to meet the very famous Bertie Lakeland in the fur, his dad, Mollie Apso‘s PA, Bowser Welsh and his humans!  Total treat of the day!

Also on the stand were my Welsh pals Captain Jack, Daisy, Max, Lucie and Nia (and Ivy, who had to leave before we took this photo…)

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WKC 2017 Champ. Show

Pals! I went back to my homeland (Cymru am byth) this weekend to appear in the Welsh Kennel Club Championship Show in Builth Wells on 19 August.

It rained so the rings were moved indoors, thank goodness, because I never quite walk as nicely on grass, as we saw at Southern Counties earlier in the summer.  We were all a bit nervy because apparently an American Champion Welsh was due to attend, not in my class, but one above, so many of my show pals were resigned to this chap winning.  He didn’t turn up.

Why do some dogs appear on the catalogue as due to attend but don’t actually show up?  Can be for all sorts of reasons.  You want to be on top form when you’re in the ring, so if you’re a champion and you’re not in top condition, you’d probably withdraw.  You’re supposed to be representing the best of your breed, so if you aren’t well, or your coat isn’t quite right, you might not turn up.  That’s ok.  I’ve done this before.  I ate a bee before National Terrier, and wasn’t at all feeling well so despite entering, we didn’t turn up – it wouldn’t have been fair on me.

Anyway, I’m still in Postgraduate Class – I won my class (!) so I went through to Best Dog, which I didn’t win.  The winner was very much deserving of the title.  Stunning chap.  I was very happy with my class win, as it was my second qualification for Crufts 2018! Hooray!

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As a side note, if you’re ever in Wales near Builth or indeed North Brecon, and you want somewhere to stay in luxury with your dog, go to The Lake Country Hotel & Spa.  It’s in Llangammarch Wells.  VERY dog friendly, lovely grounds in which to walk, amazing food for humans and a good cocktail list! Book a suite – they’re excellent! Or ask to stay in the main house, not the cottage.

It arrived!

Not all shows offer rosettes, when you qualify for Crufts, you can apply for a qualification rosette as you don’t automatically get given one just for qualifying.  It’s not necessary, but it’s a nice touch.  For many of us, it’s a big deal to even qualify.

So we got the rosette, it arrived in June, and I’m incredibly proud of it (and tried to eat it).

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