THE KENNEL CLUB AND THE KENNEL CLUB CHARITIES EMERGENCY RELIEF INITIATIVE

The Kennel Club, the Kennel Club Charitable Trust (KCCT) and the Kennel Club Educational Trust (KCET) have announced their intention to support canine organisations in their communities which may be suffering genuine financial hardship as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Kennel Club has agreed to credits totalling £25,000 for licence fees on those events cancelled between March and June 2020.  However, the Kennel Club is aware of potential problems coping with the financial consequences of the ongoing coronavirus outbreak.  It is imagined that many clubs and societies will have a financial reserve to protect against hard times and cancellations. But some, for their own reasons, may now find themselves without adequate reserves or in significant financial hardship.  These clubs are invited to contact the Kennel Club who will consider loans or grants in the following circumstances:

  • Where the cancellation of a club show may have a further direct adverse effect on the annual provision of services to club members and others (e.g. support for rehoming, educational events).
  • The KCCT has agreed to help support those community-based canine organisations which require emergency funds in order to prevent the unnecessary suffering of dogs such as providing additional support for small to medium sized rescue centres.   
  • The KCET will look to support those associated with the Kennel Club offering dog training services which may have been affected by the negative consequences for dogs, due to Covid-19. 

In the first instance, the Kennel Club and the charities will work to seek to understand the scale of the challenge and, therefore, how best to respond to it within their financial and other resources.  As such, clubs, societies and others mentioned above are invited to apply by 30 April 2020 to the Kennel Club by using the form, which can be found via the following link – https://thekennelclub.formstack.com/forms/emergency_relief_initiative – to explain the scale of financial hardship they face as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. 

The Kennel Club, will evaluate each application to match the available funds against those evidencing significant hardship.  Contact will be made with the applicants when further details of the financial and/or other help the Kennel Club and its charities may be able to offer are available.

OBEDIENCE LIAISON COUNCIL MEETING 23 JULY 2020

The next meeting of the Kennel Club Obedience Liaison Council is scheduled to be held at the Kennel Club in London on Thursday 23 July 2020. Proposals for inclusion on the agenda should reach the Obedience Liaison Council Secretary by 24 April.

Each eligible society or an individual may submit items for the agenda, through a council representative. Proposals must be concise and, if an amendment or an additional regulation is proposed, the regulation number must be given. All submissions must be signed by the society/individual and the representative.

All items for inclusion on the agenda should be sent to Working Dog Activities Team, The Kennel Club, Clarges Street, London W1J 8AB or by email to obedience@thekennelclub.org.uk.

A full list of Obedience Liaison Council representatives can be found at bit.ly/2Tx8YVk.

Please note, due to the ongoing coronavirus situation, it is possible that the Council meeting will be postponed or cancelled, depending on Government guidance nearer the time. Please keep abreast of Kennel Club announcements in this respect.

SHETLAND SHEEPDOGS HAILED NATION’S MOST OBEDIENT BREED AFTER WINNING ‘OBREEDIENCE’ FINAL AT CRUFTS

A team of four Shetland Sheepdogs won the Obreedience competition at the world’s biggest dog event, Crufts on Thursday 5th March.

The Shetland Sheepdogs team, named the Sheltie Superstars, proved themselves more obedient than the nine other breed teams that made it to the final at Crufts in Birmingham. The other finalists were teams of German Shepherd Dogs, Cocker Spaniels, Manchester Terriers, Jack Russell Terriers, Cairn Terriers, Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, Standard Poodles, Papillons and Bernese Mountain Dogs.

Obreedience, an exciting team obedience competition, was introduced at Crufts 2014 as a special display event. Now in its sixth year as an official competition, obreedience continues to grow and entertain the crowds that come along to support their favourite breeds.

The winning team members were:

Vanessa Hardin with Jelly Tot (Sheltysham Medley of Gold AW(G) RL6.Ex) from Milton Keynes

Carol Dare with Rafa (Lavika Mirror Image Nov.Ex) from Buckley, Flintshire

Rowena Steady with Toes (Tooralie’s Just the Tonic P.Beg Ex RL3.Ex) from Bridgwater

Jean Tuck with Zac (Tooralie’s Masquerade at Craygill AW(P) Beg.Ex RL3.Ex) from Uttoxeter

The team’s captain Vanessa Hardin said: “We are delighted with our win! We are geographically challenged as a team so practice times were limited to shows only – this speaks volumes for the dogs’ temperaments and sociability.  

“The dogs on our team are multi-talented, most of them have awards from agility as well as working trials and rally.”

Vanessa McAlpine, Crufts Show Manager, said: “Huge congratulations to the Shetland Sheepdogs team on their amazing win. These dogs are fantastic examples of happy, well-trained dogs that have an incredibly strong bond with their owners.

“The obreedience competition is a brilliant way to show off the fact that any breed, given the right training and socialisation, and of course patience from their human counterparts, can do well in competitive obedience. We look forward to seeing which breeds excel in obreedience at the heats being held throughout 2020.”

Each obreedience team comprised four handlers and dogs, who took part in two rounds.  The first was a heelwork round completed as a group, with the dogs being assessed on their ability to complete different moves whilst remaining synchronised with their team mates. The second round featured four set exercises and each member needed to successfully complete one of the four different exercises. Points were deducted for any faults and the team with the most points won. The exercises were a retrieve (handler’s own article), a send to bed, stop the dog, and scent over articles.

For further details about obreedience, please visit the Kennel Club website www.thekennelclub.org.uk/obreedience.   

Crufts took place from 5th – 8th March at the NEC, Birmingham. For more information, please visit www.crufts.org.uk.

KENNEL CLUB AND CHARITABLE AND EDUCATIONAL TRUSTS ANNOUNCE EMERGENCY RELIEF FUND

In response to the coronavirus pandemic, the Kennel Club and its charities will help support canine organisations and rescues which have been affected

The Kennel Club, The Kennel Club Charitable Trust and The Kennel Club Educational Trust have today (24 March) announced the creation of an emergency relief fund to support dog rescue centres and other canine organisations affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

In response to the emerging situation, the Kennel Club Charitable Trust has announced that it will help support those in the community which require emergency funds in order to prevent the unnecessary suffering of dogs, such as providing additional support for rescue centres. The Trust, which was established in 1987, has distributed grants totalling over £11 million to a wide variety of causes supporting its charitable purposes across canine health, support dogs, welfare and rescue.  

In parallel, the Kennel Club Educational Trust will be setting up an emergency fund to support training clubs affected by the negative consequences for dogs, due to Covid-19. Meanwhile, the Kennel Club is currently exploring funding and support arrangements for clubs and canine societies worst hit by the outbreak of the virus, particularly those societies affected by cancellations.

“The coronavirus pandemic is devastating for so many communities, including all those involved in dogs,” said Reverend Bill King, Chairman of the Kennel Club Charitable Trust. “Many of those affected run small but incredibly vital and dedicated organisations, clubs and rescues which make a huge difference for dogs, and now urgently need support to be able to survive these unprecedented times.

“We are only as strong as our community and the Kennel Club and its related charities are fortunate to be able to help those hardest hit through this challenging time.”

Details of the funds and how to apply will be announced shortly by the Kennel Club and its charities.

The Kennel Club has dedicated information pages and further information on how to care for dogs during the coronavirus outbreak available via the homepage on its website: www.thekennelclub.org.uk

CORRESPONDING WITH THE KENNEL CLUB DURING COVID-19 OUTBREAK

Clubs and societies are advised by the Kennel Club that, in order to assist in dealing with correspondence efficiently, it should preferably be sent to the Kennel Club by email rather than by post during the current COVID-19 outbreak.

Correspondence posted to the Kennel Club may result in a delayed response as the offices are currently closed, with staff working remotely.

In view of societies having their Annual General Meeting delayed, the Kennel Club will allow the late submission of annual returns depending on when meetings are able to be held.

With regard to the above matters, the Kennel Club will allow sufficient leeway and no penalties will be incurred as long as there is a realistic and reasonable approach all round.

For clubs and societies which use the Kennel Club’s scrutineering service and which have ballots currently running, the provision of results cannot be guaranteed until the situation surrounding the outbreak becomes more stable.

Any clubs and societies which have booked this service for ballots which have yet to begin should put these on hold for the time being or an alternative scrutineering method should be used in urgent cases, as the Kennel Club cannot guarantee the service at present.

For any queries relating to annual returns and show licensing, including cancellation and postponement, please email sass@thekennelclub.org.uk.

Societies submitting correspondence relating to judges, including nominations and questionnaires for Challenge Certificate judges should, wherever possible, submit these via email to breedshows@thekennelclub.org.uk or for activity disciplines to wda@thekennelclub.org.uk.

If this is not possible, these nominations will be dealt with once the Kennel Club offices are open for business as usual. Leeway will be granted if submissions are within the required 12-month period.

The Kennel Club thanks all clubs and societies for their patience and understanding during these difficult times.

KENNEL CLUB OFFICE CLOSURES

Kennel Club customers are advised that members of staff will transition to working from home during the course of this week as a result of the coronavirus outbreak. By the close of business on Friday, the Clarges Street offices will be closed. Soon after this, the Aylesbury site will also close, once the Kennel Club is confident that calls and business processing will not be compromised.

The Kennel Club will endeavour to keep its services running as smoothly as possible in these times, with Aylesbury staff working between 10am and 4pm. Please note that during this closure period, there may be delays to respond to postal correspondence, therefore we would ask our customers to use email to contact staff where possible.

The Kennel Club will be making further announcements as the situation develops and will continue to update its website with current information as appropriate. Please note that Kennel Club goods and services are also still available direct from this website. Please visit www.thekennelclub.org.uk.

For Petlog enquiries, please continue to use the Petlog Help Centre at https://support.petlog.org.uk/.

To contact the Kennel Club via email please use the link listed below and include in the subject line which area you require assistance with:

Kennel A further announcement will be made once the Clarges Street and Aylesbury offices have reopened. We thank all our customers for your understanding and patience during this challenging period.

GCDS AWARD WINNERS ANNOUNCED AT CRUFTS

Success for dogs, handlers and trainers from Staffordshire, Middlesex, Northamptonshire and West Yorkshire

The winners of the annual Good Citizen Dog Scheme (GCDS) awards were announced at the world’s greatest dog show, Crufts, on Sunday 8th March.

The Kennel Club Good Citizen Dog Scheme is the largest dog training programme in the United Kingdom, with over 680,000 dogs and their owners graduating through the scheme’s Bronze award. The GCDS awards were created in recognition of the hard work, efforts and contribution made by dedicated canine clubs and enthusiasts.

Twelve individuals, dogs, clubs and organisations were vying for the top prize across four categories: Best Kennel Club GCDS Listed Status Dog Training Club Award, Best Kennel Club Registered Club Award, Royal Canin Dedicated Person Award and Royal Canin Most Inspiring Dog Award. The nominees were all put forward to a public vote, with the winners announced at the GCDS awards ceremony, which took place at Crufts.

The winners for each award were:

Royal Canin Dedicated Person Award – Gwynneth Williams from Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire

Gwynneth’s 48-year service to the Danesford Obedience Dog Training Club in Congleton, Cheshire, saw her pick up the Royal Canin Dedicated Person Award. She has been based with the club for nearly half a century, after starting as one of the founding members. Teaching the Bronze and Pre Beginner classes, through the GCDS, Gwynneth and her team have managed to get many dogs through to the semi-finals and the finals of GCDS Pre Beginner Stakes.

Members of the club had travelled to Birmingham to watch her pick up the award and afterwards surprised her with a special collage showing photographs of her with her first dog, a collie, and training dogs over the years.

Speaking about winning her award, Gwyneth said: “I still do nine hours a week dog training at the club and what drives me is seeing the relationships people get to have with their dogs and because it’s still enjoyable.”

Best Kennel Club GCDS Listed Status Dog Training Club Award – Best Paw Forward, based in Hayes, Middlesex

A chance meeting at the vets between Lyn Bowers and Lyn Church led to the pair setting up dog training club Best Paw Forward four years ago, and they haven’t looked back since.

The two Lyns work together to offer a motivational approach to training, for dogs and puppies of all breeds and ages, with both group classes and one-to-one training. The club offers all levels of the GCDS, as well as agility, heelwork to music, ringcraft, rally, hoopers and scentwork. The club achieved a runners up finish in 2019 at the GCDS awards, but returned this year to claim the top spot.

Speaking about their win, Lyn Church said: “It’s a wonderful recognition of the fact that we started the club from nothing and have grown to the point where we have now had more than 1,000 dogs go through training at the club.

“I hesitate to even use the word club because we are a family really. We train together, we socialise together, and we all love our dogs. This is just amazing.”

Lyn Bowers continued: “I am absolutely elated. I have been training dogs for 30 years and it is lovely to have this kind of recognition. Our lovely club members organised a party for us at Crufts and we will have a club meal soon.”

Best Kennel Club Registered Club Award – Wakefield Dog Training Club

Wakefield Dog Training Club was set up 62 years ago to make dog training affordable to all members of the public. The club has more than 21 trainers who work there as unpaid volunteers, running at least one class a week each for the 300+ membership.

As well as promoting the GCDS, consisting of puppy courses, Bronze, Silver and Gold, the club also holds junior handler classes and platinum classes for those handlers and dogs who want to go a little further.

The club has also been trying to raise funds for a new building. The projected cost is £130,000 and over the last 15 years the club has raised more than £100,000.

Speaking about the award, Catherine Chadwick, chair of the club said, “It isn’t something you expect to win, because there are so many dedicated clubs, so we are especially pleased.

“Now we are hoping the publicity from it might get us the final push to raise the money to preserve the club and what it does for many years to come.”

Royal Canin Most Inspiring Dog Award – Rupert, a Working Cocker Spaniel, owned by Antonia Mellor, from Brackley, Northamptonshire

Antonia Mellor and her seven-year-old Working Cocker Spaniel, Rupert, were presented with the Royal Canin Most Inspiring Dog Award.

Rupert went blind suddenly last year and was initially too afraid to leave the family home. Antonia decided to take him along to training classes alongside one of her other dogs, where he started with some basic Bronze exercises. His confidence grew and he has since achieved both Bronze and Silver GCDS awards, now working towards Gold.

Speaking about the award, Antonia said: “I know he is amazing, but to have other people recognise him in this way is just wonderful.

“I have had him as a puppy and it was an enormous shock to everyone when he went blind. Now when I tell people they say you wouldn’t know it. He is such a courageous dog.”

Vanessa McAlpine, Crufts Show Manager, commented: “Congratulations to all of this year’s winners of the Good Citizen Dog Scheme awards. We’re so proud of all the work that both our clubs and organisations carry out, as well as the remarkable results that are achieved as a result from the dogs and handlers that attend.

“It’s great to see that GCDS clubs and enthusiasts are getting the recognition they deserve and we are very thankful for the valuable work our clubs, organisations, trainers and volunteers do.”

For further information on the Good Citizen Dog Scheme and to find a local club, please visit www.thekennelclub.org.uk/training/good-citizen-dog-training-scheme/.

Crufts Dog Activities Displays

Crufts Dog Activities Displays are as follows:

Rally

Thursday: 9.45 and 2.15

Friday: 9.30 and 2.30

Saturday: 12.00 and 4.00 (YKC Rally team, competition at 4pm)

Sunday: 11.15 and 2.30

A couple of the team will also be representing Rally in the Main Arena on Sunday at 9.55.

Obedience

Thursday: 12.30 and 3.45

Friday: 12.45 and 4.00

Saturday: 10.30 and 3.00

Sunday: 12.30 and 4.00

A couple of the team will also be representing Obedience in the Main Arena on Sunday at 9.55.

Also attached is a document detailing photos and writeups for the YKC Rally competitors (competing on Saturday in the Dog Activities ring, Hall 3, at 4pm) and the judge.

New ‘GET STARTED’ videos become available

THE ROAD TO CRUFTS: KENNEL CLUB LAUNCHES VIDEOS TO HELP OWNERS AND THEIR FOUR-LEGGED FRIEND ‘GET STARTED’

The Kennel Club collaborates with Britain’s Got Talent winner Ashleigh Butler and other experienced Crufts competitors to create videos for owners who want to get active with their dog

With Crufts returning to Birmingham this week, the Kennel Club has unveiled a series of ‘Getting started in…’ videos, which show dog-lovers how they can get involved in a range of activities with their canine companion.

The interactive videos span agility – made up of various obstacles for your dog to run through, jump over, and weave in and out of alongside you; obedience – strengthening your teamwork and training; and heelwork to music – combining obedience, choreography and music.

Each video is narrated by a two-legged expert, with demonstrations from their four-legged teammate, including tips on how to get into the activity, what it takes to be successful and practical training advice.

Ashleigh Butler and her dog Pudsey won Britain’s Got Talent with their impressive heelwork to music routines, and are ambassadors for the benefits of canine activities and stars of the Kennel Club heelwork to music video.

Ashleigh commented: “I am so pleased to be working alongside the Kennel Club on this new project. Heelwork to music helps to create such a close and strong relationship between me and my dogs. We both love learning new tricks together and it really helps the dog to understand their body.

“If you are looking for a fun new activity that involves both you and your dog, that will create a strong bond between the two of you, I would highly recommend heel work to music.”

Anthony Clarke, Crufts Agility champion and Team GB competitor, is the host of the agility video. Anthony covers the basic principles of agility, including the list of obstacles that dogs have to overcome and gives those interested in starting in this high-speed, popular dog sport, tips on where to start and training advice important for success.

Anthony said: “The first thing is to find your nearest Kennel Club registered agility club, where you can find out more information and get a better understanding of what agility involves.

“Agility builds such a great bond between you and your dog, as well as keeping you both active. If you are debating giving it a go…100 per cent go for it!”

Voirrey Horne presents the obedience video, and competes at the highest level of the discipline all over the UK, including at Crufts, with her Border Collie, Isla.

She added: “Obedience is a fantastic way to form a great bond with your dog. Teaching them new things in training gives a real sense of achievement and most importantly you both have fun doing it! It’s a great way to meet new people and make lifelong friends sharing your love of dogs.”

The introductory videos can be watched on the Kennel Club’s YouTube channel: www.youtube.com/thekennelclub. Showcasing the top level in all canine activities, Crufts returns to Birmingham from 5th – 8th March. Tickets are available at www.crufts.org.uk/.

The Kennel Club statement on Coronavirus

Following the outbreak of novel Coronavirus in China, the Kennel Club and the NEC will be taking enhanced measures to help protect our visitors, exhibitors, clients and staff at Crufts 2020 taking place on the 5th – 8th  March.

We are monitoring the situation closely and we continue to follow advice from the World Health Organisation and Public Health England, as well as that of local government.

Everyone should note that the main message from Public Health England is on personal hygiene, therefore staff, exhibitors and visitors are also being encouraged to maintain good hand, respiratory and personal hygiene by employing the ‘Catch It. Bin It. Kill It’ ethos.  Additional signage and bottles of hand sanitiser will be introduced in toilets and the in-hall catering areas, to make it even easier for everyone to clean their hands. In addition Crufts will be supplying a hand sanitiser station at each public and dog exhibitor entrance.

The Kennel Club recommends that those with concerns about the Coronavirus follow guidelines set out by the World Health Organisation www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/advice-for-public and follow government advice on travel.