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Kennel Club in Health and Safety Row Over Pudsey's Heelwork Routine

We must be well and truly in the silly season again. It appears to happen when our esteemed politicians go on their summer break. When there are no political about turns or gaffes to fill up our papers, some organisations put out press releases, hoping they will get more print time.

Could that be the reason for the amazingly stupid "elf-N-safety" diktat that the Kennel club have released. We have enough nanny knows best from the state, without organisations like the KC getting in on the act.

I can picture the meeting in the vaulted halls of the Kennel Club. Along with the senior executive including the KC Secretary Caroline Kisco and the current chairman Professor Steve Dean.

The top of the agenda would probably be, what can we do to get us in the press and the general public’s good books, especially after the panorama debacle, pedigree dogs exposed. "I know lets castigate Pudsey" some bright spark at the back may have chirped up.

"It is demeaning for dogs to dance on their hind legs and enjoy themselves" A flunky further down the table could have added "As we all know our show dogs are far more reserved and well behaved" 

I would guess that the majority of committee would not have had a clue what bright spark or flunky were talking about. Most would have never heard of Britain’s Got Talent, never mind Pudsey. They would just go along with the rest, not wanting to show their ignorance of the medium of popular entertainment.

The consensus must have been that they need to put a stop to all this frivolity. Ban most of their favourite moves of heelwork to music, under the guise that it could be dangerous to the poor little doggies. A veritable ocean of grey heads would have nodded in response.

Edward with dangerous ball in his mouthProfessor Dean has held the chair for about 14 months; He took over from Ronnie Irving, who at least had a sense of humour. If this is all they can come up with, then I think the KC is in for even more of a rough ride than they have had recently.

The last couple of years have not been kind to this fine institution. Having said that the KC has done some excellent work in the past. Often championing the rights of our favourite pets. This, I am afraid is not their finest hour.

I believe with this outburst the Kennel Club have well and truly shot themselves in the foot. If you were so inclined, you could say that they have made a right dogs dinner of it.

After the Panorama exposé. I believed the KC were unduly castigated for some of their member’s comments and actions. However I am now unsure exactly what planet these people are now on. Ms Kisco and the committee need to get themselves a life and a pair of good glasses.

Can they not see how much the likes of Pudsey; actually enjoys his routine. Clap your hands at your dog when it does something right,  you will see the results by just looking at its tail and smiling face.

Dogs are attention junkies. They thrive on being and working with their owners. Before becoming a dog behaviourist, I spent a considerable time training gundogs. I am very aware  just how and why dogs love to work and please their owners.

The interaction with handler and dogs is a joy to watch. That is patently obvious when you watch heelwork to music, just look at the body language. To suggest that this is demeaning shows a lack of knowledge regarding the bond between dog and human. To achieve the almost magical performance that Pudsey and his handler Ashleigh Butler create, takes dedication, hard work and more importantly love. 

The enjoyment between handlesr and dog is clear to seeThe moves these dogs make are nothing worse than a normal dog jumping around and playing in the park. I have a working Cocker Spaniel that loves to get up and walk about on his hind legs. I have never taught him this, he just seems to like it.

And their in lies the real truth. If a dog does not like something, it would't do it. If Pudsey is intelligent enough to do all those amazing tricks, he is more than intelligent enough to refuse to do the tricks that could hurt or harm him. You can see that he is revelling in the attention and the applause, he appears almost delirious with happiness

Perhaps show dogs are not allowed to act like real dogs, just cavorting and jumping around is not for these vaulted canines. Banning perfectly reasonable moves, has put the KC in line for spoilsport of the year. The scrooge of the dog world. Bah Humbug.

If they truly want our respect, then start campaigning against the horrific puppy farm industry, and bring in temperament testing for all show dogs.

Many of the behavioural problems we see in most of today’s dogs, can be traced back to the stud dogs and breeding bitches, that have been given the highest accolades in the show ring.

It is all about what they look like, whilst often ignoring some severe psychological problems. No dog should be a champion on configuration alone.

 

Can anyone remember these two?

 

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