Dog Show Exhibitors and Breeders Points of View

By Lisa Moir

Late 2014 saw the creation of a social media discussion group aimed at dog show exhibitors and breeders, giving them an open online arena to discuss and debate topics that matter to them.

The Facebook group, Dog Show Exhibitors and Breeders Points of View now has over 550 members, with over 100 active members regularly taking part in lively debate and voting on various subjects pertaining to the pedigree dog show world.

Creator of the group Peter Clifton is well known and respected in the UK dog show scene and indeed across the world. His Joseter kennel dating back to 1952 has produced some of the top Welsh Cardigan Corgis seen across the globe and is indeed a force to be reckoned with. Dismayed by the decline in the dog show scene with falling entries and exhibitors feeling they are not being listened too, he wanted to create a platform where genuine dog people could voice their opinions and concerns, make proposals and vote on important matters, the results of which would be fed back to the Kennel Club and other related organisations. Additionally all the polls and associated comments and votes would be filed for viewing at anytime.

The very first poll dating back to September 2014 asked the members if they were aware of the Kennel Club’s Dog Show promotion working and its terms of reference. Given that views of exhibitors were to be welcomed by the party, it was somewhat enlightening and disappointing to discover that 68% of respondents did not know about the working party or its purpose. A missed opportunity it would seem for the working party to gain first-hand opinion and thoughts on how the dog show scene could be improved and moved forward into the future.

Since then there have been a number of topical discussions, a particularly lively one, which received a staggering number of comments, covered the topic of Challenge Certificates, asking how many should one dog win? Views were certainly split as some felt that since 3 CCs make a champion, why would anyone need to win more? Whilst others strongly disagreed making the point that the multiple CC winner is there to be beaten, just as any other dog is, and why should they be denied the opportunity to win the awards if they are the best example in their breed? Valid points were made from both sides, and for the purpose of this article I shall retain my personal opinion, other than to say it was great to see the enthusiastic way the respondents debated the issue, their passion and emotion evident throughout.

Another topic which received a resounding response was that which asked “Should the Kennel Club register non-pedigree dogs?” This poll saw almost 200 votes cast, with 95% voting ‘no’. One voter suggested such a move would be a disaster for pedigree dog-dom and a victory for puppy farmers. Whilst another highlighted that KC registration is a great selling tool and allowing registration of cross-breed litters could lead to an even further inflated price tag for these so called ‘designer dogs’, many of which have undergone no health testing.

A reason often cited for falling entries at championship shows is being faced with the same breed judges every 12-18 months. The poll which questioned what time gap should be left between championship show judging appointments attracted some sensible and thoughtful comments including; that all judges have a duty to draw a good entry for the inviting club and so should pay more attention to how often they judge and the impact that may have on the prospective entry. Whilst another pointed out that although the KC specifies one year between appointments, in numerically small and generally long lasting breeds where the turnover is slower that is just not long enough and that a two-year gap would more likely mean different dogs, which is surely a better situation for everyone. The results revealed that 64% of respondents thought that the time between appointments should be three years, 24% voted for thirty months, and only 0.02% opting for 12 months.

Whilst many topical and serious matters are discussed, the group is not without humour as the recent April fool vote demonstrated. The question posed “Do you agree with the Crufts Committee decision to attract more media coverage for the world of dogs, by inviting celebrities to officiate the groups? In 2018 the groups at Crufts will be judged by Jeremy Clarkson, Simon Cowell, Ann Robinson, Rowan Atkinson, Will I Am, Jose Mourinho, and Lorraine Kelly with Best in Show to be judged by a member of the Royal Household”. A few were left red-faced as they took the poll seriously not realising the date, but many saw the funny side.

The group continues to go from strength to strength and views from members are always encouraged. If you would like to have your say then make a request to join the group at