Photograph: Natural Instinct
Our next port of call was to our partners, Natural Instinct, who
give generous support to both The Daxington Post and Dachshund Rescue. I love visiting them, as I get lots of hugs. As premium raw dog food suppliers they also give me healthy treats
like beef jerky and white bait. Yum! Thanks ladies.
had a long chat with Operations Manager, Sara Kinge, while Emma Cooper and Tamara Linwood made a real fuss of me. I never want to leave their stand because it feels so much like home, with lots
of attention and lovely grub!
Our next visit was to the Guild
of Dog Trainers, and CEO Sue Williams. Wow! I wondered if I should curtsey as this lovely lady is famous, having written widely for the dog press, and appeared on both radio and TV.
As an older, well trained dog,
I was not spooked by our meeting as I know Sue was a great friend of Josef. Indeed, she even asked him to review one of her training videos! That was a real privilege for Josef
and apparently it was a real hit.
During my visit I decided that dog trainers were OK, especially as they understood me and gave me lots of cuddles.
discovered that the Guild of Dog Trainers provide a valuable service to the canine community. Regarding their work they state “The Guild is passionate about training dogs using methods
which evolve from creating understanding between dog and human.”
They also understand that owners like to have well trained dogs, while society itself expects a certain level of good behaviour from pooches, especially in public.
Certainly in Britain, there are laws with which dog owners must comply. All these issues are incorporated into The Guild of Trainers training programmes.
Ensuring dogs are taken to professional dog training classes has many benefits. Both Emma and Josef learned a lot from their classes, where each dog is not only a member
of the group, but also individual help with specific learning needs.
Occasionally, trainers may need a little help themselves, particularly if a difficult dog turns up to classes, and the Guild of Training is there to help through their
mentoring service. They also offer professional education courses, covering a wide variety of subjects for those who wish enhance their training skills.
the Mary Poppins of canine behaviour (Practically Perfect in Every Way), I obviously do not need further training, but was delighted to come away with more knowledge of this brilliant
organisation, that can help other dogs to be as good as me! http://www.godt.org.uk
When we attend dog events, we are
always keen to see our friend and nutritionist Bianca Major. Sporting trim waistlines we try to look our best because we love her and her comfy cuddles.
Bianca is a very talented lady
whose qualifications include BSc (hons), PGDip Nutrition & Canine Nutrition, MSFTR, CPN. In addition to her degree and post-grads in Human and Animal Nutrition, Bianca has
continued her studies in the US and the UK and is one of only a few Certified Companion Animal Nutritionists in the UK. In addition she is a certified CPD lecturer in animal nutrition and
regularly lectures in the UK and abroad. To cap it all Bianca is also a qualified trainer and a member of the Guild of Dog Trainers. We feel very privileged that she is our friend
and finds time to care for us.
Bianca, Mum, Emma and me at last year's Crufts
training is a vital part of a dog’s life, grooming is equally important, especially for heavy coated breeds and dogs like wire haired dachshunds and some terriers who need hand stripping.
humans aspiring to become groomers, or dog owners who just want to smarten up their pooches themselves, there were plenty of grooming schools at Crufts offering information about their training
courses. As smooth haired Dachshunds, we have comparatively few grooming needs, but our nails must be regularly clipped. I hate it!
Crufts is huge and I was fascinated by it all. Mum drove me around the whole show on her scooter to see the wide variety of interests it served. Sadly, we
could not stop and talk to everyone but I realised as never before that almost anything you could ever want for your dog could be found here.
people arrive with generous budgets and bulging wallets to stock up on dog paraphernalia. One visitor told us “We wait for Crufts every year, because any and everything we want is here!”
Unsurprisingly we saw lots of people staggering to their bus stops and cars under the weight of massive parcels containing super goodies for their pooches. How they made their choices I
have no idea, because there truly was something for everyone.
Doggy delights abounded on every floor, some from overseas companies. Lamb food from New Zealand, collars, leads and beds from Germany, and intriguing puzzles from Sweden
demanded attention from visitors. I could hardly believe my eyes when I saw kangaroo leashes (yes leashes) from France being offered for sale. The mind boggles! But it is OK because this
company also sells dog leads. If you do not believe me click:
For dogs wanting to get away for a little R & R there were many stands offering dog
friendly hideaways, both in Britain and abroad. British accommodation providers are slowly learning to accept that dogs are much loved family members and just as parents would not leave
their children at home, neither do they wish to exclude their fur babes from holidays. Everything from hotels, cosy cottages and even overseas holidays could be found and the
Show Guide also included a ‘good beach’ section. I was delighted to see that many popular resorts make provision for dogs. I think they should all follow the example of
Sandbanks on the south coast, which has a dedicated year-round dog beach. I dream of a day when families, including dogs, can holiday anywhere together and hope that visiting Crufts has
inspired many to seek out pet friendly facilities.
Crufts is a great place to gain awareness of the many organisations concerned for our health and
welfare and I was delighted to see the Animal Health Trust stand. This organisation does such good work in research and the treatment of doggy diseases. Their Newmarket facility is fairly
near to us, and we know several dogs who have benefited from their insight and treatment. For dogs wanting to know more about their work, please sign up to receive their regular newsletter. I am
always pleased to receive these updates and value their alerts on specific health issues If like us you walk in woodland areas, then Seasonal Canine Illness may be a problem and their email
updates provide reminders to avoid such areas ‘in the season.’
Crufts is an iconic show, but I wondered how many people were fully aware that it is the ‘baby’ of
The Kennel Club which always has a stand offering lots of information. I like to go and say hello because their staff make a big fuss of me which, after all, is what the show is really about!
Of course, we always come away with lots of information about their extensive work.
The Kennel Club provides many services to dogs and their humans, e.g. education, breed and
welfare topics. Along with their partners they promote best practice and research in health related issues.
The Kennel Club also has an Academy which aims to set standards through education, and offers
free films for breeders on breeding related subjects.
In the field of education their Breed Health Symposium addresses many dog related topics.
Very sadly, over the years, breeders have ‘developed’ the features of some dogs, often with the
unhappy outcomes. Genetics are not always the best friends of pooches. Take the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, where genetic heart disease problems are an issue. Along with the
breed club and the Veterinary Cardiology Society, the Kennel Club is trying to improve the heart-screening scheme in the UK. They are also working with breeders to address the various problems
affecting large breeds.
Even after three days at
Crufts, I have only been able to scratch the surface of this great show. We did not visit the agility rings or main arenas, believing they would be best covered by young Andy
our Northern and Dachshund Rescue Reporter. We were right, as his article has already shown.
However, I met some very
special dogs and people who deserve more than a passing mention here. They will be the subject of my final article in this series. Did I enjoy Crufts? Did I learn a Lot? Am I
pumped up to be there again next year? Oh yes! Stand by Crufts 2019, I am on my way!
We apologise for the late
pulication of this article, due to illness and IT issues.