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Thursday, March 05, 2009

Crufts - it's live streaming for the next four days

I don't usually get into politics here on my blog, but this is important. There's a whole buncha controversy at Crufts this year - the BBC isn't broadcasting the event, many major sponsors have pulled out, and they've lost the support of a couple of top non-profit organizations in the UK, including the RSPCA, and our Twitter buds DogsTrust - all for the good of the dog, IMHO!

All of this started with the BBC documentary "Pedigreed Dogs," which took an eye opening and hard look at breeding practices and standards of dogs. You can see all six parts of this revealing documentary here.

Since then the British Kennel Club has announced some major reforms to breed standards and accepted breeding practices for purebred dogs, a step in the right direction - but I hope, just the beginning.

It is also my hope that all this brings about some great change for the health and well being of dogs in the future, not only in the UK, but in the US, as well.

Because the BBC isn't broadcasting the event, Crufts has decided to live stream the event. You can see agility starting today (and all four days), as well as freestyle, police dog work, heelwork to music, flyball, obedience, confirmation and lots more. You may have to get up pretty early if you're on the East Coast for the morning agility sessions - 8:00 AM is 1:00 PM in Britain, and some agility starts at 8:30 AM Britain time. You can see the entire schedule on their site.

The agility finals will be held Sunday at 17:00, Britain time.

Also, Marcus Topps and his Border Collie, MACH2 Peak’s Juice, (Juice) will represent the AKC in agility at Crufts. Marcus and Juice were the 2008 GOLD medal winners in the Large Dog Individual competition at the 2008 FCI Agility World Championships in Helsinki, Finland. Two years ago Marcus and Juice competed in England at Crufts taking a first place in the Jumpers Class. Marcus and Juice will perform three times on Saturday, March 7.

4 comments:

  1. Mum & Dad are actually of the opinion that the BBC, DT, RSPCA etc made the right stance, The KC have made a step in the right direction but it's not really enough. Hopefully they will rethink and make better and more positive changes for the good of the dogs.
    Dad actually thinks Mum shouldn't be watching at all but Mum can't resist the dogs.. simple as!
    Mum is a bit sad really, she has watched Crufts every year since she was a small child (back then she watched with her Mum now she watches with her children) It's the end of a family tradition, lets hope the KC make the necessary changes so it can return to TV.

    Ben xxxx

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  2. I hope so too Ben, at least it's a paw in the right direction. But much more is needed, you are right!

    Mum is torn about watching too, one minute she turns if off, then she knows the agility is on and can't help herself.

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  3. Sometimes you just have to stand on your principles even if it hurts. We do think that the breed standards emphasize conformation too much--especially since dogs historically were bred for their working ability first and foremost.

    But what do I know? I'm just a mutt and that's what my mom and dad have always had--good family dogs with a Heinz 57 background!

    At least Crufts includes working activities (unlike Westminster). Mom says she'll be watching the freestyle on YouTube and that your mom should feel good about watching the agility, because the working relationship is EVERYTHING.

    That and some great treats.

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  4. Belatedly catching up here! I agree with you about the BBC and the major canine charities pulling out of Crufts. That said, the UK agility folk are in an interesting position as the KC regulate and govern our sport.
    I had very mixed feelings as I watched.

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Thanks for barking in!

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