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2 January 2013
Having consulted with various members of the dog community may I suggest some resolutions for the dog show community for the New Year.

EXHIBITORS

·         I will ensure my entries are clear and readable and that they are both sent in and paid for timeously

·         I will never ask a club to take a late entry

·         When marking off space for my gazebo I will take into consideration other exhibitors, I will neither mark off weeks before the show or remove anyone else’s tape – I will abide by the ruling of the hosting club

·         I will be ready at the side of the ring for my class with the right dog and the right exhibitor number displayed

·         If it necessary for me to change dogs I will have explained to the ring steward in advance and I do it as quickly as possible causing as little inconvenience as possible to all concerned

·         I will never ask to change the judging order

·         If I miss my class, I will take responsibility

·         I will not enter under any judge who is a close friend, relative or co owner of any of my dogs

·         I will not be guilty of a sense of entitlement to a win

·         I will never be rude or aggressive in any of my dealing with fellow exhibitors, judges, ring stewards or committee members

·         I will not indulge in synchronized whining with other exhibitors if things do not go my way

JUDGES

·        I will remain professional at all times whether judging, exhibiting or observing

·        I will not justify any lapse of ethical standards because it suits me and because it is not in the rule book

   I will not judge and show in the same weekend with the same panel of judges

   I will excuse from the ring any close friend, relative or a co owner of any of my dogs

   I will not chat pointlessly to exhibitors

   I will not dither over decisions (I will keep the standards to hand and if I am not sure I will check)

   I will not trade favours

   I will study standards and pay particular attention to the correct structure of each breed

  I will judge without fear or favour

   I will judge without any preconceived ideas of who has the best dogs of that particular breed judging the dogs on the day not past history

COMMITTEES

·         Above all I will NEVER be rude or impatient with any exhibitor no matter what the provocation

·         I will ensure shows start on time, are run swiftly and have a  contingency plan for any delays

·         I will not mark off next to the ring for personal friends

·         I will have an efficient system for printing “tickets”, and I will ensure that there is a backup system should problems arise

·         I will ensure that the grass is cut – bearing in mind some of the dogs other than those is the Toy ring have short legs

·         I will not entertain judges and then enter shows in which the same panel of judges officiate whether it is the same or the next weekend

·         As a committee we will encourage new judges and try to instill a sense of joy back into the showing community

Let’s make this a fantastic, enjoyable 2013

Rosemary Elliott
Ethics Police


2 January 2013
To Giselle & Cheryl,

Maybe the systems all need to be re-visited even the point system is inaccurate as a winning dog who has entered a higher percentage of shows is obviously going to do better than a winning dog that is only shown spasmodically, as it is not everyone who has the time and money to go to all the shows.

Therefore the results are never a true reflection of the “Top Dog”.

Theoretically, you should divide the total of points by the number of shows entered by that particular dog, however apart from being cumbersome this would not be fool proof.

I think we need suggestions for a fairer method of establishing exactly who is “top dog”.

***** Totally concur that this is not a criticism of any past or present top winning dog – just looking for a better way forward.

Rosemary Elliott – in her personal capacity


6 January 2013
It’s a bit too early in the year to cope with the EP, but now that we all know what’s expected of us, we might as well start preparing to live the rest of our lives as dog showing nuns. For the outspoken judge trashers and for those who feel themselves entitled to the group – even with sub standard dogs (we all know who they are) it’s going to be an especially frustrating year. They will be watched and their judging friends will be watched and their conversations will all be reported to the EP.

Then the clubs. Hopefully TKC has cleaned up its act because I will make a point of visiting the office every half hour and will report any hint of rudeness to the EP. Although TKC walked off with the grand prize for the rudest club with the most unhelpful officials in 2012, there were also others. Beware!

Here’s to the EP and surveillance!


6 January 2013
Post removed.

Eileen Ashton
Chairperson: Bearded Collie Club of Gauteng


6 January 2013
I received the notice for the breed seminars in Gauteng and am intrigued to see that a well known exhibitor in the Terrier and Toy rings will be co presenting a seminar on Australian Cattle Dogs. I must say, I wasn’t aware that this exhibitor was an authority on this complex breed and perhaps the organisers can give us a bit more back ground on her experience with the breed.

In general, I’ve attended many a seminar that was a complete waste of time because the person presenting it didn’t have a clue and I hope that when the new scheme comes in the person in charge will check the qualifications and abilities of those who present seminars. The person in charge is presumably the one who compiled the scheme and although she lives in Cape Town, I think it is her responsibility to make sure that the people presenting seminars in all the provinces are qualified to do so. We are expected to pay good money to attend a seminar and for that we want a knowledgeable breed specialist – not the first eager beaver that comes along.

Tired of wasting my time


15 January 2013
I did not attend the seminar on Cattle Dogs this past weekend, but after feedback from people who did, I would like to encourage all Herding breed judges and people interested in Cattle dogs to go and reed this article on the breed. Thank you Carol Beckett for putting it so clearly - www.tagetarl.com/JudgingACD.html. It may help clarify some issues. The dogs on this site are excellent representatives of the breed.
Owned by Cattle Dogs


17 January 2013
I DID attend the Herding Seminar and was very impressed with the knowledge and output from the presenter and her son on the Australian Cattle Dog. There was a short video clip and some very interesting information about the breed. The dog she bought for us to go over was sound and of lovely temperament. A credit to the breed! We were asked to keep questions to a minimum which was a pity but we were running late due to technical difficulties. Thank you for coming all the way from KwaZulu to share your knowledge with us.

My thanks to the NAPC and all presenters on the day for a wonderful, informative day out. For myself I don’t think I will ever again go to a full day seminar ~~ information overload! R150 for 6 lectures, very good hard copy of information and a lovely lunch! Thank you! Well worth it.

Judi Musto.


22 January 2013
I attended the breed seminar in Gauteng on 12 Jan 2013.

I found the first session on Australian Shepherds very interesting. The presenter included many photos of dogs, illustrating points both good and bad. The attendees were able to interact and ask questions as well as add information. Sometimes the interaction was robust and clearly satisfactory to all.

The ACD section did not measure up to the standard of the Aussie Shepherds.  The majority of photos were of the presenter’s own dogs, giving one the limited view of only one “type” of dog while our breed standard provides for diverse “types” A lost opportunity to see some of the truly great dogs from other countries, especially our breed’s home country.

Inaccurate information such as “double masks are preferred”: Our breed standard, AKNC indicates “black markings on head, preferable even” referring to blue dogs.

The four times world winner, Heelersridge Emublu King has one small patch on his forehead.

The presenter showed a photo of a red and claimed it as undesirable and a fault, this in my personal opinion, could influence the judges present against some of the very special red dogs that have come into SA over the last two years. Incidentally a very similar red dog to the red in the photo won the European Winner in Dortmund in May 2012. Much more detail and explanation in respect of colour is needed.

Within the breed standard Blues and Reds are equally acceptable, Blues are definitely not preferable as was insinuated.

Interaction with the attending people was discouraged by the ACD presenter.  I requested permission to interject some information  and having received the ok, when the information I was giving (about deafness in our breed) was not to the liking of the presenter she attempted to cut me short, insinuating that only the breed judges should be entitled to comment. As the presenter herself, to my knowledge (please correct me if I am mistaken) is not a recognised breed judge, this was ironic to say nothing of the fact that the seminar unconditionally included breeders, who incidentally paid the same fees as the breed judges paid!

A quiz style questionnaire with a multiple choice “correct answer” section wasted time instead of opening the floor to general questions and an exchange of information.

 During a limited question time I was puzzled when the presenter claimed our breed’s blues have only two colours, while not officially named “tri-colour” the majority of blue, blue speckle and blue mottle have three colours, which is most definitely part of the breed standard. Red Mottle is not included in the breed standard.

The latest research on deafness has found a lower incidence of deafness in dogs with body patches and double masks and has advised breeders to breed for greater pigmentation, including body patches which currently are a fault in blues but allowed in reds albeit undesirable. The point I had hoped to make when the presenter very rudely put me down and turned her back on me and loudly spoke over me was that judges could contribute to some degree, to limiting deafness in ACDs by adhering to the breed standard in respect of colour. Assuming that mottled dogs have less pigmentation and in respect of the reds are not included in the breed standard. (I must add that my daughter is a vet and feels research is a double edged sword)However colour is not straight forward, (see explanation by Mrs S. Scholes in separate article)

Unfortunately, highly mottled dogs are becoming the latest fashion flavour. While they are unusual and sometimes very striking this trend will possibly increase the deafness in our breed. Some will argue that deaf dogs can have satisfactory lives, I personally bred a litter in 2004 with a bilateral and unilateral deaf and a query, 3 out of 7! Having kept the bilateral, who we loved to distraction, l believe every dog deserves to have the best chance of being born whole.

The fact that every one of the 7 puppies was also affected with PRA only emerged later! Perhaps one can understand why I am so concerned about the ACD health issues in SA.

When questions were asked about diseases in the breed and the ACD club’s guidelines on these issues, the presenter made a clear statement that the ACD club in Natal does not support breeders that don’t do all the tests. However there is no transparency on their website, as is found on other club sites re the health status of individual animals. Nor does the Natal ACD Club have relevant information in respect of litters and their parents. Without transparency in respect of measures to limit the serious diseases, there is no evidence of commitment and compliance. This begs the question: Why Not?

Australian Cattle Dogs have a high incidence of deafness, second only to Dalmatians and an even higher incidence of PRA (progressive retinal atrophy) 

In South Africa we also have a relatively high incidence of HD, unusual for a medium breed. More worrying is the exceptionally high incidence of these hereditary diseases in SA. Hence the reason for a couple of breeders bringing in entirely new blood lines and refusing to breed them with local lines.

As a lecturer in the landscape design I always tell my students that problems are great opportunities for creative solutions. I suspect the same principle could apply to breeders and breeding.

The ACD presentation did not do our wonderful and complex breed justice. I will contact several of the international breeders who have hosted me when I attended European shows and ask permission to have photos of their great dogs on our website: www.australiancattledog.co.za.

On the same website you will see a photo of Emubluking with Va Bene Dreamtime, both good examples of different type ACDs. King has the temperament of a gentleman and can be approached by any judge without giving any threat, as is the case with most of the overseas ACDs of which I have seen  literally hundreds being judged in the breed ring.

I am astounded at the knowledge and experience of many breeders and despair of ever knowing so much myself. I have lots to learn and look forward to learning it from breeders who have proved themselves by the results of their breeding. Also from breed judges who have judged my breed and are willing to share their thoughts and experiences with me and other dedicated breeders in breed forums. I personally have had lots of useful information and advice from breeders of other breeds. By keeping open minds, having a little humility and a good listening ear we can breed healthy and exceptional dogs true to their purpose and breed standard.

For all of the above reasons I hope breed seminars will continue, become more frequent and provide a forum for people with common interests.

Helen Lachenicht.
Kamdebodream Kennel.

References:
www.australiancattledog.co.za
http://www.keepthefaith1296.com/


24 January 2013
Helen,

I have also attended the same seminar and as an Australian Shepherd breeder. Although I generally agree with your post a few things needs to be remembered concerning seminars like this. The first and most foremost thing is that it is NOT a breeders seminar but a judges seminar. Health issues are not really the priority at such an event. Structure, movement and general appearance is what is important in order for a judge to know which dogs to select in a line-up. A judge doesn't need to know if the dog can hear or not, have PRA, CEA, HC or Iris Coloboma for that matter because it is not visible to a judge. Although interaction between various breeders are always interesting and helpful - it is only so for the breeders and not so for the judges attending the course. Their only interest are as mentioned above. Also an hour is simply not enough time to discuss EVERYTHING so presenters can just touch on the most important factors of the applicable breed's standard. The presenter did ask in the beginning for questions to be handled only at the end and at the end of the lecture she did give us the opportunity to come and ask her questions one on one and go over her dog. So I thought it was a reasonable seminar in the allocated time.

Tania Scott
Zakur Australian Shepherds


29 January 2013
Dear Exhibitors & Breeders

I would like to make 3 appeals to everyone, including owners, exhibitors, breeders and club committees:

Appeal 1:

Open Show Times: with the current temperatures experienced in JHB (and other areas in SA) it is not acceptable anymore that open shows start at 11/12h midday. The heat for the dogs is unbearable and there is no reason why shows could not start at 7h30 or 08h00. If we can travel to champ shows for those starting times, then why not open shows (with much less preparation)? I have noticed too many times now dogs being left in the sun, standing outside the rings with owners chatting away while the poor dog is panting in the heat. I saw a Ridgeback in a crate with another little dog that had to sit in the full sun for about 10 min whilst the owner was getting her gazebo ready. We offered to put a cover on the dog – which we just went ahead anyway – but he owner did not even thank us, or seemed perturbed that her dog was left in the sun – even just 5 minutes is excruciating for a dog! When she eventually managed to get the gazebo up, the cover we put up was just thrown off…and another minute passed before this dog could have some shade – so a total of 15 min in the sun, without water in the crate. This is simply NOT acceptable by any means, any excuse.

Then the chows that have to stand in the sun while the owner was chatting away for over 20 minutes. The poor dogs’ tongue was hanging on the ground, with the owner having very little concern for this poor dog suffering in the sun.

If show committees does not change their dates and times for shows for the rest of the year, then I WILL call the SPCA to do an inspection at shows & this will have major repercussions – but I am sorry, I care for the dogs and it people do not care for their animals, then something will be done to rectify the situation. It seems that common sense does not prevail and I will not sit around watching this happy any longer.

Appeal 2:

General Dog welfare at shows:

We have tried to encourage new people to come to shows and then invite them to come see what it is all about. Most of them are shocked about the dogs being left in crates the whole time and rarely gets taken out for walks. This is especially true for the toy breeds with long coats. Although I understand the owners want to keep the coats in prime condition for the show – is this really good for the dogs? I have seen many a Shih Tzu or Maltese peeing and pooping in the ring as it’s the first time the little dog feels grass below its feet and then these people just pull the dogs along because of the inconvenience of the coat being soiled. Again I think people need to rethink whether this is ANY good to the dog to live such a life – and that all just for show glory? I even saw that a sanitary pad is being tied (with a bag and elastic bands) to a male dog’s private parts whilst in a crate so that he can relieve himself – is this ANY good to the dog or the health of the dog? I can now understand why so many people don’t want to show. Even though they might have another breed, they want to associate themselves with people clearly mistreating their dogs – and mistreatment is exactly what this is!! The same would apply if I don’t believe in dog fights but I attend the events to watch – would you go to such an event? Surely not….well too many people has told me that they will never do that to their dogs and therefore don’t want to be associated with it. As common sense in this category also does not prevail, I also think its time for the SPCA to investigate dog shows. There are any ways this can be fixed so that the DOGS does not suffer in the end….come on people – start using your common sense and just general empathy for the animals!! There are many more “examples” but we have all seen it, witnessed it and nothing is being said or done about it.

Appeal 3:

Starting times and schedules of shows: come on committees get your act together. Everyone is tired of waiting around for starting times, judges, ring stewards, etc. plan your event according to a time schedule ….start ON time….make sure everything is in place….stop complaining about not enough people willing to help…..I am willing to bet R1000 that IF there is one show that is run at suitable start time, starts on time, judges and ring stewards available and everything in place and shows end at a decent hour….that MORE people will join your committee to help as you will set an example people

Time to use common sense!!!


30 January 2013
I agree with you about the shows starting earlier. But I have to take exception about my dog being in the sun. As I stated I did not want to leave him in the car as it would have been hotter in the car than in the direct sun. I could not ask anyone to hold him as he would have not behaved for them. I did thank you when I came back to my cage and when I looked for you to give your cover back to you, you were not there so I put it onto the floor next to my gazebo.

You know this is really why I am thinking of giving up showing and getting my self off of all of the committees I am on. If I had left my dogs in the car I would have been nailed for leaving them in the car so I got the cage up first. What happens I get nailed for leaving him in the cage while I got the gazebo. Catch 22 what do you do?

Tracy Martins


30 January 2013
Dear “Time to use common sense”

Referring to your letter where you say “Then the chows that have to stand in the sun while the owner was chatting away for over 20 minutes. The poor dogs’ tongue was hanging on the ground, with the owner having very little concern for this poor dog suffering in the sun.’

As I know these were not my chow chows, perhaps you can tell us who the owner is, or describe the owner, or what colour/s the dogs are so that the issue can be addressed.
Regards
Vanessa Nicolau
President Chow Chow Club of Gauteng


30 January 2013
Dear Time to use common sense!!!

AMEN!!

Appeal 4:
Next year at Supa 7 please switch the aircons on that morning so that the venue (especially the benching area) can cool down before the lights start competing with the aircons and the many guests. We had dogs collapse of heat stroke. Please speed up the program too. Stop this endless puppy, adult, puppy, adult, puppy, adult rotation. Judge the puppies, immediately give the group winner and do BPIS. Then eat. Then do the adults. We can finish by 10pm. It does not need to be 12pm. Some dogs have shows the next day too.

Dog show are about DOGS



30 January 2013
I would just like to recommend a domestic airline carrier if anyone has puppies they fly up and down.

Firstly I made reservations with SA on Thursday to fly a puppy of mine to KZN over the weekend. I phoned again on Friday just to confirm the flight. I was then told by SA that they could not help me as they were on strike.

I had already arranged collection with the new puppy owner.

I asked SA if they perhaps know another airline that could help me and they were not helpful at all.

I was then told about BidAir. I phoned them on 011 230 4600. They were friendly, helpful and had 2 flights on the Saturday. They have a “pet lounge” that you take your pet to which is an air conditioned room away from the cargo holds and all the banging and cranes. The staff there was extremely helpful and polite. They also charged me almost half of what SA usually does.

I would recommend BidAir to anyone as you feel happy and safe when you drop off your baby to go to their new home.

Tracie Eberhardt
Eberdene Pomeranians


31 January 2013

I am the ‘Presenter’ of the Australian Cattle Dog Seminar that “Owned by Cattle Dogs” 15 Jan 2013 (who did not attend my seminar) and Helen Lachenicht 22 Jan 2013 refer to.

It was an honour and privilege to be invited by the Judges Sub-Committee to represent our breed.

It was a BREED seminar not a breeder’s discussion. I was limited to time and the items requested by the Judges Committee. I believe I did our breed proud limited to the time available to me and I give my thanks to the majority of the judges who did attend, wanting to know more about our breed.

I have been involved with cattle dogs for the past 18 years, shown my dogs for the last 13 years and it was unfortunate that a couple of the attendees who did attend were not there to support and to unite our breed.

Therefore I believe it is now in the interest of our breed to hold a Breeder’s Seminar. The Australian Cattle Dog Club of KZN will host the seminar and all interested Australian Cattle Dog breeders throughout South Africa are welcome to attend. A time and date will be confirmed once acceptances and numbers are received.

To all Australian Cattle Dog breeder’s person’s wishing to attend please RSPV the Secretary The Australian Cattle Dog Club4 February 2013za or Cell 0833011936

Lindy George
Linfell Kennels and co-founder of The Australian Cattle Dog Club of KZN.