The Hovawart Club of Great Britain


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Breed Notes - 18 Oct 2011
I was quite surprised to receive a telephone call from the Kennel Club’s Accedited …whoops, Assured Breeder Scheme last week, asking for a convenient day to visit us. It seemed only a couple of years since Bill Lambert had been here, and as we hadn’t bred a litter for two and a half years I didn’t feel desperately “active”. Nevertheless an appointment was made and a nice lady came, asked lots of questions, and filled up all the usual forms with my answers. It’s always nice to talk dogs with like minded people, and I remarked what a nice job she had, and did she enjoy it? Oh yes she said, but it’s all voluntary of course, although I can claim for my petrol. This is an extraordinary state of affairs. How can the KC expect their flagship breeders scheme to be taken seriously, as it should, if they police it with unpaid volunteers, however experienced they may be. If this is just an issue of money, then the logical approach would be for the annual fee for being on the KC list should include the cost of, say, a two-yearly visit by a professional assessor, which would ensure that standards were demonstrably maintained at the highest level, and maybe weed out a few of the less committed in the scheme at the moment. An increase in fees would be more than offset by the kudos afforded by being part of such a blue riband scheme, and there would no longer be any exploitation of the goodwill of the few who can afford to give their time. Incidentally, there will undoubtedly be potentially excellent assessors out there who cannot afford to apply, thus diminishing the overall standard of the scheme.
Whilst on the subject of the ABS, I noted with some vicarious pride the article in Dog World (October 14) that our club has been influential in bringing non cc breeds into parity with cc breeds in terms of accolades awarded. So often, we have been an afterthought in events, so well done to Craig Hosie, who originally raised the queries, and Liz Whitmore who put them, together with possible solutions, so eloquently to the KC, and congratulations to the KC for having the decency to take us seriously, and incorporate our ideas in the scheme.
It is only a short time before the annual event at Earl’s Court is upon us. This year, Lloyd has really got the bit between his teeth, so the Hovawart stand should be something spectacular at Discover Dogs. Maggie is leading the team on the Saturday, and I will be there on the Sunday. If anyone feels they would like to help out, and wants to bring their Hovawart along to meet a constant stream of general public, get in touch with me as soon as possible. The dates are November 12th & 13th. Your dog needs to be “bomb proof”, so it is not for everyone, but telling people about our beloved dogs is always a rewarding experience.

Elaine Betts
01544 318705
This article was posted on: 20-Oct-11