The Hovawart Club of Great Britain


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Breed Notes - 15 May 2012
It was Birmingham National last weekend, and with the thoughtful information of “not before 1.00am” written in the schedule, we could have breakfast on the way and travel the “pretty” route. Judging started very soon after 1.00pm and the first class was a wonderful sight, both sexes and all the three colours, and all still juniors and puppies. Actually, the whole entry was nigh on double the normal numbers at shows, so maybe the future is looking brighter in that regard. The show this year was special, in that it highlighted German breeds, and was “twinned” with an equivalent show in Germany showcasing English breeds, with German champion certificates on offer alongside KC cc’s for the very first time. Even though we don’t have cc’s here, we did get the German awards, and the first recipients were Val Shone’s Flynn (Minches Jet of Zwartbos) for Best Dog, and our Acorn (Pines Acorn CDex) for Best of Breed. It is a great honour. Best puppy was Linda Blackwell’s Zwartbos Sandown. It is good to see Linda and her husband back in the show scene after what is quite a long absence. Our judge was Horst Kliebenstein, who also did Great Danes.

We watched a fascinating programme on Monday night in the “Bang goes the theory” series, all about dogs. Although it was sometimes difficult not to be put off by the rather “schoolroom” attitude of the presenters, it was a good insight into the way dogs think and act, and a most enlightening comparison was made with wolves that had been raised “wild” in captivity, still showing a lot of their survival instincts to advantage. One experiment demonstrated how much of a calming influence stroking a dog was, very good for heart rate and blood pressure….I did wonder where dealing with a naughty puppy or difficult adolescent would quite fit in there. For a marvellous change on the TV, though, dogs came out really well in the programme, so much better than the recent negativity we have had to put up with.

There is a change of judge for National Working at Malvern in July. I believe that Jack Bispham is unwell, and Gill Stockton, our club chairman has been drafted in to take over. There are still a couple of weeks left to get your entries in. If the weather is halfway decent, I don’t think there is a more scenic showground than the Three Counties, so let’s hope that summer does actually arrive this year.

The club committee had the second of their “conference call” meetings last weekend. We were actually at the local theatre on the evening in question, and John raised a few eyebrows wandering around the car park, phone to ear, in his usual peripatetic fashion, only talking occasionally, whilst I sensibly stayed in the car on my phone. All seems in place for the conference in October, and we are now getting to fine-tuning the details. Whilst we are in the organising mood, it has been suggested that we hold another judging seminar at club show time next year. We recently had one enquiry from a potential candidate, so perhaps it would be a good idea if anyone who is interested in taking part in the seminar got in touch with club secretary Liz Whitmore so that we can assess the potential viability of the event.

Elaine Betts

This article was posted on: 14-May-12