Our regular update on what's happening in the World of Bulldog Rescue
This Blog is Tania's own personal opinion and does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the charity
So that's another Crufts over and done with, just like Christmas - weeks worth of build up and then Poof! gone in puff of smoke.
We have come to terms with the Media frenzy that has become the norm, the usual round of Press "Born To Suffer" headlines about all flat faced breeds. The close scrutiny from the activists, the moment when you find out if the Best Of Breed passed it's vet check - and sadly this year some infighting to complete the package. Of course this year we also had the threat of coronavirus on top of the miles and miles of motorway, the increadibly early start and the recovery which takes longer and longer every year. But when it's all said and done, when the NEC closes it's doors to Crufts for the final time on the Sunday, when the facebook frenzy about who should have won and how bad the judging was - there's a side that only fellow rescues will understand ........ the fall out that is the Breed that went Best In Show!!!!
Every year I sit there worrying, knowing full well that the chances are pretty remote but it's not totally unheard of - not since 1952 has a bulldog taken the podium - Noways Chuckles. In the 70s a Bulldog did go Reserve Best In Show but for some reason no one ever seem to take notice of the runner up. We knew that this year there was no hope - the bulldog didn't pass it's vet check due to a skin problem so never made it through to the group - in fairness the less said about that the better - but the breed that did win was The Dachshund
According to their Breed Council
"Dachshunds are a very popular breed with six different varieties: Standard and Miniature sizes, in 3 coats, Smooth, Long and Wire. Maisie, the Standard Wire-Haired Dachshund that won Crufts, may be the first time that many members of the public will have seen this particular variety. Their registrations have increased steadily over time, with 861 being registered by the Kennel Club in 2019. We are aware that a sudden increase in popularity of any breed can lead to an increase in the numbers being bred irresponsibly and without any thought for their health and welfare."
However, as with our breed - the Fad Colour breeding has taken a hold on the little Dachshund- white dogs, merle dogs - all become increasingly popular creating yet another storm for their serious breeders and Health Committee alike so it was nice to see the following published by the Dachshund breed council
The article states
"The Dachshund Breed Council’s advice is the same when considering buying a puppy of any variety: that buyers should do their research and make sure that they contact a breeder who places health, welfare and temperament at the top of their agenda when breeding."
In the meantime, we are sitting back and breathing yet another sigh of releif as the Bulldog didn't go Best In Show for another year .....
February being a short month always catches us out, especially as we have to prepare for Crufts in the first week of March. But February waits for no man and it flew by in it's usual 100 mile an hour pace
Something we have noticed this month is the sudden increase of dogs that are people aggressive, we saw a slight surge back in 2003 which led us to do some research into the condition "Idiopathic Rage" but recently we've noticed another increase. So much so that we've had to bring in a far more stringent Temperament Test for every single dog we are asked to help as opposed to the old method of putting them through a full assessment only if we considered there to be a risk. What has our breed been redcued to, the greeders constantly trying to create that next big seller with deformities and fad colours have put the problem back at the forefront on a breed that should be nothing but gentle, if not slightly stubborn.
We are trying very hard to encourage anyone looking for a puppy to go through show breeders. Yes I know you don't necessarily want a show dog - but you need the show breeders ethics and not the "make a quick buck" attitude of the others. Remember there is no such thing as a Pet Breeder!!!! Pet Breeders are back yard breeders and in some cases simply Puppy Farms Please please try and find a breeder who has at least health tested the parents, preferably using the Bulldog Breed Council system. The Breed Council have worked really hard over recent years to encourage all show breeders to health test - now all we need to do is educate the public to only buy from these breeders. Remember you can see litters available from health tested parents here: Litters for Sale
So here's the breakdown for February
HELP US PAY OUR VET BILL: https://www.gofundme.com/f/can-you-help-fund-bulldog-rescue
DOG'S HELPED TO DATE: 3407
Lots is being said recently about the Breed Council and much of it has been assumption because to be fair most Bulldog Owners are totally unaware they even exist. Well they are a group of volunteers, made up of Breed Club delegates and sub committee members who act as a liason between the breed and the Kennel Club
Consulted on matters that relate to the future of a breed, the Breed Council is where items for discussion are taken so Breed Club Secreataries can take them back to their clubs. Used properly this set up of a Breed Council is the perfect place to ensure everyone that cares about a breed can make informed and sensible decisions.
Bulldog Rescue has for a long time been one of these Observers and several members of our team are on Sub Committees including our Chairman Vicky who is coordinator of the Health Committee and myself who recently joined the education committee which is efficiently led by Lorraine Watkins.
Both these Sub Committees are increadibly hard working and between them have ensured that we have the knowledge to fight the breed haters, without this group of people there would be no health testing, no education regarding the Bad Breeding practices that goes on - especially amongst the Fad Colour breeders and there would never be any improvement when it came to breed health. Vicky regularly attends Kennel Club meetings about our Bulldogs, she attends the Brachycaphalic Working Group meetings and advices regularly on PR matters relating to our breed. Along with Leiza Handey she has worked very hard to improve the breed's health BUT it can also feel like we are banging heads because there are still many many bulldog owners out there who assume that:
a) The Breed Council is only for Show people
b) The Breed Council have no powers to make a difference
c) The Breed Council is a clique of self important people who can't change nothing
Well that opinion can only survive if you let it, as Bulldog owners it's important we help to raise awareness of the Breed Council. BDR are hopefully the bridge between the Show owners and the Pet owners because it is equally important that both sets of owners unite and support the breed we all love. Every breed can have one and each one will only be as successful as the people that support it. So .....
Please also take a moment to read this document collated by Vicky Collins Natrass: What is the function of a Breed Council for any Breed? (PDF download) which not only dispells some of these myths but goes into great detail as to what it's really all about
The Bulldog Breed Council can be found Ringside at Crufts and always have a stall at Bulldog Rescue's annual Bulldog Picnic Event.
As usual we hit the ground running. The month started with it's usual backlog created by taking time off but it was nice to be back I must admit.
We filed our usual accounts with the Charity Commission and Companies house and you can of course read those HERE (PDF download) or via the Charity Commission web site at https://apps.charitycommission.gov.uk/Accounts/Ends09/0001115009_AC_20190331_E_C.pdf
January is always a busy month and it feel like it's forever before we are any where near caught up from the Christmas Break, but of course the dogs keep on coming and during January we have had 30 requests to rehome a dog
One of the wonderful things that happened during January was the discovery that we had received almost 80 nominations for the PetPlan/ACDH annual Charity awards. We usually get around 4 or 5 so to get 80 was totally mind blowing. It's always a concern that because we work with such a contraversial breed I'm never really sure how that will dictate going forward when it comes to making the decision, but as I had to buy a new frock for the Manchester and Counties Bulldog Club Awards Evening - it would be nice to give that another airing before it finds itself sat in the wardrobe for the next 20 years.
The awards night was amazing and the committee of the Manchester and Counties really need to slap themselves on the back for the work they put into the night. Both myself and our Chairman Vicky received Lifetime Commitment awards which was absolutely wonderful and very much a suprise for us both
Congratulations to all the winners on the night, it was a lovely evening
So here's the breakdown for January
HELP US PAY OUR VET BILL: https://www.gofundme.com/f/can-you-help-fund-bulldog-rescue
DOGS HELPED TO DATE: 3384