If you are arranging a large event over a weekend in London, there are probably only 2 big enough venues, the O2 and the Excel. You would look for carparking and close public transport for those that do not drive, so you choose the Excel as you have had the event there before, what you would not expect was that both railway lines going to the venue would be closed with a replacement bus service, no not strike action but engineering works! for the Elizabeth Line and the DLR. How much this affected the attendance at Discover Dogs which was held over the weekend 15/16 October we will probably never know, but I know it made life difficult for a few people with their dogs that were going on Breed Booths.
Living in London apart from last year I have done DD since it started in London when it was at Earls Court, but this year in noticed a change, there were of course the breed booths and apparently more breeds than ever were on show, but the difference was the trade stands, yes there were stands selling things for your dog but not the wide variety of stands that were there in the past, and I am not sure how well the stands that were there did. Whether it is because of the economic situation and companies just cannot afford to have a stand, especially if since the pandemic they have successfully gone on line as we know one well known company has, I do not know. I was only there on the Saturday so possibly Sunday was better but the trade stand side of things was certainly much quieter, which is not good for Discover Dogs in London as it is a standalone event as opposed to DD at Crufts. I am sure it costs the KC a great deal of money to put on, apart from the hire of the Excel all the breed participants are given food vouchers for the day and a couple of free car park tickets each day which all adds up. On the positive side the breed booths were very busy all day. I went in with Debbie as she was working there so arrived as the doors opened at 8am, the general public are not allowed in till 10am,so as I have always done I helped Debbie sort out the main ring rosettes, before joining Lisa and Alex Strong who were setting up the breed booth, I am afraid my days of climbing about fixing up phots are now over and the club is very grateful to Lisa who took over setting up the breed booth both here and at Crufts several years ago, as I felt it was time to relinquish the task after my husband was taken ill and at the last minute I could not do Crufts, Lisa and husband Alex do a fantastic job, I think Lisa must have watched Blue Peter as a child as she is always s prepared for every eventuality. The weekend was covered by Lisa and Alex who had Eris and Loki, most of you know Eris black so great to be able to show a black, Paul Martin brought Ulfie all the way down from Stockton On Tees, somewhat nearer from Haringey /Barnet Julia Engstad brought 11 year old Scarlet who really enjoyed herself, Time and I did the Saturday and Marie Corin and Adam Camm with Bergen did Sunday. Thank you all so much.
I enjoy doing DD as you meet such interesting people and I feel it serves such a great service in helping people get the right dog for them, and advice can help them avoid problems with their dogs. Over the years several people have gone on to have Buhunds that they first met them at Discover Dogs, and now we have Bumbles and we encourage anyone interested in the breed to join a Bumble in their area so that they can make sure it is the breed for them, and also to join the Buhund Forum and Buddies on Face Book, again to learn more about the breed.
Visitors to DD mainly come in three categories, those that love dogs but do not have a life style to have one, so come for a doggy cuddle and fix ,those that have a dog and come to see the dogs, perhaps do a bit of doggy shopping and watch the main ring events, which was very busy with KC Agility finals and qualifiers for Crufts, Rescue Dog Agility, Flyball ,Police Dog Display, Golden Retriever Display Team, Heelwork To Music and the one I was interested in and manged to watch, The Medical Detection Dogs. Most of you know that I do scent work with Time, and the scent work competitions are based on the detection-style nose work practised daily by the medical detection, bomb explosive and custom and excise dogs. There were 4 dogs trained to indicate on different disease ignoring the diseases that were not trained for, they also showed how dogs alert their owners who might be going to have an epilepsy seizure.
The third category of visitors coming to DD are those who are looking for a dog and why DD is so important. Apart from helping people learn about a breed they are interested in particularly a numerically small breed such as ours, there are often questions that people worry about and that they have not known where to find the answer, before the pandemic it was ‘are they good with children and other animals’, now added to that ‘is does the breed suffer from separation anxiety’. Sadly, these questions show people do not understand how important socializing any puppy is whatever the breed, and why puppies that were bought in lockdown are now often suffering from separation anxiety. I explained that a few minutes training every day with a puppy can pay dividends later and you do not have to wait till it is fully vaccinated, as apart from the large breeds you can carry them so that they can learn about sights and sounds of traffic etc and they can also learn about car travel. I once had a six-month-old German Shepherd puppy brought to our training club, saying they had kept it shut in the garage ‘till it learnt how to behave’ amazingly it was quite good natured. I met so many lovely people and answered so many questions but there was one lady who was not looking for a dog as she had two rescue dogs, but was so interesting to talk to. She and her dogs were brought home during the pandemic from a country where they shoot street dogs as vermin, she had both dogs from a rescue centre in the country, one had been taken away from its mother too early and she found it very difficult to bond with, the other one had been shot in its back leg, I said oh dear with Diwali and Bonfire night coming up that must be difficult, oh no she said it does not mind bangs it just gets stressed when it starts to gets dark, as that must have been the time of the day it was shot, which shows dog do not have the same connection with things as we do. I once read a very interesting book that said it had been proved dogs think in pictures (not sure how) but certainly this dog it would appear has a picture that when it gets dark it is going to get hurt. The lady said she did not think she would ever be able to stop the dog being stressed at that time of the day.
Stay safe everyone,
Margaret Deuchar firstname.lastname@example.org
The views expressed in Margaret’s Breed Notes are hers and hers alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Norwegian Buhund Club of the UK