Crufts was back this year and with it Discover Dogs, which I am sure you all know is where each breed has a booth manned over the 4 days of Crufts, by owners in each breed who can answer questions from people looking to possibly welcome a dog to their family. The booths are also usually decorated with photos showing various aspects of the breed.
DD started many years ago at Crufts in a very small way, the KC realised that people were going to Crufts hoping to see a certain breed, only to find they were not there that day, so the thought was to have representative of each breed on each day, where prospective owners could also learn more about the breeds and see if the breed was the one for them. Debbie and I visited that first DD and although only a few breeds took part the first year, the idea caught on and has gone from strength to strength, in a way I do not think any one of us could have envisaged that first year. This year there were over 200 breeds for people to meet, but this would never happen without the owners who are prepared to take their dogs and give up their time to talk about their beloved breed.
A massive thank you to everyone who gave up their time and especially Lisa & Alex who were there all 4days, Lisa is now in charge of the breed booth. Jacqui Cobb and I did it for many years and it very tiring as apart from talking to all the people there is the setting up and taking down of all the photos and making sure there are enough leaflets, and then taking it all home and storing it all. Below Lisa has written about this year’s DD.
‘The Kennel Club runs Discover dogs twice a year once in March in conjunction with Crufts at Birmingham NEC and once in October at London Excel. By running these events the Kennel Club “aims to educate people in all aspects of dog ownership. It helps people to learn about the right breed for their lifestyle and how to buy from a responsible breeder, in addition to helping them find out all they need to know about caring, training, and enjoying life with their dog. It is a fun family orientated event where people can meet and greet around 200 breeds of dog” This year Buhund show day was on the same day as the first day of Crufts, so Alex and I decided to head up to Birmingham on the Wednesday night with Loki and Eris, so that we didn’t have a silly O’clock start on the Thursday morning to get there and get the Breed stand set up. We checked into our hotel which was 15 minutes away and our home for the next few days and retired for the night. Thursday morning dawned nice and sunny so fantastic for moving the stand the 10 mins walk from where we managed to park at the NEC, to the breed stand in Hall 3A in the Discover Dogs section right under the Pastoral Group Banner. We settled the dogs down and commenced set up and it wasn’t long before the first people made their way over to meet Loki and Eris. Tom and Penny soon made their way to join us with their Buhund Indy and once the dogs had re acquainted themselves with each other (they are great friends), seats were put out and we turned our focus onto the increasing numbers of people coming through The Discover Dogs section. The people who volunteer the help on the breed stands at Discover Dogs are amazing for doing so particularly this year with COVID still about. The day can be long depending on how many people are able to run the stands that day, you talk a lot and you lose your voice but at the end of the day you feel an immense satisfaction of introducing people to your breed, telling them the good, bad and the ugly and knowing that a couple of the people you talked to will go on to obtain a dog that is your breed. You are given a dog and handler pass for access, a car park ticket and get food and drink vouchers for the day, plus you will often find packs from some of the sponsors with some water and snacks for the humans and a toy and some treats for the dogs. As Alex and I have done the stand a Crufts for a few years now we have got to know some of the Kennel Club stewards, who look over the Discover Dogs section. It was lovely to see them again after a couple of years and there was some banter between us. Alex and I were on the stand all four days of Crufts this year due to various hiccups that happened in the days before Crufts and the stewards looked after us brilliantly and made sure we were ok. This year the dogs that were on the stand were Loki, Eris, Indy, Blaze, and his mum Betty, Bosun, Maisi and Teddy and Bergen were able to pop by for a bit on the Thursday. The humans included Aline and her family, Tom and Penny, Kirsty and her kids, Marie and Adam, Mary and David and Alex and me. Various people from the breed popped by to say hello when they could, and they were always enthusiastically greeted by the Buhunds. There was a large variety of visitors to the stand this year. It seems that several colleges had taken their students on a trip to Crufts. There were lots of people out for a day out and a Dog fix, people popping by Discover Dogs whilst waiting for Agility or Flyball etc to begin and people who were looking for their first or next dog. There were several couples/families that came back to the stand again a couple of times to ask for more information (some were at Crufts for a couple of days and came by each day), and it is nice to see that some of them have joined the Norwegian Buhund Forum on Facebook. My Loki is a softy and always goes flop on the floor and asks for strokes and belly rubs which endeared him to lots of children, and some were heard to say that they wanted a dog exactly like Loki which made me smile’.
Thank you, Lisa, so much, DD is so important in getting the breed better know to a wider public and I know there are several owners who first found the breed through DD. Now there are Bumbles (Buhund walks) prospective owners who have first met the breed at DD often join these so they can see the dogs in a more natural environment.
Stay safe everyone, covid numbers are on the rise.
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