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Lessons to be Learned from the Doodle Debacle

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102 – April 2019


So, yet another Crufts has come and gone and, unusually, this one wasn’t pre-empted by copious amounts of disparaging articles in the mainstream press all deriding the pedigree dog, the show world and its breeders.

Maybe we should actually be grateful for the mess that is Brexit, which is currently swallowing pages of precious copy and making editors far more discerning (for once) in what they do (and do not) publish.

As I wandered through the cavernous halls of Birmingham’s NEC (where Crufts is held) I detected an ebullient feeling from the dog showing community, one that had been lacking for a number of years. For the first time there seemed to be a positivity surrounding the dog showing world – a clear, forward-looking vision.

I think the years of being relentlessly attacked from all sides has definitely brought a number of differing factions within of our own community much closer together. We have realized that we must put aside petty squabbling, and have also come to the realization that, wherever we are in the world, we are all united by our love of the pedigree dog and, alongside this, we are beginning to understand our immense power – one of which is…spending power. If an advertiser (as one dog food producer recently has) capitulates to bullying pressure from the ‘anti’ to remove a pedigree dog from its advertising campaign, then we also have the ability and right to swiftly (and loudly) boycott the products concerned. Finally, people have woken up to the fact that it is only by standing strong, together, against the slurs and mistruths hurled in our direction that we will ever succeed and overcome. We have all witnessed ‘them’ come for the brachy breeds…then for the ‘short-legged breeds’…and people have quickly begun to think, who will be next? Will it be the long-coated breeds, the giant breeds…the toys? When will it be my breed? We can’t ever allow ourselves to be divided.

This was a line I constantly pushed when writing for Dog World. It certainly didn’t win me any friends within the hallowed chambers of the KC. Their way of dealing with the barrage of criticism was the old-fashioned ‘head in the sand and wait for the storm to blow over’ approach. But, of course, this is 2019 not 1919. And in today’s fast-paced world of sound bites and social media, mud quickly sticks…and to prevent its adhesion you have to fight with everything you have. We can no longer afford to put our fingers in our ears and chant, ‘sticks and stones…’. You simply have to push back against the smears and lies. Increasingly, the war is often won in the comment sections of the derogatory articles the MSM (mainstream media) publish so gleefully.

Click here to read the complete article
102 – April 2019

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  • October 2020