Not a bad idea at all

The Kennel Club appreciate that a lot of younger children these days aren’t from dog owning families and there parents aren’t sure how to introduce them to dogs so are introducing The Rufus Club.

“Welcoming children from newborns up to 6 year olds, the Rufus Club promises to be the perfect place to introduce young members of the family to the wonderful world of dogs. It aims to encourage children from an early age to play safely with their dogs and find out about all the activities they can do together.

Vanessa McAlpine, Events and Education Executivefrom the Kennel Club said: “We are very excited to launch the Rufus Club at this year’s Crufts. We are regularly asked by parents how their young children can get involved and until now we have only had the Young Kennel Club which is for youngsters aged 6-24. Crufts is the perfect place to interact with dog loving families and we hope everyone will be as excited about the new club as we are.”

The cost of membership of the Rufus Club is only £8 per year and those joining will receive a welcome letter, free gift, Fetch magazine, poster, stickers and activity sheets, as well an activity and education pack which will be sent after six months’ membership to keep them up to date.”

Excellent present for any children or grandchildren

22 thoughts on “Not a bad idea at all

  1. Great!
    More clueless brats turning up at Crufts with their equally clueless parents.
    What is needed is a handout at the door and huge signs telling them how to, or not to, approach a dog and that small children should be under control at all times.

  2. I think it’s a splendid idea and above all we should educate them.. as future breederprospect to learn from the mistakes of the past….

    The Council of Europe and breed standards 1987!
    In 1987 the Council of Europe agreed a European Convention for the Protection of Pet Animals (European Treaty SeriesNo. 125), which recognised the issue of breed-related disorders in Article 5:

    Article 5 – Breeding: Any person who selects a pet animal for breeding shall be responsible for having regard
    to the anatomical, physiological and behavioural characteristics which are likely to put at risk the health and
    welfare of either the offspring or the female parent.37
    18 European countries have signed and ratified the Convention: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech, Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Norway, Portugal, Romania, Sweden, Switzerland and Turkey. Of these countries, eight signed and ratified the Convention with ‘reservations’ exempting them from certain articles, but none of them exempted themselves from Article 5 on breeding.
    A further two countries (Italy and the Netherlands) signed the Convention in 1987 but have not subsequently ratified it and Azerbaijan signed the Convention in 2003 but has not ratified it.
    The UK is not a signatory.38
    In 1995 a Multilateral Consultation by the signatories to the Convention passed a detailed Resolution on breeding.
    The Resolution has no binding legal force but consists of recommendations aimed at facilitating the implementation
    of Article 5 of the Convention. In essence, this calls for dog and cat breeding associations to revise their breed standards and breeding policy in order to eliminate a number of breed-related disorders and ‘extreme characteristics detrimental to the health and welfare of the animals’. The Resolution states that the signatories are
    ‘Convinced that these problems are related for a large part to the way breeding standards are formulated and interpreted.’
    The signatories further agreed,26
    ‘If these measures are not sufficient, to consider the possibility of prohibiting the breeding and for phasing out the exhibition
    and the selling of certain types or breeds when characteristics of these animals correspond to harmful defects such as those
    presented in the Appendix.’
    The breed characteristics that the Resolution considers sufficiently harmful they need to be changed are:
    Extremes of size (large or small)
    Extreme shortness of skull and nose
    Extremes of back length compared to leg length
    Bowed or abnormally positioned legs
    Abnormally deep set or protruding eyes
    Excessively long ears
    Skin folds
    Other extreme physical abnormalities such as hairless animals
    The Appendix to the Resolution sets out the following guidelines for the revision of breeding policies. The points
    raised by these guidelines are so important for the improvement of pedigree dog health and welfare that it is worth
    reproducing them in full: 26
    ‘The Parties strongly encourage cat and dog breeding associations to revise their breeding policies in the light of Article 5
    of the Convention taking account in particular of the following guidelines:
    Guidelines for the revision of breeding policies:
    • set maximum and minimum values for height or weight of very large or small dogs, respectively, to
    avoid skeleton and joint disorders (e.g. dysplasia of hip joints or elbows, fractures, luxation of elbow
    or patella, persistent fontanella) and collapse of trachea;
    • set maximum values for the proportion between length and height of short-legged dogs (e.g.
    Bassethound, Dachshund) to avoid disorders of the vertebral column;
    • set limits to the shortness of skull, respectively nose, so that breathing difficulties and blockage of
    lachrymal ducts are avoided, as well as disposition to birth difficulties (e.g. Persian cats, especially
    the “extreme type”, Bulldogs, Japan Chin, King Charles Spaniel, Pug, Pekin Palacedog);
    prevent the occurrence of:
    • a persistent fontanella (e.g. Chihuahua) to avoid brain damages;
    • abnormal positions of legs (e.g. very steep line of hind legs in Chow Chow, Norwegian Buhund,
    Swedish Lapphund, Finnish Spitz; bowed legs in Basset Hound, Pekin Palace dog, Shi Tzu) to avoid
    difficulties in movement and joint degeneration;
    • abnormal positions of teeth (e.g. brachygnathia in Boxers, Bulldogs, Persian Cats) to avoid difficulties
    in feeding and caring for the newborn;
    • abnormal size and form of eyes or eyelids (e.g. ectropion: Bassethound, Bloodhound, St. Bernard;
    small deep lying eyes with disposition to entropion: Airedale Terrier, Australian Terrier, Bedlington
    Terrier, Bullterrier, Bloodhound, Chow Chow, English Toy Terrier, Jagdterrier, Newfoundland, Shar
    Pei; large, protruding eyes: Boston Terrier, Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Dandie Dinmont Terrier,
    Brussels Griffon, Japan Chin, King Charles Spaniel, Pug, Pekin Palacedog, Shi Tzu, Tibet Terrier) to
    avoid irritation, inflammation and degeneration as well as prolapse of eyes;
    • very long ears (e.g. English Cocker Spaniel, Basset Hound, Bloodhound) to avoid disposition to
    • markedly folded skin (e.g. Basset hound, Bulldog, Bloodhound, Pug, Pekin Palacedog, Shar Pei) to
    avoid eczemas and in the case of furrows around the eyes irritation and inflammation of eyes;
    avoid or, if it is not possible to eliminate severe defects, discontinued breeding of:
    • animals carrying semi-lethal factors (e.g. Entlebucher Cattledog);
    • animals carrying recessive defect-genes (e.g. homozygotic Scottish Fold Cat: short legs, vertebral
    column and tail defects)
    • hairless dogs and cats (lack of protection against sun and chill, disposition to significant reduction of
    number of teeth, semi-lethal factor)
    • Manx-cat (movement disorder, disposition to vertebral column defects, difficulties in elimination of
    urine and faeces, semi-lethal factor)
    • cats carrying “dominant white” (significant disposition to deafness);
    • dogs carrying “Merle factor” (significant disposition to deafness and eye disorders, e.g.: Blue Merle
    Collie, Merle Sheltie, Merle Corgie, Merle Bobtail, Tigerdogge, Tigerteckel).
    The breeds mentioned in brackets are only examples in which these problems may occur.’
    The participants who agreed the Resolution were veterinarians representing the following Parties to the
    Convention: Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Portugal, Sweden and Switzerland. Representatives of Italy, the
    Netherlands, Czech Republic, France, Hungary and the USA participated as observers (not being Parties to the
    Convention). The UK (not a Party to the Convention) did not participate. Organisations that participated in the role of
    expert observers included the European Pet Organization, the Federation of Veterinarians of Europe, the International
    Cynologic Federation, the World Cat Federation, the International Feline Federation and The Governing Body of the
    Cat Fancy, among others. The participating organisations did not include any of the Kennel Clubs of European
    12. Conclusions and recommendations
    This report has shown that current practices of pedigree dog breeding have created serious problems for the welfare of many dogs and for their owners. The problems have arisen because breeding goals have been, and too often still
    are, based on the dog’s appearance rather than on its health.
    Breeding that aims for all dogs in the breed to approximate to the ‘Breed Standard’ in appearance has led to a situation where there are several hundred predisposed and inherited diseases and abnormalities that are known to
    affect pedigree dogs. These include joint deformities and arthritis, eye disease, skin disease, heart and respiratory conditions, and knee and back problems, many of these causing pain, distress or disability to the dog, often leading
    to premature death or euthanasia. These man-made conditions represent an enormous burden of ill-health and suffering for dogs and financial cost for dog owners. These health problems have been caused by two related practices. Breed standards often require dogs to have
    physical characteristics that can be considered to be close to physical abnormalities and in themselves cause health problems for the dog. Common examples of detrimental features required by breed standards are: a very short face and nose; a disproportionately long back and short legs; loose skin, wrinkles and skin folds; excessively bulging or deep set eyes; excessively long ears and hair; extremes of size (small or large). The related practice of inbreeding greatly restricts the gene pool for the breed and increases the likelihood of puppies inheriting deleterious genes and
    suffering from inherited disease.
    The veterinary profession and the Kennel Club (UK) have long been aware of the problems and have set up voluntary health schemes to screen dogs for inherited hip and elbow disease, eye disease and some other conditions
    where DNA tests are available. The screening schemes allow breeders and other pedigree dog owners to avoid breeding from unhealthy dogs. Other breed societies support screening for particular inherited diseases. While
    welcome, these tests are not compulsory, thus reducing their effectiveness. Advocates for Animals believes that many veterinary practitioners are concerned about the health and welfare implications of pedigree breeding but feel unable to voice these concerns in public, since a large proportion of the dogs they treat are pedigrees.
    Advocates for Animals believes that the following steps should be taken to reverse the damage done by inappropriate pedigree breeding and to improve the welfare of dogs:
    • The UK should sign and ratify the European Convention on Pet Animals and take steps to implement Article 5 of the Convention, taking into consideration the guidelines recommended in the 1995 Resolution on breeding of the Multilateral Consultation on the Convention (see
    Section 9.0 above). This would substantially modify extreme breed standards.
    • The Kennel Club and other breed societies should require compulsory screening of dogs for known breed-related disorders before any dog is used for breeding. Registration of puppies
    should be made dependent on health screening of parent dogs, with appropriate certification and endorsement of their pedigree records.
    • Breeders should make the primary goal of their breeding policies the functional health of the dogs in their breed, and this aim should be reflected in the criteria for selection of dogs for
    In addition, Advocates for Animals believes that veterinarians and members of the public also have an important role to play in the improvement of dog health and welfare.
    • We urge veterinarians to be proactive in their approach to the welfare problems caused by pedigree dog breeding, both within the profession and with the general public, and to educate owners and potential owners of pedigree dogs about the issues raised in this report.
    • We urge members of the public not to support current pedigree dog breeding practices and therefore to avoid buying pedigree dogs from breeders or attending pedigree dog shows.
    • We urge everyone who is thinking of becoming a dog owner to choose to give a home to a mixed breed dog from a rescue centre, or to a pedigree dog from one of the many breed rescue organisations.

  3. Woody,
    Quite apart from the hidden agenda of the organisation you quoted, what does that have to do with today’s topic?

      • “• We urge members of the public not to support current pedigree dog breeding practices and therefore to avoid buying pedigree dogs from breeders or attending pedigree dog shows.
        • We urge everyone who is thinking of becoming a dog owner to choose to give a home to a mixed breed dog from a rescue centre, or to a pedigree dog from one of the many breed rescue organisations.”
        So where are any Glen of Imaals going to come from?

  4. I thought we as dog owners are thier to help people im glad more people come thats why i enjoy discover dogs so much you can get so much out of it and the visitors look and learn well done KC. Yes people should know how to approach dogs and some owner need to discipline thier spoilt and badly trained dogs.Thier is a snobbery amongst some show people toward ordinary dog owners and the general public why i dont know some of the worst trained dogs and bad tempered dogs ive ever seen have been show dogs and 80% of the most pig ignorant and rude dog owners ive met are again show people.
    The im better than you brigade you never see them at discover dogs unless its a flying visit and are instead always at the benches or around the ring. I must be honest i dont want them at discover dogs or at the game fairs thats just my own personal opinion they would ruin the atmosphere and camardrie we have. We are there to show the breed to the public and try and answer questions to the best of are ability and show that dogs are there to be enjoyed. I welcome the idea if properly organised and ask anyone who wish to come and enjoy our dogs to come to discover dogs,CLA game fair or WM game fair and we will make the children (not brats) and thier parents most welcome were we try and answer your questions and help.
    All Rufus club member will be made most welcome at the Glen of Imaal terrier stand at Crufts and the game fairs.

    • I personally think you boys are talking a lot of sense, education that’s what it’s all about.

  5. An interesting selection of comments (Woody keeping things shorter will help a lot) but I think everybody is saying the same thing. Sue has worded very badly and Steve has indulged himself with his strange belief of “them & us” but aren’t you both saying the same?
    A lot of children are brats now. Their parents seem incapable, or not inclined, to correct them at all and they rule the roost. Should that sort of offspring (or parent) have anything to do with a dog at all, never mind in the extremely stressful enviroment of the NEC?
    Respectful children are always welcome everywhere and hopefully the Rufus Club will emphasis that the first thing you do around dogs is speak to the owner and then continue…..not scream up to the dog because that is what you want to do and if you want to do it nobody will stop you! We all know brats (not children) that are like that.
    For once the KC has had a good idea but not too sure if Crufts is quite the right place to launch it but where else could it be?

    • I don’t think Mr Holmes has indulged himself at all. He was saying what he thinks as was Sue, even though i strongly disagree with her point of view.
      Regards Glenn

  6. Worded much better Liz.

    Crufts is the last place to invite totally non doggy families. The crowds & proximity of the dogs to small people is a potentially risky situation.

    Maybe a smaller event would be a more sensible venue.

  7. I wasnt indulging myself Liz i was giving an honest opinion and i stand by every word i said a personal opinion.

  8. One thing i will make clear im not going on about glen people on DD and shows i mean all breeds with some smaller terriers and collies (show) and some spaniels being the worst. Again a personal opinion the glen people on the whole are a fairly decent bunch.

  9. What about the parents? A college girl (in the same ward as me in hospital recently) got chatting to me about her lively young dog cocker/poodle =cockerpoo? She was asking me for tips on coming to call. As he was food orientated I recommended a tub of ‘coachies’ only 1 cal so he wouldn’t put on weight. She lives with her parents in the country and Mum seemed ‘over protective’. Dad visited and said my advice was already working. When Mum visited the next day, realising I had pedigree dogs asked me what I thought of designer dogs. I was polite for once and gave my stock reply, “of course you could get a double whammy if there is a genetic problem in each breed” Then horror of horrors she went on to say that of course she wasn’t a dog person AND DIDN’T TOUCH IT! She doesn’t interact with this dog at all! Daughter and Dad are the only family members who feed, exercise etc. (didn’t dare ask whether Mum was at home with the dog on her own all day) The sooner the daughter moves out with her dog the better as he is already dominating Mum.
    Just down the road from us lives a family with two children in a cottage opposite a farm.The boy is now 12 & the girl 14. Ever since they were tiny they have disliked dogs, horses etc and this comes from Mum. We have more horses than folk in our village sometimes what with racing stables and being a regular venue for the local hunt. I believe this family have goldfish! Why live in the country? Parents often pass on their phobias to their offspring which denies their family the pleasure of sharing their lives with animals. The KC needs to gain the genuine support of both parents in this new venture. It’s a good idea in principle but not at Crufts!

    • To the point…short version
      Every marketeer knows that children are the shortest,easiest and fasted way to their parents wallets. And there are a lot. At 8 pounds a head…..and i bet, loads of ‘RUFUS stuff’ will become
      ‘for sale’ generating a nice flow of income for the KC. What will the KC do with this money?

      The devils advocate

  10. Mrs Q thier are people around like that but and i can only speak for myself 95% of people who come to DD and the game fairs are really nice people who show commonsense and discipline thier children i so dislike the term “kids”they are not goats. Thier are a small proportion whos children arent up to scratch but one look from Jan, Mrs.Atkin, Mrs Smith, Mrs.Penny or Ms.Garner has them in thier place and i will ask them na tell them to behave mind you its the parents who are at fault they need to use a mirror. This is the time to educate all visitors how to approach dogs especally children and tell them about glens and let people see they are not cairns or westies and show them the power of the breed and its true size.
    A number of people do change thier minds when the see them in the flesh “oohh they are a lot bigger and stronger than i thought” and some go the other way and fall in love and decide thier the dog for me. The Rufus club on the whole i imagine will be supported by dog/animal families and they tend to come to crufts and game fairs its great to see you children enjoying your dogs .
    DD isnt for everyone thats why it tends to be the same people on the Glen stand. I again speaking personally find its the more family ,children orientated people who do it if you read the response here it tends to bear this out though i dont know Glenn.

    • We certainly agree on one point Stephen, children are children and not kids. I detest this misuse which I presume is now in modern dictionaries!

  11. I have read the report i for one am glad we have not signed up to this euro-quango again big brother some unelected faceless body telling us how to live our lives. I find it quite funny the rspca get a mention an organisation which is rabidly anti-hunting yet wants working terriers/hounds bred fit for function !. An organisation which shoots dogs with captive bolt pistols that is illegal by the way and puts them down unlike the Dogs trust. When i want thier advice i will ask for it i am against breeding for extremes Dirk but some of the statements made were scaremongering and not based on any independent figures. Lets take one of the openers that when a person buys a pedigree pup the are buying a quality dog which is fit and healthy then states “this is often far from the truth” . Based on what figures none given and that statement isnt alone if you read it through it can be pulled apart “Many dogs end up in sanctuaries with the likes of the rspca paying vets bills”.Really based on what figures and how many mongrels end up in dogs homes !.
    Dirk how many is many ? they dont say no figures no facts just sweeping statements A for A are quite a mild animal rights group compered to many but where are the facts Dirk ?. I think dogs should be bred fit for function i do you only need to look at the working Basset hound and compere it to the show dogs to see what has happened. Is legislation the way forward though and shouldnt it be based on facts. When i met you in the UK you saw a wheaten bitch pup of mine and you told me it would never have a hard coat because you could tell by its puppy coat.”Oh no no no no you said” well Dirk its got a very hard coat because i knew the breeding of the dog. Thats something you get through breed knowledge of your dogs not from a book,computer or website .The same goes for faceless EU groups you work with people use the carrot you work with thier knowledge to improve things together you dont just hit them with a stick.
    On fit for function have you ever worked a Glen to ground do you plan too? have you seen how inbred some working terriers are check some old glen and wheaten pedigrees . Dirk i know you mean well but read that report again and give me %age figures real facts and figures are what count .

  12. real facts……..
    Two weeks ago a clubmember breeder(bull type dog) had to euthanise (by a veteranary) the hole litter of 5 pups.
    Causes: combined DERMOID SINUS & PALATOSCHISIS. Some breeds already cumulate inherited
    diseases. Those who have the best info on the issue are vets dont’ you think?
    Normaly i NEVER, NEVER, NEVER……. get personal on a blog but… because you specificaly ask for it:
    The fluffy coat pups you are talking about where not yours’….you took me elswhere..remember.
    I didn’t buy a pup from your litter ‘at that moment’ for a complete different reason.
    You asked me to the man why, i gave you my clear opinion…and hope you took it, as an ‘advice’. Didn’t i?

  13. Dirk Im asking you about the A for A report and the statements made im with you on alot of things but the A for A report needs to give facts with figures to make any impact.

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