Our 2018 Crufts Experience

Breeders have many goals when they begin their journey with their chosen breed. For us our goal is to always promote what we felt was the perfect Staffordshire Bull Terrier for US – we don’t place personal value on the success or failures in a show ring but rather we appreciate each experience for what it is. For some breeders or owners who show their dogs a ribbon and a brag is all it means to them. They center their own personal self worth on the opinions of others. That’s never been the case for us. Showing and performing with our Staffords is something we do for the enjoyment and experience alone.

We wanted to be able to show our own home bred dogs at several big venues – attending parent club National Specialty shows, Eukanuba National Dog show, Westminster KC, UK CH shows and Crufts! We can now say we have done all of that! Bucket list dreams can be check off!

We recently returned from showing Marina at Crufts in Birmingham England where she was entered in the Open bitch class. There were 33 bitches in her class. Many of them were UK Champions and almost all were well worthy of being considered top in the breed. It is our opinion that even the worst Staffords in the rings on that green carpet were far closer to our breed standard than most of the top Staffords in the USA. Looking around at the 100’s of Staffords qualified and entered that day it was difficult to fault the majority of them, especially in fitness and temperament.

Proudly, Marina held her own. She looked like she belonged…and she did belong. Marina has qualified at all but one qualifying show she was entered in here at home. This is possibly a record as the most Crufts qualified American bred Stafford. If nothing else this shows consistency. In fact, we have bred four Staffords who have qualified for Crufts at least once. We don’t regard this achievement as a personal measure of self worth, but rather as a measure of success in meeting the goals we set for ourselves when we decided to breed Staffords. In this respect we have done all that we set out to accomplish. If we stop today, we feel we have been a success.

Marina enjoyed the time on the green carpet immensely, “boofing” and carrying on, wagging and posing for all ringside. She was a crowd favorite for sure. Our bitch judge on the day was Paul Stanway and he was an excellent judge. We felt we got our moneys worth for sure. He did write down her number which is a good sign, but we did not place. That’s totally fine with us considering the high standards he was faced with selecting from. The bitches who did place were well worthy! Below are some photos from the day….one which we will never forget.

Photo by Linda McCulloch
Photo by Olga Kruglova
Photo by Olga Kruglova

Not everyone loves Staffords

When filling out applications or interviewing for a Stafford puppy do not be surprised if breeders may ask you a LOT of questions which you may find a bit personal. Please keep in mind that they are asking these questions to make sure the puppy they sell to you is going to be living in the best situation possible for its entire life.
 
They may ask you questions about your home owners insurance or your home owners association or local legislation pertaining to dogs. Too often we find that breeders did not find out until after a dog is in a new home and perhaps has gotten itself in trouble that there are breed specific ordinances or outright bans directed at Staffordshire Bull Terriers. 
 

Be willing to answer the questions honestly, and also prepare questions for the breeder. The more open and honest the communication before the sale the better for everyone involved.

We get emails all the time from people all over and one of the first things we ask is where do you live and will the new puppy be living at this residence with you full time. If you travel to another location and your Stafford will be joining you, we need to know this as well. All too often we get Staffords back into rescue due to either breeders not asking about these things or excited new owners afraid to tell all and later its discovered that Staffords are not allowed. Remember, if they do not allow ‘pit bulls’ then chances are high Staffords are also not allowed no matter how many times you show them AKC paperwork proving they are Staffordshire Bull Terriers.

If you find yourself in a similar situation, or ever have any issues with your Stafford, please always contact your breeder. Most breeders want to help and be involved. They will be more likely to help guide you and find the needed resources to assist. If your breeder can’t, or won’t help you then contact the breed parent club through the AKC or a local or regional club may also be a good resource.
However, please save everyone heartache and headache and if you cannot legally own a Stafford please get another breed or move to a place you can. Research the breed you want and do your homework first.

Ethical Breeder

I borrowed this from the English Setter club Code of Ethcis and I feels strongly it should apply to EVERY breeder and breed club:

“I am the caretaker not only of the individual dog but of the reputation and welfare of the breed as a whole.”

“It is incumbent upon me to set the example of each dog being individually cherished but only the physically and temperamentally sound being bred.”

“I accept the premise that if I breed a litter those dogs are my responsibility throughout their lifetime.”

 

To read the full article where I read this please go to:

An argument for ethical dog breeders

Sportsmanship seems lost on some

Let’s play a game. Here is an easy quiz we would love for you to take. It should be super easy for most of you, and for at least ONE person, should sound very familiar.

​1. When ringside mentoring,  conducting a breed seminar, showing your own dog or spending time ringside which of the following activities are to be considered acceptable, constructive and conducive to improving the judge education​, spectator​ and exhibitor ​experience:

(A) Loudly pointing out your opinions of faults of dogs in the ring while ignoring virtues

(B) Sharing photos of your own dog with judges saying “This is the nicest ____ you will ever see

(C) Trashing dogs and exhibitors in the ring verbally while pointing at them

(D) Badmouthing the names, dogs and kennels of other exhibitors to anyone who will listen including fellow judges

(E) Verbally accosting a judge and disparaging their decisions

(F) Loudly protesting the judging procedures and decisions while ringside and expressing these opinions to the judge

(G) Entering a ring during judging to disparage procedures or results

(H) Storming away from a ring saying unkind opinions loudly enough for those around you to hear

(I) Inserting photos of your own dogs, and those of your friends into an illustrated breed standard while inferring that this is the official version approved by the parent club members

(J) Calling fellow judges and/or exhibitors ‘idiots’ within earshot of said fellow judges and/or exhibitors

(K) Storming out of the ring while wildly yanking your dogs collar when you lose

(L) Accusing another exhibitor of ‘screwing you out of a win’ if they are in the group

(M) Literally counting entries out loud ringside to see how many points your dog will accumulate before judging, therefore assuming all other entries only showed up to add points to your own dogs assumed win

(N) Adding and removing their name from his dogs entries depending upon what was being offered that show – OH or BBE for instance.

(N) Telling the judge who awarded a dog a big win that they have ‘made a grave error’ while the owner is standing there proudly waiting for a prestigious win photo

(O) After losing yanking the heck out of their dog and wagging a finger at the judge telling them something to the effect of ‘I’m re-writing the breed standard and you had better learn it’

(P) All of the above

(Q) None of the above

​If you answered (Q) None of the above – you are correct! ​Unfortunately, however, ALL of the above has occurred and is documented as actual continuous behavior by an AKC parent club BOD member.

It’s high time this is stopped. Too many times over the years a blind eye has been turned, or a slap on the hand is given to their un-sportsmanlike behavior. Not only is their behavior rude, unethical, distasteful and off-putting, but also against the AKC Code of Sportsmanship, parent club Code of Ethics and is a recurring topic of conversation after shows. Some people are laughing at them behind their back, others are very hurt by their words and actions. I do not feel they really realize what they sounds like. If they did I wonder if that would change this behavior or if they feels it is acceptable. My feelings are that this person feels beyond reproach. They feel strongly that they are somehow righteous.

Club members, people in other breeds, aspiring judges, accosted judges and non participating visitors have all witnessed and/or been the focus of this behavior for far too long. Its time to put an end to this now. I highly doubt most people who know this person have been made aware of how long this has been continuing, how many years they have acted in this manner and how many times they have been asked to please refrain from this behavior or how many judges and members have complained.

It used to be a little sad, but now its beyond that and bordering on requiring an AKC formal complaint to be filed. It is an embarrassment to our breed and to those who work hard for the success of the shows.

Speak out when you see things such as this happen. Dont say somebody else will – hearsay is not what will work but if you witness this please speak out and tell the truth or nothing will ever change.

Enough is enough.