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Final Note on Crufts
On the Utility Group

This group really ought to be abolished and the breeds absorbed into the other groups. The Akita is a working dog, and so, indeed, are the Akita Inu, and the Shiba Inu. The Dalmatian is also a working dog - it was bred to guard carriages. Not only the toy poodle is a toy - and if the Italian Greyhound is separated off from the Whippet and the Greyhound (both in Hound) into Toy, and likewise the standard Pinscher remains working while the Minipin is in Toy, why shouldn't the Standard Poodle take its rightful place in Gundog, and the other Poodles into Toy. And if Terriers are dogs that go to ground, why is the Airedale (which doesn't) in there, and dachshunds, which do, go into 'Hound', particularly as 'hund' means 'dog', damnit!

The KC needs to rethink, and bugger the vested interests. (Yes, the Poodles are in a single group because a lot of breeders breed more than one size and it is easier if they only have to attend the show on a single day.)

In fact, the winning Standard Poodle is a nice animal, but not outstanding. Poodles develop slowly, and it may be his time will come.

On the Toy Group

How on earth can anyone tell the difference between one Bichon Frise and the other? So yet another Pamplona dog wins the Toy Group.

The Pug was a lovely lad, and that he went like a train, showing how much this breed has progressed in dealing with the breathing problems that afflict the short-faced breeds - but the same could not be said of the Peke which was plainly unable to walk at any speed, let alone run. Of course, if you bred the Peke back to the original dogs imported from China you'd end up with something very like the Tibetan Spaniel, a dog I much prefer.

Good to see the Chinese Crested (a nice dog, if a little long in the leg) pulled out.

On Best in Show.

I am in love with this judge. Not only did he pick out the two best dogs, and without fear or favour as to what was on the other end of the lead, movement plainly meant a lot, he had no time for the banana - which didn't move as well as a GSD should - and you could tell that the Fox Terrier (a breed in which he is a specialist) terrier was in trouble as he kept feeling the top line. (Sometimes, a judge will go for a breed in which he or she is an expert simply because he or she loves that breed, but it can work against a dog if a specialist notices a fault that a less experienced judge/breeder would excuse.)

Anyhow, the Flatcoat - a great example of the breed - showing superbly, and plainly enjoying every second, was a worthy winner. The little Petit Bassett Griffon Vendeen bitch showed her heart out, despite her youth, and gave the Flatcoat some competition, before coming second. The PBGV is not a breed of which I am particularly fond, but this one was lovely -- and there is no doubt that if she continues in the show ring, rather than being retired to breed, she will win Crufts in the future.

The Morefour coverage was bitty, and had too much chat, but it was nice to see every breed, for once!
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I didn't watch much of Crufts but I did see the end of the Best in Show and I agree absolutely. The flatcoat was a delight and the little PBGV bitch just made me smile every time I saw her.

Neither dog's tail stopped wagging throughout.

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