Crufts is over now, (boo!) but I still have lots of photos to get through! Day 3 was my last day (so there wont be lots of pics of gundogs from day 4, unfortunately) I could only stay half a day, but it was the turn of the toy and utility breeds. More utilities than toys, mostly cos that’s where I was walking through. Plus, I love the variety in the utility group! I did meet some cute little toys though.
I always used to wonder what exactly ‘utility’ meant in terms of dog breeds. I think of it as the dogs that don’t fit anywhere else. The Kennel Club says the utility group is dogs bred for a specific, but non sporting or hunting purpose and indeed, this year the Kooikerhondje got moved from gun dog to utility as although it was used to hunt ducks, it was used to attract them instead of help hunt them. It also seems that breeds like the bulldog and poodle, who originally had one purpose but no longer ‘work’ are in this group too. It fascinates me reading their origins.
I’ll admit, I love a specific type of dog. I like them with a stick out muzzle and preferably to be fluffy (no surprises there). I’m not fond of brachycephalic breeds, for mostly ‘my taste’ reasons but also for the health implications that seem to follow. Breeds that are particularly popular like pugs and bulldogs, I just don’t ‘get’. Bulldogs as a breed (and many other breeds) have a long way to go before they could be deemed anywhere near ‘healthy’ and a large part of that change needs to come from people not desiring them to look as they currently do.
However, I can be won over by most any dog and this guy was so adorable. He barrelled in to me and demanded scritches on his back. I can totally see why people like them so much. He was on the discover dogs stand and doing a really good job being an ambassador for his breed and his stand talked a lot about health and breeding programmes.
Now back to some fluffies.
Of course Ricky the poodle won Best in Show and has generated a lot of interest in his ‘do. I do wish they didn’t poof them up quite so much, if only because so many of the dogs (not just poodles) looked a bit bored, they really clearly love being in the ring, strutting their stuff, but I bet not many love the endless grooming.