Opinion: How dog shows got me hooked

Joanne Sanderson

Joanne Sanderson

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My father was in the RAF and we moved every three years, a mixture of living in Wales, Germany and various places in England eventually settling in Whitby in 1980.

Due to moving around, I was never allowed a dog but now settled I quickly took the opportunity to get my first dog, a Dobermann. I loved being out with her whether it be down the beach, on the moors or in the woodland.

My passion for the breed got stronger and I currently have three Dobermanns. In the last five years I have been showing two of them.

Hugo, a brown and rust male Dobermann who is now five and a half years old really got me hooked on showing, he was very successful as a puppy winning Best Puppy In Breed at both Championship and Open Shows, also taking Best Puppy In Show at Open Shows.

By the time he was just two and a half years old, he had gained his title of UK Champion, only five Dobermanns throughout the UK gained their title that year. One of my proudest moments was when Hugo won Best Dog at Crufts 2015.

Hugo has also been a successful stud dog with many of his progeny having great success in the show ring. I also have Asia who is a daughter of Hugo. She too is proving to be very successful, at just six and a half months old, at her first show she won Best Puppy In Breed at a Championship show, a month later she was awarded first in her class at Crufts.

She has won her way out of classes, and now just about maturing enough to be challenging for top awards so looking forward to showing her in 2017. Showing takes me the length and breadth of the UK most weekends competing in either Championship Shows or Open Shows, fortunately the manager and staff at Dunsley Hall, where I work in the front of house reception team, allow me to work my shifts around my shows.

Furthering my hobby, I have attended all the relevant seminars which now allows me to judge the Dobermann at Open shows and in the near future I will be able to judge at Championship level.

I am also on the committee of the North Eastern Counties Dobermann Society which holds two shows a year with up to 150 Dobermanns being exhibited per show.

My dogs also to go to Stockton every four months where they donate blood to the Pet Blood Bank UK and were some of the first dogs to do so. The blood donated is used within 48 hours and it is in great demand, so not only are my dogs my best friends, great show dogs but also life savers!

We love to walk down the country lanes and through the woods, beside the coast the what could be better than calling into Dunsley Hall for a nice cream scone and hot pot of tea by the log burner.