Crufts Dog Show: Flatcoated Retriever “Best in Show”

by Mary Haight on March 13, 2011

This lovely black Flatcoated Retriever from Edinburgh won ” Best in Show” at Crufts 120th year anniversary dog show on Sunday. “Jet” was simply the best of the more than 21,000 dogs entered in the  four-day competition held in Birmingham.

Pete Wedderburn, vet and writer, had a great article in the Telegraph, noting some of the positive changes made over the past couple of years that showing  improvement:

The much heralded “Mate Select” system is now available, providing an on-line “dating” service that allows breeders to select the most distantly related mating couples. This promises to be a highly effective tool that will minimise the in-breeding that has led to so many problems with inherited disease. Even Jemima Harrison, one of the Kennel Club’s fiercest critics, agrees that this is a tremendous step forwards.

Wedderburn goes on to say that the Kennel Club “claims” (here’s a background post on the subject of Jemima Harrison’s Pedigree Dogs Exposed documentary) it has changed the way they judge the appearance of dogs, to better exhibit “health and function” over any superficial demands to achieve a preferred look or profile.  And they may have achieved some strides in this area, but not across the board. There is a photo in his article you should see of a Neopolitan Mastiff who looks like he can’t see due to very droopy eyelids.

Change comes slowly, but it seems to be making some headway – a very good thing for Crufts, the biggest dog show in the world.

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Raw Dog Food System
Raw Dog Food System

I love watching shows like this. It's just sad to know sometimes that old dogs still participate in contests. I hope this black Flatcoated Retriever is feeling awesome right now.


I'm impressed that a 10 year old dog won Crufts! He also has an extremely low coefficient of inbreeding, 1.2%, compared to the 34.9% COI of the English Setter that won the Breed class, that is very good! I checked out the Neo Mastiffs in the article that you suggested. I've never understood the appeal of that breed. All those wrinkles, it's just gross.


It's hard for me to watch dog shows any more because of some of the health issues that have come about in the name of breed standards.

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