When an experienced dog show exhibitor even thinks about getting a new breed, one of the first questions asked of the breed that they are interested in is "what is the breed community like?" Thankfully, the Hamiltonstovare breed community in America is wonderful, we all support each other and offer advice when needed. The global community is less than great. I am glad to be over 3,000 miles away from the majority of it.
The UK breed community is factioned, badly. There are very few people that are willing to put their personal biases aside and benefit the breed as a whole. Recently, I received word of 2 dogs dumped in a boarding kennel/shelter in the UK that were bred by Alice and Rolo's breeder. Immediately, I contacted the RSPCA and another UK Hamilton breeder. The contact that I received was from an independent rescue group that knew I have dealt with rescue Hamiltonstovare before. My chief concern is for those 2 dogs that are away from everything that they are familiar with and kept in a kennel environment for six months and counting. The UK breeder that I contacted has offered to pay the outstanding fees for the dogs and take them in as long as the KC registration is transferred over. If I was in that situation, I would GLADLY accept that for the well-being of the dogs. However, that could be further from the truth, the "owner" of the dogs is doing everything to stonewall the dogs from receiving the love and care that they need. Now that the majority of the breed community knows about it, the ones who are genuinely concerned have expressed it. Those associated with the "owner" are doing everything in their power to suppress any of this knowledge coming forward. This is doing more harm than good, please put differences aside and help these dogs. This is NOT a private matter, this is a matter that needs to be resolved as soon as possible. The dogs' lives should be the paramount concern instead of reputation, bad feelings, etc. At this point, I do not care who put them in there as long as they get out to somebody who knows how to rehabilitate them in a manner appropriate for the breed. Unfortunately, that is just one example of factions within the breed.
Every person is absolutely entitled to their own opinion and that opinion should be respected. However, the breed is incredibly splintered in the UK, that I am sure it does alienate owners and future owners. Most UK owners that I have talked to have expressed this to me at some point. Some differences are mild and opinion based, others are rotten. Poor sportsmanship is something that should never be tolerated in a breed community, but it happens. Jealously is a nasty green monster and some people give into that monster. When a dog wins the breed at Crufts, congratulate them instead of criticizing the dog, owner, handler, breeder on a very public forum. When people hear of dogs needing rescuing move mountains to help them instead of making excusing for the owner's horrific actions. When a dog gets injured, express your sympathies instead of blaming the owner who is already going through enough as it is. When a new breeder is proud of a litter of puppies who had a tumultuous birth, wish the breeder luck, offer educated advice and do not publicly ridicule them when you don't know half of the the story, do not wish their beloved dog's death, dog not wish terrible diseases on the puppies. When a new owner asks for paperwork that has not been delivered as promised, do not run away and hide, deliver on your promise. When an owner has gone well above and beyond expectations, it is the breeder's job to be incredibly proud of the dog and the owner, NEVER take credit for their successes that they put countless hours of work on, always encourage and motivate the owner to constantly succeed. When at a show, if you lose, graciously congratulate the winner, hug your dog and chalk it up to maybe it will be your turn the next show. Never make a winner feel so bad about winning that they are in tears and nearly shaking so bad that they can hardly compete in groups later on in the day. If your dog didn't win the breed, still stay and cheer for that breed in group competition. If a new exhibitor shows up, embrace them and treat them like old friends, instead of enemies that deserve to be destroyed. I can promise you, the Hamiltonstovare breed community is not the only breed community dealing with similar issues. If every exhibitor treated each other in a manner of respect, good sportsmanship, and in a way that they wish to be treated in return then I bet this sport would start growing again, the public perception of purebred dogs would change and our beloved breeds would be better than ever.