Failing Breed Clubs: show me the data!

At the KC AGM in May I asked for our Breed Clubs to be provided with the data to demonstrate why the Dog Show Promotion Working Party were concerned that Breed Clubs were failing and that they needed to merge or join forces with General Championship Shows.

Specifically, I asked for entry data to show Breed Club vs. General Championship Show entries and how that had changed over time.

In the absence of that data, I have collated the show entry data for Mini Smooth Dachshunds with Challenge Certificates at shows in 2005, 2010 and 2015 from the results pages of Mini Smooths have the largest Dachshund entry of the six varieties, so there is more data available to analyse and from which to draw conclusions.

The answers to the “declining show entries problem” lie in the data and they are NOT the solutions we have been presented with so far.

Highlights from my analysis:

  • 4 Breed Clubs are in the top 5 for number of entries, Crufts being highest
  • Shows held in the Midlands attract, on average, 19% higher entries than those held elsewhere in the UK
  • Entries in 2015 were, on average 14% lower than in 2010, but are at the same average per show level as in 2005
  • Breed Specialists attracted entries that were, on average for the 3 years, 17% higher than All-rounders
  • Once the Crufts entry effect is removed, Breed Club shows attract, on average, 30% higher entries than General Championship shows
  • For the 3 years, Breed Specialists had 81% (4 in 5) of the appointments; All-rounders had 19% (1 in 5)
  • The East of England is under-represented by shows with CCs for Mini Smooths
  • Despite the perception that entries have declined significantly in recent years, the data shows that the right judge could attract good entries at any show, in any of the 3 years
  • Contrary to the perception that All-rounders draw poorer entries at Breed Club shows, the choice of the right All-rounder can actually draw a higher entry than a Breed Specialist
  • Shows in Scotland, the North East, South West and Wales all attract bigger entries when they appoint Breed Specialists
  • For shows held in the Midlands, General Championship shows attract higher entries when they appoint Breed Specialists
  • For shows held outside the Midlands, once the Crufts effect is removed, Breed Club shows attract 27% higher entries than the General Championship Shows

A similar analysis for the other Dachshund varieties might show different results, but I simply don’t have the time to do this for all 6 varieties. The other breeds being targeted by the KC might also find different results.

My biggest concern is that Breed Clubs are being “challenged” to do things without ANY data to support the arguments. The Kennel Club is data rich; they have all the show entry data. We need to see the data and the analyses to support a definition of the “Breed Club problem”.

Download my full analysis, here. I acknowledge that I don’t have the full set of data for the three years (there are gaps for 2005) and my classification of Breed Specialist vs. All-rounder may be flawed. One of my favourite quotes is “Prejudice is a great time saver; it enables you to form opinions without having to gather the facts“. Based on the available data, I have presented the facts as I see them.

Average entries by show type, by year:

Average entries by show type and judge type:


Average entries by show and judge type:


Shows held in the Midlands (inc. Crufts):


Shows held outside the Midlands:



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