Why we have chosen to leave the
Leonberger Club of Great Britain
It is important to state clearly that all the information given here is solely about our experience, observations and honest opinions while being involved with the Leonberger breed for the last 9 years and why what happened during 2015 is a clear reflection of the past.
Alan and I joined the Club in 2006 when our first Leonberger, Elsa was born and we remained committed member's giving our support to fun days, charity event's, giving blood from our dog's to help research and numerous donations. We were proud to be part of the club and meeting the criteria for the code of ethics for our breeding. We had great respect for the committee who seemed to be committed people doing the best for our wonderful breed. Our opinion only changed in 2013, when there was unrest in the club and breeding morals were challenged.
The loss of some committee members allowed a group of friends to have full control of the club which enabled them their own set of rules without objection. A committee member of the LCGB had been in breach of the code of ethics for breeding. There was a petition to expel both the breeder and Sire owner which resulted in the resignation of one and a crafty quick change of ownership of the dog in question. The Sire owner who released the breeding endorsement was allowed to continue on the committee.
We attended the AGM that year and at that point, several committee members had resigned due to the above. This meant there were several places available on that committee and they were desperate for people to join. When ex friends our ours were accepted on to the committee, we knew that our membership was in jeopardy.
Also at this AGM, when discussing welfare issues, it became clear from expenses forms shown at the meeting, that some people involved in welfare ran a boarding kennel business and were taking full boarding fees from donations, for those dogs who went through welfare. I had always believed that people involved in transporting dogs from one home to another, did this on an unpaid voluntary basis. Although expenses were offered to people, most, if not all, were happy to for-go any payment from welfare funds. Whilst I agree that if a large number of dogs are to be kept in kennels, costs incurred can be seen as satisfactory but this as far as I know, was not the case. If members are willing to donate their time, fuel and expenses to help assist in the re-homing, then surely the overall policy should be, that from start to finish, it is all done voluntarily and no business should make financial gain from welfare? Just my opinion!
Alan and I have taken in several dogs who were to be rehomed over the years for which we made no charge. We will continue to do this should we be asked to rehome a dog in the future. In the case of dogs that we have bred, when they are rehomed, we accept no payment for them. A loving forever home is more important than charging a fee.
I have previously written in great detail about the poor standards that we have witnessed whilst in this breed, the poor breeding ethics and the general lack of respect for animals by some people, and not just their own dogs. On one occasion in 2008, we visited a breeder who was looking after a friends dog who was kept in a grooming room while in season. The dog had been left more than 24 hours without food or exercise. We knew the dog who was very stressed to be left alone and who had had no choice but to use her sleeping area as a toilet, a usually very clean dog who was a much loved pet by her owners. We immediately asked for the keys to release her from this horror and we took her for a walk in the fresh air. At the time, we could not have spoken about this to the owners as they were very good friends, but we did mention it to another breeder. We have since tried to make contact but they are not interested to learn that their good friend had allowed this to happen to their beloved dog.
It was also witnessed by my daughter who was working part time at the premises at this time. She refused to clean up the mess stating that if the dog had been looked after properly, she wouldn't have made so much mess. It wasn't an isolated incident either. I personally fail to accept that anyone who is capable of such cruel neglect, should be given a place on any welfare committee!
When I proved via my website that some people were very dishonest in what they had said about me, they still gained support for their actions, which says a lot about the calibre of some people in this breed. It's almost as if people are afraid that if they don't join in, they will become the next target? How ironic that in years gone by, we have supported some of these people when the hositility was aimed at them.
It would follow that even event days organised on behalf of the LCGB suddenly became an opportunity to target any puppy owner of ours who happened to attend them. We have become accustomed to this practice. Several incidents happened following a fun day, the club was now being used as a weapon against us by certain individuals and this was acceptable to the group of friends now on the committee with no one to object.
I was told by a puppy owner in 2010, that committee members were telling people over the telephone who were enquiring about puppies, to avoid certain breeders. I don't think this is acceptable and I would urge anyone who is witness to this unprofessional behaviour to report it to the LCGB and also to the Kennel Club.
This all makes the following quite hypocritic and beyond belief.
In January 2015 I received a letter from the secretary of the LCGB who wrote to me to say that there had been a complaint at the previous AGM (in our absence) and stated that something on our website was untrue? Sadly, she couldn't explain to what she referred despite two requests from me. No one had been in contact with me to ask me to remove anything on our website and I felt this a rather cowardly way of complaining.
I thought the timing of this was inappropriate and insensitive, as both Alan and I were giving my Mother end of life care at our home. One simply cannot imagine being in this dreadfully heart breaking position, without having to deal with conflict from a club secretary, I did make my feelings clear on this.
It took several weeks to get a reply, I was anxious for her to provide me evidence to which she had accused me which I took very seriously. It transpired that the secretary couldn't substantiate her earlier claims of untruth! Her apology was not accepted! I informed her that she should have been in receipt of the evidence before she wrote to me. Too eager perhaps to assist her friends? She did however send me copies of some private correspondence that I had written to two people, which every word written was truthful and could be proved as such but she claimed that I had broken the code of ethics. Both of these examples were from people very closely connected to our old friends persuring the vendetta, unsurprisingly, one even from the person who had previously killed one of our puppies. How low can these people sink?
One of the private messages that I wrote was regarding the rehoming of several dogs belonging to a committee member which I still feel is very poor for a person who prolifically rehomes their dogs and then be given a place on a committee. It is also alleged that this breeder has also rehomed two of her dogs whilst on the welfare committee which I feel is an abuse of that position. Welfare exists to help people who are in a desperate position to rehome their dog for whatever reason.
IT DOES NOT EXIST ON DONATIONS TO ALLOW BREEDERS TO GET RID OF THEIR DOGS WHEN THEY ARE UNABLE TO EARN MONEY FROM THEM.
I can only ascertain that by the actions of the club secretary, she condones these actions and is in full support of her committee members who are clearly in breach of club code of ethics. Having a litter of pups in one country while registering them in another is a clear breach of Kennel Club protocol but this is also accepted by LCGB. All of these people are her friends and she is prepared to "turn a blind eye" to the goings on inside the committee yet again. It is nothing short of sly, underhand and unprofessional to allow these people to use the club against us in their quest to continue this vendetta of old. To accept these complaints against us with the full knowledge that they are from people within that vicious group of people is very calculated and biased, she should remain impartial. If we are being discussed at club events in a derogratory way, then this is a clear case of double standards once again.
I personally expect higher moral standards than this club can provide. It is insulting to their members who know the background of some of them.
I have therefore replied to the club secretary that her mantra should read " DO AS WE SAY AND NOT AS WE DO"
I have also raised an issue with the club secretary regarding the leaking of information about entries for the LGGB Champion show which is held under Kennel Club regulations. I know of two occasions( 2010 & 2013) where people had access to this information which had allowed them to decide whether to enter with their dog at the show or not! I believe that no exhibitor should be aware of class entries before any show, for this reason, catalogues can only be purchased on the day of the show? Maybe I am wrong on this point but the club secretary failed to clarify this situation and for this reason, I thought it appropriate to write here.
We don't profess to be experts in any way and we will continue to learn as the years go by, but we have improved from our own experiences of buying puppies in the past. I will go further to say that without doubt, we have raised the bar! We are very proud to say that every single one of our dogs is a very much loved member of our family regardless of their health status; ability to breed or their ability to "earn their keep". Following six years of breeding six litters, we have made no profit from our dogs due to our expenses incurred travelling throughout Europe for excellent quality stud dogs, keeping all our older dogs and also dogs not in breeding. We have more dogs that we have not bred from as we will only breed from what we believe to be of the highest quality.
Others also claim that they do not breed for profit but then continue to charge more for their puppies? A contradiction in terms! ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS!
We will continue with our aim to provide high standards within our breeding, with no affiliation to the LCGB who should hang their heads in shame. They stand for nothing but hypocrisy in my opinion!
I am sorry for the few honest, decent people who are also on the committee or associated with them.
We will not support a club who allow what we believe to be unethical people being shielded within it.
We will not support a club who allows it's committee members to abuse the welfare to rid themselves of dogs who are commodities and not loved animals that they are supposed to be.
We will not be stopped from speaking the truth, if they thought they could silence us by sending out veiled threats, they underestimate us. They have lost our membership and those from our future puppy owners. Having previously given out Club application forms and urged our new Leo owners to join the club, we would now advise them to keep well away from this group of people who have ulteria motives with regard to anyone connected to us.
Should anyone in the near future hear anything that could be regarded as defamatory regarding us, please feel free to write to me with the details.
If I suspect that someone has been in touch with me to gain information for other people, then I will be in contact with them without reservation. I can count at least four people who have attempted a disingenuous friendship with me over the last few years, some who could not wait to pass on something that was said in confidence. I cannot understand their interest, they must have too much time on their hands if they need to know in advance what we are doing.
I firmly believe that certain people and their accomplices are responsible for two incidents in France, which led to us being let down at the last minute with both a sire and a puppy with no explanation. I believe those breeders concerned were contacted by someone in the UK and this is the reason for their very sudden change of mind.
I hope that in future, if breeders are contacted for this purpose, they will be be big enough to inform me of what is being said. I have seen dishonest social media posts and in 2015, I exposed those people on my previous Breederoo website. One of them was from someone who has never spoken a word to me, who has no personal knowledge of me, but has made many derogatory statements refering to me. Further reports of future underhand and dubious actions will be updated here if I have the evidence to back it up!
It is also very sad that people have to send me private messages of good luck, as they are worried of being castigated for their association. This shows the group bully boy mentality of a few in our breed. I also believe that others have experienced bullying from LCGB committee members who have felt the need to complain to the club.
Added February 2016
A puppy from our breeding was destroyed under a cloud of mystery. Committee members went on to sell them further Leonberger puppies, I write the facts here.
February 2017 update
On one of the social media groups recently, there was a gentleman asking for advice on recommendations for breeders. Two of our puppy owners recommended us and another kennel was mentioned from a happy client as well. These people were shot down in flames and told by one LCGB committee member and her close friend, not to mention kennel names and only to go to shows and events, meet people to ask and enquire about Leonberger breeders there. Are they using the club to promote and sell their own pups? They claimed that people would obviously be biased to whoever they got their Leo from. No, not at all, their recommendation was based on their satisfactory experience. In our opinion, it was an obvious warning to the enquirer, not to go to the breeders that had been recommended. It is with irony that we had previously purchased two dogs from the committee member, one of whom died at five years old. One breeder that we would not recommend, based on our own experience.
Another message in the same thread was from a writer after attending a fun day organised under the umbrella of the LCGB. She mentioned that she had attended a fun day in Wiltshire and while noone recommended a breeder, some discreetly advised who to steer clear of.
So this is evidence that their disgraceful behaviour of underhand tactics, bad mouthing some breeders and being in breach of their own code of ethics is still going on. They are bullies! and using the Club to hide behind yet again.
We strongly advise anyone who has experienced this unethical practice at club events, to put a complaint in writing to both LCGB and the Kennel Club.
To add to this, we are highly honoured if any of our puppy owners recommend us on any social media groups. Do not stop this or be afraid to mention us for fear of bullies, instead, write to the group moderator and complain. While we are far from perfect, we do our very best to make our puppy owners feel happy with the service that we provide as breeders. Most of our puppy requests come from recommendations or past owners who come back to us again for their next puppy. It is for this reason that our puppies are always reserved by the time that they are born and we very rarely have to advertise. This speaks volumes!
We are obviously a huge threat to some and will continue to be so for a long time yet!
Examples of sabotage: