Dear Readers,

When you read this Editorial, the Société Royale Saint-Hubert will have organised the 2016 FCI European Section Show in Brussels.

More than 12,000 participating dogs have entered this prestigious event !!! Isn’t it amazing? It depends on how you look at those figures! It’s amazing “per se” as such an entry places the 2016 FCI European Section Show among the top 3 of all the FCI Section Shows ever. It’s amazing because the World has been going and turning somewhat wrong lately but still, exhibitors and breeders do want to live their passion for dogs and keep taking part in all kinds of canine events, be it shows or sport competitions. We do thank and congratulate them for that.

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Yves De Clercq
FCI Executive Director
Day of the Dog
Great events throughout the country

Mudflat hiking, water games or pulling loads. Exhibitions, reading or radio shows. A small Chihuahua or XXL mastiff. Almost everything associated with Germany’s favourite pet could be seen and experienced on the Day of the Dog. A full programme. All over the country. It was a huge success for the organiser, the VDH (German canine organisation), which expressed its sincere gratitude to all of those involved for their commitment.

Many people had been waiting for it for several months, with some really longing for it. Then, on the weekend of 4-5 June, it was finally time, with dog-lovers meeting together throughout Germany to celebrate their four-legged friends that provide so many people with so much joy day by day. And it was amazing once again how much ingenuity there was. Throughout the entire country, visitors to the Day of the Dog were able to experience at first hand just how varied and entertaining life with dogs can be. There were a total of more than 400 events from north to south. The patron of the entire programme this year was popular sports presenter Jessica Kastrop, who is also the VDH Ambassador of the Dog for 2016.

“On the Day of the Dog, we celebrate the special role of the dog in our society. We are delighted with the active, country-wide involvement of the VDH members associations and veterinary practices, who once more made a great contribution”, said happy VDH Chief Executive Leif Kopernik.

From water trials to Yorkie racing

And, indeed, none of the visitors could complain of boredom. The Day of the Dog offered a full, well-rounded programme for every taste. For example, “the Open Day for Water Training” in the southern German village of Langenbernsdorf, organised by WAT Koberbachtalsperre/DVG, attracted a great deal of attention. It was wonderful to see the eagerness with which the dogs displayed their skills in the floods. Sled dog fans really got their money’s worth at the Alaskan Malamute Club in Neumünster, where an Alaskan Malamute Weight Pulling event was held. An impressive discipline in which the power and pulling strength and enjoyment of the athletic Nordic breed was demonstrated to the full. In the north of the country, on the popular holiday island of Sylt, visitors were, as in previous years, attracted and enthralled by an Open Day of the most varied events, big and small, organised by GHSV Sylt. The quick, charming Yorkie race run by the 1st German Yorkshire Terrier Club in Surwold provided for a great deal of entertainment as well as genuine recognition.

Mudflat hiking and & mastiff visit

The spa administration of Wurster Nordseeküste on the German North Sea coast wowed visitors with a sporting dog mudflat hike that quite obviously brought just as much pleasure to the two-legged as well as the four-legged participants. The experience was rounded off by a photo shoot, which also created lasting memories.
In Stendal, on the other hand, things were really exciting. The Stendal Working and Utility Dog Sporting Association (Stendaler Dienst- und Gebrauchshundsportverein Haferbreite von 1912 e.V.) organised a crime mystery tour that required strong nerves and, at the same time, highlighted the ability of the four-legged participants in an impressive way. No less impressive were the XXL dogs of the Mönchengladbach German Mastiff Club (Deutscher Doggen-Club 1888 e.V. OG Mönchengladbach) who visited a senior citizens home in Viersen, where they were pampered by numerous stroking hands.

From asshole dogs and eggs-and-spoon racers

The Reuter veterinary practice in Bergisch Gladbach experienced anything but normal use on the occasion of the Day of the Dog. A reading was given there which made those listening smile and reflect. Antje Hachmann gave us a wonderful insight into her work entitled “Asshole Dog”. This is not meant in an offensive way but is, rather, a critical declaration of love to the beloved four-legged friend.
The event in Schallodenbach wasn’t a ‘meaty’ one – it had more to do with eggs. Among other things, the Olsbrücken German Shepherd Club (Verein für Deutsche Schäferhunde e.V. OG Olsbrücken) invited visitors to take part in an egg-and-spoon race, providing both dogs and handlers with a really fun competition. There was also a lot of fun at the Canine Sports Club in Gröbenzell (Hundesportverein Gröbenzell), which got a lot of committed members on their feet.

“God is a dog lover!”

“God is a dog lover”, assured Agathe Rank, who got more than 3,500 people on their feet in the southern German village of Pfeffenhausen. Sixty-four breeds of dog were presented, with over 70 stands attracting visitors with tempting culinary delicacies and shopping experiences. A paper chase was organised for the first time with valuable prizes, with dog posters and placards displayed at all five entrances to the village of Pfeffenhausen. Next year, a parade to the festival area is planned so as to create more space for the rush of visitors. The fact that the shops will then also be open for business on the Sunday is further proof for the committed organiser, who has already founded an animal food bank and supports animal shelters with food donations from the net proceeds of the event, of the wonderful support that makes the Day of the Dog such an unforgettable experience for everyone.

Exhibition and radio show

In the city of Kassel in northern Hesse, the local natural history museum took advantage of the Day of the Dog to open the very interesting exhibition entitled “Animals between Farm and Hobby”. A fascinating journey through time which, among other things, focuses on the change from working animals to fully-fledged social partners. “The aim of this exhibition is to highlight the history and marvellous variety of ‘Animals between Farm & Hobby’ as well as look at the rights and obligations of owners”, explain the organisers. “All of this is designed to contribute to a better understanding between humans and animals and explore why and how people keep pets.” The exhibition will be open to visitors until 6 November.
Interesting aspects of the interaction between people and dogs were highlighted in a Deutschland radio show enriched with personal and scientific points of view by the biologist, philosopher and author, Andreas Weber. “The relationship between people and dogs is one of a very special nature”, he says. It is based on the feeling of giving and receiving presents. This could also become a maxim for a different way of thinking. He was accompanied in the studio by his female dog named “Erbse”.
There was a religious atmosphere at the Springe Dog Garden (Hundegarten Springe) near Hanover, where 30 dogs gathered with their owners for the animals to be blessed. “Animals are never material assets, rather they have their own dignity”, emphasised retired pastor Heinz-Dieter Wittenborn in his prayer. Animals are our fellow creatures, not our possessions. “Having an animal is something wonderful because it enables you to feel in a very personal way how close we are to creation.”

A big thank you to everyone

VDH executive member and press spokesman Udo Kopernik showed his great satisfaction with the overall outcome of the Day of the Dog in the following words: “Visitor numbers rose again substantially this year. With more than 400 events throughout Germany, it was one of our greatest action weekends yet and I am very grateful to all those who have contributed to this success. The huge response in the media – regionally and nationally – and the many visitors demonstrate the great attachment we have to our dogs. We must do all we can to preserve and further intensify this. This was outstandingly successful on the Day of the Dog.”

The next Day of the Dog will be held on 11 June 2017. Photos of this year’s Day of the Dog can be found at

Gabriele Metz