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CAU 2nd Assessment Show: A furry Affair

19th March 2022, the Canine Association of Uganda held its second Dog assessment show at the Kabira Country Club sports ground. Attended by hundreds, the show presented a new avenue for various Ugandan breeders to showcase their beautiful furry friends whilst providing entertainment for many dog enthusiasts who flocked the grounds to appreciate the various exotic breeds on display.

Form Boerboels, to Golden Retrievers and Miniature Terriers, it’s safe to say that every continent had a four legged representative present with a larger percentage being homegrown by Ugandan owned businesses and individuals. One look at this canine bonanza was enough to understand why so many Ugandans are taken away with such majestic creatures and willing to part with so much (financially and otherwise) in order to get a hold of these animals.

A cattle farmer will bustle with pride when his herd is complimented in even the slightest, however, he can only boost of his bovines to the occasional visitor nor can he go for leisurely walk with his 300 kilogram steer on a cool Kampala evening. There is nothing quite like it when you’re stopped by a stranger who simply can’t take their eyes off the exotic canine at the end of your leash. Not to mention the oncoming traffic of pedestrians that always parts like the red sea when you have your Rottweiler or German Shepherd by your side. Either way, that pride could only be replicated if perhaps you tamed a Lion itself.

Dublin, two time champion and his owner Henry Jabo awarded by Richard Paquette.

For now, we shall focus on what many animal lovers in attendance deemed worthy of praise and recognition, Dog breeding. The show itself took place to further show Ugandans how they could improve the standards of their dogs as well as conserve the purity of these bloodlines. With judges Richard Paquette and Tempest Deptuch of the Canadian Kennel Club at the helm of it all. A variety of canines took center stage in a make shift ring made of yellow tape and short metal poles where they competed in different categories.

“It’s been lots of fun, I really enjoyed the enthusiasm of all the exhibitors. The dogs were very beautiful; some very handsome specimens and the show was well organized and the club is to be congratulated; they did a very good job because they are just starting and in their infancy.” said Paquette who went ahead to encourage Ugandans with purebred dogs to register with the CAU.  

Without taking away from our indigenous dogs that continue to run the streets, our village homes and hold a special place in our hearts on the account of nostalgia, it is important to note that intentional or pure breeding allows for the introduction of a relatively new type of ‘working’ dog. A dog specialized in executing specific tasks whether it be: herding, security or for non-other than purely aesthetic purposes. The dog, if properly bred and trained can be far more than just an existing family member but even go ahead to became a lucrative business as many Ugandan based breeders like: Amahoro Boerboels and Bahati Kennels can attest.

With the introduction of Bi-annual shows, one of the organizers and founders of CAU, Nada Andersen, hopes to take Ugandan dog breeders and owners alike to the ‘next level.’ “We hope that in 3-4 years down the road we can be a member of the FCI (Federation Cynologique Internationale) and then all the dogs on our registry will be accorded by the FCI and all their progeny will get an FCI pedigree. For a breeder like me down the road we can actually fly our dogs to places like: America, Japan and China while earning more from our Ugandan born dogs.”

Introducing the international market to Ugandan breeders will not only open up many possibilities and opportunities for local breeders, but also force many to follow the strict guidelines that dictate and ensure the conservation of a particular breed’s bloodline. The absence of these checks and regulations has allowed the market to saturate with prolific cross breeds and mutts that could easily pass for the real deal to many an untrained eye.

Ribbons awarded to the various winners. photo courtesy of CAU

If there is ever been a time to enter the canine business, now would be it. Gone are the days when dogs only served to guard and escort their masters on the occasional hunt. Today, we can say a dog precedes its owner, a home with a pack of Molossus automatically speaks to a visitor to tread carefully while a pretty Chinese Spitz that eagerly ushers in your guests invokes warmth and familiarity. All of these play a huge role in the telling of one’s character and not to mention financial capabilities.

Anyway we end here by saying that the growing awareness around the canine industry has now steadfastly allowed for it to become an economic venture for many with tangible results-as puppies collect fortunes for their owners in the millions. So the next time you think of purchasing a cute puppy for your personal reasons, ponder the generic question; ‘Who wants to be a millionaire?’

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