Meet the Golden Retriever Society Display Team

Meet the Southern Golden Retriever Society Display Team

Founded in 1977, The Southern Gold Retriever Society was set-up to ensure the safeguarding and preservation of Golden Retrievers across Kent, East Sussex, West Sussex, Hampshire, and South London. Since then, the society has expanded and involves many functions such as training, showing, and providing best-practice advise for buying golden retriever puppies and responsible breeding. 

Today an important and popular part of the society remains within the Display Team – a team dedicated to providing entertainment and promote the docile nature of these gorgeous dogs through the performance of obedience routines to music.

We caught up with Jan, a member of the of the society to tell us more about the Golden Retriever Society Display Team and find out where and when you can you see them perform in 2019: 

The Southern Golden Retriever Society's Display Team consists of twenty-three Golden Retrievers and their owners performing obedience routines to music.  For over eighteen years the Team have delighted audiences throughout the South of England at venues large and small. Only sixteen dogs perform at any one time.  The Team came into being in 2000 when eight handlers who had enjoyed their training at the Society's classes at Wrotham in Kent decided to stick together and do small routines to music. The Team grew to twelve, and then to sixteen, and the routines became more complicated.

Performances and appearances

In addition to performing at many community events the Team have performed every year since 2003 at the Kennel Club's "Discover Dogs” event in London and since 2004 at the world's largest dog show, "Crufts" in Birmingham.  In 2018, at the end of our performance in the Crufts Main Arena, the Team were joined by Radzi from Blue Peter, a new presenter at Crufts.  He had been asked by the Kennel Club to have a go at performing with the Team. He did his best with one of our dogs, much to the amusement of the audience!

 The dogs have helped present a science lesson for young children on Youtube (Pets Teach Science) which has had 408,763 views. They have appeared live twice on Blue Peter when all the dogs received the coveted Blue Peter badge!  They have also appeared in the Blue Peter Annual.

The Team were invited to appear at Buckham Fair in 2014, 2015 and 2017 which actor Martin Clunes runs on his farm in Dorset, raising thousands of pounds for charity. The Team have also performed at Pup Aid at Primrose Hill, London, which is run by TV vet Marc Abraham to draw attention to the evils of puppy farming.  This is attended by many celebrities and in 2015 Strictly Come Dancing star Pasha Kovalev and his partner Rachel Riley had a go at performing with the Team. They did rather well!

This year the Team have two new big events added to their busy calendar.  They have been invited to perform at the Cotswold Show on the Cirencester estate of Lord Bathurst, and at the Cromer Carnival in Norfolk.

At all the events that they attend Team members talk to the public about responsible dog ownership – whether to have a puppy at all, how to choose the right puppy, the vital importance of training and the right nutrition.  Many people, after watching us perform, say they want a golden retriever as they are so obedient.  We have to point out that they don’t come into the world that way!  But a trained dog is a happy dog and training the Kennel Club Good Citizen way is fun for dog and owner.

The dogs are all much loved family pets who live at home with their owners. Team dogs have all gained their Kennel Club Good Citizen Gold award which means they have a high level of social obedience. They love being in the Team and think they belong to a doggy youth club!

Where will you see the Golden Retrievers perform this year? Check out their events for 2019 below:

See the Display Team perform in 2019

Saturday 13th & Sunday 14th July 2019The Cotswold Show, Cirencester Park, Cirencester GL7 6JT
Saturday 27th July 2019New Romney Country Fayre, New Romney, Kent TN28 8HN
Sunday 4th AugustCastle Canines, Hever Castle TN8 7NG
Monday 19th & Tuesday 20th 
August Cromer Carnival, Cromer, Norfolk 
Saturday 24th AugustStalisfield Green Village Fete, Stalisfield, Kent ME13 0HY
Sunday 8th SeptemberBelmont Woodfest, Belmont House and Gardens. Throwley. Kent ME13 0HH
Sunday 22nd September Labrador Rescue Fun Day and Dog Show Tonbridge, Castle Grounds, Castle Street, Tonbridge, Kent TN9 1BG
Saturday 12th October & Sunday 13th OctoberDiscover Dogs, ExCel Centre London

Check out the Display Team's web page and Facebook page for up-to-date events and including contact details. 

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