Enter your dog in ‘Ruffs 2014′, the dog show with a difference

To enter your dog in RSPCA Ruffs 2015, click here.

Is your dog the happiest hound around? Have you transformed the life of a rescue dog? Then enter your dog in ‘Ruffs 2014′ our alternative online dog show!

We’re fed up with dog shows like the upcoming Crufts judging dogs primarily on looks and rewarding those people still breeding dogs with extreme exaggerated features  e.g. Dogs with short, flat faces (pugs/bulldogs) or dogs with very wrinkled skin (Bassett Hounds) in the knowledge that many are likely to suffer due to their looks.

Many pedigree dogs can suffer with lifelong and crippling deformities and chronic health issues because of the way they are bred to achieve a certain look according to the ‘breed standards’ held by the Kennel Club.  Such health and welfare concerns are often dismissed as ‘it’s normal for the breed’ but what many people don’t realise is that if the Kennel Club would change the standards  it would make many dogs healthier and happier!

We think dogs shows should prioritise the health, welfare and happiness of dogs over their looks. That’s why this year we’re launching ‘Ruffs’ our alternative online dog show!

 The ‘Ruffs 2014’ categories are:

  • 1240213_163334040532853_395305064_n ‘Happiest Hound’ – Send us pictures of your dogs happiest, smiliest or most contented face. We want to see examples of your dog doing what they love. Here’s an example in our Woody, the happiest dog at the RSPCA office.




  • Pudding ’Perfectly Imperfect’ – Send us examples of your ‘wonky’ dogs who will never be ‘perfect’ according to a set of arbitrary standards, but are perfect in your eyes. Here’s an example in Pudding, rescued by the RSPCA after having half her face ripped off as her previous owner used her for fighting with wild animals.



  • florence‘Best Transformation’ – Send us ‘before and after’ pics of your rescued pooch, we want to see examples of the most heart warming transformations which show that ‘rescued’ really is the best ‘breed’!  Here’s an example in our Florence, an RSPCA cruelty case who was neglected so badly that her front paws actually fell off, now happy in her new life.



  • dotty‘Best rescued ex-breeder’ – Let’s not forget about the many dogs discarded when they’re no longer ‘useful’. Send us pictures of your ex-breeders now enjoying a slice of the good life! Here’s an example in gentle Dotty, a rescued ex-breeding girl dumped at a rescue in a terrible state after she stopped producing puppies.


 To enter your dog, simply email your photos to campaigns@rspca.org.uk with a short (no more than 100 words) paragraph about your dog and what categories you’re entering him/her/them in (you’re welcome to enter them in more than one!) The deadline for entries is 1st March 2014.

1524507_1456076667948589_815027228_oI’ll be entering my own pooch into the ‘Perfectly Imperfect’ category. My Ivy has been abused in the past and all of her ‘uniqueness’ as I call it is inflicted by people. One of her eyes is smaller than the other where she was beaten as a puppy and she has a trauma induced cataract (I tell her this makes her look cool like David Bowie, so she feels better about it now).  She also has neurological damage which causes her to run like a little rabbit. Despite her wonkiness, to me she is beautiful.

I think it’s dogs like her that should be celebrated and that traditional dog shows which judge solely on looks (despite the health issues those looks can cause) do dogs a huge disservice.

 If your dog is picked as a finalist in one of the categories we’ll contact you directly. Voting will be opened on our Facebook page from 5th March and the winner of each category based on the number of ‘likes’ your photo gets, will be entered into the final on 9th March!

Good luck to you and your happy, healthy hounds!

 - Violet, RSPCA campaigner

7 Responses to “Enter your dog in ‘Ruffs 2014′, the dog show with a difference”

  • Fran Smith

    And lets embrace those qualities of health and happiness in human beings too. See my book Healing Poems for some ideas – time to embrace our humanity. All life should be honoured and valued.

  • Gerri Hickman

    Sounds like a lovely competition but why must it be judged by “likes”? Competitions like this are rarely won by the most deserving, more by the person with the most friends. Please reconsider and judge this yourselves!

    • RSPCA Official

      Thank you for taking an interest in Ruffs! Part of the aim of this competition is to raise awareness of the suffering endured by many breeds because of ‘breed-standards’. Every ‘like’ will help to spread the message far and wide – dog shows should prioritise the health, welfare and happiness of our beloved dogs. Plus we’ve had so many wonderful entries and tear jerking stories we wouldn’t want to keep them all to ourselves

  • Helen

    I have to agree with Gerri Hickman. Votes with likes basically boils down to a popularity contest rather than to the most deserving. Can the 4 categories each be split into 2 sub categories: Facebook Popularity Choice (done by likes) & the other one as the RSPCA choice. These 8 winners could then be placed into a draw or something for the over all of each category. Just a suggestion to give those pooches who’s human doesn’t have the social connections & thousands of friends to win a popularity contest a fighting chance too.

  • Sue

    Does it have to be a rescue dog to enter or just a non-pedigree or cross breed?

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