Dogs in the News Fetching you all the latest canine headlines
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    July 27th, 2016Laura P (Editor)Articles, Crufts 2016

    ​The Kennel Club has been working closely with the German Shepherd Dog clubs over a significant number of years in an attempt to address issues surrounding the breed. However, it appears that the various initiatives designed to improve matters have had very little effect and this in turn is serving to damage the reputation of dog breeders, not just in this breed but across all breeds.

    Matters came to a head at Crufts this year where the exhibition of GSDs once again came under intense scrutiny, which merely served to reinforce the Kennel Club’s concerns for the breed’s future. As a result of this, a review group was established to examine the issues surrounding the GSD.

    In particular, the culture of double-handling widely practised and condoned at breed club shows was felt to be having a detrimental effect on the temperament of dogs which often show symptoms of enormous stress while being exhibited and at other times. Erratic movement and apparently exaggerated conformation were other concerns which the review group looked at.

    In attempting to address the worsening in the breed’s reputation, the General Committee, guided by the review group, initially considered de-registering the breed and/or removing its CC status. Both these measures would have had the effect of driving breeders outside the influence of the Kennel Club, doubtless causing a further decline in the breed, and eventually implementation was decided against.

    Another measure, making it compulsory for breed club championship shows to be held in conjunction with group and general championship shows, was also discussed but has not been implemented at this stage due to the huge changes in infrastructure which would be necessary.

    In June of this year, the Kennel Club issued a press release in which it stated that the General Committee had expressed concern over the current situation which it would not allow to deteriorate further. Included in this announcement was a list of stringent measures the General Committee was considering in relation to the breed.

    These measures have now been discussed and as a result the General Committee makes the following directives:

    • The GSD Breed Standard is to be changed as of 1 August 2016 to include additional wording to emphasise the importance of the dogs being capable of standing comfortably and calmly, freely and unsupported in any way. Click here to see the change in the Breed Standard.
    • Each judge of GSDs must understand their role which includes proper control of the ring and adherence to Kennel Club regulations at all times. Judges who ignore the Breed Standard and/or allow double-handling will risk having future CC appointments rejected.
    • All championship show judging contracts for 2018 and beyond are suspended with immediate effect until such time as each judge has attended a Kennel Club judges’ education seminar. The Kennel Club is to establish a programme of these seminars throughout the UK for championship show judges and expects that all judges of the breed will adhere to the points made, which will emphasise that the breed is to be exhibited in the same manner as all other large pastoral breeds. Click here to see details of judges’ training seminars on the GSD.
    • Kennel Club representatives will be appointed as soon as possible to attend all championship shows where CCs are on offer for the breed. They will work with the show societies and judges to curtail double-handling and will have executive authority to put into effect the previously agreed escalation procedure for double-handling if the show societies and/or judges do not do so. Shows which allow double-handling will risk having their future CC status rejected. Click here to see information on the escalation procedure for double-handling.
    • There is to be a review of the Category Three Breed veterinary check guidelines for the GSD breed to ensure that health and welfare concerns continue to be addressed.

    Caroline Kisko, Kennel Club Secretary, said: “The Kennel Club was given no option but to address the issues which the breed itself seemed to be taking far too long to address and which came to a head at Crufts this year.

    “The health and welfare of dogs is the primary objective of the Kennel Club and, where a breed experiences any issues in this respect, the Kennel Club has an obligation to take action where it can. The time for that action is now.

    “This situation simply cannot continue as not only is the health and welfare of the breed at risk but this is having a detrimental effect on the reputation of all breeders, pedigree dogs, dog showing and the Kennel Club.

    “The implementation of these measures involves a considerable financial commitment on behalf of the Kennel Club, which demonstrates the level of investment that has been made to protect the future of this breed.”

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    July 26th, 2016Laura P (Editor)Articles

    Welsh native dog breeds, including some very rare ones, will be among the 9,000 plus dogs which will descend on the Royal Welsh Showground, Builth Wells, Powys from 19th – 21st August for the popular Welsh Kennel Club Championship Dog Show – the largest event of its kind in Wales and among the largest in the UK.

    The show will see more than 200 breeds and their owners from all over the British Isles and beyond compete in a bid to qualify for the world’s biggest dog show, Crufts, which will be held at the NEC in Birmingham next March. 

    The pedigree dogs taking part will be judged on a number of factors in the ring, including temperament and that they are fit, healthy and happy dogs that are good examples of their breed, as they compete for the ultimate ‘Best in Show’ prize.

    The show is one of the largest gatherings of dogs in the UK and will see rare native Welsh breeds competing, such as the Welsh Terrier, Cardigan Corgi and Sealyham Terrier.

    These breeds are bred in such small numbers today that they are considered by the Kennel Club to be at risk of disappearing from Wales’ streets and parks. Alongside these breeds will be some of the more well-known Welsh breeds such as the Pembroke Corgi and Welsh Springer Spaniel.

    In addition to breed judging, the show is holding obedience and agility competitions, so visitors can watch a range of events and find out more about the different activities that dogs can get involved in.

    The show is perfect for families researching the right breed of dog for them, and visitors will be able to meet the dogs themselves as well as talk to experts in each breed about finding a good breeder, what to expect from the breed, and training and care requirements.

    Graham Hill, who is Joint Secretary of the show along with his wife Ann, said: “Ours is the largest dog show in Wales as well as one of the biggest in the UK and naturally we are very proud of that fact. Being held in picturesque Builth Wells, the show is very popular with summer holidaymakers and brings thousands of dog lovers to the area each year. We are expecting this year’s show to be bigger and better than ever.

    “The show is a huge celebration of man’s best friend and visitors will get to meet lots of wonderful dogs throughout the weekend, find out more about dog showing and the various activities they can get involved in with their own dog, and browse the many dog products on the trade stands.

    “Anyone thinking about getting a pedigree dog can come along and research their favourite breeds, as well as some of the lesser known breeds they may not even have heard of, and take the opportunity to meet the dogs themselves, which is definitely a favourite with families.

    “As a special treat, we will have a Welsh Choral Concert on the showground, after the judging on the Saturday, featuring the Bridgend Male Choir and the Builth Wells Ladies Choir. This is something new this year, as well as something distinctly Welsh, and everyone is welcome to come along and enjoy the entertainment.”

    Competition classes are held across the seven pedigree dog groups. Friday 19th August will see the Hound and Toy breeds competing, followed by the Working, Pastoral and Terrier breeds on Saturday 20th with Championship agility and obedience also being held. Gundog and Utility breeds can be seen on Sunday 21st. Sunday also sees the climax of the competition – Best in Show – followed by Best Puppy in Show and Best Veteran in Show. 

    The show is one of 37 Group and General Championship Dog Shows licensed by the Kennel Club throughout the year, which enable dogs to qualify for next year’s Crufts.

    Entry to the show is free and car parking is £5. Only dogs entered in the show are allowed on the showground.

    To find out more, visit www.thewelshkennelclub.org.uk.

    More information on dog showing, and any other activity dog owners can get involved in with their dogs, can be found at www.thekennelclub.org.uk.

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    July 11th, 2016Laura P (Editor)Articles

    This is Heidi, an Entlebucher Mountain Dog. Heidi isimage002 14 weeks old and is the first Entlebucher puppy in the UK born with the serious health condition ectopic ureter. This is where the lines from the kidneys enter the bladder below the valve, leaving a dog incontinent and risking a life threatening kidney infection. Her treatment so far has included a major operation involving removing, cutting, repairing and replacing her bladder. This will take time to heal. The treatment so far has used all of her breeder’s insurance cover and the new owner’s cover and, with exceedingly heavy hearts, they have had to give her up to rescue. There are no further funds to cover her treatment and care except for the £5 in Club rescue funds.

    The Club has been told that there is strong possibility that Heidi will achieve a good quality of life in the future, but it is too early to know whether her incontinence has been completely addressed by the current treatment. (She still has some incontinence, but this is quite possibly down to the level of inflammation from the operation.)

    Heidi is currently being fostered while the Club assesses her condition and treatment options; you can follow her progress on Facebook. She will also need to have a urine test weekly to ensure there is no infection going back up to the kidneys, which would be life threatening for her. Those tests can be done at home, but still have a cost. If the Club can stabilise Heidi’s condition she will be offered for long term adoption.

    The Club is therefore appealing for donations to pay for Heidi’s care and treatment until she can be rehomed, and to give them a starting point in future if other rehoming situations arise. Their members all love this breed, which is rare in the UK, and many of them would go to great lengths to ensure the welfare of any and every one of them. They would be grateful for any donation you feel you can make to the Club’s Rescue Fund.

    If you would like to donate to Heidi’s fund, please email accounts@entlebucher.co.uk or rosjkind@gmail.com (Rosemary Kind) for details. 

    Any funds left over from Heidi’s treatment will go to cover the cost of any future rescue work for the breed.  Thank you for your support!

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    July 9th, 2016Laura P (Editor)Articles

    Nailing his colours to the mast for Andy Murray to lift the Men’s Wimbledon title on Sunday is Battersea Dogs & Cats Home resident Chico the ‘Murray Mastiff’.

    Never without a tennis ball, Chico wanted to send one last message of support to the British number 1 in his quest to claim his second Wimbledon title and third Grand Slam.

    Battersea handler Lucy Stratton said: “Chico has become something of a celebrity since arriving at our London centre in June and like Andy he takes it all in his stride. Chico’s totally unflappable, extremely laid-back and leaves the fretting to everyone else.

    “Just give him a tennis ball, a bowl of water – decked in the Union Jack of course – and he’s happy for the rest of the day. Just don’t mention Roger Federer!”

    Larger than life Chico, 11, was brought into Battersea as a stray in June after being found on the streets in south London. Since then his character and personality as the gentlest of giants has come shining through.

    He is looking for a home where he can relax, enjoy lots of snoozes, has room to potter about both indoors and in the garden, and most of all enjoy all the love and affection on offer (belly-rubs are particularly welcome).

    If like the Battersea staff Chico has stolen your heart too, please call the charity on 020 7622 3626.

    Battersea Dogs & Cats Home has a huge range of moggies and canines ready for rehoming, so if Andy Murray’s number one fan Chico is not for you do give us a call, pop in, or visit us at www.  www.battersea.org.uk

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    July 8th, 2016Laura P (Editor)Articles

    The Kennel Club is looking for an individual to manage the running of the Kennel Club Agility Stakes Finals on site at the London International Horse Show at Olympia.

    The individual should have experience of managing agility shows/events, and excellent communication skills to enable effective communication with organisers and competitors.  They should also have excellent organisational skills, with the ability to work under their own initiative and in a pressurised environment.

    The individual will be responsible for managing the onsite budget which will be agreed prior to the event.  This role also requires a commitment to stay in London for up to seven days immediately prior to Christmas.

    For further information please contact Vanessa McAlpine, Events & Education Executive at the Kennel Club by email at vanessa.mcalpine@thekennelclub.org.uk.  A full job description will be available on request.  Anyone interested in applying for the position should submit their relevant CV to the email address by 1st August 2016.

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    July 7th, 2016Laura P (Editor)Articles

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    Alexander “Sandy” Stoddart, who has been the Queen’s Sculptor in Ordinary for Scotland since 2008, has graciously accepted a commission to produce a bronze statue commemorating “Old Ginger”, the founding father of the Dandie Dinmont Terrier.

    “Old Ginger” was born at The Haining, Selkirk in the Scottish Borders on June 4th 1842 and every Dandie Dinmont on earth today can trace their breeding back through their male line to “Old Ginger”.

    Remarkably, the actual kennels that “Old Ginger” was born in still exist at The Haining, a grade 1 listed Palladian mansion. They were discovered only recently, having previously been incorrectly identified as a “menagerie”.

    Research indicates that these are the only surviving kennels for any breed that can lay claim to the birthplace of a breed founder.

    The life sized statue to honour his significance to the breed will stand in the kennel yard adjacent to the kennels and will be unveiled on Old Ginger’s 175th birthday, June 4, 2017. A three day “Dandie Dinmont Festival” has been announced and a large international gathering of breed enthusiasts from a dozen countries will attend.

    In an extraordinary twist of fate, the surviving kennel run was built in the 1830’s by another Stoddart – the local Selkirk blacksmith, John Stoddart, himself a notable breeder of Dandies whose dogs appear in the female line of Old Ginger.

    Sandy Stoddart is Scotland’s most important monumental sculptor of his generation. An admirer of the 19th century and fiercely devoted to Scottish history, his many works include the 10 feet (3m) bronze statues of David Hume and Adam Smith on the Royal Mile in Edinburgh, scientist and mathematician James Clerk Maxwell and John Knox Witherspoon and architectural friezes in the Queen’s Gallery at Buckingham Palace.

    He is currently in the final stages of completing an enormous statue of the great 19th century Scottish architect William Henry Playfair for the National Museum of Scotland.

    He sculpts monuments exclusively to historical figures, designed to last into the very distant future. Stoddart says “My ambition is to do sculpture for Scotland, primarily through large civic monuments to figures from the nation’s past”.

    Although renowned for his massive statues, he has chosen to sculpt the more modest, life-sized Dandie breed’s founding father because as a lover of all things Scottish, including Scottish dogs, he sees this as “a literary, cultural and indeed canine project.”

    “I was and am keen to make the Old Ginger memorial for a variety of reasons. First, I am philosophically kindly disposed to the doggy tribe. I’d like to do something in the line of commemorating a fellow creature, long dead, who is the progenitor of so many to whom that loving-kindness has been directed.

    Also, this is a subject related to Scott, who was an artistic titan. I’ve long wanted to make something related to Sir Walter’s genius, and so this opportunity arises. In all honesty I could not turn it down! I never got to make a statue of the man, but in this dog I might make my little contribution to the Scott heritage.”

    Stoddart’s completed statue of “Old Ginger” will bring visitors to Selkirk, The Haining and the actual kennel where Old Ginger was born, given both Selkirk and the Dandie’s close association with Sir Walter Scott.

    The project has the full and enthusiastic support of the Trustees of The Haining Charitable Trust. “The Haining embraces any and all initiatives to perpetuate and promote the Dandie Dinmont Terrier. We anticipate Sandy Stoddart’s bronze statue of Old Ginger will draw many tourists, not just Dandie and dog lovers but those fascinated by Scottish heritage and in particular Sir Walter Scott” says Lawrence Robinson, a Haining trustee. The mansion now hosts an annual “Dandie Dinmont Derby” that this year attracted 65 Dandie Dinmonts on Old Ginger’s birthday, June 4th.

    It is hoped that Stoddart’s bronze statue of Old Ginger – the first Dandie Dinmont Terrier with a known sire and dam – will generate significant interest and help save this ancient breed with unique the literary name and remarkable history. Today Dandies are highly endangered (316 born world-wide in 2014) and is recognised by the Kennel Club as a Vulnerable Native Breed.

    A JustGiving account has been set up by The Haining Charitable Trust to raise the funds for the Old Ginger statue.

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    July 7th, 2016Laura P (Editor)Articles

    With temperatures set to increase over the next few weeks Petplan, the UK’s most trusted pet insurer, has released statistics to show pet owners the increased risk to animals due to heat or seasonal-related ailments.

    • Petplan’s data shows that as the mercury rises, the average number of claims for heat stroke soar by 90% from June to August with the highest claim for heat stroke last year reaching nearly £2,500
    • The average number of claims for grass seed foreign bodies/infections are 94% higher during summer months. Those tiny ‘innocent’ little grass seeds can cause potentially huge and expensive problems in even the most robust breeds of dogs. The highest grass seed claim paid out by Petplan last year was just over £4,100, with the top ten highest grass seed claims coming in at over £19,300
    • Spending time in the great outdoors is what the hotter months are made for, but it’s not without its risks. Last year, Petplan witnessed a significant increase of 40% in the number of claims made for injuries to the ears, eyes, nose and feet caused by foreign bodies from June to August

    Petplan’s vet Brian Faulkner comments: “It’s well-known that you should never leave your pet in a hot car or conservatory even for a minute, but as both cats and dogs can only regulate their body temperature through their paw pads, panting and, in the case of cats, grooming, they’re susceptible to heat stroke anytime. This means that even taking your dog out on a regular walk could cause their temperature to rise up to 40 + degrees, which is the equivalent of a human fever of 104 degrees Fahrenheit. During the summer months we’d always recommend taking your dog for a walk in cooler periods of the day such as early morning or late evening.

    For other ways to keep your pets cool, check out Petplan’s Hot Hound and Cool Cat Hacks. They provide more creative solutions such as creating appealing spaces in the shade to allow cats to take refuge from the sun, as well as creating hydrating treats and making staying cool part of a game, for example by introducing chilled tennis balls into your dog’s daily play.

    Of course, ensuring that your pet has access to water and shade at all times is vital, whilst also bearing in mind that older pets and dogs with short or flat noses such as Boxers, Pugs and French Bulldogs are more susceptible to heat stroke. If you are worried that your pet may be suffering from heat stroke, you should contact your vet immediately.”

    Petplan has teamed up with Battersea Dogs & Cats Home to make protecting your pets from the heat a walk in the park with some pawsitively one-of-a-kind Hot Hound and Cool Cat Hacks. In addition to using these useful hacks it’s essential that pet owners have quality pet insurance in place  to help cover any unexpected bills that occur as a result of the warmer weather.

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    July 5th, 2016Laura P (Editor)Articles

    Lungworm, the ‘hidden killer’ parasite found in slugs and snails which can cause serious health problems in dogs and be fatal if not diagnosed and treated, could be an even greater threat this summer after another wet start to the season.

    Evidence from the Royal Veterinary College also confirms the lungworm parasite has spread across the UK, from its traditional habitat in the south of England and Wales, now being widespread in Central England and also reaching northern regions and Scotland.

    TV presenter Tess Daly knows just how devastating parasitic infections can be, having lost her beloved Golden Retriever Sam to suspected lungworm.

    To help keep other pets safe from deadly diseases, she is supporting the Be Lungworm Aware campaign, which helps pet owners not only spot the symptoms of this disease but also gives advice on how to prevent their dogs contracting it.

    There is a lungworm map available online that shows the prevalence of the disease across the UK. Vets continue to report cases of lungworm in their practices which are added to map, helping all of us to see where dogs could be at risk. There are currently over 3,000 reported cases of lungworm.

    Watch Bayer’s video, where Tess tells the heart breaking story of Sam’s battle and gives advice to pet owners on how to protect their pets by asking their vet for parasite prevention plans:

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    July 5th, 2016Laura P (Editor)Articles

    Following the EU referendum (23 June), the British Veterinary Association (BVA) is urging UK governments to protect the status of EU veterinary surgeons and veterinary nurses who are currently living and working in the UK.

    Almost half of veterinary surgeons registering in the UK qualified from veterinary schools elsewhere in the EU, according to statistics from the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS). To highlight the impact of the referendum outcome on the veterinary professions, BVA has written to the Secretary of State, Liz Truss MP, and to Ministers in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, requesting an early statement to the effect that non-British EU vets and vet nurses who are currently living, studying or working in the UK will continue to be able to do so in future. BVA is also seeking reassurance for UK veterinary professionals working and studying in other EU member states.

    BVA President Sean Wensley said:

    “It is not yet possible to comment on the reality of ‘Brexit’ since much will depend on forthcoming negotiations and the decisions that will be taken by the Government regarding, for example, whether or not to maintain existing EU legislation and rules. However, we recognise that these unanswered questions are having a profound impact on many of our members – particularly members who are non-British EU citizens, or have family members who are, and members who work alongside colleagues from other European Member States.”

    In the letters, Mr Wensley stated:

    “I am sure there are many significant issues that your Department needs to consider [and] given the profound personal impact that the uncertainty caused by the referendum outcome is having on some of our members, we wanted to contact you at the earliest opportunity. In the forthcoming negotiations about the future relationship between the UK and the EU, we strongly urge you to make the case for all EU citizens and EU-qualified veterinary surgeons and nurses to have ongoing rights to live, work and study in the UK.”

    In the letter to the Northern Ireland (NI) Minister of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs Michelle McIlveen MLA, the BVA President and BVA NI Branch President Seamus O’Kane highlighted NI’s land border with EU member state the Republic of Ireland and called for the maintenance of the Common Travel Area to facilitate movement in an all-island context for both work and study purposes.

    Veterinary surgeons and veterinary nurses from other EU member states are invaluable members of practice teams across the UK and work across all areas of veterinary science, including the fields of animal health and welfare, animal disease surveillance, scientific research and education, wildlife conservation, and public health and food safety. Figures from the Veterinary Public Health Association (VPHA) estimate that over 90 per cent of vets in meat hygiene services are non-British EU citizens.

    Commenting on the potential impact of Brexit on veterinary surgeons working in the public health sector, VPHA President Lewis Grant said:

    “Due to the particular focus on public health in many European veterinary degree courses, EU vets make an enormous contribution to both public health and animal health and welfare in the UK – often behind closed doors, monitoring and protecting public health in Approved Premises as well as welfare at slaughter to ensure slaughterhouses meet the standards that are required by law and expected by the public. Without their input and expertise, it would be difficult to ensure that Statutory requirements within the food industry are complied with.”

    BVA is working with the RCVS and other bodies to discuss the implications of Brexit for the veterinary professions, and the key issues that should be raised in forthcoming discussions and negotiations. BVA members are being encouraged to share their feedback on BVA’s community forum under the dedicated ‘What do you think ‘Brexit’ could mean for the veterinary profession?’ discussion.

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    June 24th, 2016Laura P (Editor)Articles

    President of the British Veterinary Association Sean Wensley said:

    “The UK’s decision to leave the European Union will have a significant impact on matters of interest to the veterinary profession, particularly in relation to regulation, education, and workforce planning, but also in terms of animal welfare, research, surveillance, and animal movements.

    “BVA will work hard to ensure the voice of the veterinary profession is heard during the negotiation and discussions that will now begin, in order to secure the best possible outcomes for our profession and for animal health and welfare in the UK. The Vet Futures report provides an excellent summary of issues we need to consider in those discussions, and the Vet Futures Action Plan, due to be launched at the Vet Futures Summit on 4 July, outlines key initiatives that we need to take forward, albeit with revised timelines while the full impact of Brexit is determined.

    “BVA will retain an outward looking and inclusive perspective through our relationships with international partners, including the Federation of Veterinarians for Europe (FVE), Commonwealth Veterinary Association (CVA) and World Veterinary Association (WVA) to ensure the UK veterinary profession continues to influence and engage on cross border issues such as disease surveillance, veterinary medicines and antimicrobial resistance.”

    The BVA is the national representative body for the veterinary profession in the UK. They represent the views of their 15,000 members on animal health and welfare, and veterinary policy issues to government, parliamentarians and key influencers in the UK and EU.

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