Dogs in the News Fetching you all the latest canine headlines
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    August 10th, 2016Laura P (Editor)Articles

    A dog being cared for at Dogs Trust Ballymena, dubbed the one “nobody wanted”, is still waiting on a loving owner to take him home.

    Six months after Dogs Trust Ballymena launched a nationwide appeal to find a home for seven-year-old on Valentine’s Day, Labrador Cross Vinnie, the “gentle giant” is sadly still seeking a loving owner.

    Dogs Trust Ballymena Rehoming Centre Manager, Oonagh Phillips said:

    “Vinnie is such a loveable dog and we can’t understand why no budding owners have come forward yet.

    “Since Vinnie came to Dogs Trust he has made leaps and bounds, having doubled in weight and become much healthier. Despite the love and care we provide, what he really needs is a family who will give him the loving home he deserves.”

    Despite being showered with affection by canine carers at the Rehoming Centre, staff are worried that Vinnie will never find the loving home he deserves as he has been without an owner now for more than a year.

    Canine carers at Dogs Trust Ballymena have described Vinnie as a “wonderful dog” who just needs that special someone to help him become part of a family again. He arrived at the Rehoming Centre in August 2015 after being abandoned and was severely underweight. Vinnie has an ongoing medical condition linked to his kidneys, however it doesn’t slow him down in the slightest and the team at Ballymena can advise on this.

    Vinnie can live with older children aged 12 and over and would benefit from a home where he is the only dog so that he can be showered with attention. He has a lot of energy so active owners would suit Vinnie.

    Some of his favourite things include being outside, exploring and snuggling up for an afternoon snooze on a comfy bed.

    If you’re interested in rehoming Vinnie, contact Dogs Trust Ballymena on 0300 303 0292.

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    August 4th, 2016Laura P (Editor)Articles

    From long jumping Lurchers to hounds that can hurdle, Battersea Dogs & Cats Home are supporting the GB Team with their very own squad of animal athletes ahead of the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio next week.

    To celebrate the world’s biggest sporting spectacle, the world renowned charity are hoping their canine champions will win gold this summer and jump, swim or dive their way into new homes across the capital.

    Among the winning waggy tails is six year old Beau, Battersea’s ‘Sky’s the Limit’ high jumper. This 7 year old bouncy Springer Spaniel is a whirlwind of energy and is unstoppable when it comes to playing ball. He has a jump as extraordinary as his personality and is looking for active owners who are as enthusiastic about exercise as he is.

    Hero ‘The Hulk’ is a 7 year old Pug Beagle cross and has a passion for weightlifting. This quirky little guy prefers to train with his dog toys in quieter surroundings, so would be best suited to a home in a less built up area, without too much hustle and bustle. After being at Battersea for over 160 days he’s one of their longest stay residents and is desperate to show off his weightlifting skills to a new family soon.

    Battersea’s sensational swimmer – Tia ‘she don’t do doggy paddle’ Dogue de Bordeaux is a 3 year old gentle giant. Tia loves nothing more than a paddling pool to practise her swimming skills although there may need to be a pitstop to refill the tank once she’s splashed her way through it!

    RiaRia ‘The Brains’ is a 1 year old Border Collie and the ultimate hound for hurdles (left). A true working Collie at heart, she still has a few more hurdles to jump over before she’s ready for her new home but is looking forward to having an owner who can entertain both her energy and intelligence.

    Taz the ‘Thunderbolt’ Lurcher has most surely secured a mutt medal this summer for his super long jumping ability.  When he’s not stretching his legs and practising his jump in the sand this loving Lurcher is a big champion of cuddles. The finish line is in sight for Taz as his winning streak has seen Battersea staff pass the torch to new owners for him already.

    This paw-some team all arrived at Battersea after their owners could no longer care for them and are looking for a front row seat in a loving new home to tune into the Olympic Games this summer. Our animal athletes are powered by Mars Petcare UK who are proud to be Battersea’s preferred nutritional partner, providing the Home with Pedigree and Whiskas and helping to feed Battersea’s very own four legged GB stars.

    If any of these canine champions win gold for you and you can offer them a home please contact Battersea on 0843 509 4444 or visit battersea.org.uk.

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    August 4th, 2016Laura P (Editor)Articles

    When: 12-18 September 2016
    Where: Various

    What’s happening:

    Pedigree Paws Unite is the brainchild of Crufts 2013 Best in Show winning handler and owner, Gavin Robertson. Gavin and his Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen Jilly won the biggest prize in dogs in March 2013. As a result of the pair’s win, he organised Jilly’s Jolly Jaunt, a sponsored walk from Birmingham to London in the summer of 2013, which raised £49,000 for charity. During this 130 mile walk, Gavin and Jilly were joined by canine friends of all different breeds, shapes and sizes; which inspired Gavin to attempt an even bigger undertaking.

    So, during one week in September, dog owners, breeders, judges and dog show exhibitors in England, Wales and Scotland will take part in a series of sponsored walks totalling 160 miles – that’s the equivalent of 6 marathons! The event aims to raise money for charity, obviously, but also to promote happy, healthy pedigree dogs.

    It is hoped that all 216 Kennel Club recognised breeds will take part in the event, each walking a minimum of five miles.  No other event, not even Crufts, has ever seen all 216 breeds come together at one time, so this is history in the making.

    The event organisers were appealing on Thursday (4 August) for representatives from the final few outstanding breeds to come forward. The dogs required are:

    • Small Munsterlander
    • Anatolian Shepherd
    • Bergamasco
    • Dandie Dinmont Terrier
    • Old English Sheepdog
    • Sussex Spaniel

    If you think you can help, please contact PPU via their Facebook page.

    If you can’t join in on your local walk, you can support the event via their JustGiving account, or by purchasing a special limited edition print by Elisabeth Greenslade starring Jilly herself, plus some other pedigree pals.

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    August 4th, 2016Laura P (Editor)Articles

    When: 20 August 2106
    Where: Colston Hall, Gerrards Cross, Buckinghmashire

    What’s happening:

    Haus of Chihuahuas, in association with Chihuahua Rescue UK, are hosting a world-first “Chihuahua Festival” just outside of London later this month, including a fun dog show, various activities for both humans and canines, trade stalls, and a world record attempt.

    A yoga instructor will be on site to teach you how to do the downward dog (and your dog how to to do the downward human, presumably). The organizers are hoping that more than 271 pooches will join their humans for this class, with the aim of beating the world record for the “Largest Doga Class”, currently held by a group in Hong Kong. (Doga, that’s a portmanteau of dog-yoga; a trendy new form of exercise which involves meditation, stretching, and gentle massage, and purports to strengthen the bond between you and your pet.)

    The dog show will be judged by celebrity Chihuahuas: Lucky (from ITVs Top Dog Model) and Dolly Pawton (an Instagram canine star with 35k followers). Chihuahuas only need apply for the Best in Show title, but all breeds are welcome to the event, which will also include a have-a-go agility and dog grooming lessons. A talent scout from one of the UK’s biggest dog modelling agencies will be in attendance, so if you think your dog has what it takes to be a star this could be your chance to get spotted.  There will also be TV crews and press present, and a professional photographer to ensure that every attendee gets a commemorative photograph.

    Limited tickets are available online now. Further information is available on Facebook.

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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(underlined): “Characteristics: Versatile working dog, balanced and free from exaggeration. Must be capable of standing comfortably and calmly, freely and unsupported in any way, in structural balance, whilst both rear pasterns are vertical. Attentive, alert, resilient and tireless with keen scenting ability.”
    • 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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