July 21st, 2014Articles
More than half of Britain’s eight million dog owners have sacrificed a holiday because of their dogs but 71 per cent of dog owners would be more likely to go on holiday if they could take them, according to new research by the Kennel Club that looks at dog owners’ holiday habits. Furthermore, 58 per cent miss their dogs more than their friends and families when they do decide to go on holiday.
The Kennel Club has released research for the launch of its Be Dog Friendly Week which found that 32 per cent of dog owners do not take their dogs on holiday with them and 44 per cent of them feel guilty, upset or disappointed when they go away without their four-legged friends.
The good news is, scientist now believe that our dogs may actually enjoy staying in kennels! For more info, click here
This upsetting trend is likely to have a negative impact on Britain’s businesses, many of which risk missing out on the valuable so-called ‘hound pound’, as 71 per cent of dog owners tend to have their holiday in the UK. Kennel Club research has also shown that 47 per cent of dog owners tend to spend more than they save and that 71 per cent of them would be more likely to go on holiday if they could take their dogs.
Caroline Kisko, Kennel Club Secretary, said: “The research is worrying. People feel really guilty and upset when they leave their dogs to go on holiday, missing them more than their friends and family, which is why the majority of dog owners surveyed would tend to opt for a ‘staycation’ if they could take their dog along with them. That is why it is so frustrating that the UK continues to fail miserably next to other European countries when it comes to dog friendliness, with our anti-dog stance stopping almost five million dog owners from enjoying British services and holiday destinations.
“In difficult financial times, when many are struggling, businesses are missing an opportunity because our research has shown that four out of five businesses with a dog-friendly policy say it has helped them attract more customers and has had a beneficial effect on staff. This clearly indicates that the UK’s economy could massively benefit from the so-called ‘hound pound’ just as much as the millions of dog owners in this country.”
“We are encouraging businesses across the UK to adopt a dog friendly attitude even if it’s just for a day or two as part of our Be Dog Friendly Week to experience the many wonderful benefits that being around dogs can bring.”
Steve Bennett from Dog Friendly, sponsor of the campaign says: ‘Finding the best places to stay with your dog is never easy. The Dog Friendly database is the UK’s largest with over 32,000 dog friendly businesses and locations which are a real godsend to dog owners searching for suitable accommodation during the holiday season.”
As part of Be Dog Friendly Week, the Kennel Club has launched the 2014 Be Dog Friendly Awards to reward and encourage businesses and public places across the UK that adopt a dog friendly attitude.
The awards are being held in association with Dog Friendly, the UK’s leading directory with over 32,000 carefully selected dog friendly entries in 19 categories.
To find out more, visit www.bedogfriendlyawards.co.uk.
July 4th, 2014Articles
This is Kheva the Pyrenean Sheepdog. You may remember her from our Crufts Show Tails featurette; she came Second in Junior and Post Graduate and also took part in the Good Citizen Silver display team. When she’s not strutting her stuff in the show ring, she participates in flyball and agility and loves hanging out with her JRT sister Jinty. Plus, she’s a qualified PAT dog.
Just 16 months old, she is full of beans, as you can see in this video.
Unfortunately, Kheva recently had an accident and required surgery for a luxating patella. She had the procedure last week and is thus far recovering well.
Kheva will be on crate rest for the next couple of months, and her owner Jeanna reports that she’s finding it rather difficult; Kheva wants to be out having adventures, not stuck inside all day! Jeanna is looking for ways to keep Kheva’s brain working while her body rests.
If any of our readers have unloved activity toys or doggie puzzles kicking around, we’re sure Kheva would appreciate them (postal address below). Or, if you have any advice for Jeanna as to how to keep an active Pyre still(ish) while she recovers, please leave a comment below.
Alternatively, if you have a few pounds to spare, please consider donating them towards the cost of Kheva’s treatment, post-operative pampering and treats.
Kheva is very special to Jeanna, who says that the fluffy pup helped her get through a breakup, redundancy and losing her home. Her sister Jinty was recently the recipient of a Dogs Today Medal at the London Pet Show, and Kheva accompanied them every step of the way. Jeanna just wants the best for her highly active dog and is hating seeing her cooped up and bored.
If there’s any way that any of our readers can help, it would be much appreciated.
For updates on Kheva’s progress, you can follow her Facebook page.
Gifts to be posted to: Jeannie G, c/o Hardys Publishing, 15c High Street, Lydney, Gloucestershire, GL15 5DP
July 1st, 2014Articles
A quarter of all dog owners (26%) and over a third (40%) of cat owners have not microchipped at least one of their pets, a new study has found.
26% of dog owners have not had their dog microchipped
40% of cat owners have not had their cat microchipped
1 in 7 pet owners who have had a pet stolen or go missing never got their pet back
Vets don’t routinely check new patients for microchips
A shocking one third of owners are not safeguarding their pets by having them microchipped, and worryingly 21% of pet owners have had a cat or dog stolen. The independent survey carried out by Animal Friends also found that 14% of pet owners who have had a pet stolen or go missing never got their pet back.
Official police data shows the equivalent of at least three cats and dogs were stolen each day last year, according to the organisation Vets Get Scanning. With such high pet theft figures, and since microchips are intended to help reunite a lost pet with its owner, micro-chipping should be an important aspect of owning a pet.
However, this new study reveals that for almost one in six owners this is far from the case: 15% chose ‘I haven’t thought about it’ as the reason behind not micro-chipping their pet, making this the most popular reason given, and demonstrating a lack of public awareness of the identification method.
The animal insurance provider’s research found that one in ten people (10%) chose ‘my pet never leaves my side or somewhere safe like a house’ as their main reason for not getting their pet micro-chipped. However, recent statistics released by Vets Get Scanning found that 52% of pets are in fact stolen from their own gardens, while 19% are taken from people’s homes in a house burglary.
Awareness of micro-chipping may not be enough to secure a safe return should your pet go missing, though: Animal Friends’ study also addressed an issue concerning vets not making use of the microchips pets are carrying.
Currently, vets do not routinely scan animals brought in to them – something that the majority of people questioned view as wrong: 72% of those surveyed think that all animals admitted to a vet’s care should have their microchips checked. Just 21% believe the vet should need a reason, saying this should only be done if the vet is suspicious that the pet may be stolen.
From April 2016, it will be mandatory for all dogs to be micro-chipped, and Vets Get Scanning notes that the British Veterinary Association (BVA) has now stated: “We support scanning new patients as best practice”, indicating that micro-chipping pets is the future, and that it should become increasingly effective as scanning becomes routine.
Debbie Matthews, daughter of presenter and entertainer Sir Bryce Forsyth, is one high-profile believer that vets should routinely scan pets admitted to their care. After her Yorkshire Terriers, Gizmo and Widget, were stolen from her car, Debbie was horrified to hear that vets don’t scan pets for microchips – meaning that the identification devices in her dogs wouldn’t necessarily help her find them.
In fact, it was only through the media attention the case attracted that Debbie was reunited with her pets. Debbie is now an active campaigner of the Vets Get Scanning petition to get vets to adopt a practice policy where all dogs that come into their practice are routinely scanned for microchips on their first visit.
Debbie told Animal Friends: “Each vet practice sets their own practice policy, which means although BVA (British Veterinary Association) now states it is ‘best practice’ to scan new registering pets, they don’t all have to. We started the campaign after we found out that when a stolen dog is sold on to an unsuspecting new owner, no scan would be done on registering a new pet accompanied by an owner.
Microchips only reunite pet and owner if a pet is scanned. Owners of microchipped pets assume that this is already happening but it appears they are wrong. You only find out who is and who is not scanning when your pet goes missing or is stolen. This campaign is now aimed not just at vets but also rehoming centres, dog wardens, highway agencies and rail networks. It’s not hard to see why so many missing dogs and cats are never found with the lack of scanning going on.
Further stats can be found here.
April 23rd, 2014Articles
Dear Dogs In The News Reader,
Now that Easter is over and our thoughts begin to turn to warmer weather, we would like to take this opportunity to remind you of a very worthy campaign which Dogs In The News are proud to support.
The international “Don’t Cook Your Dog” campaign was launched in June 2011 as a response to the tragic and preventable death of two police dogs, who were left in a hot car. Chay, a Belgian Shepherd Malinois, and Milly, a GSD who was only five months old, were left to bake in a civilian car outside a police station while their handler attended a meeting. (Two summers previously, in June 2009, Jet and JJ (also Police trained GSDs) suffered a similar fate.) We’ve been reporting the canine headlines for four years now, and sadly these dogs are not the only ones who have lost their lives in that time, simply because their owners forgot that dogs die in hot cars.
One of the key elements of the DCYD campaign is a car window sticker, which aims to remind people of the dangers of leaving dogs in cars during the summer. We would love to see one of these in every car in Britain, and to never have to read about a dog dying in a hot car ever again.
This drive to spread the message is more important than ever as spring develops into summer approaches and the weather warms up.
To that end, we are very happy to help the campaign in our own little way by providing the car window stickers free of charge.
So, we invite you to order yours now! Just click HERE and we shall get one out to you very shortly.
We hope you will join us in spreading this important message. Don’t forget to visit the official campaign website for more details.
The DITN TeamTags: Articles, Dogs Die In Hot Cars
March 28th, 2014Articles
Sandra Willis, who lives aboard her 57ft narrowboat Golden Boyz with her 2 golden retrievers, has launched a new roving canal trading business selling doggie gifts in Birmingham. Sandra says “as pop up shops are very popular at the moment I thought I’d join in with a float up shop”. This shop is exactly that; Sandra cruises or floats along the canal, finds a good mooring spot & literally opens up her shop aboard her narrowboat.
Sandra launched her new float up shop, Golden Boyz Doggie Gifts, on 17 March outside the NIA and it’s current and future locations can be found on it’s Facebook page. They also have a blog where you can follow their adventures.
Sandra is selling all sorts of doggie gifts both for dogs and humans and is mainly selling the type of products you can’t get elsewhere. For the dogs as well as a range of wholesome and nutritious biscuits in a large selection of flavours; there’s doggie Herbal teas, doggie popcorn for when you’re watching those Lassie repeats, naturally shed antler chews,and fashionable doggie bandanas. For the humans there’s lots of doggie branded gifts including dogopoly board games, dog themed greeting cards and pictures as well as other merchandise such as pens, bags, jewellery and Tshirts.
There are a number of floating markets around the county this year and Sandra will be attending most of them as well as of course floating up to numerous towpath locations throughout her region. Why not pop along and say hello to her and her 2 little furry sales assistants?
March 26th, 2014Articles
The Kennel Club has released details of the new Legacy Investment Fund which was agreed by its Members at an SGM in December 2013.
The Members agreed that a fund of up to £3 million be established for the purpose of ‘funding approved projects submitted by the dog community including but not restricted to health and canine activity related projects and which support the Kennel Club’s aims and objectives’.
These projects will typically be those that require an injection of funds to get them started, or projects with a credible business case but for which the necessary funds are not within reach of the individual, club or organisation.
Applications for investment funds will be available by way of application to members of the Kennel Club, Kennel Club Registered Clubs, projects supported by Kennel Club Sub-Committees and Working Parties and the Kennel Club business.
In addition, applications for funds may be made by individuals, clubs and organisations not formally connected to the Kennel Club but that have a ‘sponsor’ in the form of a Kennel Club Registered Club, or a Member of a Kennel Club committee for example. Organisations connected with the welfare of dogs, or organisations with a role within the community promoting the benefits of dog ownership may also apply for funds on the same basis.
Funds will be available in the following ways:
• A grant, or grants, where no repayment of the capital is expected or required.
• Matched funding, where the applicant(s) raise funds and the Legacy Fund matches the money raised on a one-for-one basis.
• A loan, where interest at the market rate for interest is payable for the period of the loan or where interest is not payable.
All applications for funding will be reviewed by a working party led by Kennel Club General Committee member Steve Croxford, and comprising fellow General Committee members, Wilson Young, David Guy and Ian Gabriel, and Kennel Club Finance Executive, Doug Holford. The working party will then make recommendations to the General Committee for its final decision on whether to proceed with the investment.
Applications for investment funds must be made by completing an application form which can be found at www.thekennelclub.org.uk/our-resources/legacy-investment-fund/ and submitting this to Richard Fairlamb at the Kennel Club via email@example.com or by post to Richard Fairlamb, The Kennel Club, 1-5 Clarges Street, Piccadilly, London, W1J 8AB.
Applications must state clearly what the benefits resulting from the project will be upon completion. These may cover but are not restricted to, dog health, dog welfare, benefits to the community (either the dog owning public or the wider community more generally that come into contact with dogs), benefits to the dog activity concerned, e.g. agility, field trials, breed/conformation shows, working trials etc.
Applications must state who is involved with the running of the project and a statement as to how it will be managed, the resources available, the start and end date and the names of the ‘guarantors’ to the Kennel Club (the person or persons who will sign the agreement with the Kennel Club and their status within the project management structure).
Project applications must have a clear start and end date and be for a fixed amount – projects which are open ended in either time or funding will not be considered.
Once funding has been agreed by the General Committee, the ‘project owner(s)’ (e.g. the individual, club chairperson, or committee chairperson) will enter into a signed agreement with the Kennel Club agreeing to the terms of the funding and providing a commitment to delivering the project benefits. Grant or repayment terms will be included in the contractual agreement.
For further details on the Kennel Club Legacy Investment Fund, please visit the KC website.Tags: KC Press Release
March 16th, 2014Articles
The thought of having your pet stolen probably ranks high on the list of any dog owner’s worst nightmares. And, while it’s true that pet theft is on the rise, and also true that pet theft could affect anyone, there are some steps you can take to safeguard your dogs.
1) Get your dog microchipped
If you are in the 40% of dog owners who have not already taken this precaution, we cannot stress this point enough. Microchipping will be compulsory from April 2016 in England and from March 2015 in Wales anyway, so what’s stopping you?
If it’s the cost, check this out- you can get your dog chipped for free at Dogs Trust, Battersea Cats and Dogs Home and Blue Cross centres across the UK. They’re usually done alongside puppy vaccinations (many vet surgeries offer a package deal price), but a chip can be inserted at any point in a dog’s lifetime.
In the three years which we have been reporting canine news, we have yet to come across a ‘dog reunited’ story which did NOT feature a microchip. If you want to greatly increase your chances of finding your dog if it is lost or stolen, a microchip is your best bet.
Aside from this aspect, a microchip can also be an identification tool if there is a dispute. A microchip has never been proof of ownership and is unlikely to be considered so in the future, but at least you’ll be able to know for certain if the found dog who looks like yours really is.
Finally, tell the world that your dog is microchipped – this can deter potential thieves and it gives anyone who finds him a reminder to scan the chip for your details. By law all dogs must wear a collar and ID tag when in a public place. Include your surname, telephone number, address and full postcode on the tag; and the message “I am microchipped”. (Do not put your dog’s name on their tag. This can help thieves lure your dog away from you and gives them something to work with if they are trying to demonstrate that they know the dog.)
2) Keep your microchip details up to date
This should be obvious, but you’d be surprised how many people don’t update the microchip information when they move or change phones.
110,000 stray dogs are picked up by police, local authorities and animal welfare charities each year. Over half of these stray dogs cannot be returned because their owner could not be identified. If approximately 60% of all dogs in the UK are chipped, that means that over 10% of dogs whose owners they were unable to trace would have been in possession of a chip with incorrect or out of date information. Don’t let your dog be one of them.
3) Make your home and garden secure
It’s estimated that 52% of stolen dogs were taken from their owner’s gardens, while a further 19% were taken from their homes during break ins.
Do not leave your dog unattended in your garden if it’s not 100% secure, and make sure that any gates, dog runs, kennels etc are firmly locked when your dogs are using them. Ensure your fencing is adequate and check it regularly for wear and tear. It should keep your dog in and trespassers out. Dogs who have escaped and/or wandered off are easy for thieves to snatch. Most thefts are opportunistic, so don’t give the criminals a chance.
With regards to burglaries, you need to adopt a common sense approach and take whatever precautions are necessary for your type of accommodation. Install motion sensor lights around any kennel buildings if your dogs stay in them at night. If your dog sleeps in a different part of the house to yourselves, consider a baby monitor so that you can hear if there are any disturbances.
Try not to advertise too much that you have dogs living at your property, especially if they are pedigrees, which studies have shown are the key targets for gangs out to make money from selling dogs on or using them for breeding. Those “A spoilt rotten Pug lives here” signs are cute, but possibly not worth the risk.
Brook the Labrador was taken from his owner’s garden in April 2011 – he is still missing. Fern the Cocker Spaniel went missing from her owner’s driveway in April 2013 - she is also still absent. It only takes a second.
Marnie the Yorkie (still missing) was taken in shocking circumstances by thieves who attacked her owners on their private property. Tia & Maisie the Cocker Spaniels were taken from private estate in Winchester in the middle of the night; their owners believe that the theft was re-planned, due to a number of incidences in the days preceding their disappearance. Tia has been returned after a police raid, but Maisie is still missing.
4) Be wary on walks – and refine your recall!
16% of stolen dogs were taken while they were out on their walks. Either they would have strayed out of their owners sight and been stolen then, or the owners may have been distracted, either on purpose or by something like their phone. There have also been rare incidences of violent thieves snatching a dog in plain sight of the owner, so be aware of your surroundings and where your dog is. Do not let him get out of your sight, and practice your recall so you can instantly bring him back to you if you suspect it may be in danger.
Try to vary your routes and routines, as criminals may follow your behaviour to identify a pattern before making their move.
Finally, try not to brag about your dog to strangers, or to divulge too many personal details, as they may be scouting out if your dog is worth stealing or not. This is again especially true if you have a purebred dog.
Angel, Theo, Archie and Teddy, all of whom are still missing, were stolen while out on their daily walks. In the case of Angel, a German Shorthaired Pointer, she was taken while her owner had her back turned to put her other dogs into her vehicle.
5) Have your dog neutered
Dogs are often stolen for breeding purposes, so neutering your dog is one way to make them less of a target. This is especially applicable to purebreds and short coated male dogs (where the difference is often visually apparent).
6) NEVER leave your dog tied up outside of a shop
Ever. While only 7% of stolen dogs were taken from outside shops, this is probably because this practice is already becoming less widespread than it used to be, presenting less opportunities to would-be thieves.
We know it can be tough if your town is not particularly dog friendly, or if you don’t want to leave your dog in the car (see below), but consider whether you’d leave your mobile lying around on a coffee shop table while you nipped to the loo, or if you’d leave your laptop charging in the middle of a shopping centre unattended. You also never see mothers leave their child outside while they run into a supermarket to buy milk – it’s just not worth the risk!
7) Make sure your car is secure
It is thought that 5% of stolen dogs were taken from their owner’s cars. While it is usually safe to leave your dog in a locked car for a short period of time (in cool weather), do consider whether he is visible to people walking past and whether he would be considered a target if so.
Recently, Frank the Pug was reunited with his owner nearly three weeks after being snatched from his van in a supermarket car park.
It may be safer to leave your dog at home while you go on your outing than to leave him waiting in the car. If you do have to leave him in the car (again, we stress, in the cool weather), make sure he is out of direct line of sight, and that all the doors and windows are secure. Try to park where you can see your car, so you can return to your vehicle if you suspect someone is trying to break in.
8) Read the news – and pay attention to your environment
You can, of course, keep up to date with the daily doggie news via our Twitter feed, but keep an eye on your local news sources as well. Pet thefts often happen in batches, so be aware if there have been headlines about stolen dogs in your area. And keep your eyes and ears open to any suspicious activity in your neighbourhood. If you suspect anything, tell your local authority or other relevant body.
The Pet Theft Awareness Campaign has also compiled the statistics below – peruse them and take any relevant precautions. Don’t make yourself a target!
Hopefully none of our readers will ever experience pet theft, but we hope our advice has now made that even less likely. If you have any hints or tips which we may have missed out, do please share them below.Tags: Articles, Pet Theft Awareness Week
March 14th, 2014Articles
We’ve been tweeting daily doggie headlines since May 2010. When you spend that much time searching for and sharing headlines, of course you’re going to notice trends and common themes occurring; the recent rise in the number of dog thefts is one which we have been following with interest.
Here’s just a small selection of 2013’s top articles on the subject:
Jan 2013: “Dogs stolen to order for ransom money”
Feb 2013: “Gundogs are the new scrap metal”
Nov 2013: “Pet Theft Census shows three cats and dogs are stolen in UK every single day”
Nov 2013: “Half of Dog Owners Fear Garden Theft”
Dec 2013: “Organised dog theft needs government action”
Dec 2013: “Dog thefts rise by a fifth in 2013”
The rise in pet thefts is a worrying trend, which could affect any pet owner at any time. Hence the launch of the now-annual event, Pet Theft Awareness Week (PTAW), which we here at Dogs In The News are proud to support.
So, what’s it all about? Well, for one, it’s about raising awareness for the general issue of pet theft. PTAW aims “to educate people on the preventative measures that they can take to avoid their pets from being stolen and to provide them with information to action should they be unfortunate enough to lose their animal.”
We will be covering all the information available over the course of the week, such as where dogs are most likely to be stolen from, which breeds are the most common targets, steps you can take to safeguard your pets, and, of course, what you can do to increase the chances that your pet finds their way home if it is taken.
It’s also a chance for the owners of stolen and still missing animals to share their stories and appeal for information. Last year, we featured 10 stolen canines, and, unfortunately, all but one of them are still absent. This year, we hope to focus on a few who have been returned to their owners, as well as more who are missing and very much missed.
Finally, PTAW aims “to campaign for tougher penalties to deter pet theft which includes custodial sentences and for police and courts to have tougher and stronger powers to prioritise the theft of pets over the theft of objects.” At the moment, a stolen pet is categorised as ‘chattel’ in the eyes of the law, and punishments are meted out as though the individual had stolen a piece of property. Of course, many of us view our pets as members of our families, and want to see stronger deterrents and sentences handed out accordingly.
Multiple PTAW partners are campaigning for the government to take a stand on this issue, and we’ll feature some of their efforts throughout the week as well.
We’ve set up a dedicated Pinterest board especially for PTAW – do please stop by and see some of the informative posters which the group have produced, as well as photos of dogs to look out for. If you have any specific questions about pet theft which you’d like answered, drop us a line and we’ll see what we can do.
Coming up tomorrow: Pet Theft – Don’t Be a TargetTags: Articles, Campaigns, Pet Theft Awareness Week
March 6th, 2014Articles
After a record breaking year and international acclaim, the Kennel Club’s Dog Photographer of the Year competition returns for 2014.
Launching at Crufts, the Kennel Club is urging budding and experienced photographers to submit their canine images to the annual competition, which attracts international coverage and is viewed by tens of thousands of people from around the world. The competition, which is exclusively presented by Samsung, is now open and free to enter.
Breaking all records, more than 5,000 people entered the Kennel Club’s Dog Photographer of the Year competition last year, making it the biggest canine photography competition in the world. Guest judges in the past have included famed photographers Tim Flach and Martin Usborne; international award winning artist and 2012 Grange Prize Winner, Jo Longhurst; Professional photographer, Andy Biggar; the award winning agency behind o2′s BE MORE DOG; and famous dog lover, Dame Jenni Murray.
The overall winner will receive a Samsung Galaxy NX camera and will have VIP access to photograph the Crufts Best in Show winner in 2015.
Heidi Hudson, Kennel Club Picture Librarian, said: “The Dog Photographer of the Year competition is the biggest canine photography competition in the world and we are looking for stunning images that capture a wonderful moment and that reflect our contemporary experience of living with dogs.
“The competition is free to enter and we urge both professional photographers and amateurs, who have a keen eye and a passion for photography, to enter. We have had numerous amateur photographers win the categories and even the overall competition, some going on to make a career out of animal photography.”
Last year’s overall winning image, selected from the ‘Man’s Best Friend’ category, was taken by Roger Sjølstad from Norway and featured a young girl and a Great Dane running through water.
Roger will run daily photography workshops at Crufts 2014 from Friday 7th – Sunday 9th March, at 11-12pm and 2-3pm on the Samsung stand, to help people take great dog photographs. He said: “My best advice when taking a photograph is to take your time, to wait patiently for that perfect moment to arrive and when it comes, to be ready. You also need a great camera that will do your image justice.
“Photographing animals is a joy. You want to capture something of their character and their essence in your image and to experiment with different angles. My career enables me to combine my two great passions, dogs and photography, and a competition such as this one could be a launchpad for those with similar aspirations.”
Russell Taylor, Vice President of Corporate Marketing, Samsung UK and Ireland said: “People are taking more photos than ever before and with more than 91% of adults regularly using social networks, they naturally want to be able to share their pictures instantly – whether that be photos of their friends, family or beloved pets. We make cameras that enable people to take amazing photos and then share them straight away. We’re thrilled to lend our support to Dog Photographer of the Year 2014, which brings together a wonderful mix of talent and collection of images for dog lovers across the UK.”
Photographers are invited to send in their images under categories:
- Dogs at Play
- Dogs at Work
- Man’s Best Friend
- ‘I Love Dogs Because …’ (for entrants 16 and under)
- Assistance Dogs and Charity Dogs
To enter and for terms and conditions visit www.dogphotographeroftheyear.
Deadline to enter is 5pm (UK time) on 10th November 2014.
March 3rd, 2014Articles
From the creation of online tools to the development of DNA tests, the Kennel Club Genetics Centre at the Animal Health Trust (AHT) has proven beneficial to many dog owners and breeders in helping to improve the health and welfare of dogs.
The Centre, which celebrates its fifth anniversary in 2014, was created to combine the resources and expertise of the Kennel Club and the AHT with the aim of benefitting thousands of dogs – both individuals and whole breeds.
By developing essential tools, minimising the risk of breeding affected puppies and designing breeding programmes which improve overall health of breeds, the Kennel Club Genetics Centre has helped dog breeders improve the health of their dogs by avoiding inherited diseases in their breeds.
Professor Steve Dean, Chairman of the Kennel Club, said: “We are committed to helping dog breeders address inherited diseases , and by working with the AHT we have, together, created a centre of excellence, which in just five years has already helped to significantly improve the health and welfare of a number of pedigree breeds.
“The Kennel Club invests a significant part of its income towards improving dog health and welfare. Historically we have information on our registration system about millions of pedigree dogs which we use to further knowledge of dog diseases and how to prevent them. By working in partnership with the AHT, we have been able to provide a number of practical resources and expertise to aid dog breeders in their ambition to reduce or eradicate inherited diseases.
The Kennel Club Charitable Trust invested £1.2 million into the Centre when it opened in 2009. Since then, and led by Dr Cathryn Mellersh and Dr Sarah Blott of the AHT, the Centre has:
- collected and stored DNA samples from 11,000 dogs from 170 different breeds
- undertaken genome-wide association studies using DNA samples from 1,461 dogs of 25 different breeds
- identified 10 unique mutations responsible for inherited disorders known to affect 29 different breeds and developed DNA tests which have been used to test more than 38,000 dogs through the AHT’s DNA testing facility
Dr Cathryn Mellersh, Head of Canine Genetics at the AHT, said: “The creation of the Kennel Club Genetics Centre has enabled us to take huge steps forward in our mutation detection work. This is assisting dog breeders in their breeding decisions and, most importantly, minimising the risk of breeding affected puppies.
“The work we are doing within the Centre is making a significant difference for thousands of dogs.”
In addition to the mutation detection work, the Centre has helped the Kennel Club to develop and launch the revolutionary web tool, Mate Select, enabling dog breeders to find the most suitable mate for their dog.
One of the first tools launched through this platform was the algorithm for calculating inbreeding coefficients of all Kennel Club registered dogs and for prospective matings. This service now attracts more than 23,000 searches per month.
At Crufts 2014, scientists from the Kennel Club Genetics Centre will be demonstrating the next phase of Mate Select, which will include giving dog breeders and owners access to estimated breeding values for hip dysplasia in 15 breeds and elbow dysplasia in five breeds.
These breeds account for more than 80,000 Kennel Club registrations per year, so these EBVs will initially be available for 33 per cent of all Kennel Club registered dogs.
The Centre has also begun analysis of the population structure and rate of inbreeding for all 211 Kennel Club recognised breeds in an effort to better understand how this may contribute to an increased rate of inbreeding.
Analysis has shown that approximately 40 per cent of the 132 breeds analysed to date have effective population sizes below 50 – the minimum size recommended in order to manage inbreeding.
Dr Sarah Blott, Head of Quantitative Genetics at the AHT, said: “Management of complex diseases, those which are caused by more than just one defective gene, pose the greatest threat to the health of dogs. Of the 489 currently known genetic diseases in dogs, 72 per cent are believed to be complex.
“The research the quantitative scientists are undertaking in the Kennel Club Genetics Centre is helping dog breeders to develop breeding strategies that will maintain long-term health by managing rates of inbreeding and reducing the prevalence of existing diseases.”
To continue this vital work, the Kennel Club Charitable Trust has committed £1.6 million to the Kennel Club Genetics and Cancer Centres at the AHT over the next five years (2014 – 2018), helping to further accelerate research into inherited diseases affecting dogs.
The Kennel Club Genetics Centre will continue to investigate and identify mutations, develop DNA tests and enhance services available to breeders to address diseases that are clinically severe or affect large numbers of dogs.
The funding will also enable the AHT’s cancer research team, working with the Kennel Club Cancer Centre, to acquire an innovative technology known as the ‘GeneAtlas System’. This equipment enables the investigation of tumour biopsies, collected for diagnostic purposes, in a manner that has not been previously possible.
Initially the technology will assist in identifying gene markers that are characteristic of the metastasis (spread) of uveal melanomas, the most common primary eye tumour in dogs. It is hoped, through this research, that a test will be developed to identify whether a tumour in an individual dog will spread or not, and therefore prevent the unnecessary removal of eyes from dogs with uveal melanomas. Longer term, the intention is for the GeneAtlas System to be used in the investigation of many cancers, including lymphoma, oral melanoma and mast cell tumours.
Professor Steve Dean added: “The Kennel Club remains passionate about improving the health and welfare of dogs. The addition of a capability to study the genetic factors associated with cancer development is a new avenue for our co-operation with the AHT and one we are very excited about, given the dominance of cancers as a cause of death and suffering in dogs. We know there is still much to do on all health related fronts, so I’m extremely pleased that we will be funding a further five years of research, within the Kennel Club Genetics Centre and also the more recently-founded Kennel Club Cancer Centre at the AHT.”
Dr Mark Vaudin, Chief Executive of the AHT, said: “We’re delighted to continue our partnership with the Kennel Club on these important welfare issues. Our level of skill and expertise within the canine genetics and cancer fields is widely recognised and it is exciting to know that we will be applying our knowledge to further equip dog breeders and owners with essential information to improve the health of their breeds.”Tags: Articles, KC Press Release