Dogs in the News Fetching you all the latest canine headlines
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    February 14th, 2017Laura P (Editor)Articles

    Kennel Club issues welfare warning as people buying French Bulldogs on a whim cause numbers to soar

    • French Bulldog set to overtake the Labrador Retriever as the UK’s most popular dog breed by the end of 2018 – the first time the Labrador will have been knocked off the top spot in 27 years
    • Kennel Club registration figures show that the French Bulldog, owned by celebrities such as the Beckhams, Lady Gaga and Leonardo DiCaprio, will overtake current second most popular breed, the Cocker Spaniel, within months and the Labrador within two years if its popularity keeps increasing
    • French Bulldog saw a 47 per cent increase in the last year alone, a 368 per cent rise in the past five years and has increased by more than a staggering 3,000 per cent in the past ten years
    • Kennel Club warns that people buying the breed on a whim could lead to a welfare crisis and urges puppy buyers to consider other breeds that might be more suited to their lifestyle

    The French Bulldog, a breed favoured by celebrities such as the Beckhams, Lady Gaga, Leonardo DiCaprio, Reese Witherspoon and Hugh Jackman, is set to overtake the Labrador as the UK’s most popular breed of dog, according to statistics released by the UK’s largest dog welfare organisation, the Kennel Club, ahead of its annual Crufts event.

    The popularity of the breed has seen an unprecedented rise in recent years, with a 47 per cent increase from 2015 to 2016 alone, a 368 per cent increase in the past five years (2012 to 2016) and a staggering 3,104 per cent increase over the last ten years (2007 to 2016).

    If this trend continues, the Kennel Club forecasts that the breed could be the most popular dog breed in the UK by the end of 2018, a title long held by the Labrador.  The Labrador has been the most popular dog breed in the UK since 1990 – the year it overtook the Yorkshire Terrier. The French Bulldog is set to overtake the current second most popular breed, the Cocker Spaniel, which is ahead by only 384 puppy registrations, within a couple of months.

    The Kennel Club is concerned that the dramatic increase in numbers of French Bulldogs is due to people choosing the breed because of how it looks and because it is considered to be a fashionable choice, rather than because it is the most suitable breed for their lifestyle.

    Furthermore, Kennel Club registrations only account for around 30 per cent of the total population of dogs in the UK so there are concerns that the number of French Bulldogs in the country is likely to be far higher in reality, including undocumented and unregistered dogs and dogs that have been brought into the country illegally from Eastern Europe.

    Sudden boosts in popularity of certain breeds can result in a huge market opening up for unscrupulous breeders to sell to.  They often churn out puppies with little or no regard for their health and welfare, solely for profit, because they know they can sell them easily. There is also growing concern amongst animal charities about the number of puppies being smuggled in illegally from Eastern Europe. This highlights the importance of anyone intent on owning a French Bulldog going to a responsible breeder, such as a Kennel Club Assured Breeder, or considering a rescue dog.

    Caroline Kisko, Kennel Club Secretary, said: “While the French Bulldog is a lovely breed, it is very unwise for anyone to buy one simply because they think it looks cute or is a fashionable choice.  Anyone doing so could inadvertently be contributing to an impending welfare crisis.

    “The breed is a favourite with celebrities, who often flaunt them on their Instagram and Twitter accounts for people to coo over.  While it’s normal to want to show off your dog, when celebrities do it, it usually results in a surge in the popularity of certain breeds, which is not a good thing as it opens the doors to unscrupulous breeders who see it as an opportunity to breed lots of them without due care to health and welfare.

    “French Bulldogs can be bred with exaggerated features, including extremely flat faces, which can cause health issues – many of which owners are not aware of before they buy, which can sadly result in the emotional stress of having a sickly dog and high veterinary bills, highlighting how crucial is it for anyone intent on owning a French Bulldog to go to a responsible breeder, such as a Kennel Club Assured Breeder.

    “Without a doubt the most important thing is for people to do the proper research before deciding on a breed.  The great thing about pedigree dogs is that they come with a high level of predictability, so people can work out which breed would be the best fit for their lifestyle based on things like temperament, how much exercise the dog will need and any relevant health concerns.  With all the information available these days, and with events like Crufts coming up in March where people can meet around 200 breeds and speak to experts in each one, there really is no excuse for buying a dog that is not a good match for you.”

    The Kennel Club is also concerned that, because the French Bulldog is not a suitable choice for everyone, people buying one without doing their research will then have to give the dog over to a rescue centre when they realise they cannot care for it. 

    Jackie Mavro-Michaelis, Secretary of the Pennine and Scottish French Bulldog Association, said: “French Bulldog welfare services are getting more and more dogs through their doors, so there is a genuine concern that we could be facing a welfare crisis if their numbers keep increasing.

    “The fact that we used to have one welfare service for the breed, and now we have three because of the increase in numbers, is concerning in itself and the breed could be in real trouble if people let impulsiveness take over and rush out to buy a French Bulldog without knowing much about the breed.

    “To anyone looking for a French Bulldog, we would suggest researching suitable alternative breeds first, but those intent on owning one should contact the relevant breed clubs for advice, go to a responsible breeder, such as a Kennel Club Assured Breeder, and make sure they are buying a puppy with two health tested parents.”

    The Kennel Club is urging anyone who wants to get a French Bulldog to consider other breeds that are similar to it in terms of temperament and care requirements, but that might be more suited to their lifestyle and home environment.  Examples of suitable alternatives include the Miniature Schnauzer, Beagle, Border Terrier and Welsh Terrier. The Breed Information Centre on the Kennel Club website gives information on each breed of dog, including details on exercise and care requirements, the type of lifestyle each breed is likely to be suitable for, and health considerations for each breed.

    The Kennel Club is also inviting people to come and meet the breed at the Discover Dogs zone at Crufts from 9th-12th March 2017, at the NEC in Birmingham, find out more about whether or not it is the right breed for them.  Visitors can meet around 200 other breeds of dog and can find out which ones are best suited to their lifestyle.

    The Kennel Club’s Breed Information Centre can be found at

    Further information on Crufts can be found at

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    February 14th, 2017Laura P (Editor)Crufts, Crufts 2017

    The Kennel Club Breeders’ Competition will take place at Crufts on Saturday 11th March 2017 at the NEC, Birmingham and be judged by Anne Macdonald, breeder of the Mabrooka Salukis.

    This event, sponsored by Eukanuba, was absent from Crufts 2016, but is making a welcome comeback at the show this year as a stand-alone competition where entries were limited to 60 teams and accepted on a first come, first served basis.  Each team will comprise three or four dogs of one breed, all bred by the same breeder or breeding partnership.

    The 56 teams confirmed as competing at Crufts 2017 will be:


    Afghan Hound, Misses C & E Millward & Mrs P Mottershaw.

    Basset Fauve de Bretagne, Mr R & Mrs H Allenby.

    Basset Fauve de Bretagne, Mrs E Thornton.

    Basset Griffon Vendeen (Petit), Mr P & Mrs D Reid.

    Basset Hound, Mr M & Mrs D Ellrich.

    Basset Hound, Mrs T Turkia (Finland).

    Borzoi, Miss H Kanoo.

    Borzoi, Mrs C Häggström (Sweden).

    Cirneco dell’Etna, Ms J Moore & Mr D Tricomi (Italy).

    Pharaoh Hound, Mr G Reeve (fielding two teams).

    Rhodesian Ridgeback, Mrs C Korner (Germany).


    Bedlington Terrier, Mrs Y Bannister (fielding two teams).

    Border Terrier, Mrs C Dean.

    Cesky Terrier, Mrs S Atter.

    Irish Terrier, Miss A Bradley.

    Norfolk Terrier, Miss K Hurrion.

    Parson Russell Terrier, Mrs J & Mr M Baker.

    Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier, Mrs C & Mr C Satherley.

    Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier, Mrs J Charleton.


    Dalmatian, Mr K & Mrs DL Whincup.

    Japanese Shiba Inu, Mrs E Dunhill.

    Keeshond, Miss D Gregory.

    Lhasa Apso, Mrs M Anderson.

    Lhasa Apso, Mrs M Roach.

    Tibetan Spaniel, Mr G & Mrs T Quest.


    Affenpinscher, Miss J Gruninger.

    Chihuahua (Long Coat), Miss M Austin.

    Chihuahua (Long Coat), Mrs A Baranzeck.

    Japanese Chin, Mrs E Nishigaki.

    Maltese, Miss N Welbourn.

    Pomeranian, Mrs A Cawthera-Purdy.

    Pug, Mrs A & Miss LC Hill.


    Dobermann, Mrs C Smith.

    German Pinscher, Mrs K Wakefield.

    Newfoundland, Mr GJ & Mrs TA & Misses E & F Coldwell.

    Siberian Husky, Mrs D & Mrs R Simms.


    Australian Shepherd, Mr A & Mrs N Allan & Mr R Harlow.

    Belgian Shepherd Dog (Malinois), Mrs M Brett.

    Border Collie, Miss J Ratcliffe.

    Collie (Smooth), Miss A Lusty.

    Estrela Mountain Dog, Mrs F & Mr J Almeida (Portugal).

    Finnish Lapphund, Miss S Cooper.

    Finnish Lapphund, Mrs T Jackson.

    Finnish Lapphund, Mrs E & Mr S Short.

    German Shepherd Dog, Miss K Taylor.

    Samoyed, Mrs K & Miss C Prout.

    Swedish Vallhund, Ms L Paterson.


    English Setter, Mr M Bozier & Miss S Gwilliam.

    Gordon Setter, Mr P & Mrs C Sandiford.

    Lagotto Romagnolo, Mrs G Stenton.

    Retriever (Nova Scotia Duck Tolling), Mrs H Gibson.

    Retriever (Nova Scotia Duck Tolling), Miss D Anstead.

    Spaniel (Field), Mrs K Shepherd & Miss A Macbain.

    Weimaraner, Miss J MacLaine & Mr R Dickson.

    The Kennel Club Breeders’ Competition will be pre-judged in rings 1/2 at 2pm and parade in the Genting Arena at 6.35pm on Saturday 11 March 2017 and will be just one of the many and varied activities taking place at Crufts from 9 – 12 March 2017.

    Gerald King, Crufts Chairman, said: “The Kennel Club Breeders’ Competition is always a sight to behold with all the breeders’ teams competing in the main arena. We are sure this year will be no exception and we will have the added attraction this year of welcoming some teams from overseas, which highlights the international appeal of Crufts. We can think of no better place to showcase pedigree dogs and the work done by breeders to promote their breeds and stockmanship.”

    To find out more about the Kennel Club Breeder’s Competition, please visit’-competition/.

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    February 11th, 2017Laura P (Editor)Crufts, Crufts 2017

    The Kennel Club Junior Warrant Winner of the Year final will take place at Crufts on Thursday 9 March 2017 at the NEC, Birmingham and be judged by Tom Mather.

    The finalists qualified in heats held at London’s biggest dog event, Eukanuba Discover Dogs at ExCeL London, with 61 top young dogs competing for just ten places in the final.

    The finalists competing at Crufts 2017 will be:

    • Dalmatian, Offordale Larissa, owned and bred by Mrs JE Alexander.
    • Australian Shepherd, Allmark Vanity Fayre, owned and bred by Mr N & Mrs AE Allan and Mr R Harlow.
    • Rottweiler, Jodipas Time, owned and bred by Mr J and Mrs D Allen.
    • Siberian Husky, Ninlil of Poliarine Arktika Over Zanjelic, owned by Mrs ET Ashcroft. Bred by Mrs E Sutiene.
    • Irish Red & White Setter, Killary’s Grand Venture with Vanders and Romaunt, owned by Mrs J Barney and Mrs J Howatson. Bred by Mesdames Peterson & Zawikowski and Mr and Mrs Harrison.
    • Pyrenean Mountain Dog, Charibere Simply Magic at Chezanna, owned by Mrs C Kenyon, Miss L Bermingham and Mr A Ward. Bred by Mrs L Marston.
    • Bullmastiff, Hyerdunscar The Big Tease, owned and bred by Mrs J Lindley.
    • Whippet, Nevedith Zufor Zeffa, owned and bred by Miss E Newton.
    • Siberian Husky, One in a Million Legend of the Spirit, owned by Mrs RJ and Mr DA Simms. Bred by Mrs I Krieger.
    • Poodle (Standard), Kossab Kijaka With Anorien, owned by Miss K Young. Bred by Mrs G Brekkarud.

    The Junior Warrant is an award for pedigree dogs from the ages of 6 to 18 months which have won a series of first prizes at both open and championship shows. Achieving a Junior Warrant is one of the highest levels of success for young pedigree show dogs.

    The Kennel Club Junior Warrant Winner of the Year competition is held annually and is for dogs which have gained the title of Junior Warrant during the previous year.  The final will take place on Thursday 9 March 2017 and will be just one of the many and varied activities taking place at Crufts from 9 – 12 March 2017.

    Gerald King, Crufts Chairman, said: “The Kennel Club Junior Warrant Winner of the Year competition throws the spotlight on young dogs competing at Crufts. All the great dogs who have triumphed at the show over the years had to start somewhere, so who knows what this might lead to? This year’s final could see a star of the future emerge! We wish all the competitors the best of luck and a very enjoyable show.”

    To find out more about the Kennel Club Junior Warrant Winner of the Year competition, please visit

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    February 10th, 2017Laura P (Editor)Crufts, Crufts 2017

    A basic final check of each Best of Breed will be undertaken in the collecting ring at Crufts by officials from the show management and vet teams.

    The Crufts Committee is mindful that it has a duty of care to all dogs entered at the show and particularly those competing in the arena at Crufts, which is a very different experience to competing in the group at other general championship shows and can be overwhelming for both dog and handler.

    Therefore to protect the welfare of the dog, all Best of Breeds will be requested to undergo a basic low-key observation to ensure each dog is ready to compete in the group. The observation will focus on obvious visible conditions which could compromise the dog’s performance in the group competition (KC Regulation F(1)15b refers).

    Gerald King, Crufts Chairman, said: “For those who are preparing for competition in the collecting ring it is a very exciting and special time, so we want to be sure that both dog and handler are as ready as they can be to compete and that the dog is sound and not in distress in any way.

    “The check will be basic and will simply involve the show official and vet team observing the dog move, to ensure that the dog and handler are both ready to enjoy themselves in the ring.”

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    February 7th, 2017Laura P (Editor)Articles

    The International Partnership for Dogs (IPFD), of which the Kennel Club is a founding partner, has announced an initiative called the ‘Harmonization of Genetic Testing for Dogs’, to support the appropriate selection and use of DNA testing in dog health and breeding decisions.

    The ever-increasing emergence of new canine DNA tests and testing laboratories has made choosing quality DNA testing providers, and the right DNA tests for health and breeding decisions, increasingly challenging for many owners, breeders and veterinarians.

    Working with a wide-spectrum of stakeholders in dog health, the IPFD’s ‘Harmonization of Genetic Testing for Dogs’ initiative will provide practical support to address these challenges.

    With no existing national or international standards of accreditation, or standardisation oversight group, there is a growing need for a reliable third party neutral organisation which can provide guidance surrounding test reliability, laboratory quality assurance processes and procedures, test applicability by breed, and provide advice regarding interpretation and best use of genetic test results.

    This is needed to support consumer confidence in DNA testing, educate consumers in the use of these tests, utilise these tests effectively as tools to reduce the incidence of inherited disease, and to reduce redundant international efforts. The IPFD will work to coordinate and consolidate expertise, as well as ongoing and new work to increase the availability of resources to consumers.

    The goal of this new IPFD initiative is to create an open access, searchable and sustainable online resource that will:

    • Catalogue information provided voluntarily from commercial test providers for genetic testing in dogs
    • Describe expertise, quality assurance, activities and resources of the test providers
    • Host expert panel reviews of genetic tests, their reliability, and applicability
    • Coordinate a programme for standardised proficiency testing and potentially peer review and audit
    • Collate/assemble existing and new resources for genetic counselling and education, and provide the foundation for future developments.

    The initial phase of the initiative is to develop a working prototype of the online resource. Both the prototype and the final output will be hosted on the IPFD’s website at The initiative will be guided by IPFD CEO, Brenda Bonnett and Project Director, Aimee Llewellyn-Zaidi, who was the Kennel Club’s Head of Health and Research before returning to the United States at the end of 2016.

    The initiative will be overseen by a multi-stakeholder steering committee set up by the IPFD and initial funding for the prototype is provided through generous contributions from IPFD founding partners, the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals, and the American Kennel Club Canine Health Foundation. The IPFD is inviting other collaborators and potential contributors to contact them via or

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    February 5th, 2017Laura P (Editor)Crufts, Crufts 2017

    The Kennel Club and the Crufts Committee wish to announce that the following sponsors and supporters have generously contributed towards Crufts 2017:

    Principal sponsor:

    Major sponsors:

    Official sponsors:


    Gerald King, Chairman of Crufts, said: “The Kennel Club and the Crufts Committee are pleased to announce the sponsors and supporters for Crufts 2017, including some new names.  We are all looking forward to staging another world class event which next year will incorporate the 10th Anniversary of the Eukanuba World Challenge. Crufts would not be possible without the support of our sponsors and supporters, so we take this opportunity to thank them for their generosity.”

    Previous major sponsors Samsung Electronics and Bayer Pharmaceuticals announced in November 2016 that they would no longer be sponsoring the event.

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    February 5th, 2017Laura P (Editor)Crufts, Crufts 2017

    The Kennel Club has announced the five remarkable Young Kennel Club (YKC) members who have been nominated for the prestigious Shaun McAlpine Outstanding Young Person award, which celebrates the hard-working, inspirational and selfless actions of young dog lovers.

    The Shaun McAlpine Outstanding Young Person award is the highest award for YKC members, and celebrates young people who are demonstrating their love of dogs as well as encouraging others to become a part of the dog world.

    For over thirty years, Ed and Cindy McAlpine have presented the Shaun McAlpine Trophy at Crufts in memory of their son, Shaun, who had himself achieved considerable success as a dog handler.

    Previous winners of the annual competition have been selected for their volunteering and fundraising for dog charities, helping to organise dog activities in the local community and for assisting others through training, stewarding and mentoring.

    This year the five finalists, who were selected by a public vote, are:

    Young Braveheart of the Year

    Daily life has always been a struggle for 15 year-old Daisy Buckland from Sutton-in-Ashfield in Nottinghamshire, who suffers with selective mutism and Asperger syndrome. Despite being a bright pupil, Daisy finds it extremely hard to interact and speak to adults outside of her home environment, which makes everyday life at secondary school a tough challenge for her. Since taking part in agility with her six year-old Border Terrier, Charlie, Daisy’s family have noticed a dramatic change in her. She has slowly started to communicate with the adults at her agility club, has competed in a friendly agility competition and won five rosettes. Her face lights up every time she gets positive comments at her agility classes and recently felt confident enough to attend her agility club’s Christmas party with Charlie. This was very much out of Daisy’s comfort zone, but doing so has given her a new found burst of confidence, which left her smiling for days.

    Champion Volunteer of the Year

    Lauren Bethan Williams, aged 23, volunteers for over 20 hours a week at various dog, children and adult charities whilst working as a full time primary school teacher.  Her selfless behaviour has even extended out to fundraising and volunteering for disadvantaged children, animals and communities abroad.

    In the world of dogs, Laura volunteers as an instructor at a local companion dog club and gives her time to her favourite dog charities by volunteering as steward at their pet shows, as well as raising much needed funds for dog charities through sponsored walks and fundraisers.

    Outside of the dog world.  Laura still manages to find time to volunteer in her local community by running a Rainbow group for young girls, playing in a youth marching band to help young members develop their confidence, and volunteering at a club for adults with learning disabilities. She has managed to successfully combine her love of dogs and education and walked local dogs for donations towards a trip that she funded to work with disadvantaged children and animals in communities outside of the UK.  Most recently, she has taken her fundraising and volunteering to another level and raised over £7,000 to visit Madagascar to work in the rainforest developing habitat for local animals.

    Good Buddy of the Year

    18 year-old Liam Landymore from Beaworthy, Devon, suffers with post-traumatic stress disorder and depression caused by a traumatic event eight years ago. He finds attending school a real challenge due to severe anxiety and panic attacks. In 2012, Liam took a turn for the worse and his depression became extremely worrying. His family were running out of options to keep Liam safe, as nothing seemed to be working. It was an extremely difficult time for Liam and he just didn’t want to live anymore. His family decided to get help from Dogs Helping Kids (DHK), a unique charity dedicated to using highly trained dogs to help children. From here, Liam’s dog, Charlie, started his training with DHK to become Liam’s support school dog. Having Charlie in Liam’s life has made all the difference and the two formed a unique bond through positive training was Charlie gave Liam the courage to live life again.

    Liam felt so passionate about the charity that he has started to promote and raise money for DHK and is now a Dogs Helping Kids Young Ambassador and teenage advisor.  Last November, Liam noticed the lack of young men training dogs so formed his own extension to the charity, aptly named Liam’s Men on Board, to address this. Liam hopes to be a top dog behaviourist and trainer when he leaves school, but most importantly he wants to continue to work alongside DHK to help other children like him.

    Sporting Talent of the Year

    19 year-old Antonia Leech from Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire has achieved so much through her hobby of showing dogs over the last ten years.  She has experienced numerous successes in the YKC but her highest achievement to date is winning YKC National Handler of the Year which allowed her to represent the UK at the World Dog Show in Moscow last year. Antonia claimed second place in the final last June with five-year-old Pharaoh Hound Bella, owned breeder Maria Evteeva from the world renowned Russian ‘Reedly Road’ kennel, becoming the first UK representative in eighteen years, and the first YKC member ever, to be placed at the show.

    Her achievements in YKC stakes and handling are too many to mention and she has worked hard to become well respected in the showing and handling world.  This year she had 109 junior and adult handlers enter when she judged at Southern Counties Championship Show and she is a credit and inspiration to YKC members and undoubtedly inspires other young dog lovers.

    Fundraiser of the Year

    Over the last two years, 12 year-old Mariann Bayliss from Stourbridge, West Midlands has raised money for several dog charities after initially raising £75 from selling loom bracelets for Children In Need. She began selling her handmade items at agility shows, school events and even via Facebook, all for different charitable causes. Last year she raised £150 for Dogs Trust in Evesham by making and selling dog bandanas; she wanted the money to help look after dogs which are less fortunate than her own. One of her recent projects, making tuggy toys and leads, raised £180 which she split between the Cinnamon Trust and Agility Against Cancer. Mariann chose the Cinnamon Trust because they offer a vital service to elderly and ill people, helping them care for their pets when they are not able to. Agility Against Cancer was an easy choice to make as the charity was originally set up to help a former member of her agility club where many of her friends were also involved in raising funds.

    Speaking about the finalists, YKC Chairman, Gerald King, said: “Congratulations to our five outstanding finalists – they are a credit to their generation and their stories really highlight the difference a dog can make in a person’s life or vice versa. Each year we receive incredible entries for young people and everyone who received a nomination should be proud of the work they have achieved, especially our five finalists – we look forward to seeing them at Crufts.”

    The winners from each category have been invited to Crufts 2017 on Sunday 12th March for a special presentation ceremony and each will receive an exclusive YKC ambassador’s badge and award. As well as being crowned the Shaun McAlpine Outstanding Young Person of the Year, there is also a prize fund up to £750 which will be used towards helping the winner progress their love of dogs. The overall winner will be decided via an online vote open to all on Facebook.

    Visit the club’s Facebook page to register your vote and show your support for these inspirational young people.  The voting will close on Friday 3 March 2017.

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    January 28th, 2017Laura P (Editor)Crufts, Crufts 2017

    [L-R] Sally Deegan and Bowser; Joel Sayer and Caddie; Nathan Edge and Hudson

    An autism assistance dog which has completely changed the life of a 13 year-old boy and given him the courage to leave his house and face a world he finds incredibly hard; a guide dog which has given his owner reason to live and has motivated him to train for the England blind football team after he lost his sight as a result of juvenile arthritis; a Bull Terrier that saved the life of his owner, who has MS, after she collapsed unconscious;  and a military dog which sniffs out explosives who is currently on his fourth operational tour in Afghanistan with the British Army, saving lives on the front line.  These are the four dogs that have been selected as finalists for the Crufts dog hero competition, Eukanuba Friends for Life.

    The annual Eukanuba Friends for Life competition celebrates the unique relationship people have with their dogs, the important role man’s best friend plays throughout our lives and support they give us in the face of adversity.

    Judges from the Kennel Club, the UK’s largest dog welfare organisation and Eukanuba, experts in premium pet nutrition, have selected four inspiring finalists to go forward for the public vote, with the winner being announced in the Genting Arena at the Birmingham NEC on the final day of Crufts, the world’s largest dog show, on Sunday 12 March.  These four dog heroes are just some of the dogs celebrated at the show for the ways that they enrich our lives.

    The finalists for 2017 are:

    Caddie, the Labrador Retriever assistance dog, and his 13 year old owner Joel Sayer, from Newquay in Cornwall Joel has had a difficult childhood.  He had sleep apnoea for the first two years of his life, was then diagnosed with autism, with a sensory disorder and a speech and language impediment.  Before Joel was partnered with Caddie by assistance dog charity Dogs for Good he could not leave the house, speak to people or live a normal life.  Now Caddie helps Joel to cope with a life that he finds incredibly hard and calms him in times of heightened stress, aids his communication and has brought support not only to Joel but his whole family.  Joel’s mother Janet Sayer has said that she burst into tears one day when she was out with Joel and Caddie because she caught sight of her reflection in a shop window and realised that with Caddie by Joel’s side she was, for the first time, able to take her eyes off of Joel for a brief moment and do something that other people take for granted. Caddie is the finalist for the Giving the Best Start in Life category, which recognises dogs that support and impact the lives of children.

    Learn more about Caddie & Joel here

    Hudson, the Labrador Retriever guide dog, and owner Nathan Edge, 22, from Mansfield in NottinghamshireNathan was diagnosed with juvenile arthritis at six years old and the inflammation went to the back of his eyes, resulting in his sight gradually deteriorating until he got Hudson when he was 19.  A few months later he lost his sight completely, overnight.  To go from being partially sighted to completely losing his sight, Nathan was ready to give up on life.  Nathan realised that the thing that would get him through this tough time was Hudson, who was at his side throughout, supporting him when he needed it the most.  Nathan is now training to be in the England blind football team, which Nathan says would not have been possible without Hudson.  Hudson is the finalist for the Giving Longevity Through Assistance category, for assistance dogs that support their owners throughout the years.

    Learn more about Hudson & Nathan here

    Bowser, the Bull Terrier, and owner Sally Deegan, 26, from Scunthorpe in LincolnshireSally was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) with left her depressed, housebound and feeling hopeless.  Sally and her husband decided to rescue a dog from Battersea Dogs and Cat’s Home at Brands Hatch and adopted Bower because of his big character.  Three months after adopting Bowser, Sally relapsed and had passed out on the sofa.  Bowser attracted the attention of Sally’s husband who was outside in the garden who came inside to find Sally unconscious.  She was then rushed to hospital.  This was the first time Bowser saved Sally’s life.  Bowser helps Sally with the physical issues surrounding MS but also with the mental and emotional strain of the condition, and gave her the desire to engage with people and the world again.  Bowser is the finalist for the A Life of Friendship category, which celebrates man’s best friend throughout the years, a partner that has seen their owner through the hardest times as well as the happiest.

    Learn more about Bowser & Sally here

    Charlie and Lance Corporal Denslow

    Charlie the military dog, with the British ArmyCharlie is an active military working dog, and has completed three operational tours and is currently deployed on a fourth in Afghanistan.  Charlie works in support of Infantry units to provide a weapons, ammunition and explosive search capability.  Charlie played a key role in allowing the safe closure of the British base, Camp Bastion, and was one of the last five military working dogs to depart Helmand Province when the camp finally closed in 2014.  He protects those around him by carrying out operational service in an often dangerous, and always austere, environment.  He is deployed with his handler at very short notice to support Counter Arms Proliferation within the Mediterranean.   Adapting to life at sea very quickly in an unusual environment, Charlie has already proved his worth to the Royal Marines; providing an additional level of assurance to the operation. Charlie is at the very frontline of protecting our national security.  Most recently he has been trained and prepared for high readiness contingency operations and is ready to fly anywhere in the world to carry out search tasks.  He has also supported UK based operations including Cabinet level VIP venue searches prior to official events.  Charlie is the finalist for the Extraordinary Life of a Working Dog category, for dogs who have shown extraordinary qualities through working, including in the army, police force, RAF, airport, search and rescue.

    Watch Charlie & Bobby’s video here

    Kellie Ceccarelli, Veterinary Training Manager at Eukanuba said: “Eukanuba Friends For Life showcases the impact that dogs can make on our life, and we believe we should make a lifelong impact on theirs by providing them with advance nutrition and appropriate care to help dogs live a long healthy and active life.

    “We had some fantastic nominees this year from all over the UK so choosing just four finalists was incredibly tough.  All of this year’s finalists are incredibly worthy winners, and all share a very special relationship with their pets. We would now encourage people to vote for their favourite to show their support to these extraordinary dogs and we are excited to see who will be named this year’s winner of Eukanuba Friends for Life.”

    Caroline Kisko, Kennel Club Secretary, said: “Dogs play a significant role in our lives. Every day there are dogs out there saving lives in war zones, giving confidence and independence to those with disabilities, and showing remarkable bravery and loyalty as pets.

    “Eukanuba Friends for Life is an opportunity to celebrate these dogs that quietly go about changing people’s lives in their own unique and special way.

    “Dogs are known as man’s best friend and our four finalists go to show exactly why that is.”

    The winner of the Eukanuba Friends for Life competition will receive £5,000 from the Kennel Club Charitable Trust for the dog charity of the choice, with the other finalists receiving £1,000 for their chosen dog charity.

    The public can now vote for their favourite finalist until midday on Sunday 12 March, by visiting

    The winner will be revealed in the Genting Arena at Crufts on Sunday 12 March.

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    January 4th, 2017Laura P (Editor)Crufts, Crufts 2017

    Exhibitors are reminded that postal entries for Crufts close on Monday 9th January and online entries on Monday 23rd January.

    The Terrier and Hound groups will be shown on Thursday 9th March; Utility and Toy on Friday 10th; Gundogs on Saturday 11th; and Working and Pastoral groups on Sunday 12th.

    Jack Russell Terriers will be exhibited in breed classes at the show for the first time.

    The Obedience Championships for dogs are on Saturday, with bitches on Sunday. Sunday also sees the Agility Championships.

    The final of the Vulnerable Breeds Competition is on Friday and the Breeders’ Competition is on Saturday.

    The entry fee for breed classes is £27 per dog, with subsequent entries free. Full details of fees for the Gamekeepers’ classes and Young Kennel Club classes are given in the schedule along with car parking and admission prices.

    Gerald King, Crufts Chairman, said: “Crufts looks set to be better than ever and we are once again looking forward to welcoming exhibitors to the show. This is the one event above all others which breeders want to achieve success at. This year the show will also incorporate the tenth anniversary of the Eukanuba World Challenge, so it will be a truly international celebration of pedigree dogs.”

    To view the Crufts schedule and/or enter online, please visit

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    December 7th, 2016Laura P (Editor)Crufts, Crufts 2017

    Owners of vulnerable British and Irish dog breeds are reminded that entry to the Kennel Club’s dedicated Crufts competition closes at the end of the year.

    To raise awareness of vulnerable native breeds, and to recognise those who are dedicated to their survival and prosperity, the Kennel Club created the Vulnerable British and Irish Breeds Competition in 2015. Its inaugural year was met with great enthusiasm by exhibitors and saw the top scoring winner from each vulnerable breed invited to attend the first grand final, held at Crufts 2016.

    The final at Crufts 2017 will be held on Friday 10th March at the NEC in Birmingham.

    The competition, which is sponsored by Eukanuba and run in conjunction with media partner Our Dogs, is open to dogs of all vulnerable breeds competing at open and championship shows, and dogs of breeds on the Kennel Club’s vulnerable breeds list are able to collect points for awards at these shows. Points can be claimed for Best of Breed or Best Any Variety Not Separately Classified (AVNSC) and also for group placings at championship shows.

    Exhibitors should record their Best of Breed/Group wins on the Vulnerable British and Irish Breeds Competition claim form/book for points gained from January to December 2016, and then submit this to the Kennel Club for verification (points will be awarded for championship and specific open show wins). 

    Caroline Kisko, Kennel Club Secretary, said: “The Kennel Club has been delighted with the response to the competition so far and is pleased that we are able to give these vulnerable breeds the recognition that they deserve. 

    “Now that the deadline is approaching, we would remind owners of these breeds that they need to fill out a claim form if they wish to have the opportunity to compete on the famous green carpet. Crufts is a wonderful showcase for pedigree dogs and the perfect chance to show the world just how special the rare British and Irish native breeds really are.”

    To take part, exhibitors need to download a Kennel Club British and Irish Breeds Competition claim form from the Kennel Club website:

    The completed form must be submitted to the Breed Shows Team at 5th January 2017. The Crufts finalist for each breed will be notified by the Kennel Club.

    How points are awarded:

    Single breed open shows and all breed/group open shows:

    Best of Breed/Best in AVNSC classes     1 point

    Championship shows

    Best of Breed/Best in AVNSC classes     1 point

    Group winner                                               4 points

    2nd place in group                                      3 points

    3rd place in group                                        2 points

    4th place in group                                        1 point

    Vulnerable British and Irish Breeds 2016:

    Bloodhound, Cardigan Welsh Corgis, Clumber Spaniels, Curly Coated Retrievers, Dandie Dinmont Terriers, Deerhounds, English Setters, English Toy Terriers (Black and Tan), Field Spaniels, Glen of Imaal Terriers, Gordon Setters, Irish Red & White Setters, Irish Terriers, Irish Water Spaniels, Irish Wolfhounds, Kerry Blue Terriers, King Charles Spaniels, Lakeland Terriers, Lancashire Heelers,  Manchester Terriers, Mastiffs, Miniature Bull Terriers, Norwich Terriers, Otterhounds, Sealyham Terriers, Skye Terriers, Smooth Collies, Smooth Fox Terriers, and Sussex Spaniels.

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