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Dogs Practical, dependable advice for all dog lovers

MONTHLY What do the





questions answered by our experts


get for Christmas?


Get crafty!

How to teach restraint


Do our dogs grieve, too?

Feeding the dream

KEEP THE PEACE in a three-dog home

GUESS THE BREED OF OUR COVER DOG He’s an all-American boy!

Dashing Dachshunds and other hot dogs! Cover.indd 1

January 2017 £3.99


Niall Lester & a decade of non-destruction

17/11/2016 20:01


The average pet insurance claim is over £700^ Are you covered?


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21/11/2016 12:07

January 2017

Boxer, posed by a model


Has Buster the trampolining Boxer been putting a smile on your face these last few weeks? Leaving aside the question of when and why department stores’ TV advertising campaigns started to become newsworthy events, this year’s John Lewis Christmas advert, featuring a (heavenly?) host of CGI animals bouncing around on a trampoline, has captured many people’s hearts – mine included. The model for the digital Buster was a real-life Boxer called Biff, whose movements and expressions were filmed in close detail before the clever CGI creative team turned him into bouncing Buster. Thankfully, Biff was allowed to keep all four feet on the ground while being filmed, and although we’ve heard a few worrying stories of pet owners trying to recreate the advert at home, hopefully no real-life Busters will be injured or frightened for the sake of a couple of minutes of YouTube footage. But the advert got me thinking about why they chose to use a Boxer, and also about people’s perceptions of various breeds of dog from their general characteristics, as well as their looks. In the Boxer’s case, as well as being very handsome, they’ve often been called the clowns of the dog world. They’re

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bright and energetic, and there’s just something innately funny in many of their expressions – if you’ve ever spent any time with one, you’ll know. In the end, perhaps the breed’s smooth coat swung it; trying to CGI a hairy Yorkshire Terrier (like little Pelucchi on p18) would probably have had the animators tearing their own hair out. So good choice I think, John Lewis! What do you think of our own Christmas cover dog? Do you recognise the breed, and could you hazard a guess about his personality and characteristics from his noble looks? It’s certainly a breed that was new to me until this month. Turn to p42 to find out more… From all of us here at Dogs Monthly, to you, your families and your pets, have a fun-filled Christmas and a very Happy New Year. Until next month…


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Unsolicited material: Although we do our best to take care of material submitted, Dogs Monthly cannot be held responsible for its safety. Contributors should retain a copy of what they send, and it’s advisable not to send precious originals. We regret that, due to the volume of mail received, not all correspondence can be acknowledged or answered personally. Personal views expressed in articles and letters are those of the contributor and not necessarily those of the publishers. We reserve the right to delete from any article material which we consider could lead to any breach of the law of libel. While we do not knowingly include erroneous information, the responsibility for accuracy lies with those who submitted the material.

CONTRIBUTORS THIS ISSUE: Debbie Bridges, Tim Couzens, Rachael Sharpe, James Farrell, Graham Finch, Sue Gilmore, Victoria Heywood, Claire Horton-Bussey, Nick Jones, Sue Kewley, Alison Logan, Laura McAuliffe, Paul Manktelow, Catherine Pickles, Libby Sheridan, Stuart Simons, Emma Taylor, Sue Williams.


© 2017 Dogs Monthly/Pet Subjects Ltd All rights reserved by Pet Subjects Ltd. Reproduction in part or whole is forbidden without the consent of the publishers

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COVER DOG: Jester, a Black and Tan Coonhound owned by Debra Apperley, is one of only a handful of his breed in the UK. Find out more about them on page 42. COVER PHOTO: Penelope Malby,

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January 2017 | 3

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January 2017


Dogs &people

Breeds &profiles

Training &behaviour

llllll = on the cover

K9 Queries l Our FREE service for readers! Your canine problems solved. Starts on p73

Regular features

l 10 “A better future” Meet the Dartford dog warden and shelter founder who’s giving new hope to animals everywhere.

l 42 Southern gentleman Say hello to the Coonhound in the first of our new, occasional series on rare breeds.

l 20 Farewell, my friend Do dogs grieve too when they lose a companion? This poignant tale suggests some ways to help them through.

6 Dogs Now News from the dog world.

l 14 Dog’s dream Christmas Ideas great and small for your pet’s Christmas stocking.

l 90 So you want a Dachshund? These alternative breeds might take your fancy instead…

46 Secret diary of a dog trainer Our undercover trainer reveals the truth of their trade.

44 Back issues Catch up on copies of Dogs Monthly you’ve missed.

18 The Barkshire firefighter Yorkshire Terrier Pelucchi creates a fundraising calendar with the help of his local fire brigade….

34 From street dog to show dog! Rescue dog Tommy struts his stuff in the Scruffts semi-finals.

26 Animal magic Turning discarded materials into vibrant sculptures.

l 40 Truly scrumptious Make a custard cream biscuit dog bed.

l 30 Food from thought The man behind Burns pet food explains how it all began.

58 “My angel dog” Meet our next nominee for the HiLife ‘Best friends’ Trophy 2016 – and find out how you and your dog could be next.

4 | January 2017

Contents.indd 4

l 52 Waiting game How to teach the super-useful ‘wait’ command. l 64 Terrier terrors Bringing harmony to a three-dog household. 68 Good traveller Top tips for safe journeys and reluctant passengers.

60 Book club Dog titles reviewed and copies to win!

28 Mailbox The latest from our postbag.

50 Pin-up pups Your beautiful dogs, your lovely pictures... 72 Subscribe to Dogs Monthly... ...and get a free high-quality retrieve toy for your dog! 98 Tail end Molly the Airedale’s latest madcap exploits.

74 Veterinary & complementary therapies Parvovirus, swimmer’s tail, tear stains, what to do about an abdominal growth, and whether there’s a medical reason for excessive chewing. Plus grass seed awareness, corneal ulcers, assessing a dog’s ideal weight, and “Why does my terrier keep being sick?” 80 Behaviour & training Boisterous greetings, night-time barking, and compromising when family come to stay. Plus introducing a kitten, brightening up winter walks, and “My dog’s suddenly started weeing in the kitchen.” 84 General care & advice Grooming in winter, insurance policy exclusions, a loveable tearaway, and a dog who’s afraid of the car. Plus trimming furry feet, Maltese hairstyles, health screening before breeding, the effect of claims on insurance renewals, and “Help, my dog won’t eat her prescription food!”

Our promise to you...

Every month we will bring you down-to-earth, practical advice and ideas that are achievable now and relevant to you and your dog.

17/11/2016 19:49

The Retired Greyhound Trust was founded in 1975. We find loving homes for approximately half of the 8,000 racing greyhounds that retire each year. As a charity, we strive towards a day when all racing greyhounds retire to loving homes and are treated with compassion and kindness.

Retired Greyhound Trust Charity numbers 269668 & SC044047

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21/11/2016 12:11


Dogs now


Find out what’s happening in the canine world

Photo: Simon Anderson

DOG-FRIENDLY BRITAIN Three cheers for the winners of the Kennel Club’s 10th annual Be Dog Friendly Awards! This year’s victory list includes some new names, as well as some old friends, and a total of 14,685 votes were cast. That’s a record number, although hardly surprising, as with roughly 8.5 million pet dogs in the UK, more and more owners are looking for venues they can enjoy with their dogs. Pet-friendly policies are likely to win people over, and according to research carried out by the Kennel Club, four out of five companies surveyed said business improved when they introduced a dog-friendly policy. For the first time, Kelso in the Scottish Borders snapped up the title of most dog-friendly town/city, taking the crown from Keswick in Cumbria, which had won the award for the last three years. Other category winners include beautiful Bamburgh in Northumberland, which was voted best dog-friendly beach; the aptly named Doggie Diner in Sunderland for best cafe/restaurant; Widgets Farm, at Standerwick in Somerset, for best hotel/place to stay; and The Mill in Salisbury, for best pub. Eurotunnel Le Shuttle won the large organisation category for the fifth year in a row, thanks to the amazing service it provides to dogs as they cross the Channel with their owners, while Blue Hills at St Agnes in Cornwall retained the camping/caravanning award it won last year. Caroline Kisko, KC secretary, said, “Huge congratulations to each of the winners, and thank you to everyone nominated for going the extra mile for dogs. The winners of these awards are determined by the public, and all of this year’s winners are perfect examples of how businesses and public places can reap the benefits of being dog friendly.” To see the full list, go to kennel-club-campaigns/be-dog-friendly 6 | January 2017

News Jan_2.indd 6


Pets positively welcome!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY! Dogs Trust Manchester celebrated its second birthday, and over 1,800 dogs rehomed, by throwing an extra-special party for an extra-special pup. Four-monthold Daisy, a deaf American Bulldog puppy, was handed in to Dogs Trust Manchester as the ‘leftover’ of a litter, and the team is hoping she’ll find her forever home soon. Dawn Bishop, rehoming centre manager, says, “We want to say a massive thank you to everyone who has supported us. So many dogs are in loving homes thanks to everyone who has come to us to give a dog a second chance. We are now really hoping someone falls in love with Daisy soon, as she is really missing out by not being in a home of her own. “Daisy is like any puppy – she loves to play with her toys, enjoys having a cuddle and is a really quick learner, taking in everything around her. Training her is very similar to training any dog, and her focus is probably better than most, as she doesn’t get distracted! She loves her food too and so was delighted to have first bite of the birthday cake!” Daisy wasn’t the only dog to enjoy a special treat: since the Dogs Trust Manchester rehoming centre opened in October 2014, its guests have enjoyed an estimated 6,000 packets of doggie treats between them! “People just walk into the centre with everything from toys and treats to tinned food, all of which is needed and thoroughly enjoyed by our dogs. We can have around 100 dogs here at any one time, and we really wouldn’t be able to give them everything they need without the generosity of our supporters,” says Dawn. “So as well as saying a huge thank you to everyone who has been able to give a dog their forever home, we would like to thank everyone who has supported us by making donations.”

Photo: Wendy Lovatt

Party on

17/11/2016 20:14


No dogs allowed PUBLIC SPACES Increasingly tough restrictions on dogs in public places are penalising responsible owners, says the Kennel Club. Its latest report shows that while one in four UK households has a dog, dogs are banned from over 2,200 public spaces across England and Wales, and must be kept on leads at all times in a further 1,100. These overly restrictive Public Space Protection Orders (PSPOs) can lead to responsible dog owners and assistance dog users being unfairly penalised or even criminalised. It might also affect dogs’ quality of life by making it more difficult for them to receive the ‘suitable exercise’ required by the Animal Welfare Act. And, the Kennel Club warns, the situation may get worse. “There is likely to be a substantial increase in restrictions in the next year, as all local authorities in England and Wales must replace existing Dog Control Orders (DCOs; introduced under the Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act 2005) with PSPOs by 20 October 2017,” according to the KC statement. The KC fears this may have dire consequences on people who rely on assistance dogs. “When PSPOs replaced DCOs there was no specific provision within the legislation to exempt those who rely on assistance dogs from any of the restrictions within a PSPO. Instead there was merely a recommendation in the guidance that states local authorities ‘may wish to consider exempting those with an assistance dog’.” Sadly, this recommendation is not always followed, and many local authorities seem to have their own ideas of where the line is drawn between a pet dog and an assistance dog. Says Caroline Kisko, KC secretary, “Certain PSPOs, such as the one that makes it a legal requirement to pick up after your dog, are sensible and promote responsible ownership. However, some, such as blanket restrictions, do little to address underlying problems and instead simply displace them to other sites, which can cause further problems elsewhere. “Some local authorities seem to be waging a war on dogs and their owners and singling them out from the rest of the population with no real reason for doing so. Those involved in proposing dog restrictions of course have to take into consideration all users of public spaces, not just those with dogs, but when they seem to be actively trying to criminalise dog owners simply for wanting to give their pets proper exercise, it greatly concerns us, which is why it is important to oppose unnecessary restrictions, and encourage a more evidence-based approach.”

Popeye, a tiny crossbreed, was wandering the streets of Los Angeles and eating scraps to get by when Ivy Diep found him in 2014. They have been inseparable ever since, and Popeye accompanies Ivy everywhere – including her ‘Instagram dates’, where she and a friend try different restaurants in LA and post pictures of their food to the social networking site. Ivy soon realised Popeye was wonderfully polite at the table, and would pose with the food without attempting to eat it, which resulted in adorable images and thousands of followers. To see them, visit www. /popeyethe foodie

Fraud on the rise PET INSURANCE Fraudulent pet insurance claims have risen by 400 per cent over the last four years, according to specialist pet insurance technologist Aquarium Software.

The 2016 Crime Survey for England and Wales, published by the Office for National Statistics, found that fraud in general is a quickly growing crime, with 3.8 million cases committed each year. However, the increase in pet insurance fraud was found to be significantly higher than all other types, despite the establishment of a national insurance fraud register in 2012. Mark Colonnese, sales and marketing director at Aquarium Software, says, “Pet insurance is vulnerable to fraud by its nature. A strategic, thoughtful and advanced solution is needed to tackle the unprecedented rise in cases.” It isn’t only pet owners that commit this kind of fraud: a small minority of professional enablers also play a crucial role. The 2016 final report by the Government’s Insurance Fraud Taskforce cites the case of a vet being imprisoned and struck off for preparing fake veterinary treatment claims for non-existent pets, totalling nearly £200,000.

Actor and animal welfare campaigner Peter Egan attended the launch of The Arc (The Animal Replacement Centre of Excellence) at Queen Mary University of London’s Blizard Institute, on 24 October. Funded by the Dr Hadwen Trust – the UK’s leading non-animal medical research charity, which funds and promotes the development of techniques and procedures to replace the use of animals in biomedical research – the centre will focus on non-animal research into skin, breast and prostate cancer.

News Jan_2.indd 7

January 2017 | 7

17/11/2016 20:15



Welfare awards

ENTRIES OPEN Nominations are now open for Ceva’s 2017 Animal Welfare Awards. If you know an individual or a team you believe deserve an award for their achievements in the farming, veterinary or animal charity field, you have until 13 January 2017 to nominate them. The categories are: Vet of the Year Welfare Nurse of the Year Charity Professional of the Year Charity Team of the Year Volunteer of the Year Farm Animal Welfare Award International Cat Care Welfare Award. Ceva managing director, Cuneyt Seckin, said, “The lengths to which some wonderful people go to ensure the health and happiness of animals across the world really knows no bounds. Not only do the awards champion people involved in animal welfare, but they also raise awareness of this important work to wider audiences.” The awards ceremony is due to take place on the eve of the British Small Animal Veterinary Association congress on 5 April 2017. To find out more about the awards, and how to nominate someone, visit

• • • • • • •

Scruffts success!

TOP DOGS We’re all smiles in the Dogs Monthly

office because not one, but two, fabulous dogs who’ve appeared in the magazine during the last year are off to Crufts 2017! Tommy, from our Scruffts heat article in last month’s issue, and Fleur, the brave ‘medical miracle’ dog we featured in our March issue, both won their Turn to Scruffts Family Crossbreed Dog of the Year page 34 to semi-final classes at Eukanuba Discover follow Tommy Dogs in October, and now go through to the at Discover grand final at Crufts. Dogs! Tommy (Most Handsome Dog) and Fleur (Best Rescue) will be joined at the NEC by Biscuit (who won the Good Citizen Dog Scheme class), Ginny (Prettiest Bitch), Bonnie (Child’s Best Friend) and Vinny (Golden Oldie). More than 1,400 dogs took part in Scruffts heats around the country this year, raising over £4,000 for the Kennel Club Charitable Trust, and each event’s chosen charity. 8 | January 2017

News Jan_2.indd 8

Bud, a sevenyear-old Greyhoundcollie cross, has finally been adopted after spending over 1,000 days at the Old Windsor branch of Battersea Dogs and Cats Home – all thanks to a little help from Paul O’Grady… Bud arrived at Battersea in 2014, and while the charity has rehomed over 5,500 dogs since then, Bud was continuously overlooked, which gained him the title of Battersea’s unluckiest dog. But starring in an episode of Paul O’Grady: For the Love of Dogs in October changed his luck. Hundreds of people enquired about adopting him, and Bud now has a family of his own to spend Christmas with.

Battersea hero VOLUNTEERING Laurence Ackland Smith is Battersea Dogs and Cats Home’s longest-serving volunteer. He recently celebrated his 30th year of service, an occasion the staff decided to mark with a party. Laurence began volunteering as a dog walker for Battersea in October 1986. While he would have loved a dog of his own, his son was allergic to them, so that wasn’t an option. Volunteering for the charity was the next best thing, and since then Laurence has spent about 12,000 hours walking Battersea dogs for an estimated 7,500 miles. Peter Laurie, Battersea’s director of operations, and Charlotte Fielder, head of volunteering and fostering, awarded a Certificate of Achievement to Laurence. “If you think this is a retirement speech, it isn’t!” said Laurence as he accepted the certificate. Fully aware of the benefits the company of a dog has for people, Laurence began taking Battersea dogs for monthly visits to the Chelsea Pensioners at the Royal Hospital in 2010. The staff and pensioners threw an additional party for him to celebrate his 30 years of volunteering. Said Charlotte, “Laurence is a hero at Battersea, not just because he has been volunteering with us for so long, but because he is such a committed, reliable and lovely person. He totally embodies the values of the home and he continually demonstrates love, care and respect for our animals.”

17/11/2016 20:15





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21/11/2016 12:15

Dogs &people

“A better future” For the love of dog

Many local authority pounds feel they have no choice but to euthanase some of the animals that end up in their charge. But one deeply compassionate and inspirational man has found another way… CATHERINE PICKLES talks to dog warden Niall Lester about his job, his charity, and his remarkable achievements


here is a council-run pound in the UK where no animal has died or been put to sleep in 10 years. From foxes to snakes, injured chickens to bull breed dogs, woodpigeons, domestic rats, hedgehogs, feral cats and even a turkey, every single soul has not only survived, but has either been rehabilitated and released back into the wild, or found an appropriate rescue space or sanctuary. You may have an image in your head of the person responsible

10 | January 2017

For the Love of Dogs Jan.indd 10

for this remarkable achievement, and it’s probably a forceful and dynamic woman, with contacts and networks among the local area’s great and good. You might also reasonably assume this animal utopia is located in glorious rural England, with a human population that’s largely middle class and affluent; a place where there’s enough disposable income to support fundraising, and a willing population eager to protect the welfare of its local wildlife.

Urban outlook

So welcome to Dartford: right on the edge of London, and sliced in two by the M25, the busiest road network in the south-east. Dartford is a predominantly urban environment with higher than average levels of crime and anti-social behaviour. Pockets of affluence are outweighed by those with social deprivation. Inappropriate ownership of ‘status dogs’ means the councilrun pound is heavily populated with abandoned, neglected or

16/11/16 16:00

abused bull breeds, and the image, left, of a tattooed young man posing with an English Bull Terrier must surely be an illustration of everything the dog warden in this area is battling. But the man in the picture isn’t the problem; he’s the solution. Niall Lester, the animal control officer for Dartford, and founder of New Hope Animal Rescue, is the unlikely looking hero responsible for thousands of seemingly impossible rescue placements and rehoming successes, as well as being ‘dad’ to a fleet of animals that for behavioural or medical reasons cannot be safely rehomed anywhere else. “I’ve always been animal mad,” says Niall. “I started volunteering for the RSPCA at the age of 12, and by that time I’d been nagging my parents for a dog for 10 years. A year later they finally relented, and as well as looking after my own dog and continuing to volunteer for local rescues, I gained a bit of a reputation for looking after injured or stray animals.” At 17, Niall trained and worked as a veterinary nurse with the Blue Cross, and as soon as he

Above: An unlikely hero, Niall poses with an English Bull Terrier. Right, above and below: Niall with some of his many canine friends at New Hope Animal Rescue.

For the Love of Dogs Jan.indd 11

left home, he filled his new house with pound dogs at risk of being put to sleep. When he ran out of room, he used whatever spare money he had to pay for emergency kennels until he found a solution or a rescue placement for the dog. At 25, he became the local dog warden, or more

formally, the animal control warden for Dartford.


“That’s when it really exploded. From the moment I arrived, I made the pound non-destruct. Every week we have about 10 dogs, usually bull breeds or working Lurchers, arrive here. Some are lost and are returned home, but the majority are abandoned or welfare cases that need assessment, medical treatment, and most often a rescue placement. I rarely rehome straight to another home, but when I do, I home-check, and the dog will have been assessed not only by me, but also by a behaviourist. Usually, I try to act as a conduit between animals in need and a huge network of rescue organisations across the country.” Niall’s reputation and networking skills see many dogs quickly placed, something that is essential because New Hope Animal Rescue is already home to 15 sanctuary dogs, as well as pigs, cats and birds, as well as his very supportive housemate. “Most of the sanctuary animals have complex medical or behavioural needs and I feel responsible for them. My home is an extension of the rescue, but I also need to use off-site kennels as well. I still spend almost every

January 2017 | 11

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Below: Below: No animal is ever turned away – chickens included! Opposite page above and below: Niall at work as the Animal Control Officer for Dartford, Kent.

spare penny I have on the rescue animals, but in comparison to the early days, when I had no money and no space of my own, this feels like luxury. I see the kennel dogs every day apart from Sundays, and our rescue behaviourist, Donna Lincoln, works with all our dogs twice a week. I’d love to have them all on site with me but there just isn’t the space. But no dog leaves my care until I’m satisfied it’s ready to move to another rescue. After all, it’s my name above the door.”

Can’t say no!

Rachel Hayball, from Hounds First Sighthound Rescue, finds it hard to say no to Niall when he calls needing to find a safe haven for a Lurcher.

“He has a way of asking that makes it difficult to avoid saying yes!” says Rachel. “Niall’s dedication to animals is second to none, whether he is doing his day job as an animal warden, or his passion as an animal rescuer. We have a great relationship with Niall, and I can honestly say that he is the most lovely animal warden and animal rescuer that we have worked with. He really is a credit to the world of animal welfare.” Continues Niall, “I’m most proud when I’m faced with what seems like an impossible job. Recently, I was called by another pound to see if I could help a dog that was at significant risk of being destroyed. When I got there, I discovered that he was

one of 20 dogs – 15 of them Staffies. Within 48 hours, all of them were secure in good rescues, and it’s moments like that when I appreciate what I’ve created, and of the network around me and particularly of New Hope.” Adds Georgina Armstrong from Glendee Rescue, which is a part of the network Niall has created, “To say I am in awe with what he does in his day is an understatement – his values are the best of the best when it comes to animal welfare. Not only is he a relentless animal saviour, he also campaigns for animal rights, and he is a compassionate animalrights activist. He is so much more than people see, and to be honest, what we see is totally amazing. He fights the corner of

You find yourself saying superlatives, and it just still doesn’t seem to quite cover the awesomeness that is Niall Lester

12 | January 2017

For the Love of Dogs Jan.indd 12

16/11/16 16:00

the voiceless and none more so than the bull breeds of our UK pound system. But scratch below the surface and you will find out all of the incredible things he does behind the scenes. You find yourself saying superlatives, and it just still doesn’t seem to quite cover the awesomeness that is Niall Lester.”

About the author Catherine Pickles is a full-time family carer, a blogger, journalist, author and a regular foster-carer for Hounds First Sighthound Rescue. The human author behind the hilarious Worzel Wooface series, she lives in Southwold with her husband Mike, two nearly grown-up children, Worzel the Lurcher and five cats.

Care & compassion

It’s easy to understand Niall’s pride and satisfaction in his work. His determination to help every animal regardless of species, and his untiring energy within his local area is undeniably impressive and heartwarming. Niall is keen to talk about individual dogs, those in his care and those that have moved on. He has a deep-rooted compassion for so many individual animals, and it is clear where his heart belongs. What sets Niall apart is not his heart, however; it’s his head. In among daredevil stories of safely capturing Lurchers who’ve got their heads stuck inside sweet jars, or liberating pets when an owner has died, Niall lectures about animal welfare in colleges, and talks to schools about the perils of status dogs. Recently, he’s secured funding for New Hope from Dogs Trust, for a neuter and spay programme for London poundies. And he’s sharing his best practice and working systems with neighbouring animal control officers and pounds. He is regularly contacted by local authority staff looking for solutions other than destruction for dogs in medical need, or who are running out of time for a rescue placement. “After years of building up trust, one council with a previously very high destruct record is now working with me. We’re setting up a neutering campaign and we are rolling it out to other councils. “The talks in schools and other education opportunities are so important. Protecting individual animals is one thing,

but prevention and working in partnership is the key to a better future. Rescue organisations must work together, and for me, as the middle man between a dog in need and a place of safety, it is essential to maintain that goodwill.” Born and bred in this area of Kent, Niall sometimes fantasises about moving, but realistically he knows that will never happen. “I’m rooted in this community. I’m trusted, and the thought of leaving this behind to start again would be impossible. I suspect I’ll die here, doing this job. It’s not something you can leave.” As the architect of Dartford’s remarkable record, and the founder of New Hope Animal Rescue, Niall doesn’t need to move. His undimmable beacon of good practice is shining across the country, and providing new hope for abandoned, injured or distressed animals everywhere. c

Find out more

For more about New Hope Animal Rescue and how to donate, visit or see the rescue’s Facebook page at

For the Love of Dogs Jan.indd 13

January January2017 2017| | 13

17/11/16 22:24

Dogs &people

Dog’s dream Chri

Happy campers

What do you buy for the dog who has everything? Maybe one of these luxury gifts will take his fancy... Cosy in cashmere

December and January can be bitterly cold months, so jumpers are a must. These sumptuously soft Cable Cashmere Pullovers from Mungo and Maud are so cosy, however, that you might find your dog prefers to stay snuggled up at home than to show off his Christmas jumper on a winter walk. Priced £249, they come in graphite, mustard and tobacco, and in sizes from 20cm to 45cm. Contact: www.mungo

These little dog houses, designed by Judson Beaumont of Straight Line Designs Inc in Vancouver, Canada, are built to look like camper vans, and as we’ve come across nothing similar in the UK, you’ll be pleased to know they ship their pet campers around the world. Each one comes with its own custom licence plate, and there are several designs to choose from. Two downsides: they’re designed strictly for small dogs weighing up to 20lbs; and they cost $1,000… Contact:

Something smells good

Perfume is a popular gift for loved ones, so why not dogs too? Wildwash has created three limited-edition gift sets costing £64.90. Each set includes shampoo 300ml, perfume 200ml, a gift bag and a candle. Choose from fragrance No.1 with balancing and revitalising ylang ylang and magnolia; No.2 with the uplifting scent of grapefruit, bergamot and ginger; or No.3 with sweet orange, coriander and cedarwood, which can help to repel fleas naturally. Contact: 14 | January 2017

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Sleep like a king

The Cornish Bed Company has launched these impressive, vintage-style metal dog beds in time for Christmas. Each bed is hand cast at the factory in Par, Cornwall, and made to order to your size requirements in brass, iron or nickel. The bespoke beds start at £895 for a ‘Billy’ or ‘Maud’ design, and rise to £1,550 for the more ornate ‘Clifton’ bed. Cornish Bed Company’s Garry Smith said the idea for the dog beds came from customer demand. “Our factory produced a miniature version of our beds to show customers how they are constructed. People loved it and wanted to order them for their pets, so we developed the dog bed range as a result. “The dog beds are made using exactly the same methods and materials as our human-sized beds.”


Home from home

Would your dog like his own fully insulated cottage? These stunning British designed and manufactured cottages are made with dogs in mind. Featuring natural slate or cedar shingle roofs, outside lights, glazed windows and doors, and a PetSafe dog door, they’ll make your dog’s life comfortable come rain, wind or snow, as well as being a beautiful addition to your garden. From £2,450. Contact: www. thedogcottage

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Your carriage awaits Your furry friend can travel in style in this luxurious leather Pet Carrier from Haus of Dogs. It has a net window with leather flap, air holes, and a removable pillow. Perfect for a pampered pooch and a must-have for fashion-loving owners. Costing £279, it’s available in black or cognac brown, and is suitable for pets up to 8kg. Contact: www.

Too good to chew

Orvis’s adorable collection of corduroy animal squeaky toys might leave you a bit dubious about handing them over to a toy-destructive pooch. But, says Orvis, they are tough enough to keep up with the most playful of pups, as they have internal reinforced seams and durable Tuffut Technology™ construction. Choose from the reindeer, bunny, lamb, panda, goat or lion, all at £19. Contact:

Hot off the dogwalk

Your dog can really strut his stuff in The Company of Animals’ new HALTI Walking range, perfect for those dark winter evenings. The new collection of collars, harnesses and leads features highly reflective 3M Scotchlite™ strip to help ensure dogs are visible and safe in all environments. The HALTI Walking Harness and All-In-One Lead also feature close-control handles for quick and easy restraint to maximise safety when crossing busy roads. Made from strong, two-tone webbing, with comfortable neoprene padding on handles and collar linings, the range comes in red, blue, purple or black. Prices from £5.99 to £24.99 RRP. Contact: /brands/halti-walking

‘Grand designs’ for dogs

One Pennsylvanian company brings a whole new meaning to ‘being in the doghouse’. The designers at Rockstar Puppy Boutique aim to make any doghouse dream a reality, and have already helped owners create a canine replica of the Taj Mahal (a mere $40,000), a wedding chapel, and a Swarovski crystal pet palace. A custom-built house starts at $6,000, but if you like one of their standard designs, such as this Victorian Kennel Dog House, you can buy the kit and materials for $3,999.99 to assemble it at home, or buy it prebuilt for an extra $600. Contact: www.rockstarpuppy 16 | January 2017

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Dogs &people

The Barkshire firefighter

Every dog has an ambition to be somedog, and help pets in distress. PELUCCHI fulfils his dreams…

Above: Pelucchi visits Maidenhead fire station to shoot his calendar in aid of Smokey Paws. Right: A natural talent with a hosepipe. Opposite page, top: Pelucchi reminds us to check our smoke alarms. Opposite page below: Pelucchi with his fire equipment.

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’m a typical Yorkshire Terrier. Well, actually I’m not very typical as I missed out on the terrier gene, and I’m certainly not a cutesy bows-in-my-hair kind of Yorkie. Although there’s nothing wrong with being a true terrier or wearing cutesy bows in your hair, that’s just not me. I’m more of a rough and tumble kind of boy – play ballies, go for long walkies, and best of all, play with water. Yes, I’m a water boy at heart! I’ve always enjoyed playing with the hosepipe, relaxing in my paddling pool, and bobbing for ballies. I took my love for the hosepipe to a whole new level about three years ago, when I learnt how to turn it on all by myself! Well, this led to endless fun; at least it would have been endless if I hadn’t been caught with the hose in my mouth spraying everything in the garden.

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and pan handles on the cooker were never pointing over the edge of it; having a bucket of water at the ready when cooking on the barbecue; and checking on elderly neighbours and making sure their smoke alarms work. Plus being aware of the dangers of swimming in open water in hot weather. My local fire station at Maidenhead invited me along to meet some of the firefighters and have a look around the station. I eagerly accepted their invitation. A trip to the local station! Me!

Fireman’s pole

The firefighter explained they use the human masks on pets too, or they make up oxygen tents at the scene to help any pets pulled out of the fire

I now have to be watched, and the hose is kept out of my reach when I’m not being supervised. It was last year while playing with the hosepipe in the paddling pool that I tweeted Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service a video of my skills with a hosepipe asking if they had any jobs available. Sadly, with no uniform to wear, there was no chance of a job. Shame. I was positive I would have been the cutest firefighter in town.

I was welcomed at the door by the station manager and some of the firefighters. I greeted them like old friends. First, I had a go on the fireman’s pole, as every firefighter needs to be able to use one. I was able to sit in one of the fire engines, but I wasn’t allowed the keys (I hope I will next time!). I explored the ‘smoke room’ used for training, although for safety reasons there was no smoke that day. I took control of the incident command unit – it’s like a fire station but on wheels! I was shown the oxygen masks they use on casualties pulled out from fires. The firefighter explained they use the human masks on pets too, or they make up oxygen tents at the scene to help any pets pulled out of the fire.

While I was being shown round, the firefighters set up one of the hosepipes for me to see. The water pressure was very strong and made my ear hair blow about too much, so I’ve decided to stick to playing with the garden hosepipe. I finished my tour of the station and enjoyed a glass of water brought out to me by one of the firefighters, one of my heroes.

Recruitment day

I had such an amazing time at Maidenhead Fire Station that I was invited along to the training centre in Reading, as they had a recruitment day a few days later. That was quite an experience! I was able to have a go at lots of the firefighter drills set up to test those attending on the day. I had to pull a hosepipe from the side of the fire engine within a certain time. I had to carry some weights that were set to the weight of two pieces of equipment in the fire engine. I had to drag the ‘victim’ dummy, follow instructions, and have my dexterity tested, climb a ladder and run some fitness tests in the gym. Once I’d finished the drills, I was allowed to test a smoke alarm. I think I passed all the firefighter drills and soon hope to be a fully-fledged volunteer for Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service. How about that! c

Dog in uniform

But as if by magic, in June of this year my uniform arrived – a proper firefighter’s uniform. I was all set, ready to get my dream job! It just so happened that my uniform arrived at the same time Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service were advertising for retained firefighters, who volunteer part time. So I followed my heart and sent off my CV. I began to learn everything there was to know about fire safety in the home: testing your smoke alarms weekly, usually on a Tuesday; making sure the pots

Help Pelucchi save pets

Pelucchi’s calendar costs £10 and proceeds will go to not-for-profit organisation Smokey Paws, which provides pet oxygen marks, specially designed for pets suffering from smoke inhalation, to fire brigades. To find out more visit Find out more about Pelucchi and buy a copy of his calendar from

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Training &behaviour

Farewell, my friend When they lose a familiar companion, do dogs grieve too? Behaviourist LAURA McAULIFFE looks at the effect of bereavement on the canine members of the family


here are no words to describe how it feels to lose a beloved dog. Sometimes, in the depths of our own grief, when we don’t even feel like getting out of bed to face the world, it’s possible to overlook how the other canines in the house may be feeling. We know intuitively that our dogs bond with other dogs and form relationships with them, but a few years ago we may not have even known, or believed, that our canine friends experienced loss or grief when a companion dies. It’s often thought that grief is a distinctly human emotion; something that makes us human and separates people from animals. We now know that dogs (and other animal species) most definitely can, and do, experience grief, and we even know quite a bit about the neurochemical basis of what causes the emotion in the brain. The grief my dogs could feel had been on my mind over the last few years. I have two elderly Lurcher siblings who have spent the whole of their

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lives together, and I worried they would never cope without each other when the inevitable happened and one passed away before the other. I imagined they would only last days without each other, so strong was their bond and so reliant were they on one another.

Thinking ahead

In our wisdom (these things always seem like a good idea at the time!) we introduced a third dog to our household; a young Inuit puppy called Elsa, to hopefully help when the awful day came and we would lose one of our dear oldies. Both Lurchers adored their new friend and it seemed as if the change in group dynamic could help when the inevitable happened. Sometimes, though, life has other plans, and a year ago my world was turned upside down by something none of us could have predicted. Although my elderly Lurchers are hanging on in

Main image: Luka and Beama in happy times. Opposite top right: Luka adored Elsa. Opposite, right: Beama and Elsa also got on very well. Opposite below: Elsa, who sadly died at the age of two.

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there at nearly 14 (and long may it last), we lost our beloved Elsa to a horrendous and devastating blood disease. Our incredibly fit and active young dog went rapidly downhill and died just after her second birthday despite all the best specialists and a team of amazing vets. Life as we knew it seemed to stop that day. All our future-proofing had come to nothing, and in the depths of my own grief I was left with the realisation that my two Lurchers were bereft at losing their young ‘sister’. Just like people, dogs seem to experience grief in different ways. Some dogs appear to be totally unaffected by the loss of a companion. Other dogs may look for their lost friend, and seem unable to settle. Some dogs appear to lose their appetite and go off their food; some may seem lethargic and depressed, unwilling to leave the house or go on walks. Some dogs may show acute signs of stress, and even repetitive behaviours. Our dogs can suffer, just as we do, and they may also be distressed by our own grief, and by seeing their owner upset, too. My Lurchers both reacted differently. Luka seemed mostly unfazed, but was more worried about noises that he would have coped with before. Beama was bereft. She wouldn’t eat, was reluctant to go for walks, and was unable to settle; She paced about, looking for Elsa. Luckily, my work as a behaviourist helped me to guide them through their own grief and, in time, they adapted to the loss of Elsa.

Practical help

There are a number of ways to cope with canine grief, and help dogs through it. First, it’s really important to rule out underlying health issues and pain if your bereaved dog loses their appetite or seems depressed. Just as in people,

In the depths of my own grief I was left with the realisation that my two Lurchers were bereft at losing their young ‘sister’

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bereavement, and the stress it causes on the body, can make existing health issues worse, or can make dogs more susceptible to illness. A really thorough check by your vet is essential if your dog shows behavioural changes that persist longer than a day or two, or seem extreme. When they are bereaved, people often find it hard to eat, and have very little appetite. It seems as if our canine friends can respond in the same way. If your dog loses their appetite (and your vet is happy that they are in good health and aren’t unwell) then you can try to encourage them to eat by: Feeding meals by hand while out on walks. Sometimes the added stimulation of a walk can help to increase appetite. Making meals smaller, and feeding more often throughout the day, as well as adding extra tasty treats to meals. Feeding some of the meal through activity toys can also help, as the food becomes higher value, and the added mental stimulation can help to lift a dog’s mood and encourage appetite. Signs of low mood and depression can also be seen in bereaved dogs, just as you might see in people. Dogs may become withdrawn and reluctant to go on walks, and may seem less willing to interact with their owners.

• • •

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〉 Top left: Active feeding can increase the value of food.

can often help to boost a dog’s mood by doing • You lots of scentwork with them, and offering lots of

Above: New sights and smells boost mood.

Above right: Licking and chewing boosts feel-good chemicals. Below right: Grooming can be a good activity to boost mood.

opportunities to chew. Both these activities help to boost feel-good hormones and neurotransmitters. Time spent together doing favourite activities, and visiting favourite walks, can also help. Try to stick to your normal routine as far as possible, and ask friends and family to help if you can’t face going for a walk. Adding extra-sensory input from visiting new places with interesting smells can help, but you have to be careful not to introduce too much change when you are helping a dog who is struggling with grief – keeping life predictable, but with an extra few nice outings can help, but this is not the time to start a new training class or take up a new dog sport. A vet check is crucial, however, if dogs seem depressed. Some dogs may even need medication for a short period of time to help them cope.

Life & soul

Loss of confidence can occur if the remaining dog relied on their departed companion to handle social interactions with other dogs on walks. If they saw their lost friend as the ‘meeter-greeter’, who happily said hello to other dogs on walks, while they stayed in the background, then suddenly being left alone to deal with other dogs can be overwhelming and a source of anxiety. 22 | January 2017

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Walking with other canine friends can help as they can be a source of confidence, and just hanging out with dogs they know and like can help to boost mood, too. Play can be a great source of joy – either with other dogs they like, or with human companions – so arranging play-dates and investing in a few new toys can be beneficial. Seek help from your vet and a qualified canine behaviourist at an early stage if you feel your dog isn’t improving, or that they’re getting worse. Often, things get better in time, but if they don’t, seeking help early is far preferable to leaving things until behavioural problems become worse and more ingrained.

Familiar comforts

People often wonder how to cope with the early days after the loss of a dog in the household. Should you move collars, beds and every trace of them, or not? Although some people like to clear the house of reminders as it helps them to cope better, for the benefit of the other dogs in the house it is normally better to leave things as they are, even if only for a short time. Your remaining dogs may need to be able to sniff and lie in their departed friend’s bed so, if you can bear to, leave things in place until your dogs have lost interest in them. I found that Beama only finally settled and stopped searching for Elsa when I let her smell Elsa’s collar and harness. After spending several minutes deeply sniffing Elsa’s harness, she finally walked away and settled down to sleep. The loss of a pet is a terrible time for everyone in the household, and it can be hard to try to juggle and manage everyone’s different needs while you’re dealing with your own grief. Be kind to yourself and give yourself time; don’t rush, and don’t feel pressured to return to ‘normal’ or to visit the old walks you associate with your lost dog. It took me six months to be able to cope with visiting Elsa’s favourite walks again.

And Sylvi made three

My Lurchers are still going strong at nearly 14 years old, and are now enjoying the company of a new

canine pal – another Inuit youngster who keeps them on their toes! Getting another dog straight away isn’t recommended, however, as a new dog won’t be a substitute for the dog they had a close relationship with. Sometimes, it does appear to help some dogs, but there are no guarantees, and you may even find it makes things worse, as it can cause even more stress. My own dogs greeted our new puppy, Sylvi, almost as if it was Elsa returning. They looked ecstatically happy, but then a few days later it was almost as if they realised it wasn’t Elsa, and their mood sunk again. Thankfully they started to like Sylvi pretty quickly, and she certainly provides them with added entertainment! For now, life is happy, and we enjoy our precious time together with all three dogs. None of us knows what the future will bring, so we make sure every day is special and fun. c

Above: New puppy Sylvi. Below left: Sylvi has quickly become part of the gang.

About the author


Since this article was written, Laura sadly lost Beama after a short battle with liver cancer. Luka got to say goodbye and is coping without his sister after a difficult few days of adapting to life without her. 24 | January 2017

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Laura McAuliffe BSc (hons) is a dog behaviourist based in Surrey where she co-runs Dog Communication and specialises in helping dogs with aggression and anxiety issues. Laura has three dogs of her own, including Sylvi, the teenagetearaway British Timber Dog.

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Dogs &people

Animal magic Dogs in art

Meet artist Barbara Franc, who turns discarded materials into vibrant animal sculptures, full of energy and movement


arbara Franc has a unique talent for breathing new life into discarded objects. The London-based sculptor takes recycled and found objects that nobody wants and transforms them into vibrant works of art. Many of her sculptures are influenced by her love of animals, particularly man’s best friend. Barbara’s artistic journey began in the late 1970s, but by then she had already made history by becoming the BBC’s first female camera operator. Says Barbara, “I originally wanted to be a vet, and then for some curious reason I ended up at the BBC as their first female cameraman, a career which took me all over the world. “After the birth of my daughter I wished to stay at home but still needed an artistic outlet so I started sculpture. I tend to think in three dimensions and quickly get frustrated with trying to sketch or draw in 2D.” Barbara studied life drawing at Morley College of Art under painter and sculptor Maggi Hambling, and the late painter John Bellany, before pursuing a specific interest in sculpture at Richmond College. Influenced by her mentor, sculptor Mary Orrom, Barbara took inspiration from 19th century animal engravings, domesticated animals, and the movement of racehorses and racing dogs. Having always been motivated by animals’ shape and form, Barbara is never short of subject matter and her collection features a wide variety of species, including horses, foxes, cats, hares, birds, zebras and, of course, dogs. “I always had a huge interest in animals, especially the domesticated ones that we share our lives with. I’ve always had pets – dogs, cats, all manner of rodents, insects, a chameleon and horses – and they have all inspired me at some time or other. “My first pieces were in bronze, then I moved to firing clay with my own kiln, and then on to metals, making strong wire armatures to which I attach found and discarded objects. At the same time I also wanted to work with different media, such as fabrics, still making a strong wire armature, which is then stuffed and covered with vintage materials. Dogs seemed to lend themselves really well to this technique as the distressing of the fabric evokes their ‘shagginess’.” 26 | December 2016

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Far left: Barbara and Rufus. Opposite page, below: The Dog Knows Best IV, made from scraps of curtains, a headscarf and some old trousers. Left and below left: A creation in progress. Below: Shaggy Dog Tale, a 60cm high sculpture.

The search for these items never ends, and Barbara always has her eyes peeled for new materials, most of which come from secondhand shops, car boot sales or things found while out and about on her daily dog walk. This means no two pieces are the same, and of course, with such a variety of objects, the main challenge is working out how the item can best be used and where they should be placed. “The only media I am unwilling to use are plastics of any kind; there’s too much of it in the world doing a lot of damage to wildlife and I don’t wish to use it.” c


To see more of Barbara‘s work, and find out about upcoming exhibitions, visit

The shaggy dogs in Barbara’s collection are based on her own long-legged Lurcher Rufus, a sevenyear-old Deerhound cross, who shares her home along with two grey, and in Barbara’s own words, “destructive” cats. “Rufus and Belle, my Lurchers, have modelled for me many times, even if it’s just to check on anatomy, which is very, very important to me. Before them my German Shorthaired Pointer was invaluable, and a recent piece I made, ‘Entre le Chien et le Loup’ (French for twilight), was based on a childhood pet. “I also visit a lot of zoos and wildlife parks, and walking my own dog every day enables me to see lots of other canines in the park.”

Found objects

After manipulating the wire to capture the form of her subject, Barbara chooses from an array of materials and items stuffed into boxes and cupboard drawers. These include scraps of fabric from clothes and curtains, tin and other metals, and various found objects, which are all used to create different textures and form a likeness of the animal. “I’m very passionate about trying to use discarded and found objects as much as possible and recycle them. It provides me with a challenge to find the right pieces, and also gives them a new lease of life.”

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Readers’ letters


We love to hear from you! Email with ‘Mailbox’ in the subject line, or write to Mailbox, Dogs Monthly, The Old Print House, 62 High Street, Chobham, Surrey GU24 8AA

S tar letter!

From rom Korea with love

I’d like to introduce you to Bokshil, my beautiful Korean Jindo (pictured here with my youngest sister). Bokshil is one of the most common names for a dog in South Korea. The word is derived from the adjective ‘bokshil-bokshil’, which is often used to describe something that is adorably fuzzy, and as fluffy as a cloud. That was the first word that came to my mind when I first saw a little puppy roaming cautiously around our flat in February 2013. My father, who had brought the puppy home, said that she was a two-month-old white Jindo, and was going to be the guard dog for his factory. In Korea, the Jindo is known for its strong will and bravery. However, the puppy in front of me, covered with snow-white fur, looked so fragile and small that she seemed to require protection. Since the temperature

Our star letter wins a Tuffies Durasoft Mattress Bed Tuffies are strong, waterproof, warm and durable, with a futon-type mattress. Simply wipe them down to clean.

★ For more information about the range, including the chew-proof Tuffies Dog Bed, call 0845 652 6028 or visit outside drops below -10°C during the winter, we agreed to look after her until the end of April. Back then, no one would ever have imagined that she would never leave the house to go to the factory! Very soon, we became inseparable from Bokshil. She was our first family dog, which meant there were a lot of things we needed to learn about living with a creature so different from us. In Korea, few families would choose a Jindo as a pet, preferring smaller breeds like a Maltese or Toy Poodle. People tend to think the Jindo is the kind of dog who should live outside because of its independent mind and sheer size (although in Britain, the Jindo would be categorised as a medium-sized dog). However, a Jindo can be a truly wonderful pet for those who live in cities, too. Bokshil is fastidious in the house, she grooms herself, and rarely barks – when she wants something, she just comes to us with a wagging tail to let us know! One of the things she especially likes to do is play tug of war with socks, and I used to spend at least an hour a day playing with her when I came back from university seminars. I came to Coventry in January to study for a PhD, and although I probably shouldn’t say this, I miss Bokshil more than anyone! I’m really looking forward to seeing her again this Christmas. Sihwa Mun, via email ●

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If you want to learn more about the Korean Jindo, and how the breed was established in the UK, see the August 2016 issue of Dogs Monthly with Korean Jindo, Haru, on the cover. To buy a back issue, see page 44.

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Dogs &people

Food from thought When dogs become jobs

Burns pet food is one of Britain’s best-loved premium brands. The company’s founder John Burns talks to MEGAN CHAPPLE about how it all began...


hen vet John Burns recommended his patients’ owners prepare their own homemade dog food, it was clear the time-consuming idea wouldn’t stick. So, with a bit of a push from one committed dog owner in particular, John turned his hand to the pet food industry and created a range of quality foods for dogs, cats and rabbits. Growing up in Darvel, Ayrshire, John enjoyed the countryside, with a ferret and Lurcher for company. He took a summer job at a dairy farm, but after speaking with an adviser on the veterinary table at a career convention, he decided to go into veterinary medicine, and spent the next five years studying at the University of Glasgow vet school. Originally, John had dreams of working with horses in East Anglia, but instead moved to west Wales to work at a large-animal practice. There he met his future wife, and they bought a house in Swansea. John became interested in complementary therapies, and studied acupuncture with a view to setting up his own practice, but demand wasn’t high at the time. He took on various jobs as a locum vet before taking over a practice when the owner died. As patients came and went, John began to see a pattern with his animal clients where poor, low-quality diets were potentially causing or exacerbating their health problems. He advised owners to make their own

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The Penlan Farm range uses locally sourced ingredients, with animals and local conservation in mind, and provides health benefits for pets

nutritious food at home, using a mixture of vegetables, chicken, fish and brown rice. “As a vet, I focused on health problems, rather than food, but there were no quality pet foods about in the late 70s and early 80s. When owners came to me with their pets’ health problems, I recommended staying off commercial food and serving homemade food. The problem was that owners didn’t want to do this long term; they wanted their pets to be fed in a convenient form.” As John pondered the possibility of making his own pet food, an interesting patient arrived at his practice – a Bearded Collie fed on a healthy diet that included steamed broccoli. The Beardie belonged to health and beauty writer Leslie Kenton who went on to encourage John to take the leap.

You are what you eat

“I was forced into it really!” he laughed. “We set out to create a healthy, quality, convenient food, but if people had just followed my recommendation in the first place, there wouldn’t be a Burns.” John began travelling around the world to research his new business and learn how to begin pet food manufacturing, but in the end he discovered he didn’t need his own manufacturing plant. He found a local company who could make his recipe for him, and they began with a twoton batch, with John glueing on the product labels himself. The batch sold out, and in 1993

Burns Pet Nutrition Limited was formed, based in Kidwelly, Carmarthenshire. The very first product was Burns Maintenance Chicken and Brown Rice – now Burns Original.

Ethical choice

John had another ambition: to create an ethical and sustainable pet food brand that benefited pets and the environment. “I saw an old car parked up; a Ford Anglia – the same car I’d driven to my first job interview in 1971. Look how far technology has come and just imagine if we had had that technology back then. What will technology be like in 50 years’ time and why wait? Let’s start now.” John purchased a nearby farm in 2006, and planted hedges and trees for the wildlife. He began producing ingredients such as free-range eggs, organic vegetables and spring water. Even the wheat and oats to feed the chickens are grown on the farm. “The Penlan Farm range uses locally sourced ingredients, with animals and local conservation in mind, and provides health benefits for pets. It’s the pet food of the future.” Early this year, John embarked on a new project. Gregory, a blue merle Border Collie cross, was born on John’s daughter’s sheep farm in the Brecon Beacons. Unfortunately, while the rest of the litter found homes, no one seemed to want poor Gregory, so John took him in and began training him with

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specifically for assistance dogs with its Alert range, and has been very forward thinking in its approach to new products. “We’ve got a couple of ideas for training treats,” says John. “A lot of treats are high in fat and protein, and very appealing. Used as a training tool, these can affect an animal’s health, so I want to make something low fat, low protein, and palatable. We have something in the pipeline to be used as part of their rations, rather than an extra.”

Advice & education

the aim of turning him into an assistance dog. “I took him on, but he was unruly, not used to anybody, and only used to life on the farm. I wanted to make him an assistance dog, so I trained him for several months, and at the end he went to a family whose son had a phobia of dogs. Since then the child has grown in confidence, so Gregory has already fulfilled his purpose. He even has his own blog on the Burns website – although he doesn’t write it, he just dictates.”

Branching out

Believing in the power of animalassisted therapy, John started a new side project for the company. The Burns by Your Side initiative is similar to Pets As Therapy’s Read2Dogs scheme, and has been helping children in the local community grow in confidence and improve their reading skills. “Our 50 volunteers visit schools mainly, but not exclusively, and the children can read to the dogs without criticism. We needed to find a few books that the children would be interested in reading, 32 | January 2017

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and I remembered a book I’d seen in a bookshop in San Francisco a few years ago.” That book was Walter the Farting Dog and there’s now a whole series, including Walter the Farting Dog Banned From the Beach, Rough Weather Ahead for Walter the Farting Dog, and even a version written in Latin, Walter, Canis Inflatus. According to John, the project has made a real difference. “I heard from a volunteer who’d brought her dog into a crèche, that one little boy had gone up to her dog and spoken to him. It was the first time in a year they had heard the boy speak. “I think animal-assisted therapy is going to be very big in the future. We’re also looking at working with children with learning difficulties along with the Burns Charity of the Year, Appaws for Autism, in Scotland, which trains dogs to assist families with an autistic family member. I want to become more involved in this and perhaps host some family fun runs with dogs.” Burns was among the first companies to create a food

While the rest of the litter found homes, no one seemed to want poor Gregory, so John took him in and began training him with the aim of turning him into an assistance dog

As well as making food, Burns has a team of nutritional vet advisers to help customers with their pet food questions. John says the most common and growing problems are misleading information and obesity. “Our understanding of pet nutrition has changed in general since I founded Burns. We’re more aware than ever before of the connection between food and health, such as allergies, but there’s a lot of misleading information. “Everyone has an opinion and the internet has given a platform to everyone, which is good and bad. Some people are saying greens are harmful and are just a filler, which is not true at all. Greens are excellent for forming a healthy diet. “The growing problem with obesity in pets is a big issue for us. There are a lot of lean dogs, which people believe are too thin, whereas being overweight has become the norm. I get criticised for thin dogs, but being lean is not an illness; being overweight is, plus the other health issues – such as diabetes – which is rampant in humans as well. I’m swimming against the tide, and people accepting their dog is overweight is the biggest problem to us. They avoid exercise, and instead indulge their dogs with food.” John Burns’ advice is simple, “Feed food designed for your specific dog. Use low-fat treats, and reward with exercise instead of food.” c find out more about • To Burns Pet Nutrition, visit

17/11/2016 20:29

Dogs &people

Photo: Monique Nerman

The sky’s the limit for dogs of all shapes and sizes, as DEBBIE BRIDGES discovers when she follows an Indian rescue dog to the semi-final of the UK’s most prestigious event for crossbreeds

From street dog to show dog! I

f you saw last month’s issue of Dogs Monthly, you may remember Tommy, the Indian rescue dog who stormed a regional heat of the Scruffts Family Crossbreed Dog of the Year competition in Plymouth, Devon. Picked from a class of 30 hunky hounds, Tommy won ‘Most Handsome Dog’, which set him on the path to fame and fortune with a place at the Scruffts semi-final at Discover Dogs in London, and a chance to compete in the grand final at Crufts 2017. 34 | January 2017

Debbie Bridges Jan.indd 34

Winning that heat was a heady moment for a dog whose first two years were a matter of pure survival on the streets of the village where he was born, with the threat of starvation and injury never far away. There was evidence of boiling water having been poured over his thin body when Monique Nerman first noticed him while she was staying in India in 2010. “Every time I turned round, he was there!” Monique recalls. “He was doing his best to adopt me. I thought he was the most beautiful

Above: Tommy waiting for the train from Devon to London. Left: Monique and Tommy in India. Opposite page, top: Getting off the train at London Paddington. Opposite page, below: Being interviewed for Channel 4 on the cable car.

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dog I’d ever seen, but I didn’t want a dog because I travel a lot.” Nevertheless, Tommy’s sudden disappearance one day had Monique searching for her free-spirited friend. “I found him tied to a post, without food or water, and the light gone from his golden eyes. He was in a terrible state and I knew I couldn’t leave him behind when it was time for me to go.” If Monique thought her lifestyle was about to undergo a significant change, she was wrong; the moment that rope was cut she gained not only a loyal soulmate, but an equally enthusiastic travelling companion!

Debbie Bridges Jan.indd 35

City stopover

A smart room at the family-run Clarendon Hotel in south-east London is a far cry from those humble origins, and the jumble of doggie essentials cluttering every available surface is also something of a turnaround for a dog who had less than nothing. It’s like a film star’s dressing room in here, and I’m half expecting to be elbowed out of the way by a posse of make-up artists and teasie-weasies! The day of the Scruffts semifinal has dawned at last, and Monique is dithering between two equally natty collar and lead sets, while simultaneously cutting up sausages that have been

On the way, we’ll be joined by a Channel 4 film crew who’ve chosen Tommy and nine of his fellow competitors to feature in a documentary about Scruffts

thoughtfully provided for our canine celebrity by the breakfast staff at the hotel. Incidentally, if you’re thinking of staying in the capital with your dog, look no further than the Clarendon at Blackheath – they’re not merely dog-friendly, they’re positively dog-dotty! Yesterday Tommy took the train to London from his home in Devon. Today we’ll be getting on the bus to Greenwich and hopping aboard the Emirates cable car, landing a short walk from ExCel, where Discover Dogs is taking place. On the way, we’ll be joined by a Channel 4 film crew who’ve chosen Tommy and nine of his fellow competitors to feature in a documentary (or should that be dogumentary?) about Scruffts. Each of the 15 regional heats around the UK produced winners in six categories – Prettiest Crossbreed Bitch, Golden Oldie, Best Rescue, Most Handsome Crossbreed Dog, Child’s Best Friend, and Good Citizen Crossbreed. Tot that lot up on fingers and toes, and you have a grand total of 90 dogs taking part in this weekend’s semi-finals, out of which only six will go on to strut their stuff in the final at the NEC next March. With the TV interviews over outside the ExCel building, Tommy turns his paw to filmmaking and enters via a back staircase wearing a GoPro camera attached to a harness. Undaunted

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Right: Tommy turns film maker with a GoPro camera. Below left: King Tommy’s jaunty stride. Below right: Tommy turns on the charm for judge Marina Scott. Opposite page, top: Tommy’s big moment Opposite page, below: Tommy is named Most Handsome Crossbreed Dog at Eukanuba Discover Dogs 2016.

by the strange equipment strapped to his back, he provides Channel 4 with a dog’s eye view of the short journey to the Scruffts registration desk, which is where things start looking slightly more serious for all the entrants…

Ready & waiting

Tommy’s Most Handsome Crossbreed Dog class is scheduled for 2.15pm. We’ve all heard about time standing still, and with an

hour to go, that’s precisely what it’s doing. Monique finds a quiet spot where she and Tommy can wait it out, while I nab a seat in the front row. Next to me, a small, whiskery terrier cross called Jess is occupying a lap, and eager for a bit of fuss. Her owner tells me they’re here for the Good Citizen Crossbreed class later this afternoon, but they’ve pitched up to watch Most Handsome Dog

to support Bramley – who, I’m assuming, belongs to a friend or relative. “Oh no,” she laughs. “We met at the Travelodge last night!” That’s Scruffts for you. Intended to give people and families with crossbreed dogs the chance to take part in a fun dog show, it’s a refreshingly friendly affair. Later, Monique reports being pleasantly surprised by the camaraderie among competitors, even as they were lining up to enter the ring. Finally, the contestants are filing in, and there’s Tommy, every inch the show dog with his ears pricked and his characteristically jaunty stride. You have to wonder if anything fazes this boy – even dangling hundreds of feet above the Thames in a cable car that morning didn’t dent his customary composure! What’s striking about the group of dogs in front of us is the sheer variety, with cute’n’fluffy at one end of the spectrum, big’n’macho at the other, and just about everything else in

Photo: Rochelle Lucas

36 | January 2017

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between. The judge, Marina Scott, explains to spectators how she goes about choosing winners from such a mixed line-up, where peak condition and impeccable behaviour are a given. “I like to look closely at their heads,” she says. “You can tell a lot about a dog’s character that way.” To do this, she gets down on the floor and encourages the dogs to interact with her. When it comes to Tommy’s turn, he doesn’t hold back and Marina gets the full benefit of his considerable charm. Meanwhile, there’s plenty of banter from the man with the mic, interspersed with questions about Tommy and their life together.

Monique describes finding him in India, and making their first home in California where, although he’d never walked on a lead before, he was soon competing in advanced obedience, and became the first Indian dog to qualify as an American Therapy Dog. “He specialises in children who are scared of dogs,” she says. “Recently, he helped a boy who’d scream at the sight of a dog. Within two hours, he didn’t want Tommy to leave!” Asked about his regal title – he is, in fact, King Tommy – Monique explains that it started as a joke. “A friend called him that because he invariably gets all the attention wherever we go and it stuck!”

Monique describes finding him in India, and making their first home in California where, although he’d never walked on a lead before, he was soon competing in advanced obedience, and became the first Indian dog to qualify as an American Therapy Dog

Photo: Dario Berreba & The Kennel Club

Debbie Bridges Jan.indd 37

January 2017 | 37

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Every dog and handler gets the same treatment. The questions and lighthearted chat flow as the judge makes her way along the line and then, in what seems like no time, she’s back in the centre of the ring, ready to announce the winners in reverse order. She calls them out swiftly, which is just as well as there’s a collective holding of breath going on here, and some of us are in imminent danger of keeling over. Third place goes to Archie with his young handler, second place is awarded to a Lurcher cross called Jethro and in first place – I

can hardly believe my ears – it’s Tommy! He’s won! The enormity of Tommy’s achievement hits Monique squarely between the eyes, and she bursts into tears. I’m snapping away with the camera but the scene through my viewfinder seems to have gone all blurry. Unruffled as always, Tommy wags his tail as everyone piles in to congratulate them, and then the Channel 4 crew are back, asking Monique how she intends to prepare for the final. “By going on a diet!” she declares, the trouser button disaster of this morning evidently still fresh in her mind.

and the end of our adventure, a more sober mood has taken hold. Tommy’s big moment in the main arena at Crufts may be several months away, but there’s a lot to be done in the meantime, apart from the diet (or buying bigger trousers). Whatever the outcome, Monique says she’s happy that Tommy has come this far. “It shows a rescue dog can achieve anything!” So, keep an eye on Dogs Monthly next year for news of Tommy and Monique’s preparations, and find out if King Tommy becomes Scruffts Family Crossbreed Dog of the Year 2017! c

Far left: ‘Why are you crying mum?’ Bottom left: Tommy admires the view in Greenwich Park. Below: Leaving the Clarendon Hotel. Bottom: On the tube on the way home and Monique can finally relax.

The morning after

Next day, the train home doesn’t leave until lunchtime, so we head for Greenwich Park where Tommy lets his fur down, and gives the resident squirrels something to think about, before we board a Thames Clipper for a trip down the river and a whistle-stop sightseeing tour. Still jubilant, we startle a few underground passengers by informing them they’re looking at the UK’s most handsome dog, but by the time we reach Paddington

About the author

Monique says she’s happy that Tommy has come this far. “It shows a rescue dog can achieve anything!”

Debbie Bridges is a freelance writer. She lives in Devon where she spends her free time exploring every inch of the countryside in the company of her Romanian rescue dog Ula.

Further information

about Scruffts can be found at • Details Copies of Monique’s novel, based on Tommy’s story, can be pre-ordered from • For information about The Clarendon Hotel, tel. 020 8318 4321 or go to • 38 | January 2017

Debbie Bridges Jan.indd 38

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Dogs &people

Truly scrumptious

You will need...

Canine crafts

Snoozing just got sweeter. RACHAEL SHARPE shows you how to make a fabulously fun custard cream dog bed in five simple steps

• Brown or beige fabric

(I reused an old curtain)

• Scissors • Needle and thread • Sewing pins • Dylon Fabric Paint in white

• Paintbrush • Iron • Stuffing • Custard cream biscuit (optional)

Top tip

Rather than buy expensive new stuffing for your dog bed, use old duvets, pillows, duvet covers or sheets to stuff it. 40 | January 2017

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Step 1

Cut to size

Decide how big you’d like your dog bed to be, and cut out two identical-sized rectangles of fabric to your requirements, adding a ½in seam allowance all round. Keep any leftover scraps of fabric – you’ll need those for step 3.

Step 2

Delicious design

Using our pictures (or, better still, an actual biscuit!) as a guide, paint the traditional custard cream design on the right side of one of the rectangles of fabric. Make sure your design fills the surface area, but don’t spill over into the seam allowance.

A   Rachael Sharpe is a freelance journalist, who loves both dogs and crafting. She lives in Devon with her husband, Tom, and rescue Staffordshire Bull Terrier, Poppy. Find out more at www. rachaelsharpe. com

Top tip

If you’re not confident enough to paint freehand, use tailors’ chalk to mark out your design before you paint. If you make a mistake, you can just rub it away.

Step 3

Seal it

Leave the fabric alone until the paint is completely dry. Then cover the custard cream design with the scraps of fabric you saved, and iron – this seals the paint into the fabric.

Step 4

Sew tasty

Pin in the two rectangles of fabric together, right sides facing inwards, and sew them together using small tight stitches. Don’t sew all the way round, leave a 3in gap for stuffing.

Step 5

Get stuffed

Turn the bed the right way out, and stuff it until it’s plump and firm. Once it’s filled as you’d like, sew up the gap using small tight stitches. Admire your handiwork while your dog gets comfy!

Crafts JAN.indd 41

January 2017| 41

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Breeds &profiles

Southern gentleman

In the first part of a new, occasional series on less well-known breeds, VICTORIA HEYWOOD introduces the Coonhound


id you recognise the dog gracing our front cover this month? It’s seriously impressive if you did; Coonhounds are extremely rare in the UK, and none of their varieties are recognised by the Kennel Club. But they’ve been around in the USA for hundreds of years, making them older than the nation itself! To be specific, our cover dog Jester is a Black and Tan Coonhound, a breed developed in the mountains of the southern states. He gets his pendulous ears, incredible baying howl and markings from the English Foxhound and Bloodhound, which lie on the branches of his ancient family tree. He is, of course, a hunter to his core, happily tracking down anything from big game like deer and bears, to racoons, as the breed’s name suggests.

Grace & poise

Jester is owned by Debra Apperley, and she told us what attracted her to such a unusual choice of breed. “I fell in love with Black and Tan Coonhounds initially, and somewhat superficially, due to their looks,” says Debra. “I was fascinated by their grace, poise and movement, and then when I heard the deep throaty bay, I was hooked! “Jester was brought over from North Carolina in July last year as a gangly and comic five-month-old with an inability to run without standing on his amazing ears! Over here, Jester’s breed recognition has varied, from people thinking he’s a Dobermann with funny ears, to a black Bloodhound, with only a minority knowing what he really is. Locally he’s quite the celebrity

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and is often asked to ‘sing’, which he is more than happy to do for the treats and fuss he receives. “Black and Tan Coonhounds have been bred for stamina and strength, rather than speed and agility, and have awesome watchdog qualities and scent and tracking abilities. Jester’s natural tracking instincts, incredible nose and strong ability to problem solve gives him a phenomenal work ethic but, given these qualities, I’ve found it’s very important to patiently build up a connection and, using positive and consistent training methods, to channel them and allow Jester to achieve great things. 

Free spirit

Rare Breeds_Coonhound.indd 43

Photos: Penel Malby (

“As with most hounds, Jester has that occasional independent and stubborn nature and responds far better to being asked to do something, rather than being told! Positive reinforcement techniques are essential, as I need to persuade him that he wants to do as he’s being asked.  “While having an awesome work ethic, they’re brilliant pets too and are amazingly easy to live with because of their adaptability. Jester is happy to have a day snoozing on the sofa with his Labrador companion, as well as a day of scentwork training, a day at the beach or at the stables, and anything in between. “In my opinion, as with any dog, if you’re willing to put the work in to socialise and train them with consistency, patience, and love then you’ll reap the rewards of having a well-mannered, loyal, and slightly immature companion!” c January 2017 | 43

17/11/2016 20:53

Back issues

Missed an issue? Back issues of Dogs Monthly cost £3.99 (including UK p&p). For more information or to order call 01276 858880

Need an earlier issu e? Some earli

er magazines are availa 01276 858880 ble too. Call to also downloa order. You can d digital copi es (from April 20 10 only £2.99 an onwards) at issue, from www.pocketm ags .com

January 2016

February 2016

March 2016

April 2016

May 2016

June 2016

July 2016

August 2016

September 2016

October 2016

November 2016

December 2016

Puppy speed dating at the KC; call for grooming regulations; recall part 2; activities for oldies; dignity after death; The Freedom Project; Border Terriers & other options.

Sponsor an assistance dog pup; Crufts in pictures; teaching the play retrieve; search & rescue dogs; ways to calm an excitable hound; Miniature Schnauzers & similar sorts.

Medical Detection Dogs; Dogfest 2016 round-up; reward-based training; Kate Humble, beat barking; second dog dilemmas; make a lead hook; Cocker Spaniels & friends. 44 | January 2017

Back Issues.indd 44

125 years of Crufts; eye health; safety around sheep; teaching good manners; coping with a nervous dog; canine stars 2016; alternatives for Beagle lovers.

Roo the Dogs Monthly assistance dog pup; your top pet foods; socialisation; reading scheme dogs; canines to colour in; Staffordshire Bull Terriers & co.

Secondary fear; scent games, enriching dogs’ days; canine epilepsy; alternative skin remedies; make a bow tie; children & dog language; Whippets & similar breeds.

Stop resource guarding; medical miracle dogs; apps for dog owners; canine chiropractic; bonding with pups; Springer Spaniels & similar breeds.

Calming dog-reactive dogs; building a balanced partnership; beginners’ agility; Doodee from Thailand; Tellington TTouch; make a pop art bowl; Shih Tzus & similar breeds.

Campaigning for the Cavalier; loose lead work; Miranda Hart & Peggy; managing prey drive; firework fears; Icey the survivor; Fitzpatrick Referrals cancer hospital; Lhasa Apsos & co.

Microchipping law; new Battersea hospital; fire service dogs; training pups & adults together; vet phobia; dogs in the classroom; alternatives to the French Bulldog.

Assistance dog puppies’ progress; the Korean Jindo; socialisation from pup to adult; Husky walks; spacial awareness; singing Staffies’ praises; Bulldogs & other options.

Integrating a new puppy; the DogLost story; entering Scruffts; dog treats to bake; lead walking pt 2; dog van theft; Chihuahuas & other small wonders.

17/11/2016 20:48

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21/11/2016 14:25

16/11/2016 16:15

Jack Russell Terrier, posed by models

Training &behaviour

Secret diary of a dog trainer Children, like puppies, can be fast, eager learners, absorbing all the experiences and lessons around them like dry sponges…

About the author Our dog trainer tells tales from her casebook, with some hairraising stories. A fictionalised account of real-life events. Event details, names and places have been changed to protect anonymity.

46 | January 2017

Secret Diary.indd 46


y daughter wants to do the training. Will that be OK?” read the email enquiry for our puppy class. We offer family classes for our pet dog training, so this is rarely a problem. In our booking details, I close with a rather tongue-in-cheek ‘well-behaved children and adults are welcome!’ so that people feel comfortable in the knowledge that as long as their children, partners and other family

members can sit still, listen and follow basic instructions, they will achieve their goals. Clients readily admit that they are the ones requiring training, not the dog – and they are absolutely right. I often ponder whether, if you give the same dog to three different people, you would end up with three very different dogs. In my own puppy class, my assistant Rosie and I always agree that the junior handlers are usually the best. Younger people don’t seem to worry

about the hang-ups and social observation that hinder adults. They tend not to look around them at the other puppies in the class, preferring instead to focus on their own pup. They use simple language and observe the outcomes they can see, rather than inferring what the puppy may or may not be thinking. Sadly, many adults have lost this skill, and in its place seems to come social awareness, competitiveness and embarrassment. This class looked to be a lot

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with velvety fur, stubby legs at each corner and bold expressions. As they entered, the pups bounded in and greeted us all in a wiggling frenzy. The pups ran through their basic sit, down, and stand exactly as we had taught. I admired their bright faces, the tilt of the head as they heard the clicker, their attempts to earn more fuss and goodies as they learned. As expected, our younger handlers were way ahead of the group, giving each hand signal, each verbal cue, with a well-timed click-treat. Clickers are never compulsory, but they certainly don’t allow for shoddy timing so are a great people-training tool.

First misgivings

of fun. Three young handlers in the group came along with their respective families, together with three more couples, making the usual total of six pups – an ideal number for our strong teaching team of three. We have a policy of meeting and greeting each pup once they enter, so that we can gently assess how they behave in the new hall. Rosie, Sophie (our junior assistant) and I prepared ourselves with big, genuine smiles. What better job in the world than to play with baby animals every week? What bigger compliment than to be trusted with their education? When you work with behaviour problems, especially the ‘last resort’ cases, it’s good to be at the ‘right end of the dog’, as Rosie puts it.

Young handlers

Our three younger handlers were all 12, called Millie, Molly-Rose and Holly, and each had a tiny bundle of puppy joy to contend with, along with one supervising parent each. The girls were in the same year at school, but were not close friends. Their pups were roly-poly Jack Russell Terriers,

Secret Diary.indd 47

Again a rapid blur attracted my attention. Was it my imagination, or had Millie just yanked her pup’s lead?

Suddenly, a sharp movement caught my eye. I saw Millie swipe her dad’s hand away rapidly as he leaned forward to stroke the puppy. He sat back, huffily. Her pup began sniffing the floor frantically as she refocused on him. “Sit!” she instructed in a clear tone. The pup looked up, sat. Click went her clicker, and puppy earned his tiny morsel of food. All was well. Molly-Rose’s pup had worked out that the longer he kept still, the more goodies he earned. Her mum smiled at me, thrilled. “I leave her to it!” she said proudly. “She’s better than I am at all this.” Her little girl slid her gaze to mine, smiling shyly. The other young handler, Holly, was on the floor, crosslegged, as her pup tried sitting on the floor, then sitting on her mat, then finally sitting on her knee. Nice, neat generalisation of this simple skill. “The kids are cleverer than I am!” said her dad. The class moved outside, and each pup was asked to sit at the door before exiting, which they all performed well. I saw Rosie looking on approvingly, and we exchanged relieved glances. Pups are always an unknown quantity, and we were fortunate

in this group: there were no nervous pups, or barking pups. It was a rare group indeed where we did not need to spend the time assisting with such things, but this was one, and it made it simpler. As the group assembled, again a rapid blur attracted my attention. Was it my imagination, or had Millie just yanked her pup’s lead? Her face was scowling, but nothing followed. I turned my attention to teaching the heel position. Each handler and dog were given space to practise the techniques so that we could check they had picked up the take-home skills of the lesson. Between the three of us, we assisted each person as they demonstrated to their pups where to stand, how to move and how to earn the reinforcement on offer. The three girls were walking steadily along. Molly-Rose was bending over her puppy a little too much, which drove him out of position as she loomed across his little head. “Stand up straight, Molly-Rose,” I called, and she did so. Like a perfect display dog, her pup promptly trotted into the correct position. I heard the clicker and there was the treat. Brilliant!

Heeling thoughts

Holly was pottering about with her pup near the hedge, but they moved as a neat team. As Holly turned, so did her puppy. She beamed at me and told me all about her practice at home around the kitchen table. It was clearly paying off. She then stepped sideways and tripped, leaving her puppy wandering about confusedly as she shouted with laughter. She righted herself and patted her knee, as he ran to her in relief. “Holly!” her dad said, shaking his head gently. “You nearly fell on him!” The puppy recovered his attentive demeanour, having forgiven the human her physical foibles. Her dad turned to me and chuckled. January 2017 | 47

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Jack Russell Terrier, posed by models

it was home time. As we packed away the hall, we chatted about the session and swapped ideas about how we could work with the assembled group at the next lesson. Rosie hesitated. “Did you see Millie swipe her puppy?” she asked. Sophie and I exchanged glances. I had seen a couple of odd movements, I agreed. I asked Sophie to stay close to the younger girl. Perhaps she needed a bit of extra support.

Second session

“Looks like he is learning to walk a bit further away from her big feet!” Millie, however, seemed to have a puppy with a nose glued to the ground. She coaxed, she cooed, and finally she shouted his name, but he sniffed and sniffed as if his life depended upon it. Her dad was checking his phone, so I addressed Millie and showed her how to regain her puppy’s focus. We use lures a lot in the early days – usually tasty, smelly pieces of food, collected in our hand. Gradually this food ends up in the treat pouch or rather sorry pocket, but for today, the lure was our goal.

Walking to heel

As soon as I got close enough, her puppy leapt over to greet me, meaning it was very easy to demonstrate how to ask him to walk neatly at my side. Millie followed my instruction well. The hour passed rapidly. Homework sheets were issued, questions were answered, and 48 | January 2017

Secret Diary.indd 48

“Actually, I know what to do. I am 12!” pouted Millie at the shocked grown-up

Resolving to address any class issues is important, without singling out any individuals. Usually my tactic is to address the whole class. The following session began, and there was no sign of Millie at first. They finally arrived late, crossly, and the puppy sniffed his way into the hall. Millie snatched her clicker from her dad and began. Her movements were sharp and she was clearly grumpy. Her puppy simply didn’t want to know. His nose was down, and his body frantically followed as he spun and hunted on the floor. This was more than standard sniffing, I decided. I allowed them some time to settle, rather than marching straight in to help. It was clear they were agitated and nobody wants to add stress to that. To demonstrate the next exercise, a hand-touch, I chose Millie’s pup. He seemed like a bright little fellow, but something about his behaviour was making me feel on edge. This was an opportunity to see if I could relax him a little. Millie marched over and stood, arms folded, as I explained the exercise. I demonstrated, and he happily pushed his little nose on to my hand repeatedly: a perfect little student! I was pleased he had brightened up, but his young owner had not. I handed him back to Millie and she stomped back to her chair. She started to work with the pup, but he would not go near her. Her dad sat and stared limply into the distance. I turned to speak to Molly-Rose, and in that

moment I saw Millie push her fist straight into the pup’s face. “Gently!” I said quite sharply, to no one in particular. Millie flinched and stared guiltily in my direction. I asked Rosie to direct the class for the next exercise, and crossed over to Millie once people were diverted. “Millie, if you do things like that to your puppy, he won’t want to play with you,” I said quietly. Keeping my tone kind, I tried to explain that even though she felt annoyed, her puppy would learn to be afraid of her. In the back of my mind I saw the puppy’s frantic sniffing behaviour. There were no smells on the ground occupying him. It looked like a displacement behaviour – he was really worried and didn’t know what else to do but fidget. Millie sniffed angrily. I glanced at her dad, who was rocking back on his chair, arms folded tightly. He was smiling as he addressed me. “Oh, good luck with her, love; she won’t listen to me!” he said cheerily as his daughter glared at the floor.

Learned behaviour…

It was time for the puppies to play. They joined in one at a time, romping happily in the ball pit and climbing across the small mats, stopping to jawwrestle occasionally. This was an ‘eyes everywhere’ session as we watched carefully to ensure all puppies learned good social lessons. Behind me I heard a slightly anxious admonishment from one of the adults, and then a voice rang out like a little bell. “Actually, I know what to do. I am 12!” pouted Millie at the shocked grown-up. Millie hauled angrily at her pup’s collar. The puppy yelped in shock as she dragged him, neck first, out of the container and over to her chair where her dad sat. The puppy froze in shock at his sudden journey. A roar from Millie’s dad silenced the hall. In her haste, she had knocked his phone to the floor. “MILLIE!” he yelled, and smacked her across the shoulder. c

17/11/2016 21:00

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21/11/2016 14:30


Your dogs, your pictures. Your chance to show

Pin-up Pups tures!

Send us your pic

Email your photos with ‘Pin-up Pups’ in the subject line, to or post them to Pin-up Pups, Dogs Monthly, The Old Print House, 62 High St, Chobham, Surrey GU24 8AA. If you’d like them returned, enclose an SAE. Whether emailing or posting your pictures, please remember to include your name, your dog’s name and your full address. Dogs Monthly may also use submitted pictures on its website. Sponsored by


he sender of every published photo receives one of each flavour of the HiLife Spoil Me! range, an all-natural ultra-premium recipe that is available in four varieties. The ‘Star picture’ winner also receives a pack of HiLife FEED ME! Complete Moist Mince dog food, which is nutritionally balanced and contains all the goodness of dry foods, but is softer, meatier and tastier. Its highly popular varieties, ‘with Beef flavoured with Cheese & Veg’, and ‘with Turkey & Chicken flavoured with Bacon & Veg’, contain high-quality meat ingredients and no artificial colours or flavours. The resealable packs allow portion sizes to be adjusted to suit each dog. The ‘Star picture’ winner also wins a £20 high street gift voucher, useable in dozens of stores.

“Bark the Herald Angels Sing…” Toby practises for the carol concert. Joany Randall, Norfolk

Sleepy head It’s been such a tiring day for JJ. Molly Sims, Warwickshire

For more information about HiLife pet products visit or call 01664 563209.

50 | January 2017

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18/11/16 12:39



everyone just how fabulous your best friend is!

S tar picture! Listening in

You may think I’m asleep, says Dusty, but I can hear every word… Chloe Watts, East Sussex

Green paws Bertie does a spot of gardening.

Ruby Maynard, West Sussex

Tea for three Poppy, Lola and Maisie keep an eye on the turkey sandwiches. Dawn Martin, South Yorkshire

Secret Santa Bailey wonders where his real present’s got to… Saffron George, Kent

January 2017 | 51

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16/11/16 13:00

Training &behaviour

Waiting game

Teaching your dog to ‘wait’ will come in useful in so many situations. Top trainer SUE WILLIAMS shows you how to go about it


dog who understands the word ‘wait’ makes life so much easier. By ‘wait’, I mean a dog who will remain on the spot until you invite him to move to join you. There are so many situations where this exercise is useful, and some where it’s essential. As well as being basic good manners, knowing how to wait will ensure that you and your dog remain safe. We’ve all seen, or even met, the kind of dog who barges past people at the door, or flies out of the

52 | January 2017

Sue Williams Jan.indd 52

car as soon as the boot is opened. This type of behaviour is potentially extremely dangerous. By teaching your dog to wait, it ensures everyone’s safety. You may be wondering why you can’t just use the ‘stay’ command, but the reason I don’t do this is that ‘wait’ means that the dog will join me, whereas ‘stay’ means ‘stay exactly where you are until I join you’. By using two separate commands like this, it’s less likely to confuse the dog.

15/11/16 14:30

Teaching ‘wait’ To teach the wait command, I like to use either a door or gate that opens outwards, away from me. Here I am demonstrating with Sky, my Border Collie. STEP 1 With Sky on-lead, I ask her to wait, using both a hand signal and verbal command. I’m not concerned about what position she’s in as long as she doesn’t step forwards, but many dogs will find the sit easiest.

STEP 2 I open the gate, keeping close to Sky and watching her carefully.

STEP 3 I reward her verbally and reinforce this with a treat.

STEP 4 As she begins to understand what I require, I move forwards, maintaining my hand signal.

STEP 5 As she remains in position, I reinforce this by again rewarding her with a treat.

STEP 6 Once she is settled, I invite her through the gateway. Notice how my hand position has changed to encourage her to come forwards.

STEP 7 Once on the other side of the gate, I ask her to wait again, and follow up with a reward.

STEP 8 I then close the gate before moving off.

STEP 9 If Sky makes a mistake, or moves forwards before being asked to, I simply shut the gate – being careful not to touch her with it – and start again.

Sue Williams Jan.indd 53

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Waiting at the door One of the most common problem areas is when you’re opening the front door to go out. The principles are exactly the same as with the gate opening, but many owners find this situation harder as the dog knows he’s going for a walk, so he’s often excited. STEP 1 Again I start with Sky on-lead and ask her to wait.

STEP 2 I open the door…

STEP 4 Next, I move out of the door, using my body and a hand signal to encourage Sky to wait. Notice my lead is slack.

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STEP 5 I then invite Sky out…

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STEP 3 … and reward her with a treat for remaining stationary.

Getting out of the car The wait exercise is absolutely essential when getting your dog in and out of the car. The principle is exactly the same, but if you would like more in-depth advice on how to achieve this, see my article in Dogs Monthly February 2016. For back issues, see page 44.

STEP 6 …and ask her to wait again once she is outside so that I can close the door.

Sue Williams Jan.indd 55

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Negotiating a stile There are all sorts of other situations where the wait command is really useful. Here, for example, we’re negotiating a stile on a walk. As you can see, it’s quite a sizeable obstacle, and if Sky were to push past me, one of us could easily be hurt. Instead, the wait comes in really handy.

About the author Sue Williams BSc is the chairwoman of the Guild of Dog Trainers and a member of the Canine and Feline Behaviour Association, and specialises in dog training and behaviour modification. Sue is passionate about teaching using methods based on understanding and communication. She runs The Canine Centre in North Wales.

STEP 1 I can ask Sky to wait until I’m at the top of the stile.

STEP 2 I then invite her to come up…

STEP 3 …ask her to wait again while I climb down…

56 | January 2017

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STEP 4 … and then invite her to join me on the ground. c

15/11/16 14:32

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眀眀眀⸀最攀渀琀氀攀搀漀最昀漀漀搀⸀挀漀⸀甀欀   吀攀氀⸀  ㄀㐀 㤀 ㈀㔀㄀ 㘀㌀

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21/11/2016 15:09

Dogs &people

“My angel dog” Best friends

Meet DEBORAH FISHER and LILY, our next nominees for the HiLife ‘Best friends’ Trophy 2016 T he

Trophy 2016


ust over four years ago, I received a phone call about a dog who needed to find a new home. She was 10 months old, and apparently a ‘designer pooch’, described as a Paperanian – a cross between a Papillon and a Pomeranian. At the time, my friend and I were on the way to the Ashford horse sales in Kent, and here was this little bundle of fluff needing to be collected from Folkestone. I said I had enough dogs – I’ve always owned three or four at a time – but I would pass the pup on to my longstanding friend Val Phillips at Valgrays Border Collie Rescue. She would never say no to an animal in need. But the moment I set eyes on Lily, everything changed, and I just knew I had to keep her. She hugged and licked me all the way home, and by the time we arrived, I was totally besotted. My other dogs – all rescues – loved and welcomed her too, as did my two cats! I suffer with clinical depression and bipolar disorder, and when I lost my mother suddenly, I went into a very dark place. I have no siblings, and no really close family members; just me and my elderly father. Although I admit I didn’t need much persuading, it was Dad who encouraged me to keep Lily. He said it was a sign, as she had the same name as my mother… And so Lily stayed.

Best in show

I soon began to train Lily in agility, obedience and heelwork to music, and now most weekends we go along to dog shows, where she often comes first in ‘prettiest crossbred’ or ‘best rescue’. We love our fun dog shows, and whether we win or lose, it doesn’t matter; it’s a purely social outing for all concerned. We’ve made lots of new friends, as well as bumped into many old friends again (some I’ve known for over 40 years), and events like these have helped both me and my dogs to socialise and interact. I now live alone, and have noticed that many people regard those who are absorbed by their animals, and totally committed to their welfare, as misfits or somehow odd. Sometimes it seems as if we don’t have a place in society. But I’m a selfconfessed ‘doggie mom’ through and through, and when people post pictures of their family on social networks, I post pictures of my dogs, cats and horse!

Shining through

Deborah with Lily in her arms, and Rosie, Roxy and Trixie the Jack Russell.

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My animals have kept me living when, quite literally, I’ve wanted to end it all. Instead of me rescuing my dogs, I believe they’ve rescued me – Lily in particular. She has shone through, and together we’ve gone from strength to strength. She totally ‘gets me’. She understands my darkest days and nights, and is my constant companion. Because she’s

16/11/16 12:39

The HiL ife ‘Best friends’ Trophy What does your dog mean to you? Is he your beautiful, bouncing, bundle of fun? Is he the friend you confide in? Tell us about your dog and the bond you share, and you could be our ‘Best friends’ champions of 2016!

Pets win prizes

Each month, the dogs featured in ‘Best friends’ will receive four 1.5kg bags of HiLife FEED ME! This range is nutritionally balanced and contains all the goodness of dry foods, but is softer, meatier and tastier. Its popular varieties contain high-quality meat ingredients and no artificial colours or flavours. Those featured also win three jars of HiLife Special Care Daily Dental Chews. These help reduce tartar build-up, control plaque and maintain strong teeth, healthy gums and fresher breath.

Overall winner

so small, I can just about take her anywhere. When we go to London she travels in her pink dog buggy, and I can smuggle her into most places in the crook of my right arm! Lily doesn’t just sleep on my bed, she sometimes creeps in my bed, or sleeps right up next to me on the pillow. I wouldn’t be without her. She watches over me – my angel dog. When my dad had a severe stroke, Lily never left his side. She knew he needed a protector. Lily has a healing effect and she seems to know when people are unwell or feeling sad. I can’t sing her praises enough; she’s a dog in a million. Four years ago, who would have thought we would have survived and come this far? All down to the love and devotion of a small ginger dog – my wonderful Lily Little Legs. c

At the end of the series, Dogs Monthly readers will be invited to vote for the ‘Best friends’ they think most deserve to win the HiLife Trophy. Voting will commence following publication of the last featured entry in the March 2017 issue. The overall winner will receive the HiLife Trophy, engraved with their name and their dog’s, plus a six-month supply of the HiLife dog food of their choice (up to a value of £300).

About HiLife

The HiLife brand of high-quality dog foods is owned by family-run Town & Country Petfoods Ltd, based in Leicestershire. To discover more about the nutritious range of HiLife dog food, find the brand on Facebook at HiLifeDog, follow it on twitter @HiLifeDog or visit

How to enter

Send us your story (between 500 and 800 words), along with a selection of good quality images that include at least one picture of you and your dog together. Email with ‘HiLife Best Friends’ in the subject line, or post your entry to HiLife Best Friends, Dogs Monthly, The Old Print House, 62 High Street, Chobham, Surrey GU24 8AA.

• Digital pictures should be saved as hi-res

jpegs (min 300dpi) and at as large a file size as possible – ideally, each image should be at least 2mb. If you’re taking pictures specially, set your camera to its highest quality setting, so that it captures the most pixels it’s capable of.

HiLife Best Friends Jan.indd 59

Rules of entry

• From the entries received, 12 will be •

• If you’re submitting your entry

by post, send clear, good-quality prints only, not photocopies, and enclose an SAE if you’d like them returned. Nominations will be accepted until 31 December 2016.

chosen. Nominees will be featured in each issue from April 2016 to March 2017. The overall winner receives the HiLife Trophy and can choose from the range of HiLife dog food to the prize value of £300. They can make their choice from the HiLife website, or speak to a HiLife representative about the various options. Employees of Pet Subjects Ltd and Town & Country Petfoods Ltd are not eligible for entry.

January 2017| 59

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Dogs &people

Book Club Reviews

Welcome to the new Dogs Monthly Book Club with our pick of the latest releases – and top titles to win! SSolitaire, A Dog Story C Candice L Martin SSelf-published


or many years, Welsely Farm in Kansas has been breeding prized puppies for sale, but something sinister is taking place behind closed shed doors. The arrival of a valued Akita transforms everything when she attacks one of the workers, leaving manager Ken with little option but to put his dream of returning to the show ring to rest. But something’s amiss, and teenage kennel worker Johnny is determined to find out what is really going on. on With the help of a curious one-eyed terrier, Jack, Johnny tries to save the Akita, named Solitaire, by gradually building a trusting relationship with her and find out why she reacted in such a violent way, before it’s too late. What happened to this poor girl to

turn her from a “model kennel dog” to losing all trust in human beings, and where did she really come from? Meanwhile, there’s more to worry about on the farm as complaints start flooding in of sick and dying puppies but with no record of these puppies coming from Welsely. Not to mention the dogs reported dead on the farm but who seem to have vanished. Johnny has to wake up to the realisation that there is a lot of suffering taking place around him at the hands of his co-workers as he uncovers some of the worst crimes in animal cruelty – puppy mills and dog fighting. In Solitaire, A Dog Story, there are two stories running alongside each other. One is the human perspective and the world we see, and the other is author Candice’s interpretation of canine thoughts and communication, offering a fantasy aspect. You will be taken through a mixture of emotions as those two stories become intertwined, with sometimes humorous, sometimes heart-wrenching results.

Chunk’s Tale Anne-Marie Reed Self-published


hat child hasn’t bawled their eyes out while watching the dog pound scene from Disney’s Lady and the Tramp? Of course, young viewers were soon reassured that Lady would find her way back home safely, thanks to her collar, but less lucky dogs would have to go through the dreaded ‘one-way door’ if no one reclaimed them. Chunk the Staffordshire Bull Terrier came very, very close to crossing that doorway. Once a family pet, Chunk was handed in to the local pound by his previous owners and left to be adopted or put to sleep once his seven days were up. Luckily for him, animal rescue Last Chance Hotel was on the case…

Told from Chunk’s point of view and entirely in rhyme, Chunk’s Tale is a charming illustrated storybook for children that will teach them about the plight of abandoned and lost dogs who, every day, face the danger of being put down through no fault of their own – and about the people who are determined to save as many Chunks as possible. The timing couldn’t be more perfect for children to learn about all this: every year after Christmas, pounds and rescue centres face the influx of hundreds of pups thoughtlessly bought as gifts and promptly discarded once the novelty has worn off. Chunk’s Tale can help explain to children what may happen to the puppies they want for Christmas

if they’re not ready to look after them for years to come. And also, that if they and their family are ready for the commitment, it may make sense to consider rescuing a dog like Chunk. All profits from the sale of Chunk’s Tale will go to Last Chance Hotel. To know more about Chunk’s new life with his forever family, and to buy the book visit chunkstale

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䰀䔀䄀䐀匀 簀 䈀伀圀䰀匀 簀 䈀䔀䐀匀 簀 䈀䰀䄀一䬀䔀吀匀 簀 䜀刀伀伀䴀䤀一䜀

匀䠀伀倀 一伀圀

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Book Club A Dog’s Life Hannah Dale Published by Batsford


his dinky book by award-winning artist Hannah Dale is a real treasure, with charming painted illustrations and delightful descriptions of Britain’s most popular dog breeds. And, of course, striding the cover is the Labrador, the nation’s favourite, with his eager upwards gaze. It is a book that simply begs to be dipped into and savoured. Each dog featured is summed up in three words and given an in-depth look into its character, history and working role. The accompanying paintings are divine, down to every wrinkle, tuft and tail. The unique spirit and charisma of the 50 featured breeds and crossbreeds are captured in colour, from the alert eyebrows of the Fox Terrier, to the dopey grin of the Newfoundland, and the inquisitive nose of the Lurcher. Everyone has a favourite. For such a pocket-sized volume, there is a surprising amount of information, which was all sourced from the author’s research and interviews with dog owners. As she explains in the introduction, Hannah found that one word kept cropping up again and again in conversations with owners: ‘affectionate’. Regardless of breed, it seems

the one aspect that ties all dogs together is their love for us, and in response, our love for them. This little book would make a wonderful stocking filler for any dog lover, young or old.


Win one of our featured books! We have five copies of each book to give away to Dogs Monthly readers. To enter, email with the name of the book you would like to receive in the subject line. Please remember to include your name and full address. Alternatively, post your name, address and chosen book to January Book Club, Dogs Monthly, The Old Print House, 62 High Street, Chobham, Surrey GU24 8AA. Entries close 3 January 2017 after which 15 winners will be chosen at random. 62 | January 2017

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20/11/2016 13:53

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21/11/2016 14:44

Training &behaviour

Terrier terrors

Behaviourist SUE KEWLEY is called in to restore household harmony when two senior Border Terriers don’t take kindly to a new addition joining their family


eorge is an adorable, spirited Jack Russell. It was easy to see why his owner, Nikki, and her partner had chosen him to join their family. But the problems began the minute she brought George home. He treated the two resident Border Terriers as he had his sevenweek-old littermates, jumping up at them and biting their ears. Earl managed to avoid the puppy, but Red became aggressive and tried to attack. Nikki felt she had to separate George to keep him safe, confining the puppy to a pen unless supervised. Puppies are short on impulse control; they mouth everything and their dog-to-dog communication skills are a work in progress. George saw Earl and Red as readily available playmates, but he wasn’t mature enough to invite them to play in a way they understood. Red and Earl saw George as a physical threat. Earl had undergone cataract surgery and could not tolerate any pressure near his head. Red had lost confidence around dogs since being attacked two years ago. He had become so anxious, in fact, that he’d attacked another dog himself. Now, he had to contend with George. Nikki had sought help on the internet – advice like holding George’s muzzle gently closed until he 64 | January 2017

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Bruises, bite marks, blood, torn clothes – Nikki wondered what on earth she’d done, bringing this puppy into the house

calmed down, yelping in an imitation of another pup when George’s teeth met her skin, shouting, walking away, even flicking him as physical punishment for his behaviour – anything that might deter the pup from his spiralling rough play. By the time I visited the home, George’s behaviour towards Red and Earl had worsened and he was spending more and more time in a playpen. Not only would he bark, growl and bite at Earl and Red, but he did the same with Nikki and her partner. “We try to play with him, but it always gets out of hand,” she explained. “He gets into a frenzy, biting us, tugging at our skin, and he won’t let go.” Bruises, bite marks, blood, torn clothes – Nikki wondered what on earth she’d done, bringing this puppy into the house.

Mood assessment

In keeping with Coape’s practice, I set about doing an emotional, mood state, and reinforcement assessment (Emra) on all three dogs, enabling a deeper understanding and leading to a more holistic approach to behaviour modification. Alongside Emra, I also looked at the quality of life each dog was experiencing. Every dog has specific activities they find intrinsically rewarding — things

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is normal for them. While George was especially persistent in these annoying behaviours, keeping him in his puppypen so he couldn’t practise them at all frustrated him and caused him to be under stimulated. He then became increasingly frenetic, with a growing intensity to his chaotic racing around, over-enthusiastic approaches to the other dogs, biting and similar behaviours. Without knowing it, Nikki and her partner had actually encouraged these nuisance behaviours by telling the puppy off, or punishing him in any way for over-the-top play-biting. Being told off might not have been the social reinforcement George wanted, but he’d rather have some kind of attention for his actions than none at all. However, reprimanding a dog verbally or physically is a risky business. Dogs that are punished for doing what we humans perceive as wrong will sometimes learn a few other things along the way. For example, they may conclude that people’s hands are to be avoided as they can perform unpleasant actions, and that humans cannot be trusted. Owners using punishment in a desperate effort to protect themselves from a puppy’s razor-sharp teeth reduce the pup’s positive associations with them. The puppy may even come to perceive the owner as a threat.

Seeing Red

like hunting, chasing, digging, chewing, and eating. We needed to find ways for all of Nikki’s dogs to access more of these kinds of pleasurable activities and to raise their overall mood state. George’s overexcited puppy behaviour was showing his emotional need for social interaction – he was just having trouble staying within the guidelines acceptable to both the canines and humans in his family. All puppies use their mouths to explore their environments – biting people’s clothes and skin

It wasn’t only George that needed behaviour intervention. Red was generally anxious and could not be trusted around the puppy, and Earl was showing signs of stress too. It was easy to overlook Earl, whose quiet withdrawal in the face of George lacked the urgency of Red’s threats of attack, but both dogs needed an overall mood boost. My first job was to install some management into the household to enrich the dogs’ environment and create more harmony between them. The easiest way to provide more mental stimulation and mood-enhancing activities for the dogs was to do away with their food bowls and feed all meals in Kongs, Kong Wobblers or treat balls. Scatter-feeding, in which you spread food across

Above: George, Earl and Red exploring their new playroom. Right: George in the ball pool.

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transforming the conservatory into a play zone. She filled the space with ball ponds, tunnels, interactive toys, a ‘rag box’ to dig through, and treat balls. This new dog play zone became a fantastic space for the terriers to go when Nikki needed them out of the way. Rather than feel punished when they were left in the conservatory, they were excited by what they would find there. “The trouble is getting the terriers out of it now,” Nikki laughed.

Puppy training

a floor or garden, is another great way to increase mental stimulation, as this activity requires the dogs to forage, using their noses to seek out treats. Seeking activities would focus George’s active brain and redirect his attention away from biting Red and Earl. More importantly, seeking behaviour creates a surge of dopamine in a dog’s brain, raising their overall mood levels. Higher dopamine levels were just what were needed for the older dogs, too, who required elevated mood states in order to cope with the stress of a new puppy. In conjunction with behavioural modification, I also suggested that Nikki use a commercially available product that diffuses a synthetic version of dogappeasing pheromones into the home. Designed to send a comforting message to dogs and puppies, they help them feel safe and secure at times of stress. Finally, we introduced a prescription food available through dog behaviourists called BreakthroughDog, a diet designed to help dogs cope with the stresses of life. Luckily, Nikki reported that the dogs seemed to like the new food. “It went down a storm,” she said.

Happy spaces

George had begun associating his playpen with isolation, so we needed to change that and to create a fantastic puppy den. I suggested it be stocked with toys, special treat balls, favourite objects and anything else George valued. We would need an equally stimulating room in the house where all three terriers could play together happily, so Nikki got busy 66 | January 2017

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George was showing us that he preferred rough-andtumble games and that they elevated his mood, so I suggested that Nikki play with him, using tearing rags and tug games. He also had to learn how to become calm, so I showed Nikki easy games that helped lower George’s arousal, too. As for the biting, the important thing was not to focus on stopping the biting, but on training George to do something else instead. This is where the clicker, plus a whole lot of toys, treats and games, came in. “We are going to use clicker training to help your puppy understand that if he behaves in a different way, then good things will come,” I explained. Nikki needed to make time for George to exercise and play. The clicker helped her communicate to George when he was playing in an appropriate manner by marking the good behaviour with a click, then rewarding George with a toy or a treat. Learning to use a clicker takes practice, and I suggested that Nikki use it to help Red. As he’d been attacked in the past, he was often worried by other dogs on walks and became reactive even at the sight of them. I explained how she could help Red gain confidence by rewarding him for staying calm, clicking and treating before the threshold at which he became fearful and started barking. As his focus moved from worrying about dogs to getting the reward from Nikki, it became possible to move closer to other dogs, letting him experience good rewards in the presence of strange dogs he formerly barked and lunged at. These walks became more and more pleasurable for Red, plus they provided a special time for Nikki to be with him on his own.

Team talk

Many people add a puppy to their dog family, believing that their older dogs will teach the puppy how to behave. However, it doesn’t always work that way, and much older dogs in particular can feel very stressed by a youngster. However, by enriching and transforming her dogs’ environment, Nikki discovered many ways to boost her dogs’ moods and quality of life. They also became mentally healthier and happier, plus physically calmer and better mannered, as she asked them to work in order to access their favourite things. Red’s confidence while out walking increased, too, all due to the power of positive reward. As for George, his behaviour toward the dogs and humans in his household is becoming much more manageable. Team Terrier seems to be getting along better all the time. c

A   Sue Kewley is a training and behaviour consultant, with 30 years’ practical dog handling, training and breeding experience. She has a German Shepherd Dog, a working-line Labrador and a working Cocker Spaniel that keep her busy with agility training. A CAPBT committee member, Sue holds a Coape Diploma in Companion Animal Behaviour and Training and is undertaking further study with Coape. She is a full member of the APDT, has studied as a TTouch practitioner, and is also an Absolute Dogs Naughty but Nice Pro instructor. Based in north Suffolk, she runs the Sue Kewley Practice, offering individual consultations for behaviour and training problems, as well as workshops for Naughty but Nice dogs of all ages called Confident Canine Classes. 07917 320961 sue.kewley@ www.dogtraining

For your nearest behaviour practitioner For your nearest APDT-UK trainer

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Training &behaviour

Good traveller Car journeys to the park, woods, shops or vet’s are part of a dog’s everyday life. Some enjoy the adventure more than others, but you can reap real rewards with just a little forethought and training, says SUE GILMORE

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suddenly. It happens, sadly, all too often. It may seem cute to see drivers with their dogs on their laps, sniffing the air through an open window, but it’s simply not safe, or wise, and it’s also illegal. A special car harness anchored to a seatbelt is an easy way to stop a dog from jumping from seat to seat, or indeed, coming to harm during a journey. These suit dogs of all types and sizes, but there are other options, such as a ‘hammock’ that’s suspended between the front and rear seats affixed to the headrests. This allows the dog to avoid a good deal of the motion that can cause discomfort or travel sickness in some dogs. A further option is to have a special travel box or cage that fits snugly into the rear of the vehicle, while also offering enough room for the dog to sit or lie down with relative comfort. A dog guard can also be useful for dogs that tend to want to get nearer to the driver or passengers when travelling in the rear of a vehicle.

Feeling queasy

Some dogs, especially puppies, suffer from travel or motion sickness when they’re first introduced to a vehicle, but most generally tolerate it after a few journeys. In such circumstances, it’s advisable not to feed a dog immediately prior to travelling. My puppy was fed early on the morning of the day we were due to travel, but six hours later, his breakfast reappeared just as he’d eaten it! Since then, I tend not to feed puppies before a journey.

Photo posed by models


reat excitement! Mum has picked up the car keys, which can only mean one thing to an enthusiastic dog – he’s going out too. He may have no idea where he’s off to, but nonetheless, he wants to go and shows his approval by rushing hither and thither, tail wagging ninety to the dozen, yapping and barking. Such fun! Nothing beats having a faithful travelling companion who loves being with us, no matter where we go or what we do when we get there, but not all dogs are so positive about the experience. Keeping our dogs safe and calm when travelling is so important, and with a little planning, it needn’t be a stressful event. Being so excited is not the best way to begin, however, so we need to train our dogs to be calm from the moment we pick up the car keys to the moment they get out of the car at the destination. A calm dog is less likely to be the one who leaps from the car the minute the door is opened, into the path of an oncoming vehicle. It only takes one moment of thoughtlessness for the unrestrained joy of a doggie day out to become a tragedy. To start with, we need to make the car a safe, comfortable place for our dogs to be. In terms of physical safety, there are several options on the market to ensure a dog does not become a projectile that’s launched through the windscreen in the event of a collision, or one that hits and injures the driver or front-seat passenger if you have to brake

17/11/2016 21:03

I always make sure my dog has something comfortable to sit on that’s easy to clean, such as a towel. Some people put their dog’s spare bed in the car, but I avoid this because they seem to make my dog too hot, and he ends up clawing the bed out of the way so he can keep cool. Air conditioning helps to keep a dog comfortable during a journey, especially in hot weather, but always ensure there is adequate ventilation too. Never, of course, leave a dog unattended in a car, and always open a window immediately when the air conditioning is not running. Dogs wears fur coats, remember!

“Are we there yet?”

During a journey some dogs get bored and take to barking, which is annoying to everyone in the car at best, but can be distracting enough to make the driver lose concentration and cause an accident. Children ask, “Are we there yet?” on long journeys, but dogs can’t do that, so keep them stimulated with a chew toy, or a Kong or similar stuffed with a small amount of food, assuming this won’t upset the dog’s stomach en route. On longer trips, make sure you stop for comfort breaks at regular intervals. If you have a young puppy who hasn’t yet completed his vaccination programme, taking him out to different places during this time is a great way to prepare him for the noises, sights and smells he’ll encounter once he’s out in the big wide world. Many times I’ve sat with my puppy on the tailgate of my car, watching the world go by and allowing him to see people, children, cyclists, traffic and so on, from the safety of the vehicle. Even now that he’s a mature dog, he still seems to enjoy doing this! Some dogs love to go in cars; others do not. If your dog falls into the latter category, here are a few tips to help overcome the problem: If your dog likes to play ball, or has a favourite toy, introduce him to the car by throwing the ball into the back of the car and immediately calling him out. Repeat several times and

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If your car has a high wheelbase, and is too much of a challenge for a small, heavy or elderly dog to jump into, a ramp is an excellent option

〈 •

• •

practise over a period of days or weeks – well before you need to actually take him out in the car. If he’s more food-orientated, you can use high-value treats, such as chicken, liver or sausage, in exactly the same way. If your car has a high wheelbase, and is too much of a challenge for a small, heavy or elderly dog to jump into, a ramp is an excellent option. Again, it takes practice for a dog to get used to, but it means he can enter and exit the car safely and easily. Puppies, dogs with joint problems, and elderly dogs should never be encouraged to jump out of a car. Lift them out if they’re small dogs, or use a ramp. Even with a healthy adult dog, be aware of the surface you are asking them to land on – gravel, stone and concrete are unforgiving on paws and joints, and repetitive landings may cause injury. I carry a padded, flat dog bed in the car so I can guarantee my dog always has a soft landing wherever we stop. If a dog is really reluctant to enter a vehicle, try feeding him his daily food ration in the back of the stationary car – again, well in advance of

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you actually needing to take him somewhere. This makes being in an enclosed area more pleasant and rewarding, and gradually counter-conditions the fear or dislike of being in the vehicle.

Best behaviour

An over-excited dog is difficult to control, especially when there is traffic around, so it is essential your dog remains calm at all times. Before he leaves the home, he must be relaxed while you clip on his lead. Bring him out and ask him to sit a pace or two away from the car door while you unlock it. If he becomes over-excited, turn round and walk back up the path or driveway, or do some heelwork, until he calms down again. This requires patience and practice. Once he’s sitting calmly, say “In” and allow him to enter the car. He will soon learn that this is the procedure that must be followed before every car journey. When you reach your destination, and open the car door, your dog must remain where he is until you tell him it’s safe for him to exit the car. With his lead still clipped on to his collar, place it over a hook or something secure in the car.

Ask him to “sit” or “wait”, and then assuming that he is calm (if he isn’t, wait until he is!), open the door, pick up the end of the lead, and call him out by saying “Come”. Ask him to sit again while you lock the vehicle. Even if you are somewhere like a woodland, park, or other open area where you could let your dog off-lead almost immediately, resist the temptation. You may have noticed that people with difficult, boisterous dogs often allow them to just explode out of the car, because they know they will struggle to contain them, but this only reinforces the behaviour you find unacceptable. Instead, walk your dog to heel for a few minutes on the lead before you let him run free. The main thing about travelling with dogs is that we have to make decisions throughout the build-up to the journey, during the journey, and afterwards, in order to ensure our own safety, our dogs’ safety and that of the general public. Driving out to different places is very rewarding, but it can also be quite an ordeal unless a few rules are taught and learned. So have fun with your dog, wherever you take him – and stay safe! c

About the author Sue Gilmore MA BSc (Hons) is the political adviser to the Pet Education, Training and Behaviour Council (PETbc), and is a professional dog trainer, behaviourist and dog photographer. She runs the Essex Dog Academy and Gilmores Dog Photography.

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Your canine problems solved


Dogs Monthly has teamed up with the UK’s leading experts in all canine fields to offer you professional advice for FREE! If you have a specific problem or just want some general advice, please get in touch. Email with ‘K9 Queries’ in the subject line, or write to K9 Queries, Dogs Monthly, The Old Print House, 62 High St, Chobham, Surrey GU24 8AA

Inside this issue...

74 Veterinary & complementary therapies Parvovirus, swimmer’s tail, tear stains, what to do about an abdominal growth, and whether there’s a medical reason for excessive chewing. Plus grass seed awareness, corneal ulcers, assessing a dog’s ideal weight, and “Why does my terrier keep being sick?” 80 Behaviour & training Boisterous greetings, night-time barking, and compromising when family come to stay. Plus introducing a kitten, brightening up winter walks, and “My dog’s suddenly started weeing in the kitchen.” 84 General care & advice Grooming in winter, insurance policy exclusions, a loveable tearaway, and a dog who’s afraid of the car. Plus trimming furry feet, Maltese hairstyles, health screening before breeding, the effect of claims on insurance renewals, and “Help, my dog won’t eat her prescription food!” ● Any views or advice given here should not be taken as a substitute for medical advice, treatment or training, especially if you are aware your pet has a specific medical or behavioural complaint. When complementary therapies are mentioned, please seek the advice of a specialist vet regarding dosage, use and suitability for your pet. The authors cannot be held responsible for applications of any of the recommendations, advice or opinions contained therein. If you have any reason to be concerned about your pet’s well-being, please consult your vet or dog trainer.

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Ask the experts... Tim Couzens BVetMed, MRCVS, VetMFHom, CertVetAC runs a referral centre for complementary veterinary medicine near Lewes in East Sussex, offering homeopathy, acupuncture, herbal medicine and other therapies.

Nick Jones MA is a member of the Canine and Feline Behaviour Association. A canine behaviour specialist, Nick takes pride in resolving issues that owners are experiencing with their dogs. These can range from puppy visits to cases of aggression.

Graham Finch BVSc, CertVD, MRCVS treats ailments in dogs, cats and other family pets. He has a particular interest in patients with skin diseases. He is currently owned by a Labrador, a Cocker, a “scruffy” Border Terrier, plus two cats.

James Farrell BVetMed, CertSAS, MRCVS has been a qualified vet for 13 years and has worked for the PDSA, as well as in private practice. He now owns a veterinary practice in South Yorkshire, where he treats dogs, cats and other small animals.

Mark Effenberg is chief executive of Healthy Pets Insurance which he founded in 1996. Mark owns eight chickens, a one-eyed Golden Retriever and a black Labrador. Healthy Pets is an online leader in pet insurance at

Sue Gilmore MA BSc (Hons) is the political adviser to the Pet Education, Training and Behaviour Council (PETbc), and is a professional dog trainer, behaviourist and photographer. She runs the Essex Dog Academy and Gilmores Dog Photography.

Kirsten Dillon A.DIP CBM is a qualified dog trainer and behaviourist at KD Canine Specialist. She lives in Surrey with her husband, children and two dogs: Mable, a Mastiff cross, and Louis, a French Bulldog.

Sue Williams BSc is chair of the Guild of Dog Trainers and a member of the Canine and Feline Behaviour Association. She specialises in dog training and behaviour using methods based on understanding and communication. She runs The Canine Centre.

Paul Manktelow BVMS MSc GP Cert DMS MRCVS regularly appears on our TV screens as a leading vet. Paul is also principal veterinary surgeon at the UK’s largest veterinary charity PDSA and is the founder of the pet health website

Libby Sheridan MVB MRCVS graduated from Dublin Vet School and worked in a small animal practice before joining the pet food industry. She then set up her own business offering specialist business and communication support to the pet care industry.

Alison Logan MA, VetMB, MRCVS has worked in smallanimal practice since qualifying as a vet in 1989. She enjoys consulting and has a special interest in internal medicine. She has also written for various magazines, books and professional publications.

Stuart Simons is chair of the British Dog Groomers’ Association, director of grooming for the Pet Industry Federation, and a Master Groomer for the National Association of Professional Creative Groomers. He owns Groom Dog City, a leading grooming salon in London.

K9 Queries is sponsored by

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Veterinary & Complementary Therapies

Labrador, posed by a model


Swimmer’s tail have a working Labrador Q Iwho is about five years old.

Over the winter he has suffered with ‘dead tail’ a few times after swimming in cold water. Each time it’s meant a trip to the vet’s and injections to help solve the problem. I’m contacting you to see if there are any natural remedies that might help, rather than visiting the vet every time it happens. TIM COUZENS ADVISES... This painful condition goes under several names, including Limber Tail Syndrome, swimmer’s tail, dead tail, cold water tail, broken wag, frozen tail, and Acute Caudal Myopathy. It affects certain types of dog, particularly those with heavy or strong muscling around the base of the tail, and most affected dogs tend

to be sporting or working breeds, such as Labradors, retrievers and pointers. The exact cause is not known, but probably involves a restriction in the blood flow to the muscles making up the base of the tail, which causes muscle inflammation referred to as myositis. However, there are certain triggers that seem to preclude the condition appearing. Swimming in cold water, or working in cold, wet weather, are often implicated, as is vigorous exercise in bad weather, and a propensity to wag the tail excessively. Signs can appear quite quickly; often within a few hours, but they can take as long as 24-48 hours to appear after swimming or working hard. The base of the tail becomes quite painful, so that the tail is either clamped tightly between the back legs, or else the first few inches are

held horizontally, with the remainder of the length of the tail hanging down as if broken. The discomfort can cause the dog to become restless so that he can’t get comfortable, and it may even interfere with him passing stools. The problem will resolve on its own given time, adequate rest and making sure to avoid getting wet and cold, but homoeopathy can significantly improve recovery time and help prevent the condition from occurring. The natural remedies I would have to hand to treat this condition are Arnica 30c, Rhus tox 30c, and Bellis perennis 30c, probably best in combination. After working or swimming in the cold I would routinely dose him with one tablet three times daily for three days to see if this solves the problem. A homoeopathic vet will be happy to advise further.

䌀 䠀 刀 䤀 匀 吀 䴀 䄀 匀 吀伀夀 匀 䬀 䔀 䔀 倀 吀 䠀 䔀 䴀 䔀 一 吀 䔀 刀 吀䄀 䤀 一 䔀 䐀

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Corneal ulcer four-year-old Q My Pug, Mia, keeps blinking her left eye at me, and she sometimes looks very uncomfortable. Is there anything I can do for her myself, or should I take her to see my vet?

diarrhoea. I took her to my vet who diagnosed parvovirus. I know this is a serious condition, but can you tell me any more about it? PAUL MANKTELOW ADVISES... Parvovirus is a serious and life-threatening disease generally found in young dogs between six weeks and six months of age, although in rare cases dogs can contract this when a lot older. It is spread through direct contact with infected dogs, or with infected faeces. The characteristic signs are unwillingness to eat, weight loss, fever, vomiting and bloody diarrhoea. Symptoms often occur suddenly, and dogs will deteriorate rapidly without treatment. There is no specific cure for the virus, so treatment depends on managing the symptoms. Generally, this includes fluids, anti-nausea medications, antibiotics for secondary infections, and gut protectants to reduce the side effects of frequent vomiting and diarrhoea.

The survival rate is roughly 60-70 per cent, although this is often lower for younger puppies as their immune systems are not as well developed. Where dogs do survive, they will still have a weakened immune system for some time afterwards, and careful management at home and at your vet practice is required to prevent further infections. The puppy will also still be contagious to other dogs for approximately two months after recovering from the virus. Protection from parvovirus is included in the vaccinations that dogs receive on a yearly basis, so if your puppy does make a full recovery, and once the immune system is fully competent, vaccination is the most effective way to prevent further disease.

Crossbreed, posed by a model

ALISON LOGAN ADVISES... This is one occasion when you should seek urgent advice from your vet. Pugs are prone to developing corneal ulcers, which can rapidly progress without treatment. Your vet will apply a dye to Mia’s left eye, which will stain the ulcer if one is present. Don’t be alarmed if you see a green discharge from the eye afterwards, or even from the nostril on the same side, because this is the remains of the dye and perfectly normal. It won’t last for long, and is no cause for concern. Do, however, ensure that you keep it away from light-coloured clothing, as it will indeed stain! If your Pug does have a corneal ulcer, you will be given eye drops and painkillers to give her, and will probably be asked to take her back for repeat assessment a day or two later. With early diagnosis, so that treatment can be started as soon as possible, there is every chance the ulcer will heal with minimal scarring. 

Puppies & parvovirus my eight-week-old puppy from a smallholding two weeks ago, Q Ibutrescued in the next few days she started to have vomiting and bloody

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German Shepherd Dog, posed by a model. Photo by Tim Rose (


Veterinary & Complementary Therapies

〈 Weighty matter Q

I thought my dog was an ideal weight until I took her for her booster vaccination last week, but the vet said she is about 4kg heavier than she should be. Lola is a German Shepherd Dog. She is eight years old and has been spayed. I feed her a complete dried food, but I must confess she sometimes has treats and titbits too. I’m not able to walk her as much at the moment, because it’s dark when I get home from work. Is 4kg really worth worrying about? ALISON LOGAN ADVISES... Assessing whether a dog is overweight comes down to perception and beauty in the eye of the beholder. We all have our own ideas about how we want our dog to look, and it’s true to say that what I consider an ideal weight for an individual dog may not match the owner’s expectations.  If Lola came to see me, I would score her out of nine to describe how she is carrying her bodyweight. I always involve the owner, so I

would encourage you to put your hands on Lola’s chest and tell me whether or not you can feel her ribs. Next, assess how easy it is to feel the backbone. Then, does she have a waistline when viewed from above? And what does her silhouette look like from the side? A score of 4 or 5 is ideal. Ten per cent below is a score of 3; ten per cent above is a 6. Score of 7, 8 and 9 are increasingly worrying indications of the need to lose weight. So, if Lola

weighs 40kg, then your vet feels she is 10 per cent overweight, or a ‘body condition score’ of 6 out of 9. It would therefore be worth her losing those kg before she gains any more, especially as she has been spayed. The actual number of kg (which I’ll convert to stones and pounds if a client asks), is still important, but as a pet owner you can keep a general eye on your dog’s bodyweight at home through assessing her body condition score.  Veterinary practices often run weight clinics, providing an opportunity for regular weight and body condition score checks with an experienced veterinary nurse. Here’s an idea for a New Year Resolution: make this the year your dogs achieve their ideal body condition scores. I often find owners undertake their own weight loss programmes alongside their dogs, with good results for everyone!

䌀 䠀 刀 䤀 匀 吀 䴀 䄀 匀 吀伀夀 匀 䬀 䔀 䔀 倀 吀 䠀 䔀 䴀 䔀 一 吀 䔀 刀 吀䄀 䤀 一 䔀 䐀

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“Why does my terrier keep being sick?” are up to date, as these may cause usually extremely poorly, and I’m own an 18-month-old Q IParson vomiting. If these are all OK, then sure you would have been to the vet Russell Terrier girl, and have had her from the age of eight weeks. She started being sick when she was around three months old, but now she’s sick at least once a fortnight. The other day, it looked yellow with a little blood in it. I’m quite concerned and wondered if you could help me.

practice long before now. Occasionally, puppies are born with congenital problems where their insides have not formed properly or in exactly the right place, which can cause restrictions on the oesophagus, resulting in food or water coming back up. More commonly, a low-grade chronic infection of the stomach lining may have occurred, and antibiotics will be required to sort out the problem. I hope this gives you a little more background but, as I say, I would pop her along to your vet sooner rather than later.

〉 Parson Russell Terrier, posed by a model. Photo by Tim Rose (

JAMES FARRELL ADVISES... I would advise you to get your little girl checked out by your vet as soon as possible. In cases of persistent vomiting (every day, for example), and in combination with a poor or no appetite, then obviously it may be an emergency and veterinary advice should be sought immediately. A more low-grade problem such as you describe can still be a serious issue, however, and so it’s definitely worth a trip to the vet. Smaller dogs (and typically terrier breeds) are quite prone to sensitive tummies. It could be nothing more than a dietary intolerance – something dogs may grow out of, or that can be eased by a gradual change in diet. In your pet’s case, this has obviously been a persistent and ongoing problem, and now with blood appearing it’s likely to involve some irritation to the stomach lining. Also, given the fact that the vomiting started at a young age, there may be some congenital issue (that is, a problem the pup has had from birth, which has now developed). Your vet will give your bitch a thorough examination first, paying particular attention to the stomach and intestine area in the abdomen to look for signs of pain or swelling. They are likely to suggest a full blood test, urine and faecal test, since the issue has been going on for a while. They will also check that your dog’s vaccination and worming status

a change in diet may be suggested, along with a course of probiotics or antacid-type medications to settle the problem. If this doesn’t work, allergy testing to see whether your dog is reacting to certain food ingredients may be a good idea. If the tests throw up something unusual, or the vet is concerned on examination, then they will likely suggest further investigations, including X-rays, ultrasound, and possibly endoscopy. Obviously if something the pup has eaten is stuck inside, then surgery will be required, although in these cases dogs are

䌀䠀刀䤀匀吀䴀䄀匀 䨀唀䴀倀䔀刀匀 䬀 䔀 䔀 倀 吀 䠀 䔀 䴀 圀䄀 刀 䴀 ☀ 匀 一 唀 䜀

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“Is there a medical reason for excessive chewing?” two-year-old Labrador chews anything in sight – remote Q My controls, clothes, anything we leave lying around. Do you think

there may be a medical reason for this, or do you think it’s behavioural? I thought she might have grown out of the habit by now.

GRAHAM FINCH ADVISES... This can be a frustrating problem, but yes, you’re right, puppies normally grow out of the chewing phase by around six months of age. It would certainly be worth taking her for a veterinary checkup to ensure there are no mouth or teeth problems that might be causing discomfort, which can lead to habitual behaviour. I’ve also read scientific reports that suggest some dogs may eat strange items if they have an intestinal problem. However, it’s also very possible there will be no clear medical diagnosis, and the continued chewing may have a behavioural cause – some dogs certainly chew things up if they become anxious when left alone, for example. It’s well worth getting a check-up first though, and I’m sure your vet will be happy to advise.

Labrador, posed by a model


Veterinary & Complementary Therapies

Grass seed awareness Q

My four-year-old Cocker Spaniel had a really nasty problem with grass seeds this summer and ended up having two operations to remove a seed, as my vet could not find it the first time around. I’d like to try to avoid this next summer, so do you have any tips?

Cocker Spaniel, posed by a model

GRAHAM FINCH ADVISES... Grass seeds can be really nasty, and because they work their way up under the skin, and can travel significant distances from the entry site, this makes them very hard to locate on occasion; I’ve had a few cases where it has taken two attempts to find one. Grass seeds are a seasonal problem, occurring in mid to late summer. The best thing to do is to check your dog’s feet and ears thoroughly after a run in the fields/grass, and remove any you find in the fur. As a fellow Cocker owner, I always get Fred clipped out at the beginning of the summer, as this makes grass seeds easier to spot, and less likely to get trapped in the coat.

䌀 䠀 刀 䤀 匀 吀 䴀 䄀 匀 吀伀夀 匀 䬀 䔀 䔀 倀 吀 䠀 䔀 䴀 䔀 一 吀 䔀 刀 吀䄀 䤀 一 䔀 䐀

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Lhasa Apso, posed by a model

Tear staining Bichon Frise has Q My constantly runny

eyes, and all the fur down his nose is stained brown. Is there a problem, and how can I stop the horrid colour, as it looks like he’s crying?

JAMES FARRELL ADVISES... This is a common occurrence in small breeds, and is often just disregarded as normal by some owners who resort to daily wiping. While it may not be possible to completely stop the problem, it’s important to ensure nothing else is going on, so I think a trip to the vet’s would be worthwhile. Your vet will check for in-turned eyelids – this is called entropion, and will need surgery as it can lead to ulcers on the cornea. A red blob in the corner of the eye may indicate a prolapsed gland, known as cherry eye. This prevents the normal eye wash mechanism working and will need correcting. If the brown staining is at all greeny/ yellow in colour, then there may be infection in the eye due to conjunctivitis, and the tear ducts that drain from the middle edge of the eye into the nose may be blocked. Your vet can flush these under sedation and local anaesthetic if necessary. Sometimes the hair on the muzzle is very long and curling into the eye, causing irritation, so a trip to the grooming salon may be a good idea too. 

Abdominal growth is likely to reoccur quickly. In the case 12-year-old Lhasa Apso Q My of tumours arising from the spleen, has very recently been diagnosed with an abdominal growth/tumour. I understand that it’s hard to tell whether or not anything can be done without tests, but I’m not sure I want him to go through any major procedures, given his age. What do you think?

GRAHAM FINCH ADVISES... I’m sorry to hear of the situation with your little dog. I can really understand how hard it is for you, but it’s difficult for me to give you a definite recommendation without knowing the full situation. In general terms, it’s certainly possible to remove internal growths that subsequently prove to be benign and go on to produce no further problems. Sadly, however, it’s equally possible to discover an inoperable process, or a malignant tumour that

for example, around 20 per cent are thought to be malignant, and the statistics for long-term survival make bleak reading. Some of the considerations we may take into account would be whether your dog has any other concurrent medical issues, and how you would have described his quality of life prior to you being aware of the diagnosis. What you might consider is a noninvasive ultrasound scan, which may well provide your vet with some additional information, such as where the tumour is arising from, and whether there are any signs of spread to other organs. It’s very hard, I know, but I would encourage you to have another a chat with your vet and discuss your concerns and questions. There’s no clear or easy answer, I’m afraid, but I wish you and your little companion well.

䌀䠀刀䤀匀吀䴀䄀匀 䨀唀䴀倀䔀刀匀 䬀 䔀 䔀 倀 吀 䠀 䔀 䴀 圀䄀 刀 䴀 ☀ 匀 一 唀 䜀

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Behaviour & Training

Crossbreed, posed by models


〈 Dog care & compromise family celebrates New Year, SUE GILMORE ADVISES... Q My rather than Christmas, and You say your dogs are well behaved, so that’s an excellent starting point. I think relatives come from several other countries – some where custom does not permit dogs in the home at any time. I know this is going to cause friction with my children, who want their two dogs to be treated as normal – that is, having the run of the downstairs of our home. The dining area is within our open-plan kitchen/family room, and the dogs are allowed to be there at mealtimes, albeit they have to stay on their beds. They never beg for food at the table and are generally well behaved. What can I do to make our celebrations as enjoyable as possible for our family, our dogs and, of course, our guests?

there are several adjustments you can make to their living arrangements during the holiday. Think about giving them access to another room, if that’s possible, during mealtimes, and try to keep them in a room separate from the guests at all other times. I’m sure your children will be keen to be with the dogs, so they can spend some time there with them (in fact, the children will probably be glad of the break!), but remember that dogs need rest periods on their own during the day, too. This can be when the children spend time with your guests, so there is a compromise. Having a crate or indoor kennel may also be useful for the dogs, as that’s their own safe space or ‘den’, and your guests will be more relaxed knowing the dogs are secure. If you really feel the atmosphere at home is going to be difficult, you could send the dogs to the local kennels or a professional home boarder, but I think this ought to be a last resort, and I’m sure it wouldn’t be popular with your children. I do hope you can find a happy medium, as Christmas and New Year should be enjoyable times shared with all members of the family – and that includes our dogs!

䌀 䠀 刀 䤀 匀 吀 䴀 䄀 匀 吀伀夀 匀 䬀 䔀 䔀 倀 吀 䠀 䔀 䴀 䔀 一 吀 䔀 刀 吀䄀 䤀 一 䔀 䐀

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Border Collie, posed by a model. Illustration by Kevin Brockbank

Boisterous greetings 10-month-old Q My Border Collie

regularly jumps up at people he meets out in public, and also when they come to the house. How can I stop him doing this? NICK JONES ADVISES... Dogs want to be involved with people, and jumping up is a means of getting close to people’s faces. It also usually results in a level of attention that satisfies the dog. However, if the action of jumping up is not addressed when the dog is very young, the behaviour can easily carry through to adulthood. For most dogs, instigating a new and simple rule before all interactions can greatly help with the problem of jumping up. The rule is simply that the dog must be in the ‘sit’ position before you or anyone else engages with him at all. This way, the sit effectively replaces the jumping up as a means for the dog to receive affection, and he will learn that this is a required stage before being stroked and petted. As his owners, ensure that he is asked to sit every time before you give him a stroke and affection. After a time, this will be easier for you to implement with other people when you’re about and about. With visitors to the home, place him on a lead before they enter, so that you can control his behaviour, and then implement the sit when he is calm enough for them to greet him without excessive fuss.

〉 In the night garden two-year-old Labrador is generally well behaved, but he’s recently Q My taken to barking in the garden last thing at night, and he won’t come in when I ask him to. Can you offer any advice, please? NICK JONES ADVISES... The barking could be due to a number of things, such as foxes, cats, or other small animals. Whatever the reason, it’s probably out of your control, but regaining control of your dog’s behaviour during his last toilet break before bedtime needs just a simple and effective move on your part. Instead of just letting him out to do as he pleases, take him out on a lead and supervise him while he relieves himself, then take him straight back inside. Do ensure that he offers good manners as you leave and return to the house, with brief sits and waits at each point. Once you’re back indoors, reward him with a good rub and fuss, and perhaps a little food, and then put him to bed. Continue with this approach for about two weeks, and then you can begin to give him more freedom by taking him out on a 15-20ft long line. Keep hold of the line, which will help you to keep his attention, and then again, once he’s done his business, come straight back inside. Once you are confident that he is focused on the simple process of his toilet break, and is not indulging in his old behaviour, you can allow him to drag the line while he’s out in the garden, and just keep a close eye on him. Eventually you should be able to remove the line altogether, but continue to supervise him closely throughout, to ensure he doesn’t get distracted.

䌀䠀刀䤀匀吀䴀䄀匀 䨀唀䴀倀䔀刀匀 䬀 䔀 䔀 倀 吀 䠀 䔀 䴀 圀䄀 刀 䴀 ☀ 匀 一 唀 䜀

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Behaviour & Training

Cocker Spaniel, posed by models


Kitten caboodle going to be bringing Q I’m home a new kitten soon, but I’m not sure how to introduce her to my existing three-year-old Cockapoo. He’s a good boy, and he gets on very well with nextdoor’s cats, but he can be excitable and bouncy at times. Can you offer me some advice on how to make this go as smoothly as possible, please?

NICK JONES ADVISES... The key thing is to ensure that the very first meeting, and all subsequent ones, remain calm and controlled and under your direction. This will help to make a good association from the outset. The kitten is likely to be quite relaxed about the dog, as she doesn’t know any different, but your dog will need to be placed on a lead in the home. Even

though you say he is fine with cats he knows, I would strongly advise you to have the kitten in a cat box or basket for the first few encounters, just for safety’s sake. Let him gently sniff her in the basket, and then, if he’s food-motivated, he can be rewarded frequently for all calm behaviours towards the kitten. When you start to let them associate without the cat basket – always under close supervision – you could try feeding small pieces of chicken to them both. Keep the two well apart to begin with, but eventually you can encourage them to come together for the promise of some small treats. Try to do this for a few times each day, and always make sure you watch them closely. The next positive step is to let your dog trail his lead in the home, but always be ready to calmly intervene if he becomes excessively playful, or you can see the kitten is becoming overwhelmed. Make sure you never leave them together unsupervised for the first few weeks, and you’ll hopefully find they end up calm and relaxed in each other’s company. TIP: Puss will feel more secure if she has an upwards escape route, such as a windowsill or shelf that she can go to, where the dog can’t reach.

Out of character Q

I own a lovely nine-year-old black Labrador who has recently taken to urinating in the kitchen at night. He has never done this before. Usually he’s very clean and always does his business away from the home. Please help.

NICK JONES ADVISES... Any sudden, out-of-character behaviour like you describe should be checked out with your vet first in order to investigate and then rule out any medical conditions. So if you haven’t already, book an appointment with the vet before you do anything else. If it’s not a physical problem, then some of the behavioural reasons for his recent habits might include a change in routine,

anxiety about being left alone, or perhaps a recent emotional event that has upset him. If it turns out that the nightly urinating is emotionally based, and not a medical issue, then you really need to consult an experienced canine behaviourist who can come to your home and assess your dog first-hand. They will be able to work through the various possible causes with you, and more importantly, find a solution.

䌀 䠀 刀 䤀 匀 吀 䴀 䄀 匀 吀伀夀 匀 䬀 䔀 䔀 倀 吀 䠀 䔀 䴀 䔀 一 吀 䔀 刀 吀䄀 䤀 一 䔀 䐀

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Winter of discontent suffer from seasonal together. Take a ball and play with him, Q Iaffective disorder, and find or take a few treats with you and hide winter hard-going with long nights and short days. Sometimes it makes having to take the dog out a chore, and it feels like no sooner have I come home from the morning walk than I have to go out for the afternoon one. I live in the countryside with no street lighting, and could do with some fresh ideas to break the monotony winter brings.

Labrador, posed by a model

SUE GILMORE ADVISES... There are several things you can do to make your daily dog walk more enjoyable and interesting. First, make sure you wear suitable footwear and clothing to keep warm and dry – that might include your dog having a jacket or boots too. He needs exercise just as you do, so interact with him while you are out

them in places where he has to work to find them. When he does locate them, praise him and encourage him to find more. Making your walks together fun for your dog will improve your relationship and, of course, it really is rewarding when your dog’s enthusiasm lightens your mood. Dogs rely on us for just about everything, particularly giving them plenty of exercise. Sometimes when we feel a bit tired and not really in the mood for a long walk, throwing a ball will use up your dog’s energy fairly quickly. Remember that a tired dog is a good dog! Excess energy needs to be expended, and it’s far better to use it positively, rather than allowing your dog to find his own ways, such as dashing around the house or being destructive. If you can, walk with a friend sometimes, or meet up with a fellow

dog walker to enjoy walks together – it’s a great way to improve your mood. Social interaction is as important for us as it is for dogs, so consider joining a training club, or a dog walking group that meets regularly. Changing your usual walking pattern is a good idea for your safety and also to keep your walks interesting, but even doing your regular circuit in the opposite direction puts a slightly different perspective on things. Some days you could just do one long walk; other times you could vary the length of your walks according to your mood. It’s important to realise that however you feel, your dog depends on you for his well-being, and the rewards he gives in return far exceed the little extra effort required in winter to ensure his needs are catered for. And just remember that even in deepest winter, spring isn’t far around the corner!

䌀䠀刀䤀匀吀䴀䄀匀 䨀唀䴀倀䔀刀匀 䬀 䔀 䔀 倀 吀 䠀 䔀 䴀 圀䄀 刀 䴀 ☀ 匀 一 唀 䜀

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General Care & Advice


“Help, my dog won’t eat her prescription food!” dependent on a number of factors, weeks ago, my dog had an operation to remove bladder stones, Q Two including the dog’s breed, age, gender, and my vet says she needs to stay on the Hill’s s/d prescription food for a while. The problem is that she really doesn’t like it, and is not eating much. Do you know of an alternative that she could eat? My vet says I’m not allowed to give her anything but s/d, and although I’ve told them she won’t eat it, they just said she will when she’s hungry. She was 26kg before the operation and now weighs 24.8kg. Any advice you can give would be appreciated, thank you.

Dachshund, posed by a model

LIBBY SHERIDAN ADVISES... I’m sorry to learn that you and your dog have been through such a difficult time – it’s always a worry when your dog requires an operation. It also sounds as if her recovery has been further complicated by her not wanting to eat the diet prescribed by your vet. Seeing your dog lose weight as a result of this must be very distressing for you, but hopefully, by making some small changes, we can get her eating an appropriate food for her condition, and get her weight back on track!

As some readers may not be familiar with bladder stones, I’ll just give you a brief overview of this condition. Bladder stones are formed when groups of mineral crystals develop in your dog’s urine, and collect in the bladder to form a stone or urolith, as they’re also known. They come in many different types and are defined by the mineral crystals they are made from. Some bladder stones will contain a single type of mineral, whereas others will be composed of multiple layers of different minerals. The type of bladder stone that develops will be

urine conditions and health. For example, we know that Dalmatians are predisposed to developing urate stones. The formation of struvite stones is also associated with urinary tract infection, and is more commonly seen in female dogs. Following the diagnosis of a bladder stone, the vet may choose to operate to remove the stone, as they have done in your dog’s case. This decision will be dependent on the type of stone, its size and where it is positioned. Once the stone has been removed, it can then be sent away for analysis, and the type of stone established. Based on these results, your vet will then be able to tailor the treatment and management accordingly. After your dog has recovered from surgery, the next focus will be to treat any smaller stones and crystals that may still be lingering in your dog’s

䌀 䠀 刀 䤀 匀 吀 䴀 䄀 匀 吀伀夀 匀 䬀 䔀 䔀 倀 吀 䠀 䔀 䴀 䔀 一 吀 䔀 刀 吀䄀 䤀 一 䔀 䐀

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urine, and also to prevent recurrence in the future. For some types of bladder stone (such as struvite) this can be achieved by feeding a specialised diet like Hill’s s/d. These diets are balanced in minerals, and are designed to alter the pH of the urine away from the pH preferred for the formation of that type of stone. For example, struvite stones need alkaline urine to form, and they will dissolve in acidic conditions. We strongly recommend feeding your dog on a canned food immediately post surgery, as the higher water content will help to keep the bladder flushed through. This will encourage any remaining crystals to pass out of the bladder via the urine. Hill’s recommend that s/d food should not be started until one to two weeks after any operation, as it contains lower levels of protein than may be ideal for healing. In the interim period, I would recommend that you feed your dog on a balanced and complete alternative food that’s also suitable for urinary tract conditions. Your dog has been prescribed Hill’s s/d food, which is designed to initially help manage and treat struvite bladder stones, so I will assume from this that your vet suspects your dog has a struvite stone. This diet works in two ways. First, it dissolves any remaining small struvite stones or crystals by acidifying the urine. Second, it also contains reduced levels of magnesium, phosphorus and protein, which are needed to form struvite crystals and stones. However, changing your dog on to Hill’s s/d is not always easy, as the ingredients used in this diet are carefully controlled to help manage the condition, so it may not be quite as tasty as your dog’s usual food. This may explain why she has been unwilling to eat it. I would always advise that when you introduce Hill’s s/d to your dog, you do it very gradually, and initially mix it with the maintenance food that you’ve been feeding immediately after the operation. This transition should ideally take at least seven days.

Start by feeding around a quarter of s/d, mixed with three-quarters of the previous maintenance food. (In some instances you may need to start by feeding an even smaller amount, for example, one tablespoon of s/d would be fine.) Completely mash the s/d into the maintenance food to help disguise the taste. This is a lot easier if you are transitioning from a canned food, which hopefully (as discussed previously) you are doing to help keep up your dog’s water intake. If you have been feeding a dry food, then I would advise adding a little warm water to help the s/d stick to it more easily, and encourage her to flush her bladder through. The aim is to gradually increase the amount of s/d you are feeding each day until you are feeding solely s/d food. This may take as long as two weeks and that’s absolutely fine. It’s important to note that Hill’s s/d is not suitable for feeding longterm, as it is not a complete diet. It is recommended that your dog should not be fed on it for more than six months. After this time, she should be changed on to a suitable alternative food that will continue to support bladder health – for example, Hill’s c/d or Hill’s w/d. It is really important to make sure we get your dog happy and eating again, as we don’t want her to lose any further weight and condition. So, if despite trying the above suggestions you’re still struggling to get her to eat the Hill’s s/d, then I would recommend trying her on one of the alternative diets that are also suitable for her condition. Royal Canin Urinary s/o and Purina Pro Plan Canine UR Urinary are both good options, and you may find that she prefers these. However, before deciding to change her on to one of these foods, I would strongly recommend you discuss this with your vet. And if you do decide to try her on a new food, it’s really important that you introduce it gradually, as outlined above. I really hope this advice helps, and that you can get her eating again so she starts to build her weight back up.

‘Am I still properly insured?” Q

I recently received my renewal letter from my insurance provider, with the annual premium due around four weeks hence. But since that date I’ve needed to make a claim, and my vet must have sent off the paperwork quickly, as I received a cheque from the insurer very promptly.  I’ve now paid the requested premium for the coming year. However, should I have called them to mention the payout, even though that would probably have resulted in an increased premium? They must have all the information on their database, but am I running the risk of being uninsured by not drawing their attention to it?   MARK EFFENBERG ADVISES... I’m sorry to hear your dog has been unwell, and I hope he is making a speedy recovery. Claims made on your policy may affect your premium, but it may have been the decision of your insurer to take the recent claim into account in the following policy year, since the renewal quote had already been calculated and sent out to you.  If the renewal was to be affected by the recent claim, your insurer should have contacted you directly to amend your quote. As it hasn’t done so, the claim shouldn’t invalidate your policy, but you may wish to check exactly when it will affect your policy premium.

䌀䠀刀䤀匀吀䴀䄀匀 䨀唀䴀倀䔀刀匀 䬀 䔀 䔀 倀 吀 䠀 䔀 䴀 圀䄀 刀 䴀 ☀ 匀 一 唀 䜀

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General Care & Advice

German Shepherd Dog, posed by a model


Little hooligan SUE WILLIAMS ADVISES... our German Q Jess, I’m pleased that you have taken the Shepherd Dog pup, is five months old and totally unruly. We’ve been going to puppy classes since she was 12 weeks old, and she’s quite good there – in fact, she’s one of the best! The problem is when we take her out. She pulls like mad, jumps up at everyone and we daren’t let her off the lead. Help! How do we control our hooligan?

responsible steps and gone to puppy training. It sounds as if Jess has an understanding of what you have taught her, otherwise she wouldn’t be able to do so well at classes. Don’t be disheartened; what you’re describing is quite common. You now need to look at transitioning across what Jess has learned at classes into real life situations. Consistency will be key to achieving this, though it will be made harder due to her already being

used to being ‘a bit of a hooligan’ when you’re out. Speak to your trainer and explain the problems you are experiencing. It may be that they can help you by doing some one-to-one lessons in the particular locations where you’re having problems. If they don’t offer this service, ask them to recommend a trainer who does. Good luck, and be patient. At five months, Jess is still a baby, and you wouldn’t expect her to be perfect, no matter how experienced the owner!

䌀 䠀 刀 䤀 匀 吀 䴀 䄀 匀 吀伀夀 匀 䬀 䔀 䔀 倀 吀 䠀 䔀 䴀 䔀 一 吀 䔀 刀 吀䄀 䤀 一 䔀 䐀

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Furry feet dog has very hairy Q My feet, and they pick up a

lot of mud and stuff, especially in winter. Can I trim the hair, or is it there to protect the foot?  If trimming is OK, what sort of scissors should I use? Is this something I can do myself when I trim my dog’s nails, or should I go to a groomer?

STUART SIMONS ADVISES... Lots of dogs get very hairy feet, and it is perfectly fine to keep the foot area free from hair. In fact, it’s quite important in spring and summer, because grass seeds can create havoc, as they have a habit of entering the dog’s paw between each of the toes. Sometimes these grass seeds can cause infection, resulting in very high veterinary bills. This happens to at least a couple of my clients every

Insurance policy exclusion nine-year-old Labrador Q My had a lump removed from

Winter grooming I was young, our family dogs were never taken to the Q When groomer in the winter months, so their thicker coats would keep them warm outside. But my friend says you should carry on having your dog bathed, groomed and trimmed as normal, then put a coat on them for walks. Who is right, and has the thinking on this changed over the years?

STUART SIMONS ADVISES... I’m of the opinion that your friend is correct. All dogs need regular grooming. It makes it safer and easier for both the dog and the groomer, as dogs that aren’t used to the procedure pose more of a danger to groomers. Dogs that aren’t regularly groomed usually end up matted (depending on the breed), and the ‘thicker coat’ is possibly simply matting. Matting is incredibly bad for a dog’s health; it can pull the skin, and, in severe cases, can lead to amputation. Most breeds should see a professional groomer regularly, and exactly how often depends on the specific breed of the dog, not the season of the year. 

Photo posed by a model

his upper foreleg earlier this year. Thankfully, it turned out to be benign, but the insurer has now excluded any further growths from the policy. This doesn’t seem fair to me, as the vet was only being cautious in removing and testing the lump – my dog hasn’t got cancer! Even if it was possible to switch insurance provider with a nine-year-old, are other insurers likely to react the same way?   MARK EFFENBERG ADVISES... Each insurance policy is different, and the level of cover chosen will affect the type of cover available for your pet. The policy wording will outline whether conditions will be excluded once a claim has been made on your policy, but these are individual to each insurer and it may offer multiple types of cover as well.  Unfortunately, if your policy terms and conditions exclude claiming for a condition again, or after a period of time, it will be unlikely they can amend your policy. Most insurers do not take on pre-existing conditions, but depending on the policy type chosen, they may still insure any unrelated conditions if your pet were to suffer from a growth in the future.

year. Once the foot is clear of hair, it’s so much easier to see any foreign objects that could be causing your dog discomfort. I would recommend regular visits to a professional groomer. If you want to do it yourself, ask your groomer to give you a quick lesson and show you how to do a small trim at home in between regular professional grooming sessions. 

䌀䠀刀䤀匀吀䴀䄀匀 䨀唀䴀倀䔀刀匀 䬀 䔀 䔀 倀 吀 䠀 䔀 䴀 圀䄀 刀 䴀 ☀ 匀 一 唀 䜀

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General Care & Advice

Tibetan Terrier, posed by a model


〈 Traffic problems puppy Molly, a Tibetan Terrier, is really Q Our unhappy in the car. We don’t know why, as she

doesn’t get sick or anything like that. When we want to put her in the car, she runs off and hides, and once we get her, she shakes. This is causing a problem, as we can’t travel anywhere for more interesting walks.

SUE WILLIAMS ADVISES... There are many reasons why a puppy can act like Molly, but all have one thing in common: fear. This will be because Molly associates something unpleasant with the car. Even though she isn’t actually sick when travelling, she could be feeling unwell due to motion sickness. There are lots of unpleasant symptoms of this condition, and she doesn’t necessarily need to be physically sick to be suffering from it. Alternatively, she may have been frightened while in the car, and has associated the experience with the vehicle. Whatever the reason, you need to put strategies in place to help Molly build up confidence so she overcomes her fear. It’s important to break things down; that way you can work on each component and not overwhelm her. To do this, you need to achieve each step below to the

point where she shows no hesitation, and is her normal happy self, before moving on to the next: Take her to the car, and reward her when she is close to it, so that she begins to makes a pleasant association with being near it Take her to the car, open the car door, but don’t put her in. Reward her Put her in the car, but don’t close the door. Reward Put her in the car, this time close the door, and reward Put her in, close the door, turn on the engine on, but don’t move off. Reward Put her in and go for a short drive; a few minutes is plenty Gradually build up the length of time travelling.

• • • • • • •

I would definitely use a crate in the car for her. This will help her feel safe and secure, which will really benefit her. If Molly is suffering from motion sickness, then using the crate and building up journeys slowly should help her to overcome it, but if you are concerned, speak to your vet. Be patient and very soon you’ll be travelling and having lots of fun adventures together, and forgetting she ever had a problem!

䌀 䠀 刀 䤀 匀 吀 䴀 䄀 匀 吀伀夀 匀 䬀 䔀 䔀 倀 吀 䠀 䔀 䴀 䔀 一 吀 䔀 刀 吀䄀 䤀 一 䔀 䐀

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Maltese puppy, posed by a model

Maltese style recently adopted a four-month-old dog Q We’ve from a rescue centre. She came from a puppy

farm originally, and the rescue staff think she is a Maltese, although she seems quite small.  Can you give me some advice on grooming please? How soon should she be taken to a salon, and what sort of style should I ask for? Ideally it should be something that’s easy to keep on top of at home.  STUART SIMONS ADVISES... So long as all of her vaccinations are complete, it is up to you as to when you take your puppy to the salon. I would recommend monthly visits for a ‘feet, face and bum’ trim and tidy. This will help to get your new puppy used to the process so that when it comes to the first full cut (I recommend this at about six months old), it is a much nicer and calmer event. A quick visit to your groomer to introduce yourself and your dog, and have a chat before the first groom, is always advisable, and will help you to choose the right groomer for you. This way, you can also see what they can offer as far as haircuts are concerned.  You must also make sure that you brush your Maltese every day to avoid any matting.

Healthy hips are thinking of breeding Q We from our German Shepherd Dog (GSD) bitch. Should we get her hip scored?

SUE WILLIAMS ADVISES... Most definitely, yes! If you breed a litter of puppies, it is vital that you understand your responsibilities, which are to ensure you do everything in your power to make sure any potential puppies are going to be physically and mentally sound. There are far too many people breeding dogs without taking these factors into account, resulting in heartache and suffering for the puppies and their new families. If you go to the Kennel Club’s website, you will find details of all the health screening recommended for GSDs. I strongly urge you to follow the recommendations.

䌀䠀刀䤀匀吀䴀䄀匀 䨀唀䴀倀䔀刀匀 䬀 䔀 䔀 倀 吀 䠀 䔀 䴀 圀䄀 刀 䴀 ☀ 匀 一 唀 䜀

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Breeds &profiles

Photo posed by models

So you want a Dachshund?

Popularity stakes

The Miniature Smooth-haired Dachshund is by far the most popular in the UK, with 3,450 registrations with the Kennel Club in 2015. This makes the Mini Smooth the 16th most popular breed overall. The Miniature Long-haired had 844 registrations in 2015, the Miniature Wire-haired 717. Overall, there’s a trend for smaller-sized dogs, so it comes as no surprise that the standard-sized Dachshund types are less popular, with just 462 registrations for the Wire-haired, 163 for the Long-haired and 157 for the Smooth-haired.

There are six Dachshund breeds in the UK, with two sizes (standard and miniature) and three coat types (smooth, long and wire). In the breed’s homeland, Germany, there are nine – with three sizes, thanks to the addition of the ‘rabbit’ (kanichen) variety, which is smaller than miniature. In Germany, the Dachshund size is categorised by chest circumference – after all, this dog was developed to go to ground; a tubby Teckel or one too wide in the shoulders wouldn’t be able to fit down a bolt hole.

Photo posed by a model

Six of the best

Photo © Tim Rose (


he Dachshund is one of the best-loved breeds, his shape instantly recognisable. The name translates as ‘badger dog’, a nod to his job of going to ground after prey, although he is known as the Teckel in his native Germany. He’s affectionately ‘Sausage Dog’ or ‘Wiener’ in the UK and US, because of his long body.

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Size is given in terms of weight rather than height (or length!). For the standard Dachshund, the ideal weight is 9-12kg (20-26lb). The ideal weight for the mini is 4.5kg (10lb), with a desired maximum of 5kg (11lb). The Long-haired coat is soft and straight, or with a slight wave. The hair is longer under the neck, on the underparts of the body, at the back of the legs, which are feathered, and on the tail where it forms a flag. The outside of the ears are well feathered, too. On the Smooth-haired, the coat is dense, short and smooth, and the Wire-haired is straight and harsh, with a dense undercoat, bushy eyebrows and a beard.

… and similarities

Apart from coat and size, all varieties are the same and share an identical breed standard. They are long-bodied and low to the ground – with the height to the withers (shoulder) being half the length of the body. Character-wise, the Dachshund is unique – he is in the hound group in the UK and US, but has obvious terrier traits, particularly with going to ground. The European kennel registry, the FCI (Federation Cynologique Internationale) gives the Dachshund breeds (all nine varieties) its own grouping. The Dachshund is smart, lively and “courageous to the point of rashness” – a certain terrier trait! He is also faithful and devoted to his loved ones, and good tempered. In common with many hounds, when his nose is to the ground (and, let’s face it, this breed’s nose is never very far from the ground!), he can become deaf to his owner’s calls, so early, thorough recall training is a must!

Photos © Tim Rose (



ThIn as e K soci en atio ne n w l C ith lub

you considered these alternative breeds?

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Basset Bleu de Gascogne UK registrations in 2015: 6


In case you’re in any doubt about how unique this breed is, read the breed standard. This is the only breed described as ‘sagacious’ and ‘audacious’! He is also curious, loving, but a little aloof with strangers. He has a deep, sonorous voice – something to consider if you have close neighbours.


There are no breed-specific genetic issues, but do inspect the ears regularly. Being long and floppy, they can get infections, which can go unnoticed. Weekly checks are advised.


Dog breeds tend to do what they say on the tin. This dog is no exception. He is low to the ground (Basset), has blue mottled markings on his coat (Bleu) and he comes from the Gascogne region of France (de Gascogne). Blue hounds have been in the south-west of the country since the 12th century, helping to hunt deer, boar and wolves.

In a nutshell


This athletic and aristocratic basset-type is powerful but not too heavy. The smooth coat is short and dense and has an unusual blue appearance that gives the breed its name. Actually, the coat isn’t blue at all – but it looks that way from black markings on a white base, covered with black mottling. He stands at 30-38cm (12-15 in).

Tina Parker, secretary of the Bleu de Gascogne Club of Great Britain, says, “This is a super-duper little dog; great company, great fun, but a little hunting hound and their noses rule their life! If you want a dog that you can take to a park and let off the lead – forget it. You could be there quite some time!”

More information

Photos posed by models

• Bleu de Gascogne

Club of Great Britain (Provisional) is very small and doesn’t have a website. For details about the club and breed, email secretary Tina Parker on kantilou@ or call 01367 710209

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A hunting dog at heart, this lively dog will follow his nose, deaf to all entreaties! Find a safe, enclosed, escape-proof area for off-lead exercise, or stick to long walks on a tracking line.

17/11/2016 21:40

Basset Fauve de Bretagne UK registrations in 2015: 80



Courageous and hardy, this is a friendly, active hound that is sensitive and perfectly attuned to their owners’ moods and needs.

Another French basset breed, this time from Brittany. The Basset Fauve was originally bred to hunt in couples and small packs. The breed was developed in the 19th century by crossing the larger version of the breed, the Griffon Fauve de Bretagne, with the Brittany Basset. The ‘Fauve’ of his name refers to his distinctive fawn colouring.


This scent hound has the characteristic short legs of the basset breeds. The rough coat is harsh in texture and coloured fawn, gold-wheaten or red-wheaten. He stands at 32-38cm (121/2-15in).


This is a healthy, hardy dog with no breed-specific health issues.


Photos © Tim Rose (

More than two hours a day is ideal for a healthy adult, but they are adaptable. They have a strong hunting instinct, but luckily they love food, so are very trainable. Some have even achieved the gold level in the Kennel Club Good Citizen Dog Scheme.

In a nutshell

Karen Karlsen, secretary of the Basset Fauve de Bretagne Club, currently has eight of the breed and has lived with them for 20 years. She says, “They are such loving, sociable, friendly dogs – with other animals, with children and with their own family pack. The only downside is the hunting instinct; some have it more than others. But otherwise, they are easygoing and a joy to live with.”

More information

• Basset Fauve de

Bretagne Club www.bassetfauvede


Breed Focus.indd 93

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Basset Griffon Vendéen (Grand and Petit) UK registrations in 2015: 102 (Grand) & 74 (Petit)


Developed to hunt in the dense, thorny vegetation of the Vendée region of west-central France, there are two sizes of Basset Griffon Vendeen – the Grand (GBGV), which is longer legged, and the smaller Petit (PBGV). Reducing the length of leg provided an ideal hound for the poorer huntsman following on foot, rather than horseback.


The PBGV stands at 34-38cm (131/2-15inches). The rough coat needs regular grooming, with extra attention paid for the show ring while still maintaining the natural look. The GBGV is the tallest of the basset breeds, with males standing at 40-44cm (151/2-171/2in) and females at 39-43cm (151/2-17in); in fact, he is only slightly longer than he is tall. Both the Petit and Grand have a rough coat that is white with any combination of lemon, orange, sable, grizzle or black markings, and tricolour.


The PBGV should be eyetested, including gonioscopy. The main issue is primary open angle glaucoma (POAG), but cases of persistent pupillary membrane and lens luxation have occurred. DNA testing for POAG is now available, which will help eradicate the disease from the breed. Steroid responsive meningitis is an issue, and epilepsy is under investigation at the Animal Health Trust. Craniomandibular osteopathy has mainly been seen in Grands, but has also occurred in Petits. The club website has lots of useful information at bgv-health


Typical scenthounds, both Basset Griffon Vendeen breeds need a fair amount of exercise. Once his nose is on the ground, he will follow it for miles. Start recall training early, and keep revising throughout his life, and until such time, keep him on a long line or extending lead for his safety and your blood pressure.

In a nutshell

Photos © Tim Rose (

Breed club secretary Linda Skerritt says, “A hound is not for everyone, but one Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen is wonderful; more an absolute joy! The Grands are growing in popularity; they are more laid-back than the busy, bustling Petits.”

More information

• The Basset Griffon Vendeen Club of Great Britain

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Basset Hound UK registrations in 2015: 580

Photos © Tim Rose (


The Basset Hound is one of the greats of the dog world – instantly recognisable the world over. He has a long heritage, harking back to the Middle Ages, when French monks used him for hunting in heavy cover. Bassets still hunt in packs today, but they tend to be the less exaggerated, more athletic types.


At 38cm (15in), the Basset is a big dog on short legs. His long ears, wrinkles and short stature have earned him many admirers, but exaggerations have led to significant health issues (see Health), which breeders and the Kennel Club are now addressing. The smooth, short coat generally comes in black, white and tan (tri-colour) and lemon and white (bi-colour), but any recognised hound colour is acceptable.


The breed should be tested for elbow dysplasia; the gonioscopy eye test (to detect glaucoma) should be done every three years. The Basset is categorised under category 3 of the Kennel Club’s Breed Watch scheme, where “dogs have visible conditions or exaggerations that can cause pain or discomfort.” The excessive amounts of loose skin, baggy eyelids, excessively long ears, inadequate ground clearance, and dermatitis in the skin folds are all highlighted as concerns. For further information, the Basset Hound Health Group has a dedicated site at


A placid, self-assured and affectionate dog with a deep, sonorous bark that belies the dog’s size – and friendliness!


An hour’s daily exercise would be advised for a healthy adult. He is a marathon runner rather than a sprinter – who will happily follow his nose and amble over long distances.

In a nutshell

Stephen Archer, secretary of the Basset Hound Club, says, “They are outgoing, loyal, friendly, cheeky characters that love people.”

Breed Focus.indd 95

More information

• Basset Hound Club • Basset Hound Club of Northern Ireland • Basset Hound Club of Scotland • Basset Hound Club of Wales

There are four other regional clubs – for a full list and telephone contacts of all the clubs, visit

January 2017 | 95

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䄀 搀漀最 昀爀椀攀渀搀氀礀ꀀ昀漀爀攀猀琀 爀攀琀爀攀愀琀  椀渀 刀漀礀愀氀 䐀攀攀猀椀搀攀 ☀ 䌀愀椀爀渀最漀爀洀猀 吀攀氀㨀  㜀㔀㠀㌀ 㐀㌀㘀 㐀   眀眀眀⸀挀愀椀爀渀最漀爀洀氀漀搀最攀猀⸀挀漀洀

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21/11/2016 16:21

Tail end

Gourmet evening enhanced the flavour of the meat but did not overwhelm it. Because, let’s face it, no canine wants their meat obscured by plants. I set about eating at my normal enthusiastic pace, but then did a double take. What was this heavenly substance? I paused, backed away from the bowl and looked down at it. Then I recommenced consumption but at a much slower pace so that I could savour every mouthful. All too soon, though, it was gone.

Chain Reaction

From the dog’s mouth…

MOLLY belatedly learns that not all dog food is created equal…


few days ago, I gathered there was something of a shopping crisis taking place. While I would not wish to sound critical, between you and me it was obvious that there had been a significant failure of planning on the part of my normally well-organised mistress. I overheard the small people vociferously bemoaning the lack of various clearly essential snack foods, and my master mourning the end of the last roll of clingfilm. Anyway, you are probably wondering how all this pertained to me, given that I am the one you are interested in hearing about. Well, readers, the answer to that question is that one of the items they had run out of was my food. I can almost sense your empathetic surge of alarm on reading this. But fear not, while indisputably guilty of an organisational hiccup, my owner (like her dog) is a quick thinker, 98 | January 2017

Tail End Jan.indd 98

and the various human and canine needs were duly met in a calm and efficient manner. Having said this, however, the provision of hastily acquired dog food has left me in something of a dilemma. My regular food is perfectly nice. It is tasty, meaty and comes in a variety of flavours, and I invariably consume it with enthusiasm and speed. But my emergency meal looked different from the moment it arrived in a carrier bag bearing an unfamiliar logo. The packaging was highly pleasing to the eye – a square, gold foil tray, topped with a lid bearing a picture of a rather dashing terrier. As it was decanted into my bowl, my mistress remarked that she thought I was going to enjoy it. And readers, I most certainly did. The meal consisted of tender little morsels of beef, enrobed in a rich, yet subtle, gravy. There were elevating hints of herbs that

Now I mentioned that the experience has left me in something of a dilemma, and here is why. At first my reaction was profound gratitude. I smiled at my mistress. I gave her several affectionate nudges. But then my internal processes became rather more complicated. Questions began to form in my mind, and anger began to descend. The questions were of this nature: Why had I not eaten this food before? Why had I only just learned that dog food could be like this? Was I not worthy of receiving food of this quality every day? Were there other dogs who did regularly partake of such food? I have tried to have uplifting conversations with myself on the subject, pointing out that it is surely better to appreciate the positives of special experiences, rather than let them sour one’s attitude to normal life. But to be frank, it is not working. The delicious meal has not been repeated and my regular food is now once again piled up in its cupboard, so I cannot even hope for another unplanned break in supply any time soon. I’m not proud to admit it, but I suspect the only thing that will restore my equilibrium is an act of admittedly petty revenge. Chewing up a shoe would probably do it… or perhaps adding some bite marks to the new doormat. I am confident of your support and understanding in this matter. c

About the author Molly Taylor is widely regarded as the outstanding Airedale Terrier of her generation. She has lived with her family, who are first-time dog owners, since she was a puppy and although she has taught them all they know, they still have a long way to go. Molly enjoys sleeping, eating and country walks, and has an honours degree in kitchen bin raiding.

15/11/16 14:33

Christmas Feast on RAW sale 1st December

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Lovingly made in Surrey using human grade British Turkey p99_DogsMonthlyJan17.indd 67

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Dogs Monthly – January 2017