Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Growler hopes for change and fears the end of shows

It's the Growler again, the anonymous dog show insider that likes to sometimes communicate through this blog...
I was encouraged this week both by my conversation with others and also by articles in the dog press (I am a sometime admirer of columns by Signalman in Our Dogs among others).
Changing the way things are done and the way we all appear seems to be cropping up as themes more and more. I live in hope that it is a small beginning in moves to improve our hobby.
Signalman asked what Mr and Mrs Average must think of some of our practises. I fear the answer is not much!

Will it be hard to change?
Yes, and some will be left behind unwilling to adjust to what is needed. But some things are massively overdue.
If our Kennel Club are finally going to try to clean up and improve our hobby I hope all who take part will support them. Otherwise I fear the writing will be on the wall and showing will come to a stuttering halt - to be replaced by other ways of finding the 'best' dogs. No doubt overseen by some organisation such as DEFRA or god forbid the RSPCA


Monday, 27 September 2010

The most expensive dogs in every way

Here's a top five you really don't want your dog to be in. It's the top five most expensive breeds of dog according to Trupanion pet insurance claims  in the US.

It lists the physical cost, but imagine the emotional one, too.

Isn't it fantastic that these guys and another are sharing their data? Wouldn't it be wonderful if the UK pet insurance market did the same so that prospective owners could more accurately buy their next dog with their eyes wide open? If your preferred breed being high in the league of suffering didn't put you off at least it might encourage you to get decent pet insurance if you do go ahead?

Here's their top five for claims, wonder what the UK version would read like?:

1. English Bulldog – This breed is prone to cherry eye, brachycephalic syndrome, elongated soft palate, hip dysplasia, patellar luxation, and stenotic nares. The total amount spent on this breed was $1,152,947.32, with 84% related to illnesses and 16% related to accidents. The average claim amount is $370.57.

2. Bernese Mountain Dog – This breed is prone to cataracts, elbow dysplasia, gastric torsion, and mast cell tumors. The total amount spent on this breed was $553,660.57, with 76% associated with illnesses and 24% associated with accidents. The average claim amount is $412.85.

3. Rottweiler – Health conditions associated with this breed are allergies, elbow dysplasia, gastric torsion, and hypothyroidism. Trupanion policyholders have spent $532,261.93 on this breed, 63% for illnesses and 37% for accidents. The average claim amount is $567.53.

4. Great Dane – Common health issues for this breed are cardiomyopathy, elbow dysplasia, gastric torsion, and hip dysplasia. The total amount spent on this breed was $462,204.97, with 77% associated with illnesses and 23% associated with accidents. The average claim amount is $385.49.

5. French Bulldog – This breed is prone to allergies, brachycephalic syndrome, hip dysplasia, and stenotic nares. According to Trupanion databases, policyholders have spent $384,325.78 on this breed, with 87% associated with illnesses and 13% associated with accidents. The average claim amount is $355.63.

Freedom of information seems to be all the rage in the States. Click here for another American pet insurance company sharing their claims data. Every breed in the US has a link. Isn't it great. Please UK pet insurance companies please start talking to your customers in a similar way. Check out your breed. 
Wouldn't you like to able to do the same with UK data? Wouldn't it great if the KC website was just as transparent? After all - they have the claims data from their own pet insurance. Why not share it?



I have managed to lose the biggest and best coat in the world.
My favourite bad weather coat, also known affectionately as my Shoplifter coat because if you were so inclined you could probably fit a weekly shop into it's vast and various concealed pockets. Or indeed everything you need for a weekend away if you were travelling Ryan Air.
I bought it in New York where they understand big coats.
Even though it was more than 15 years ago that I first spied it - it still looked exactly the same as the day I bought it.
It was big enough for two small children to shelter under - while I was wearing it.
Kieran discovered  he could fit his head into one of the pockets on very cold days should he have forgotten his school hat.
It had a massive hood that made me look like the grim reaper or on a good day the woman out of the Scottish Widows commercial.
Its hem used to skim the ground making me a plausible possible extra in a Harry Potter movie.
It was not a fashion item, but it was a vital part of me.
I am grieving for my beloved coat.
I have retraced my footsteps and it just isn't anywhere and it's far too big to hide.
I can't believe it is gone, surely not stolen?
Surely I was the only one who coveted it.
There will never be another any where near as good.
It is a bad day here.
I've lost keys, purses, phones and they've just been hiding in the turmoil of my handbag.
But a vast winter coat?
It is obviously time for a very good tidy up or more sleep, I'll be misplacing the car next!

After a Crimewatch-esque reconstruction we discovered the coat was last seen on Friday when we went for lunch at the Windmill on the A30. They have been looking after it ever since. A happy ending. Perhaps I should get it microchipped?

Sunday, 26 September 2010

If they could talk, what would they say?

A few years back we had a competition to find the dog that could say "Winalot" and the lucky winner did indeed win a lot - think there was a very chunky cash prize!
Two fantastic Rodinglea Scruffies won with a great video entry that deserves to be on You Tube but isn't!
Those dogs had been bred for brains and they could say a lot more than "Winalot". They'd ask for water, liver, Kongs etc - all by name. They would say "hello" to people they passed in the street causing much surprise.
Just came across a Husky link that shows perhaps other dogs are learning to talk, too? Wonder what yours would say? I reckon nearly all of them would say what this Husky says!

Friday, 24 September 2010

What I want for Christmas...

I know it sounds a bit early, but it isn't really. 
Now is the time for our loved ones to be researching and finding that killer present that really shows they care and are totally in tune with our tastes! (No pressure, obviously!)
So come on, share! 
What's the best thing you've seen, what's the top of your really must have list - obviously with a doggie theme, although I would still be fascinated to hear which outfits from Figleaf you've got your eye on!
As a woman who has seen almost every conceivable doggie-related gift, here's the latest gift idea across my desk that had me saying, "Well I've never seen anything like that before!"

These are incredibly realistic miniatures made out of your own dog's hair! The website is fascinating, Lucy Maloney has a rare talent.
Now I am relying on you guys to top this with something even more fantastic and tell me all about it. I will be moving this over to the Think Tank blog, too so you can all share your unbeatable Xmas pressie ideas and we'll put the best in our December magazine.
Do you know someone that makes something really special? Or maybe you do yourself? Come on lets share our little black book secrets with each other!

Tuesday, 21 September 2010

I name this dog....

Gillian Stewart asked via my Facebook page...

Hi Beverley, 

I need a name for a rescue Shar Pei boy, 10 months old. He is currently called Chico, but I really don't want to call him that, and he doesn't know it's his name either! Please, please can you suggest names for him, as I am so stuck and can't think of anything!! Here is a picture of him to help :)



My first suggestion was L'Oreal - because he's worth it and they may also make some cream that'll help with those wrinkles!

Come on folks - put those thinking caps on!

The best pop music video ever?

Turn the speakers up, get a cup of tea. Latest video from those guys who did the treadmill video now copied by the TV ad. Watch out for the goat...! Which dog trainers were used in this - anyone know?
Wouldn't it be great if people tried to remake this video at home - in the same way people did with Beyoncés Crazy in Love!

Almost immediately after posting the above question I clicked on the fantastic Terrierman blog and he has all the answers!!!

Click here to read for yourself!

And via Twitter  - thanks to @Rabbitlovemydog  I was sent this link that reveals it was all shot it one go on the 15th attempt, impressive! And many of the dogs are rescues and the video will raise money for rescue. Here's the link in full and a chunk if you're in a hurry..

It turns out OK Go had to engage in a lot of practice to make this perfect. The band and video director Trish Sie (sister of frontman Damian Kulash, who directed the group's other groundbreaking dance videos) worked for two weeks with the four-legged video actors (provided by the aptly named Talented Animals agency) and trainer Lauren Henry to prepare for the shoot. When the time came to finally film the video, it took 15 takes to get it just right.

The end result, which premiered on "The Ellen DeGeneres Show" on September 20, is another OK Go tour de force, of course. And if anyone is worried that the dogs or goat were harmed during the making of "White Knuckles," rest assured that the animals had just as good a time as the humans here. Additionally, the well-meaning band members hope the video will inspire viewers to donate to animal rescue charities. They post on their website:
"For our latest video, 'White Knuckles,' we had the opportunity to work with some amazing collaborators. These four-legged rock stars worked harder (and with a lot less complaining) than we did, and never ceased to make us smile during the extensive training and filming process. As most of the dogs in this video are rescues, we decided to donate a portion of all proceeds from the sale of the video on our site to animal rescue in this country. The video will be available for sale shortly, at which point you'll be able to buy one of several different video packages as a way of donating. But if you just can't wait that long, don't let us stop you from donating directly to the ASPCA right now."

More pieces in the jigsaw - on Kelly Gorman Dunbar's blog on the fantastic Dog Star Daily we learn more...

It’s clear the dogs are having fun, enjoying working, and are comfortable being dogs, letting their own individual personalities shine through. There is nothing robotic or oppressive in their nature. In other words it’s clear to me the dogs were highly motivated and probably play/trained for the video.
This brief interview with the trainer, Lauren Henry of Talented Animals confirmed my suspicions, “"We spent a lot of time playing with them … Each behavior is part of a whole game they’re playing,” she explains. “For instance: the dogs running around people’s legs at the beginning. Riot, the little dog on the left, I would have her go around the chair and then I’d throw the ball. Then I would have her go her around the chair twice, and then throw the ball. And then three times, and then add the person.”
The other great things the dogs’ performance in this video illustrates is that perfection is not necessary for an impressive presentation and that training can be fun at both ends of the leash. Very cool OK Go, very cool indeed.

Monday, 20 September 2010

Testing our patience

We are sadly unique among the dog press in that we have a very strict criteria for accepting adverts for litters for sale.
We are unashamedly fussy!
For a start breeders have to have actually bred the dogs they are selling, they should have reared them in the home and agree to give support to owners for the entire pup's life. Plus, breeders also have to have done all the health tests we recommend - and they also need to have been successful in those tests.
We also get them to sign a form to say all the above is true - and should they be stupid enough to make a false claim Trading Standards can take action.
It is a neat little system and it's been working very well for many years both online and in the mag (http://www.perfectpup.co.uk ). We'd like more people to come up to our very high standards, but if they can't - we don't want their adverts.
Oh, and did I mention, we don't charge for this service. To encourage good practise the adverts are free of charge.
We've had a clash with a breeder who doesn't want to do the tests.
Our breeder is a KC Accredited Breeder. She can't see why we are asking for her to do tests the KC doesn't.
Here's what she said...
"You're just a magazine - they're the Kennel Club - you can't tell me what to do!" .
Julia who runs the section was ready for her. It says on the one of the Welsh Corgi Club websites... http://www.welshcorgileague.com/thepembroke.html

From information taken from the Welsh Corgi League’s Health Survey conducted over a number of years and results of the Kennel Club Health Survey carried out in 2004. Cancer was the most common cause of health issues. Other conditions we know exist in the breed are Von Willibrands Disease, which is a blood clotting disorder and Degenerative Myelopathy (DM) a progressive disease of the spinal cord causing weakness in the hind limbs. 

And as there is a DNA test available for Von Willibrands Disease we think responsible breeders should test for it, even if the KC do not. (It is apparently autosomal incomplete dominant with variable expression.  In other words, dogs with the gene could live unaffected lives and the owners could be oblivious.)
While they're at it, we would like breeders to consider doing the available DNA tests for SCID (females are carriers, males affected are very soon dead) and DM (no cases in the UK so far, we hear), but we're only insisting on Von Willibrands and our breeder is adamant that she would not be going to do that test because the KC don't think it is needed.
Our Julia asked if the breeder would sign something to say that her lines had never had any cases and that she was prepared to guarantee that her pups would be clear. She said no her dogs were all fine but she wouldn't sign. And that was as far as we were prepared to go, too.
Also on the email today we heard of a Champion stud dog in another breed with a very high hip score that is still being widely used at stud. (Nearer three x the breed average than double!)
As a result of these two emails, I'm feeling a bit testy today.
I really don't see what more we can do to highlight health issues. I have to keep reminding myself there are very good breeders out there, these folk today really don't do the other's reputations any favours though!
And the KC, well, if they are only going to recommend Animal Health Trust DNA tests they are really letting dogs down. There are lots of other labs out there and clear signposting of which tests are worth doing would be a great help to people who look to them for advice
We're just a magazine after all!
We're still going to be fussier than the KC. Looking forward to the day when they catch up!

Friday, 17 September 2010

Single? Got a dog? Read on....!

I'd like to point out I didn't write the words in italics that follow...

Do you yearn for a bit of puppy love?
Do you agree that you can tell a lot about a person from their dog??
If so, why not take part in this unusual dating experiment ... you'd be barking to miss the opportunity!
A television company is seeking dog loving singles to take part in a fun, non-broadcast, pilot TV show. If you're outgoing and up for a laugh then we want to hear from you.
In return for helping us find out whether our TV idea has (four!) legs, you'll get to go on three great dates and who knows, you might also meet the partner of your dreams!
Please email doggydating@cineflix.com or call 0203 179 0099 for more details!
Hope to hear from you soon!
Doggy Dating team

Hope it becomes a real programme! I'd watch.
Be fascinated to hear from anyone brave enough to give this one a go!
Has your dog proved to be a social lubricant? 
"Can you tell a lot about a man from the size of his dog?"
That honestly really was the title of a genuine article in Dogs Today some years ago. We had a psychologist telling us that dogs were like cars and a man with a very big dog was often a bit of a disappointment in other departments. 
Wasn't that the same issue where we had several nude men with their various breeds of dogs covering their embarrassment? 
It was an unforgettable day in the studio.
In 20 years of producing Dogs Today we've covered almost everything - including male appendages with strategically placed Dachshunds! 

Tell the RCVS what you think of them...

....and win an Ipod!

Here's the press release....

Speak up about 'Find a Vet'!
The RCVS online ‘Find a Vet' practice search tool (www.findavet.org.uk ) receives 25,000 visits a month. Is one of them yours? If so, we'd like to know what you think of the service. Speak up, and you could win a stylish Logitech portable speaker for your iPod or iPhone.
Spare just a few minutes of your time to complete our short survey, before 24 September, and you will be entered into a prize draw.
Your feedback will help us make sure Find a Vet is as helpful and easy to use as possible.
So, whether you are an animal owner, veterinary surgeon, veterinary nurse or a student, please speak up - we're listening!
View the survey

Thursday, 9 September 2010

Free tickets

We have five pairs of adult and five family tickets to give away for the East of England Autumn Show, held on Sunday 10 October in Peterborough
There will be lots of doggie-related activities, including canine displays and classes such as Scruffts, the search for the crossbreed of the year; plus the final of the Burgess Supa Dog Agility Stakes, and terrier and Lurcher championships.
Expect thousands of different animals of all shapes and sizes, too, such as mice and fancy rats, magnificent shire horses, ponies and donkeys, poultry and waterfowl, and endangered livestock breeds.
Also, visit almost 200 trade stands, a craft fair, a food hall offering the best in regional food and drink, and a traditional Victorian funfair for children!
There’s even the East of England Giant Vegetable Competition!
The East of England Autumn Show, open between 9am and 4.30pm, is situated at the East of England Showground, Peterborough, Cambridgeshire PE2 6XE.

To enter, please send an email to comps@dogstodaymagazine.co.uk with the subject TICKETS with your name and address and whether you want family or adult tickets. We'll be picking the winners a week today.

If you would like to find out more about the event, please contact 01733 234451 or www.showground.org.uk

Wednesday, 8 September 2010

Are mongrels healthier than pedigrees?

In the latest October issue we say in Jemima Harrison's article on whether you can prove mongrels are really healthier than pedigrees we would publish the references on this blog - so here they are:-

• B.N. Bonnett, A. Egenvall, P. Olson, A. Hedhammar, Mortality in Swedish dogs: rates and causes of death in various breeds, The Veterinary Record, 1997. ("Mongrels were consistently in the low-risk category.")

• P.D. McGreevy & W.F. Nicholas, Some Practical Solutions to Welfare Problems in Pedigree Dog Breeding, Animal Welfare, 1999. ("Hybrids have a far lower chance of exhibiting the disorders that are common with the parental breeds. Their genetic health will be substantially higher.")

• A. Egenvall, B.N. Bonnett, P. Olson, A. Hedhammar, Gender, age, breed and distribution of morbidity and mortality in insured dogs in Sweden during 1995 and 1996, The Veterinary Record, 2000. ("Mongrel dogs are less prone to many diseases then the average purebred dog.")

• A. R. Michell, Longevity of British breeds of dog and its relationship with sex, size, cardiovascular variables and disease, Veterinary Record, 1999. ("There was a significant correlation between body weight and longevity. Crossbreeds lived longer than average but several pure breeds lived longer than cross breeds, notably Jack Russell, miniature poodles and whippets”.)

• G.J. Patronek, D.J. Walters, L.T. Glickman, Comparative Longevity of Pet Dogs and Humans: Implications for Gerontology Research, Journal of Gerontology, Biological Sciences, 1997. ("The median age at death was 8.5 years for all mixed breed dogs and 6.7 years for all pure breed dogs. For each weight group, the age at death of pure breed dogs was significantly less than for mixed breed dogs.")

• H.F. Proschofsky et al, Mortality of purebred and mixed breed dogs in Denmark, Preventive Veterinary Medicine, 2003. (Higher average longevity of mixed breed dogs. Age at death when split into three age bands: mixed breeds 8,11,13, purebreds 6, 10, 12.)

• Marta Vascellar et al, Animal tumour registry of two provinces in northern Italy: incidence of spontaneous tumours in dogs and cats. BMC Veterinary Research 2009. (“In both dogs and cats, purebreds had an almost two-fold higher incidence of malignant tumours than mixed breeds.”)

Agneta Egenvall et al, Mortality in over 350,000 Insured Swedish Dogs from 1995–2000; Breed-Specific Age and Survival Patterns and Relative Risk for Causes of Death. Acta Veterinaria Scandinavica, 2005. (No difference overall, but mongrels low-risk for locomotor problems and heart disease.)

Quentin, oh cripes, what a stinker!

If you listened to yesterday's BBC Radio 4 programme entitled What's the Point of the Kennel Club?  I think you would have to conclude that a better question would have been, "What's the Point of Quentin Letts?"
If nothing else, he's sealed his pole position for the title Upper Class Twit of the Year!
He totally trivialised every issue and turned in a terribly muddled piece that lurched all over the place - like a less intelligent Boris Johnson talking on his mobile while cycling.
I am still gobsmacked by the wafer-thin and yet unchallenged KC defense for them allowing dogs that had failed their health tests being bred-on-from and shown. I don't yet have the transcript to hand but the gist of the Alice-in-Wonderland-style logic is that 'dogs really love being shown so why shouldn't they have fun' - even if they are crippled, blind, about to pop-off with a heart defect etc. And that of course they should be bred from, we don't want to lose their genetic diversity. (Ironic isn't it, what with them not recognising the case for real genetic diversity protection - still allowing grandparent to grandpup matings despite Bateson's strong recommendation that this should have stopped!)
Quentin, call yourself a journalist?
You let that go unchallenged?
Can I have your NUJ card please - and possibly any scissors or very sharp pencils.
With so little mental agility, perhaps it's time for him to be moved into the rooms with the padded walls?
It's still on the BBC i-player if you want to listen and make your own mind up as to his competence.
Muddled, befuddled and making light of a very serious subject.
And why didn't he ask the Patterdale Terrier folk why they don't want their precious breed registered by the KC? Surely that might have opened his barely open eyes a fraction - that's if he really does love his own dogs?
I always assumed Quentin Letts wasn't a real person when he wrote his column the Mail.
Having heard him on Radio 4 yesterday, I'm now even more convinced!

Some news to lift the soul...

I always am cheered by a phone call from Allen Parton.
Things are really taking off for new charity Hounds for Heroes.
One of our lovely readers has persuaded his employers DHL to really get behind the charity and Marks and Spencer and Waitrose are already on board. Impressive stuff for a new charity. But each one of these corporates were involved by just one person being moved and then making it happen. The charity seems to reach out to individuals and make them want to do something - whether that's giving a £1 or putting on a coffee morning or persuading their big bosses to get involved, too - it's all good stuff. People caring and actually being moved to do something about it.
But today's new good news was that the lovely folk at Kong have given Hounds for Heroes £5,000 - enough to train a dog!
As a Kong was Endal's favourite toy they've also agreed to supply their fantastic toys to the charity on an on-going basis, too.
Isn't that lovely?
Made my day that call.
The script for Endal the movie is due any day soon.
In the 20 years I've been doing this job, it's amazing how many stories we've seen that could turn into Hollywood movies. It's so lovely that our readers will have a grandstand seat to watch this one make it to the big screen!
So proud of Allen and all he does. Love him writing in the magazine and telling the developing story.

The Growler is depressed about pups dying at shows...

Here's the latest from our dog show insider:

It's only a hobby we all say, but we travel hundreds of miles a year, spend a fortune in time and money preparing and showing our dogs. So how far will we go?
Some just enjoy a day talking with friends, no stress and a day out with dogs but to some it's about winning at all costs.

We all know the stories about bad judging or displays of bad sportsmanship and a lot of us have experienced some nasty maneuvers in the show ring. 
Dogs are transported, groomed, exercised and promoted via heavy advertising.
Some brave souls even camp in all weathers at various show sites around the country no matter the weather using up all their holidays and driving for hours.
So is this a rewarding hobby any more?
I heard on the grapevine of one breeder who recently allegedly camped on a showground with puppies under one week old and another bitch who whelped on site. 

Apparently the resulting puppy losses were large.
All I can say is that is going a step too far.  I hope those 'in the know' are making strong protestations to the KC!
The show scene has changed dramatically over the years and it must be very off putting to the new exhibitor. Gone is the friendly atmosphere at a lot of shows. Competition and winning is the name of the game, learning about the breed from the older generation is to some extent a thing of the past as is respect for the judges. Fast track now seems to mean scratching the right backs.

Our hobby is changing and not all for the better lets all work to change it back!
The Growler

Reading the latest growl from the Growler I am moved to say that I think that the show world hasn't really changed that much in the last 30 years, that what has probably changed is the Growler's perspective. 
The more angles you see of the show world structure, the more you see how all the pieces fit together. Successful dog showing at the highest level is a very people-orientated game and those that play it best see it for what it is and enjoy the challenge of mind games. It's a game of strategy and influence.
The problem is that the dog plays quite a minor part in this 'game' and as above with the pups dying on site, nothing can get in the way of attending some shows. 
I've known an otherwise lovely person who missed their own daughter's wedding because it clashed with a favourable judge at a championship show! Someone who lost their job by pulling too many sickies to attend midweek shows. And worse, I remember the call I got from the husband divorcing the wife who had bumped off their dog because it hadn't won enough - claiming the money back on the insurance so she could buy a new one. It was when she did this twice with two different insurers that he realised the death's weren't tragic accidents.
The people who forget or simply don't care how special dogs are is why we need a strong logical Kennel Club prepared to protect the dog's best interests in what can become and unhealthily addictive hobby. To stop dogs being viewed as lottery tickets. If dog showing has a point it is for the healthiest most functional dogs to win and mind games really shouldn't be allowed to have a place.
Depressing Growler. 
When you first start you think everyone has a chance to win and sometimes a novice does break through who isn't playing the larger game, and there are lots of lovely people at breed level who do love their dogs blissfully unaware. But if you want to become an international judge and win groups and best In shows, chances are you're playing the game on another level, not visible to those paying their entry fees, taking their chance in the ring and going home at the end of the day rather than hanging around in the show hotel etc and networking.

Monday, 6 September 2010

Radio 4 and something to make us all smile

Tune in to this...
This coming Tuesday (7th Sept) on BBC Radio 4 there  is a half hour programme called "What's the Point of The Kennel Club?"  It is on at 9am and repeated later that day at 9.30 pm. The blurb for the  programme says:

"Caught between health regulations and protests  about inbreeding, the Kennel Club seems to be all bark and no bite. Are it's days numbered?"
It's been a long time in the making, wonder what their conclusions will be?

POSTSCRIPT - Click here to read the latest blog on this subject.

...and I'm struggling to find a link, but there must be one somewhere....

Watch this. It really cheered me up. If the KC get a real savaging maybe it'll still make them smile? This dog must have amazing hips...

We'll fight them on the beaches....

More news from the good folk trying to stop the beach ban in Cornwall:

Following what can only described as a bizarre Parish Council Meeting last Tuesday, we once again ask for your help. The final vote on the dog ban issue is to be held at the next meeting on the 13th of September 2010.
Our tactics need to become more focused - this is the last chance to influence the decision!
Whether you live in Perranporth, the Perranzabuloe Parish, Cornwall or ex-Cornwall, if you know or are related to any person who is a resident of the Parish, please ask them to lobby their local Parish Councillors (and with urgency).
It was plainly stipulated at the previous meeting by the Chairperson and others that the Council would only consider the opinions of residents of the Parish (circa 3,000 adults) as they are the people who they represent. While this was a stated aim, it became quite obvious that the deliberations of the Councillors were, for the most part, based on personal bias and opinion rather than the true representation of their Parishioners’ views and interests.
As per the previous email, the Council considered three options, a total dog ban, dogs restricted by virtue of dates and times or no dog ban. Following a proposal to vote on option 2, this was supported by all Councillors bar 3. The working party are now investigating option 2 and will make further proposals which will form the basis of the final vote on the 13th. 
It is our opinion that any restriction on dog access based on seasonality and/or time will have the same basic affect as a total ban. This will primarily affect the tourist trade in the area as visitors realise they potentially will not be allowed to take their dogs on the beach during daytime in the season. 
We believe that the example of the rules affecting the Southwest Coastal Path should be followed. Put simply, dogs must be kept under close control at all times. If your dog is well trained and walks to command, great. If not, then put it on the lead in busy areas. Common sense would also say dogs should be under control/on a lead in the busiest parts of the beach during the season and to keep them away from areas flagged by the RNLI lifeguards. This initiative can be supported by the use of volunteer dog wardens, sponsored bins etc as previously noted.
SO! If you are someone in the Parish (not just Perranporth village), or know or are related to someone in the Parish, please get them on the case now! We only have until the 13th of September to make an influence. You can find out more about the previous meeting and which Councillors to contact at http://www.dogsloveperranporth.com/news.html
 One final push, let’s hope it’s successful! 

Friday, 3 September 2010

Competition time again!

Can you guess which breeds/types combined to produce these two dogs? First correct winner to send answer to comps@dogstodaymagazine.co.uk will receive either a breed specific book or a general book on dogs, courtesy of Interpet Publishing. I'll be issuing clues if it doesn't go quickly!

CLUES: Both gundogs, one is working variant, one precious, one sharing part of Pulp lead singer's name - guesses on email please to comps@dogstodaymagazine.co.uk

WE HAVE A WINNER! Congrats Mandie Heslop. Working Cocker x Golden Retriever was the answer.

But there's still plenty of time to enter the caption competition, please think up something witty to say about the picture below! We're judging the caption competition on Monday at 1pm, so you need to have submitted to comps@dogstodaymagazine.co.uk before then!

Caption winner receives a homeopathic remedy called Anxiety, from Company of Animals. The fast-acting liquid promotes a sense of calm in animals exhibiting fear, anxiety or any unwanted behaviour, including those caused by fireworks, separation-elicited problems and travel sickness.
Caption runners-up win a CLIX Noises and Sounds CD from the Company of Animals for calming and preventing sound phobias in dogs.

Why the RSPCA think we need dog licenses

Here's a link to the RSPCA report on why we need dog licenses. I have to say this is quite possibly the most anti-dog document I have read in a very long time.
Pitched at Government quite obviously not pet people, but I picked up from its many pages that a dog licence will prove really useful to government if there's a nasty disease outbreak and they need to know where the dogs are... How reassuring.
Do have a read, leave off the jaffa cakes though as it'll give you indigestion!


Will licenses stop dog bites? The RSPCA say they will

Sometime in the hour after 9am I'm on BBC Radio 5 live about the RSPCA's call for the dog license to be brought back.
I'd like to ask you - are you one of the 2/3rds of dog owners they claim want it back? If so, what do you think it will achieve?
Do you live in a country that has dog licenses? Do you have no problems? No dog bites, no fouling.
Is it really the magic wand we want - or is it merely a dog tax on the good owners?
Do let me have your thoughts...!