Monday, 31 January 2011

Competition time!

Can you think of a funny caption for this great photo? You've got till February 7th at 1pm. First prize wins a Nina Ottosson Dog Pyramid and five runners up win Coachies Treats for either adults or pups! Send you best captions to

Can you guess who Deefa's mum and dad were? I'm pretty sure you'll need clues as this little pup doesn't look much like either parent to me! Send your best guesses to
The first correct answer wins an Interpet book of their choice!

Thursday, 27 January 2011

Barking up the wrong tree

The government has announced plans to sell-off national forests and 
areas of woodland to private buyers in an attempt to reduce the 
budget deficit. The move would not only significantly reduce the 
amount of land on which we can walk our dogs, but it would have an 
extremely negative effect on the environment.
The Forestry Commission, the government department responsible for 
the protection and expansion of forests and woodland, which is the 
largest land manager in Britain and the biggest provider of outdoor 
recreation, was targeted for cuts in the Comprehensive Spending 
Review. Forestry Commission land – such as the Forest of Dean, 
Sherwood Forest and the New Forest – is one of the few areas to 
promote off-lead access for dogs and is not subject to dog control 
There are numerous ways you can oppose this decision. You can contact 
your local MP or the Defra ministers who introduced the plans, 
Conservatives Caroline Spelman and Jim Paice, at the House of 
Commons, London SW1A 0AA. There is also a petition available, which 
has been signed by over 248,000 people and can be found at

We'd like you to get much more involved...

There are so many interactive parts of the magazine and we have several pages of the magazine that need your input - plus opportunities to become  a canine supermodel and be quoted in another magazine, too - right at the bottom - if you have had an unplanned (doggie) pregnancy!

Got a cross?

We urgently need photos of first crosses for our cross question competition.  You need to be fairly sure of the two breeds that are mum and dad. Please email your photos and solutions to marked 'cross question'. Pix need to be roughly a minimum of 300kb when you save them as an attachment - and please don't embed them on the email as we can't extract them!

Funny photos?

We always need potentially funny or unusual photos of dogs that we can feature in our regular caption competition. Send your pix to to marked 'Caption'. Again pix need to be roughly a minimum of 300kb when you save them as an attachment - and please don't embed them on the email.

Proud of your vintage dog?

Do you know we have a special page for older dogs in every issue and that every dog featured gets a prize and the oldest each month gets a cake? We also calculate your dogs age for you in human years using a special formula. To do this we need to know the type of dog (pedigree or cross), the weight and the age. If your dog is 100 years or more in human years they will get a special telegram from the Queen's corgis. Send all the details and some information about your lovely older dog and preferably a photo(specification as above)  to marking 'Golden Oldie' in the subject.

Got a supermodel?

We are currently particularly on the lookout for Pointers, Lhasa Apsos and Lagottos to attend our next photoshoot in February in the Berkshire/Surrey area, as always a midweek day and a quick turn around - our photographer works very quickly so no one gets bored.  (Click here to see a typical photoshoot experience - we made a movie of our last photoshoot!) Tim Rose is the best dog photographer in the world, you get to keep a CD of the images of your dog and see your dog featured in the magazine. We are always keen to photograph puppies in all these breeds and good adult examples to feature in our in-depth Fido Facts section.
Anyone with a puppy of any breed or type please also get in touch or again anyone interested in their dog being photographed please email with as many details as possible. General slots fill up quickly, so do hurry! Please cross post  the appeal for specific breeds!


We have always included obituaries with a photograph free of charge in the magazine. Please email your tributes to If you would be interested in arranging a major tribute that would take up more space contact Luke for more details of suggested cost.


We always have a very, very lively postbag and you can email your letters and photos, too if you'd prefer.  If something has amused, annoyed or in any way stimulated you to comment, please do email your letters and pix to

Problem solving:

Got a question or a problem you'd like solved or just some moral support? The Think Tank is a completely free service. Just email your enquiry to marking it 'Think Tank' and he'll post it on line for you. And do have a browse at other people's questions and see if you can contribute. This on line service usually transfers into the magazine but also remains a resource online for people to use for many years to come. We have some famous and fabulous vets, experts and behaviourists dropping in with advice and that mixed with very sound common sense and insightful first person experience from other dog lovers make it a very useful and time-sensitive forum.


Our Perfect Pup service is free to use. Are you a good breeder? You can have free adverts both online and in print if you agree to our very sensible minimum standards.
Are you unsure which breed of dog is right for you? We have a free service to help you with that, too. Complete a Plan-A-Pup questionnaire (available on-line to download at Perfect Pup) and post it off and receive detailed one-to-one advice (not computer generated a real human!) on what types of dog best suits your circumstances and tastes or what changes you'll need to make.
We also have breed rescue and breed advisors listed for pretty much every breed/type of dog.
Email if you're planning a litter to find out what tests you'll need to have done or need help getting a plan-a-pup questionnaire. Or indeed if you're interested in becoming one of our advisors.

Social media:

You can follow us on facebook (Log on to Dogs Today's fan page and click 'like'), Tweet with us on Twitter (@beverleycuddy) and you've obviously found this blog already.
But have you read these others? - problem solving - finding the perfect pup - alternative cancer remedy support - feeding blog - our favourite charity blog, latest appeals etc

If you want to get something posted on any of these blogs contact and we'll sort it!

Meet and greet:

We arrange interesting doggie events and there's a really exciting one coming up... behaviour guru Dr Ian Dunbar's birthday bash will be at Farnham, Surrey on April 15th. Click here for more details - hurry it's fast selling out.

Plus Dogs Today readers can get a discount at the new London Pet Show. See the code on their adverts in the mag to claim your discount. Don't have a magazine.... read on!

How to save money and never miss an issue...

Subscribe! It is SO much cheaper. And you don't have to pay a year up front if that's a problem. Standing order is cheapest - a payment of £8.50 comes out of your account every three months - so that means you pay in the UK an amazing £2.83 an edition! Over a year you'll save more than £10 if you currently buy the magazine over the counter.
Or you can choose lots of different ways to subscribe. To discuss the options email or phone 01276 858880 during office hours or go to our website to book online - you can even buy the latest issue on line at the same price it's on sale in the shops - but posted to your door as you can buy it in the shops. Click here 
As well as the price being much cheaper to you, we actually receive all of your money when you subscribe direct rather than just a percentage when you buy it in the shops. So we all win when you buy direct.

And do you organise a puppy class or have a litter coming up - contact and we will send you some free copies and a sub offer to give to your new puppy owners. Please help us spread the word and give your new owners some positive reading!

I'm sure there are lots more ways you can get involved, but above are just a few, off the top of my head. We're running short of cross questions, so please do hurry and send us some of those! And sometimes we get an invite to something swish and I tend to offer it on Dogs Today's facebook page first as it is so interactive and immediate, so please do take the leap and become a member if your on facebook. It's a very friendly page.

And also...a journalist asks for your help should you have ever had an unplanned pregnancy!

Justine Hankins (who writes our history section in Fido Facts) is writing a piece for PetPlan's mag and is looking for help! Have you ever had an accidental mating? What did you do? She's looking for people who decided to have the litter and for people who chose not to and ended the pregnancy at the vets. She'd be most keen to talk to you if you have ever had this dilemma. Her email address is Justine Hankins <>
You can ask not to be named if you'd prefer!

Publish Post

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

Pet crematoria scam - guilty verdict at last

We've been following this dreadful case for some time, at last there is some resolution...

Emma Bent, owner of Peak Pet Cremations pleaded guilty to charges of fraudulently claiming to cremate six pets found dumped in a field in Lower Hartshay, near Ripley, in August 2009.

The pet owners were overcome with emotion when they heard the guilty pleas being entered at Derby Crown Court on Tuesday 18th January. Angela Moore, owner of Sam, one of the dogs found in the field said "I am so pleased that she (Bent) has finally admitted to her crimes but I still feel really angry that she could have admitted to it months ago and saved us going through all the extra trauma since then."

Linda Allen, owner of Bournville, a Border Collie, received a casket of ashes from Peak Pet Cremations prior to being informed Bournville's microchipped remains had been found in the field. She added "It was hard enough losing Bournville but to then be told that the ashes we had received were not his broke our hearts. This case has put so much strain on our family."

Kevin Spurgeon, director of the APPCC (Association of Private Pet Cemeteries & Crematoria) and Dawn Murray, a Pet Bereavement Councillor also attended court to give their support to the pet owners. Dawn Murray said "These people have been through so much and I hope that today's guilty plea is another step towards them finding closure"

Pets were sent to Peak Pet Cremations by Ambivet veterinary group. The pet owners, who paid Ambivet for the cremation services, are currently considering whether to take their own legal action against the vets.

Kevin Spurgeon added "This case damages the reputation of the many vets and genuine pet crematoria that help owners through the loss of their pet. Our members adhere to a strict code of practice ensuring that sites are licensed and individual cremations are carried out properly and it is sickening to think that someone has abused the trust of these grieving pet owners at such a vulnerable time."

Talking about the extent of the issue Kevin continues "It concerns me that the veterinary group sent hundreds, possibly thousands of pets to Peak Pet Cremations over the past few years and was seemingly unaware that the site was not properly licensed. Questions need to be asked to determine whether this incident could have been prevented."

The APPCC have now written to the Veterinary Associations for their support after launching a Pet Cremation Code ( ) that encourages veterinary practices to inspect the pet crematoria that they use and accurately describe the after death care services that they offer clients.

The APPCC has also set up a support line (01252 844478) and Facebook group (Pets Reunited) offering help for concerned pet owners. The Blue Cross offer a free pet bereavement support service offering emotional support and information for pet owners who may be experiencing the loss of a pet. The support line is open from 8.30am - 8.30pm everyday. All calls are free and confidential from a landline. Telephone 0800 096 6606 (UK only including northern Ireland).

Sentencing will take place next month (02/02/2011) at Derby Crown Court. The judge indicated that Bent may face a custodial sentence.

Monday, 17 January 2011

Would you like a flea trial?

Looking for five people with pets to trial this!

I tried these a few years ago and our dogs remained pest free. But would be interested in others opinions. I can't claim to understand how or why they work, but they appear to be a very gentle alternative.

Here's some blurb about them...

CatanDog’s anti-parasitic discs have been scientifically designed to repel parasites.  The discs emit low-range electromagnetic waves – these are undetectable by you or your pet - but are a strong deterrent to any fleas or ticks. In tests, Catandog discs have proven to be 95% effective within 7 -20 days of being worn.

Measuring just 2.5cm, the disc should be worn on your pet’s collar. Extremely practical, the disc is water resistant, odourless and completely safe.  Containing no chemicals, toxic or otherwise, the CatanDog’s disc is a natural and effective solution to one of pet owners’ biggest bug-bears! Furthermore the disc can be worn by dogs and cats of any age or weight, including sick, pregnant or even micro-chipped ones! 

What’s more, the discs represent excellent value for money when compared with other preventative methods. Priced at just £24.99 including postage from Canine Natural Cures, the disc typically lasts up to two years. A ten per cent discount is available for orders of three discs or more to the same UK address.

Canine Natural Cures              
If you'd be interested in giving one a try, email me your details to

I will need who do take part in the trail to keep notes and write up a short report as to whether they found the disk's useful and whether they encountered any fleas. Ideally someone who has had a problem with parastites in the past would be a good candidate. Oscar and Tess have so rarely had fleas etc that we didn't see any dramatic effects apart from staying flea free!


I just had to bring you this lovely tribute from Gail Gwesyn-Pryce...

Roy Hunter died on December 23rd 2010 aged 82 years, peacefully with his devoted wife Lois by his side. Many people reading this will have not only known Roy but have been inspired by him and started their dog training careers through his motivation, whether that be as a handler, instructor or pet owner. But for those of you who may not have heard of him let me enlighten you.

Roy's first dog training experience was in the army when a camp dog kept everyone awake at night barking and all day sleeping off its night time activities. Roy decided that something needed to be done so everyone could get a good nights sleep and set about instructing the men to change the dogs routine. Within a couple of days the problem was sorted and the seed was set. After ten years of service and still only 25 years of age Roy applied for one of three posts on offer with the Metropolitan Police.
He rose in the ranks & entered the dog section, he was allocated one of the first Rottweilers in the country (and yes, it had a tail!) imported from Germany, called Abelard they went on to become top of his division averaging 30 arrests annually. Roy was promoted to training instructor and then deputy head trainer at Keston. Roy served in the Met for 26 years rising to inspector and was given total responsibility for the Mets 365 dogs. Whilst with the Met he bought agility to the UK, introducing it into the police championships and a demonstration at Crufts. He also held the very first agility competition in this country for the Rottweiler Club at his home.
Not satisfied with Agility as a first he also bought us FlyMouse, an adaptation of Fly Ball. Being very conscience of the fact that large dogs could swallow tennis balls a sausage shaped stuffed toy which he called a Magic Mouse was used instead. This activity was being used in this country long before Fly Ball caught on. Roy loved the USA and travelled there every year giving courses and lectures, indeed he believed he was a reincarnated native American. From his trips abroad he then bought instructors from the states to delight us here, the likes of Ian Dunbar, Gail Tamases Fisher and Terry Ryan to name a few. He also traveled to Japan and India and delegates from those countries followed him here, I was fortunate enough to meet Jimmy Barucha whilst teaching on one of the courses over here.
I felt very honoured when I was asked to be one of his assistants on his courses (around the mid eighties) at the University of East Anglia and later Caythorpe College where we would spend a wonderful week with our dogs doing a variety of different disciplines but mostly having fun. Roy was the father of kind dog training and it was a wonderful feeling to find that I could at last chuck my choke chain, which I never felt happy about, for reward based training methods – Roy always said that God gave us hands to love dogs with not to abuse them.
Roy started a civilian dog training club at Wood Green in the early seventies with all the proceeds going to charity then moving to Essex and started Abelard Canine Academy promoting his ‘kind’ reward based training methods. He started ‘Road Safety Tests’ long before the Kennel Clubs Good Citizen Scheme. Through his strong links with the USA (teaching in 50 states) he created Anglo American Dog Trainers and wrote quarterly newsletters entitled ‘Working Happiness’ which were full of lots of stories and advice of his own and those collected around the world.
Roy was an advanced instructor of the British Institute of Professional Dog Trainers, a Home Office Accredited Police Dog Training Instructor, a founder member of the UK Registry of Canine Behaviourists and was in at the formation of the Association of Pet Dog Trainers – declining to be on the first committee as Roy firmly believed that the best committee was the committee of one – a philosophy I too have carried on! He strongly believed that you could not function as a dog training instructor without a sound knowledge of behavior (he likes to be called an Attitude Adjuster not a Behaviour Therapist) or indeed a behavior counsellor without a sound knowledge of training plus a high on hands knowledge of competitive work – namely civilian working trials. He competed in Working Trials with his second Abelard, another Rottie and then his German Shepherd Tammy (named after Tammy Winnette his favourite Country and Western artist).
Never one to be idle in his life he was a keen boxer when in the army, loved Karate and swimming as well as an accomplished dancer and even when Roy suffered a stroke some years ago he still managed to help people who visited the house or telephoned for assistance and raising money for charities such as Guide Dogs for the Blind and Dog Aid.
He was author of several books including Fun Nosework for Dogs, Fun and Games for Dogs and More Fun and Games for Dogs and delighted people with the tricks he taught his last dog Tim, his last GSD who featured in the illustrations.
I don’t know where Roy will be reincarnated to next but I am sure it will have something to do with dogs, but whatever it is the adventure has just begun. The legend will only die if we fail to remember.
Mid Wales Dog Training.

Friday, 14 January 2011

Birthday party you won't want to miss!

You are invited to

Dr Ian Dunbar’s birthday party!

Date: Friday, April 15th

Venue: Ramada Hotel, Farnham, Surrey  
 (Near Guildford - good for M25 & M3, previously called the Hog’s Back Hotel)

Well-behaved, social dogs are welcome, too!

(Dog-friendly overnight accommodation available at the hotel. Book direct quoting this event to get the best rates.)

Evening talk by Dr Ian Dunbar £20 (inc tea or coffee)

Exclusive afternoon birthday tea with Ian and the evening talk £40

  • Dr Ian Dunbar is a legend in the world of dogs. His talks are always witty, incisive, uplifting and might even change the way you look at life itself!
  • This gathering should appeal to anyone who loves dogs and appreciates Ian’s kind, effective, scientifically-proven training methods.
  • Ian, born and raised in Britain and trained as a vet, left for California many years ago realizing he could save many more lives as a dog trainer - plus get a nice tan. 
  • Hugely respected by his peers, he started the Association of Pet Dog Trainers and had a hand in starting the UK version, too.
  • Ian is also credited with pretty much inventing the concept of puppy socialization.
  • His ITV series Dogs with Dunbar was very popular and Dogs Today is very proud of having the guru’s valuable words gracing our pages over the past 20 years. (Oh, and a bit of trivia, he was also the dog consultant on the recent Oscar-winning animated film Up!)

Hurry, numbers will have to be limited – especially for the birthday tea. Here's how to book...

_____   Birthday tea and evening talk £40 (Please tell us if any are vegetarians)
_____   Evening talk only, £20

Call 01276 858880 during office hours to book with a credit or debit card or post a cheque (made payable to Dogs Today) to: Dunbar’s birthday bash, Dogs Today, The Dog House, 4 Bonseys Lane, Chobham, Surrey, GU24 8JJ - or email for any other questions or even how to pay via paypal if you prefer! We need the following details:


Post Code:
Daytime telephone number:

Number of tickets:
Will you be bringing a well-behaved dog? If so, how many and what type?

Are you planning to stay over at the hotel?

Ian is also doing behaviour talks in Manchester, Birmingham and Gatwick. For details on these please contact   07808 793854

Monday, 10 January 2011

Caption time

Can you think of a funny caption to go with this this photo? Best one wins a Nina Ottosson Dog Finder toy! Runners up win Coachies. You've got until Tuesday at 1pm to enter so hurry! Email direct to or upload to the Dogs Today facebook fan page if you prefer - good luck! Click the panel at the side to get there!

Cross question time

Can you guess who mum and dad are?

Hugo is a first cross between two breeds and I warn you this one is hard. I'll give you a clue - there is no Boxer or Boston Terrier in this pup even though it was my first two guesses!

I'll be issuing clues if it isn't guessed quickly. The winner gets a dog book of your choice from the Interpet range. Email your best guesses to ASAP.