Friday, 25 February 2011

What would you do if it happened to your dog?

Dogs Today has started a CDRM support group for dog owners on facebook and today we had a very sad posting indeed.
"I have a GSD with CDRM in the advanced stages and we are able to manage him pretty well. He sleeps most of the time but today he was in the Garden and a woman said she was going to report us for cruelty because the dog couldn't get up. She was peering over the fence and said the dog needs a vet, I said Max is under Vet's supervision, was after this she said she would report us and I'm worried sick now.

"Max has always been a difficult dog but this CDRM seems to have just hit us at the wrong time. He has loads of spirit and doesn't seem to mind being carried with a towel and seems fairly happy in himself but this woman has got me worried I don't want to lose Max nor do I want the RSPCA turning up, I'm so worried today."
Which got me thinking that maybe we need a fact sheet to hand out to well meaning on-lookers who see a dog with CDRM and imagine it's in agony. CDRM is such an odd condition, it seems to cause the dog minimal distress and pain, but causes onlookers to cringe.
I'd read that CDRM is very similar to ALS, the condition Steven Hawkins has. No one would go up to him and tell him his suffering should be ended immediately and that he should be switched off, so morally why do people feel the need to say such terrible things to dog owners?
If you have a dog that is still loving food and affection and you're happy to carry them, nurse them, tend to their every need - should the RSPCA be interested? If the owner wants to keep going is it anyone else's business?

Thursday, 24 February 2011

We had an all day Stag party in the office!

If you want to find out more about the Stagbar the one in this film came from and those interesting vegetarian Pigs ears are available at Mutley and Mog who very kindly sent them along for us to test.

Some dogs will chew much more quickly that wussy Tess and Oscar. Our other office dog Ferris, a young GSD, was much more successful at chewing his. He loves his Stagbar but needs to have it rationed. On facebook someone asked if the Stagbar would splinter and I can understand the question. Before I saw these I imagined antlers to be wood-like but really these are more like stone, so I couldn't imagine them splintering from my experience.

Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Ian's Birthday party just got even more special!

Perhaps the dog in the picture with Ian just heard the latest news about his birthday party! There is going to be catering for the dogs, too!!!

The fantastic Daisy's Dog Deli is now laying on a fantastic afternoon tea for any dogs attending!

Doggie afternoon tea:

Slobber Loaf
(beef loaf with a scrummy filling of spinach and cheddar cheese) 
Strawberry cup cake 
Doggy bag of biscuits for midnight snacks

(Please bring your own dog bowl!)

If you want to check out the Slobber Loaf  click here to see Oscar and Tess sampling it!

TICKETS for Ian's Birthday bash are fast selling out 
- so please do hurry if you want to book!

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, 21 February 2011

Oscar and Tess have a gourmet breakfast

We love receiving exciting parcels at Dogs Today, but a box of fresh dog food is a very unusual delivery and has made our two dogs look forward to the post coming even more!
This exciting parcel came from Daisy's Dog Deli. Oscar and Tess very happy to try other things out by the way!

Another chance to bag a bag!

If you go to the Dogs Today fan page on facebook you can have another chance to win one of these lovely doggie bags! (Available from £14.99 from
We just want you to 'like' our page and tell us the funniest/weirdest/most embarrassing thing your dog has ever done. And if you want a giggle, scroll down to Friday's competition for another of the bags where everyone confessed to the oddest things they'd ever had in their handbags! Fascinating!
If you're new to facebook just click on the panel to the side of this post and it'll take you where you need to go.
And if you're not the lucky winner you can still claim a 15% off special discount! See below... 

The code 'DOGS' in now live and entitles your readers to a 15% discount on ALL bags on website excluding postage charges.

The offer will expire on 31 March 2011.

Thursday, 17 February 2011

Bag yourself a bag!

Would you like to win this doggie bag? I really liked the look of these when the press release came in and sneakily offered to road test one for them. I thought if I want one enough to beg, surely you will, too! It's available from £14.99 from . If you'd like a bag simply like the Dogs Today magazine fan page on facebook and leave a message in this bag thread telling everyone the oddest things you've ever had in your hand bag! You can click on the box at the side here to be taken to it!
I used to struggle when our office was in Windsor, there were never enough red poo bins and Sometimes I'd have to put a full bag in my handbag until later. I'm sure I'm not the only one! I have also recently started carrying around antlers.... the dogs love them!!

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Forget the Oscars - here are the Endals...

Do you know a dog that has done something amazing who deserves a pat on the back? A dog that has changed your life or enhanced it, or inspired someone else? Perhaps a dog that has overcome something momentous or helped you to put your life back together?
Or maybe you know a person who deserves an Endal? A pioneering vet, a compassionate welfare worker saving dogs on death row. A positive trainer showing the world there is another way? Someone taking dogs into schools, training dogs to help people in new ways? I can think of loads of people and dogs that I would give an Endal to - but I want to hear from you.

Please either post or email me your nominations.
My email is - please put "Endal nomination" in the subject area and tell me the person or dog's story. Post to: Endal nominations, Dogs Today Magazine, The Dog House, 4 Bonseys Lane, Chobham, Surrey, GU24 8JJ.

The Endals are inspired by Allen Parton's late great Endal, our Dog of the Millennium. The subject of the best selling book and the soon to be made feature film. Endal saved Allen's life and Allen and Sandra's marriage. For those who don't know Allen was a gulf war veteran who suffered a devastating head injury which took away his memory, much of his speech and left him in a wheelchair. He had no memory of his wife and family and tried to take his own life. When Canine Partner Endal came into his life, things began to change. Endal was taught to problem solve and we first noticed him when he started using the cash point machine, but he was just as remarkable in much less obvious ways.
When Allen was knocked out of his wheelchair Endal put Allen into the recovery position and went for help.
Endal changed Allen's life in so many ways, his speech had to improve to enable him to communicate with his best friend and today Allen certainly has no trouble stringing his sentences together and is extremely articulate. Endal inspired so many people around the world - he showed us that even when things look very, very dark the love of a good dog can still make a massive difference.
Endal's love inspired Allen to start a new charity called Hounds for Heroes so that other people in similar sad situations can experience the Endal effect, too.
Endal has a tribute page on this blog - click here if you'd like to leave a message.
Our Endal awards want to recognise amazing dogs and people and help promote Allen's fantastic new charity.
The winners will be presented with their awards at the London Pet Show. An exciting new event at Olympia - 7th and 8th May 2011.

Always happy to help!

The other day we got a call from a nice chap trying to do the right thing when buying a pup for his family. Turned out to be the Editor of the Sunday Express!
Click here to read his first column on the quest for the new addition! I do hope he's read his Perfect Pup book and has got all the stuff ready so he can follow Ian Dunbar's errorless housetraining method which I strongly recommended!
But I guess he has plenty of newspapers to mop up if he hasn't...!
And if you'd like a copy of How to Have the Perfect Pup just give us a call 01276 858880 or click on Perfect Pup website and you can order by paypal if you click the link at the bottom of the page.

Friday, 4 February 2011

Are working Beardies 'non-Beardies'?

I realise I am coming in very, very late - but having read through some of the heated exchanges online re working Beardies not being proper Beardies. Can I put forward the argument that the typical show dogs of today look very different to the breed Mrs Willison saved. Don't you agree that the various working Beardies being labelled by some as 'non-Beardies' look very much like the original Bothkennars? (I've borrowed these imaged from Lynne Sharpe's amazing Brambledale site - and these Bothkennar dogs are in pretty much every KC registered Beardie's pedigrees if you go far enough back.)
Have we not done the same as happened to the Cocker Spaniel which turned into the American Cocker and inadvertently created a totally new breed? Some may prefer the new, but I think we may have confused 'improve' for 'alter'. 
Most Beardies job these days is to be a pet, and if the 'improvements' made them better for that valuable occupation then fantastic, but the massive coat is a huge problem for pet owners many of whom clip to cope. I applaud the working folk for reminding us of how far we've changed the Beardie. Genetic diversity is something we will need to consider in future, even though it seems to make everyone hot under the collar, we do have very, very closely related dogs all over the world. The autoimmune problems that we can't ignore look to be likely to be genetic according to the latest Finnish research. 
By accident we have all inadvertently selected for it when we've been concentrating on other things. Bottlenecks and the overuse of popular sires in a time when we knew no better probably the greatest culprits - although some other breeds who have been just as culpable have been much more lucky, so fate has played its part, too. How much better that we might be able at some point introduce some long forgotten strains of Beardie or even Beardie-ish which still retain a full set of immune genes rather than have to go outcrossing to a totally different breed - like the Dalmatian folk have done with Pointers to put right their problems. And the fear of eye problems is another odd topic for working Beardie rage. In the UK we rarely screen for eyes so we think everything is still wonderful - go to Beacon and you'll find the show Beardie appears to have lots of 'hereditary' eye problems - worldwide - and we're all very closely related. The working folk may cop a lot of flack now, but 20 years down the track I'm guessing you'll be giving them awards and thanking them for saving our breed
I'm putting my tin hat on now and waiting for the flack to fly... Just saying the essence of Beardie-ness is something hard to define, and these shaggy bright dogs tick my boxes as they must have appealed to Mrs W all those years ago. But I love my very hairy Beardie, too. But it's the bit between the ears that is totally unlike any other breed I've met and why I will love this breed for the rest of my life.

Thursday, 3 February 2011

Prison for Pet Cremation fraudster... but pet owners still bereft

If you have been following the case of the fraudulent pet cremation business that dumped the pets and delivered fake ashes back to their clients, you'll be interested in this update from Kevin Spurgeon, Director of the Association of Pet Cemeteries and Crematoria:

I received this email from one of the concerned former clients of Peak Pet Cremations – I have kept the email anonymous to protect their identity but it sums up what many pet owners will now be feeling:

Hi Kevin, thank you for your response to my phone call.
I have given it a lot of thought as to whether i should have the ashes examined. For 3 years i have believed them to be XXXX’s ashes.  I feel i have to continue to do so. The thought of being told they are not hers, stirs up alot of emotions. I'm still very sensitive over her, she was a wonderful dog, loved everyone and was always by my side. She had 4 beautiful pups, which im still in contact with. I feel very sad for the people who know that their pets were treated with such disconcern.
I wanted to go to the court case yesterday but couldnt get the time off from work. An 8 month sentence hardly justifies the hurt she has caused but at least she has been brought to justice and i hope she is never allowed to do the same again.
 My older westie who is 15, is getting frail and i know his time is limited now. When that time comes i will take him to one of the ones you recommended. I am intending to put his ashes with what i believe are XXXX’s ashes.
I hope Emma Bent has a tough time in prison, and i hope she uses the time in prison to reflect on how many people she has hurt.
Regards, XXXXX

Those pet owners that do want their ashes inspected by a local APPCC member can contact us on 01252 844478

I am unashamed to say that I had a few tears alongside the pet owners after the sentencing hearing yesterday.  It sickens me that someone in a similar position to myself could prey on the vulnerability of grieving pet owners that placed their trust in both their vet and the cremation service they were using.  There are honest pet crematoria out there offering genuine cremation services but owners must ask enough questions to make sure they are getting what they are paying for.
My thoughts are with both the owners of the pets found in the field and shed, and with the many more pet owners now worrying whether they have been given back their own pet’s ashes by Emma Bent.

Many thanks to Phil Brewster (ITV CENTRAL) for a very informative news piece – see link below and to Elaine Pritchard for an equally in depth report on yesterday (as well as free tribute pages to some of the dumped pets).

Kevin Spurgeon
Director APPCC
Tel. 01252 844478 <>

Wednesday, 2 February 2011

Blue Peter badges all round!

Did you see Blue Peter yesterday?
It was lovely Blue Peter dog Barney's second birthday so they had lots of lovely doggie content. And they finally aired the special report on Barney becoming our November front cover dog - what a supermodel he is!
It's a lovely segment. It's about 15 minutes in if you don't want to watch the whole show - but I personally loved the bit on making gnomes for the film premiere and the couple of guys making extreme jelly's (Blue Peter - it's an institution!) and don't miss the finale at the end with Tina and Chandi in the studio.
Three Dogs Today cover stars in one TV programme! Look out for the amazing Qannix, the Samoyed that was our cover star in May 2010. What a star!

Here's the link to BBCiPlayer which will probably only work for about a week. It will be repeated on Sunday on CBBC 11am - click here for more info.
Here's the link to iPlayer - remember it's approx 15 mins in!
See how many people/dogs you can spot!  My son Kieran is on there, his dad Kevin who does our illustrations and their dog Isla! Allen and EJ, Tina and Chandi, a cute GSP pup... sure there's more! Qannix of course. They've packed ever such a lot in.
Happy Birthday Barney, we loved having you at our photoshoot!
And if you think it looked like fun, we are currently searching for Pointers, Lhasa Apso and Lagotto for our next photo shoot. And we'd love to hear from anyone with puppies of any type, we do like to cuddle pups! We'll be having a shoot in February - exact date and venue yet to be announced but Berkshire/Surrey area. Sadly our lovely regular studio in Slough is no more, the end of an era, nearly 20 years of doggie shoots there. The fantastic Tim Rose is still our photographer of course and he has now gone freelance and we're searching for a dog-friendly venue at the moment.
If you are interested in attending our next shoot send your details to
And if you want to see more film of one of our photoshoots (amateur footage!) go to this link....
And here's a sneaky peek of the next cover model! Boon, a gorgeous rescued Jack Russell cross... out February 10th!