Thursday, 31 March 2011

Competition time again!

First we have the cross question and I am warning you this has been made much more difficult by the snow. A big clue... the snow is not deep!

****And would you believe it only minutes after putting this up we had a winner!

****The solution was Jack Russell crossed with a Dachshund - not a drop of Basenji blood! Who'd have thought it!

Still time to enter the caption though... and if you put your entry on our facebook page (click the panel at the side togo to Dogs Today's facebook fan page!) you're in with a chance of winning one of these gorgeous sausage dog bags. (Available from £14.99 from

Here's the photo -  I think this is a very difficult month for clean answers!

Again best efforts to if you've not got a facebook account.

 Caption wins Clix prizes from the Company of Animals. Come on - make us smile!

Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Whoopi don't...

Just been sent this transcript of what Whoopi Goldberg said about dogs on a show... She might be a mighty fine comedy actress, but would seem if she isn't following a script she's not in the least bit amusing. This will annoy you...

Here's the relevant part from the show on March 18 2011: 00:07:18
"But let me ask you this, Albuquerque, Al Paso and Austin are some of the cities banning the retail sale of dogs and cats under one year old. It's an increase to attempt shelter adoptions and stop substandard breeding practices. I don't know if it's good. The effort to promote, I love the effort, but why should you tell me I can't go to the, you know, Dogs of America that is here in the mall and if my kid sees a cat that she likes or, a dog that she likes that I shouldn't be able to buy it. I understand you want me to get a shelter dog, but if I want to go do this, I've had it with people telling me what is p.c. for them. I agree with that part. That's what it is. They should have strict regulations on breeding and not have puppy mills. Some of these puppies in these pet stores, they have puppies that are not healthy. That's not true for a lot of them. How do you separate the regulation of that keep in mind that, you know, when you start mixing lab or puppy doggles with Cocker Spaniels it's good though, isn't it? I don't know if it's good listen, with breeds you know what their issues are going to be. With an English Bulldog, you know they have respiratory issues. You know this going in. But when you have a labra-pooka-mooka-dog or some dog. And you breed them. You got a -- you don't know what it's going to -- if you have a snort problem, what's the dog? What's the dog? Bulldogs. But if you mix that dog with, let's say, a dog with a big nose, maybe an elephant's, the one, you know what? And now a word from our sponsor. Thank goodness."

Friday, 18 March 2011

Searching for someone to make the Endals

It's almost time for the first Endals to be awarded and we've not yet decided what an Endal is actually going to look like! The Oscar is so iconic, after all. CAn we have something just as special?
Does anyone have any links to someone who has made a lovely model of a Labrador who might be able to assist us? Or indeed anyone got a particularly fetching one they've found themselves?
Do get in touch is you've got any bright ideas... and please remember we've not the Royal Academy and we don't have their budget!

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Hug your dogs a little tighter...

Via facebook I was encouraged to 'friend' Kenn Sakurai, the President of Butch Dog food in Japan. Here are some extracts from his facebook page.

This is what it's like when we could find the dogs at the actual disaster area. The white has gotten weak but the brown one is not allowing to get closer. The TV crew shot this. We have already got these dog. But it too two hours to take them to the closest shelter. The guys who had done that had the bigger plastic cage on the back of the bike. Having such weight on the back is risky for going the way with no road.

Status Report 03/15/11 Tuesday
Dogs rescued: 32
Cats and others: 20

Staff injured (broken rib) while the rescued dog on his back has suddenly
...struggled and the rider and bike with the dog fell off from the narrow mountain road.
Ordered total of 6 dozen of cages with various sizes by the Shelters. Those are made by the frame welders and carpenters at each site.

Those two dogs are rescued. The one which came close to the camera is in the better condition. The other White, Gray and Black was weak. So it is in the vet clinic in Ibaraki Prefectre. The other dog is in the shelter of the same area.
But please know that those two are just the tip of the iceberg. There are more and we need help.

Dear All,
I have had some discussions with many dog related associations and their presidents and board of directors and with all their advices, we have decided to accept the donations through the Paypal with the following email address.
Those Hearing Dogs, and Guide Dogs and other organizations told us that once the money has sent into their account, the money is allow to be spent for their purpose on their Provision ONLY. They cannot accept the bills or write the check, pay cash or whatsoever for those rescued dogs otherwise if there will be in need of sending the dogs for the blind, deaf and those handicapped people, and the money to be spent for raising and training those dogs. Otherwise their tax deductable agreement with the Japanese IRS and so on are cancelled.
Also if not the bank account is NOT approved by the government, the cashing and account accepting fee for the bank wire will be charged and the sum is the INSANELY HIGH Yen4,500 which is about $55 in US. US$55 to be charged for every bank wire even the amount is US$55 which means the money to reach the account will be Yen0 (ZERO.)
Therefore, all the people I have met today have told me that the Paypal fee is away cheaper than the Bank Wire Accepting Fee and it is BETTER to have the Butch Pet Food (in this case) having the special receiving email for the purpose and send the letter describing what it is for, and open the bank account for that. Then the IRS will not take any money away from there as far as we are able to show the account book to them, anytime the IRS ask to do so.
The donation money to be accepted by Paypal to above email address which will be set by TOMORROW, and the money to be saved in the newly opened bank account by using the Butch Pet Food Japan, Inc.'s ID. Without this, the new bank account cannot be opened.
This is because of the anti-money laundering law. And we will control all the payments from this bank account and all the bills and balance will be shown by PDF files to those who has donated the money.
Writing a check is not as popular in the States. So we will not have the Checking account because it has another banking rule to clear and that is pretty much complicated and troublesome.
I will take the responsibility for this and you can sue me or stab me or kill me if I have done something else besides rescue activities for those dogs in the disaster area.
I think this is the least better way because all the money will be spent for the purpose and not to be paid for those Presidents and Directors salary of those known organizations which I refuse to list those names here. (If they find out, they would do something wrong to us and in fact, some of them have given us the valuable information.)
If this is acceptable, please donate to the above email address which to be opened or say set by TOMORROW, March 16th, 2011. The money will be spent for the animal rescue team's expenses, making and or purchasing the shelter cages and those items needed and for the part timers such as welders to make the cages and roofs and so on at the Shelter. Also the vet fees and medicines and foods, and last but not least, the shipping cost or say the cost required to have the things sent to the place needed.
Thank you very much for your kind understandings and genelousty in advance.
Considering the time, this is the least best thing we can do by all means.

Best regards,
Takeshi Kenn Sakurai
Butch Japan, Inc.

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

More than a few wrinkles at Crufts...

While we loved the Best in Show winner, in other areas there is still considerable room for improvement - check out Jemima Harrison's blog and then read this letter just in from the RSPCA.

And if you look at the jaw-dropping comments on Jemima's blog you'll see there seems to be a hard core of people who seem to think there's nothing wrong with Neapolitan Mastiffs....the most frequent entry to our monthly caption competition comes to mind, "should have gone to Specsavers?" I can't look at those photos without getting upset - and remember these are the creme de la creme....

Open letter to Kennel Club chief executive Rosemary Smart.

I am writing to express the RSPCA’s grave concern about the coverage of Crufts on More 4 during which interviewees and presenters repeatedly gave the message that pedigree dogs, including those shown at Crufts, are happy and healthy.

This is misleading to the public and extremely disappointing as we had hoped the coverage would be open and honest about the serious health and welfare issues that continue to affect many pedigree dogs, without glossing over the issues. After all, this is one of the biggest challenges facing dog welfare in the UK today.

Many pedigree dogs remain vulnerable to unnecessary disease, disability, pain or behavioural problems because they’re bred primarily for how they look rather than with health, welfare or temperament in mind.

Indeed, footage of some of the dogs at Crufts this year demonstrated the exaggerated features that we are so concerned about. As just one example, during the judging of the Working Group the commentators said that a dog was free from exaggerations. The dog in question clearly had extremely folded skin and drooping eyelids, which can lead to suffering.

Three reports on the welfare problems associated with dog breeding have been published in the UK in the last two years, and the conclusions of each are very clear – urgent action is needed to safeguard the welfare of pedigree dogs.

Although some progress has been made by the dog world, it has not been nearly enough and the problems are far from being solved. Both experts and the various reports on this issue recognise that it will take decades before the problems really begin to be resolved – and only then if sufficient effort is made by everyone in the dog world.

It is extremely misleading to suggest not only that the problems have been solved after only two years, but that pedigree dogs are happy and healthy.

Yours sincerely

Mark Watts
Chief Executive
Wilberforce Way
West Sussex
RH13 9RS

Monday, 14 March 2011

It's over for another year...

I was watching Crufts from my sofa, laptop on lap - talking to other doggie folks on facebook and emailing on my Blackberry to other friends also watching. The modern social network way of experiencing the show!
I have to say the judge Mr Dondina was almost as magical as the character in Aladdin, Dandino. He managed to pick the dogs that pleased pretty much everyone.
Jet, a nine year old Flat Coat who looked the picture of happy and healthy and a real poster boy for what we all want. Unexaggerated, long-living thoroughly pleasant.
And Reserve the young and perky PeeBeeGeeVee that we as normal folk couldn't help but cheer on from our sofas.

And straight after that we had the documentary How to Buy a Pup - and I have to tell you I'd been dreading it. I'd been filmed for it, but couldn't imagine how the Producer was going to be able to pull it all together in a fiendishly short timescale. But I think she did really well and that hopefully the public will be a little more cautious when they buy a pup in future.
If you missed it you can watch online for the next 28 days on this link
The Guardian liked it, isn't it amazing that the reviewers find programmes off the beaten track. The reviewer made a little joke about my name, but I'll forgive him. At least he watched and listened and didn't fast forward me like he did to the pundits on Celebrity Naked Ambition!

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

Karlton Index

We ran out of space in our shortly to hit the mat April issue so we've included the bits we couldn't squeeze in here from our exciting article on the Karlton Index  - a new tool to help measure how breed health is progressing. The April issue is available online now and in the shops on Thursday 10th MArch.


Why is this called the Karlton Index™?

Karlton was the Kennel Club name of my purebred German Wirehaired Pointer, Alfie. He was the dog of our dreams and we researched the purchase of that puppy very carefully, going through all the KC-recommended channels. Sadly, he was a pretty sick dog and we finally lost him to familial epilepsy when he was just four. That was in 2006 and ever since then I have campaigned on behalf of pedigree dogs to improve their health and welfare. So I have named it in his memory.

Why have you launched this?

I am launching it in March 2011 because it will be two-and-a-half years or so since the broadcast of Pedigree Dogs Exposed. It is over two years since the Kennel Club issued new health directives to breed clubs, and it is over a year since the publication of the findings of the Bateson Inquiry. I feel it is about time we took stock as to where exactly this is all taking the health of our dogs. I cannot find anywhere a really good way of measuring the progress – or lack of it – in the realm of breed health, so I have made an attempt to do it myself.

Don’t you think that this is just going to be another divisive scheme with which to beat pedigree dog breeders over the head?

No, I don’t. For a start, breeds are not competing against each other. They are simply being measured against a blueprint of good practice. Practice that, if followed, should lead to improved health and welfare in their breed. The index is about measuring what is done well as much as looking at gaps in current practice. It will help us to identify breeds that are making progress, and it will enable us to celebrate the good things that breed communities are doing. It will also facilitate the sharing of good ideas and it will help breed clubs focus on the right priorities. But I won’t shy away from the fact that the index will also highlight poor practice and will flag this up where necessary.

Are you just homing in on pedigree breeders? What about the breeders of ‘Doodles’ and puppy farmers?

The index will include breed communities for types such as the Labradoodle and the different types of Bulldog. It will also give credit to breed communities that are proactively identifying the puppy farmers in their midst and taking steps to challenge them. By giving recognition for the very best and ethical breeding practice, it will positively reinforce the message that puppy buyers should only go to reputable, honest breeders. So, yes, I hope the index will make a contribution to the elimination of puppy farming.

What gives you the right to say how breed health should be measured?

The index is not something I have pulled out of thin air. I am very fortunate to have met a broad range of canine experts while campaigning, from veterinary specialists, geneticists, breeders and, of course, high-profile journalists. It is the knowledge I have gained from them that is the substance of the index. Furthermore, the index is not set in stone and I hope that as more people engage with it, we can fine-tune the detail so that we end up with a definitive measure of progress. Suggestions on how it can be improved are always welcome, but not from anyone anonymous!

Isn’t this treading on the toes of the Dog Advisory Council?

I support the work of Professor Sheila Crispin and the council. They will be setting the overall bigger picture in which this index could sit. But rather than giving them another piece of work to think about, I decided to just get on and initiate it, using my own time and my own resources.

What makes you qualified to measure breeds using the index?

I am basing the index on similar external quality standards and applying the same tried-and-tested methodology. I think my 20 years’ professional experience of assessing commercial clients against business standards such as the EFQM and Investors in People puts me in an ideal place to do this.

Is it going to cost breed clubs, already strapped for cash, money to do this?

No. I will assess each breed ongoing throughout each year, perhaps with the help of some additional volunteers. I will gather evidence from a wide range of reliable sources and then score them. The results will be published as an index, hopefully every March. The scheme is designed so as not to distract breed communities from the very important task of improving the health of their breed. My team will do all the work. The aim is to give them an annual snapshot of how well they are doing and a reason for us to show our appreciation of that progress.

Isn’t some of the evidence you are looking for very subjective?

My experience with standards such as Investors in People is that it is very possible to place a measure on activity or behaviour that may seem subjective but can nevertheless be judged fairly. I don’t think the KC will need convincing of this, after all they have submitted their organisation every three years to an Investors in People assessment, so it is a methodology they are clearly happy to accept.

Is there an appeal process if it is felt that you have assessed a breed unfairly?

I actively invite a dialogue with any breed enthusiast, except anonymous ones, as long as their input/feedback is based on fact.

Monday, 7 March 2011

Win a Nina Ottosson toy!

Very quick turn around on this one. We'll be judging the caption competition at 1pm sharp on Wednesday!

Here's the photo:

and here's the first prize:

A coveted Nina Ottosson dog finder toy from the Company of Animals. Five runner ups will win a tub of Coachies and the best online entry between now and the judging will also win one of these gorgeous bags...! (email/facebook entries only!) 

The bags are available from £14.99 from (And if you're not the lucky winner you can still claim a 15% off special discount! The code 'DOGS' in now live and entitles you to a 15% discount on ALL bags on website excluding postage charges. The offer will expire on 31 March 2011.)
Either enter by email to or click the panel to the right and take part on Dogs Today's facebook page.

And the winners were:

Caption Competition Winners announced!
Winner of the Nina Ottosson puzzle:
“Mum, that spot on my bum has finally got a head on it!”
Karen Phillips

Oscar got the wrong idea of dog sitting
Lesley Beeforth

I’ve got eyes in the back of your behind
Mrs K. Bibby

Mum, Mum! Can I have a new one? This one has stopped squeaking
Tim Darch

You’re NOT leaving me! I love you. We can work this out
Mrs P.A. Woodward

And winner of the gorgeous Sausage Dog Bag for best online entry...
When Rex said he wanted to see Grey’s Anatomy, this was not what he had in mind!
Dawn K Key

Friday, 4 March 2011

Hope you will enter this!

Please enter this photo competition to help Hope! Entries open on Sunday. Here's the press release with all the details... go on, make an entry and help some of these gorgeous dogs!

Hope Rescue is launching an urgent appeal to raise £3,000 to help unwanted dogs who are waiting patiently to find a foster home or their forever family. The fundraising effort is focused on a virtual dog show – complete with stalls, an auction and an online photographic competition!
A number of judges have very kindly agreed to help with the online photo competition – world-renowned dog trainer and author Victoria Stilwell; Tamara Ecclestone, daughter of "Formula 1 Supremo" Bernie Ecclestone; Television presenter, author and wildlife expert, Chris Packham; and Editor of ‘Dogs Today’ magazine, Beverley Cuddy.

The Hope Rescue Virtual Dog Show will run from 9 pm on Sunday 6th March 2011 and close at 9 pm on Sunday 20th March 2011.

Hope Rescue, based in Caerphilly, currently has more dogs in its care than at any time during its 6 year history. The situation reached crisis point in the New Year and has shown no signs of improving since then. There are currently 70 dogs in its care, with another 18 in the local authority pound waiting for a place – not to mention the ever-growing number of dogs on its surrender list. 

The last two months has seen an unprecedented number of strays come in and the costs associated with finding a place of safety for these dogs – whether in a foster home, with another rescue or in Hope’s emergency kennels – has hit the charity exceptionally hard.

Hope leases private boarding kennel spaces as a "half way house" for those dogs in the pound that have completed their 7 days but do not have a foster home or rescue space secured. These kennel spaces literally are lifesavers, without them many of the less popular breeds, or harder to rehome dogs, would be euthanised.

During the last 2 months, Hope Rescue has kept an average of between 14 to 18 dogs in kennels at any one time. Many of these dogs are bull breeds and crosses, which are difficult to find foster or rescue spaces for through no fault of their own – it is often simply a matter of too many dogs resulting from over breeding,

The current kennel bills are in excess of £3,000 a month, without taking into account the associated vets bills and transport costs for 70 dogs . There are several dogs undergoing exploratory vet work for a variety of medical conditions, in addition to the day to day vet costs for neutering, vaccinations, worm and flea treatment and micro-chipping.

The aim of this Appeal is to raise £3000 - the equivalent of one month’s kennel costs - so Hope is asking for supporters to dig deep as the dogs lives are depending on it.

Click here to enter:

Anyone wishing to make a donation to the Appeal, can do so safely through the Hope Rescue Justgiving page:

Hope Rescue is always looking for more people willing to give a dog a second chance through fostering. Anyone interested in becoming a foster home should contact Hope Rescue on 07545 822919 or email

Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Want to work at Dogs Today? Spread the word! Two vacancies!

Dogs Today has a vacancy for a talented editorial assistant.

Luke joined us in this position three years ago and has since worked his way through the ranks to Deputy Editor and is now leaving us to travel the world! While we are all delighted for him the hunt is on to find someone new to join the team.

You must obviously like dogs - we have three in the office for a start!
You'll need to be articulate and literate, you'll be proof reading and there'll be some opportunities to write and collate copy.
We'd like you to be able to multi-task - there'll be lots of admin as well as editorial duties - it's a small friendly office! And admin is just as valuable and important as editorial - you'll be looking after our subscribers who are our most important customers.
Be useful to be good with computers (we're on Macs) and hopefully you'll be interested in the Internet and social media as we're keen to do more and more.
My dream candidate will be methodical, organised, polite and helpful to readers phoning in, hard-working with a good sense of humour.
We are organising several high profile events this year, which should be exciting, but they'll also be hard work.

You'll need to be able to get to our office in leafy Chobham (Nr Woking). There's no chance of using public transport, so you'll need a car.

We will consider people looking for an internship very favourably. Please highlight this on your application.

Salary sadly will not be high - this is a rare entry level job that will give you broad magazine experience in an award-winning, friendly environment.

Please send me your CV and tell me why this job has your name on it.

If you really want to stand out write me 250 words on the King's Speech and whether or not you think it deserved all the Oscars it won. If you haven't seen it, write about the best film you have seen recently. I'd also like to know what your favourite three TV programmes are and why. And if you have ever shared your life with a dog - some more about that!

The magazine is on sale in WHSmiths, Tesco, Waitrose and Sainsburys, Pets at Home - please do go and have a look at a copy before applying if you are not familiar with the magazine! You can order one online, too.
Looking for someone to start ASAP so we can train you up before Luke packs his suitcase!

Email your application to (editorial assistant in the subject area please) or post to the office Dogs Today, 4 Bonseys Lane, Chobham, Surrey, GU24 8JJ.

We're also looking for someone with sales experience to for a new role - selling our classified and online ads. To apply for this position email Again this is an office-based position.

There's more...

There are lots of questions on Think Tank that would benefit from your input if you get a few minutes. I've just posted an urgent one. Do you know anyone who has had a dog go through an op to remove the spleen. A very worried owner would love to hear from you if so.
There's also less specific questions that you will all have an opinion on - best dog walking clothes this Spring fro someone lucky enough to buy a whole new wardrobe, most stylish dog-friendly car, most coveted dog toys...
Please do stop by the Dogs Today facebook page (see the box to the right for a snippet of what goes on there!), we've had a riotous few days were people have confessed the weirdest thing they've ever had in their handbag and the most embarrassing thing their dog has ever done. Both sets of winning entries really are hilarious if you need a laugh!
And don't forget the CV247 blog if you know anyone who has a dog with cancer. And there's the tailwaggers blog and the facebook page to help support people with dogs with CDRM.