Archive for June, 2011

20 Jun 2011

Surfing Dogs!

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On the 5th of June 2011, the Loews Coronado Bay Resort Surf Dog Competition took place at Imperial Beach California. This competition is in its sixth year and dogs compete for 10 minutes after being divided up into three heats, small, medium and large dogs. Judges are concerned with confidence, long wave ride and fashion sense. The winning dog gets a holiday at Loews Coronado Bay Resort.

For pictures and more information, have a look at –

19 Jun 2011

Dogs in cars

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The law on dogs in cars is often confusing and not well known. Here is the law on dogs in cars as of 2011 in the UK and how to travel with your dog safely.

There is no specific law on dogs in cars. However, the law states that a person must be in control of the car. This means no dogs sitting on drivers’ laps and no distractions from the dog. The Welfare of Animals Act does state that dogs should not be in a car in a way that is uncomfortable for them, or that would cause them unnecessary injury of suffering. Therefore, it is best to restrain a dog in a car using a crate or harness.

So, going by the law and advice, dogs can go pretty much anywhere in a car. Options can include the boot in or out of a crate, in the back seat, or even in the front seat, if restrained.

It is definitely advisable to use a dog guard or harness when travelling with your dog. These are easily bought from shops such as Halfords and Pets at Home.

Travel sickness can be a problem for some dogs, so make sure you visit the vet if this is an issue for advice and medication.

Lastly, don’t forget, never leave your dog in a car, especially in the summer. The car can heat up extremely fast leaving your dog to dehydrate and suffocate. On long journeys, your dog will need rests just as you do for water, food and toilet stops.

13 Jun 2011

Breed Profile – Border Collie

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Before buying or adopting a puppy or dog of any breed it is important to know what breed is right for you. Here is a checklist; if you answer yes to all these questions you are a step closer to finding out whether a Border Collie is right for you.

Do you have a house with a medium to large garden?

Do you have an hour or two to walk your dog?

Do you have time to train your dog?

Could you cope with ongoing vet bills from a health issue such as epilepsy?

Can you afford the vet and food bills?

Have you got ten minutes every other day to groom your dog?


It may come as a surprise to a few people that Border Collies don’t all come in black and white! Black and white is the most common, however, they can also be tricolour in black, tan and white or black, sable and white. Or they can be tan and white or sable and white. They are medium-sized dogs some with fully erect ears and some with semi-erect ears. Their eyes can be brown or sometimes with some blue in them. Some even have one eye brown and the other blue.


Male Border Collies can be around 13 – 20 kg in weight and 48 – 55 cm in height.

Female Border Collies can be around 12 – 19 kg in weight and 45 – 53 cm in height.


Border Collies are working dogs and as such will need a lot of exercise. This exercise should include a brisk walk or jog coupled with some ball play. Border Collies also need intellectual stimulation so ensure you have the time to train, play and walk your Collie.


Like all breeds, the Border Collie has some common health issues. These include hip and elbow dysplasia (common in all larger dogs), epilepsy and Collie eye anomaly. All these are genetic within the breed. Collie eye anomaly (CEA) is a congenital disease of the eye. The average life span of the Border Collie is between 10 and 17 years.


Border Collies are considered to be the most intelligent. They are also working dogs, however, many people have them as pets. Because of their working background, Border Collies have a lot of energy and if they are bored they will dig and bark. They are good companion dogs and are good as family pets if trained well.


As mentioned, Border Collies need a lot of training to keep their minds’ occupied. This training can come in the form of agility and flyball. Being a working breed, Border Collies can also have training in the form of sheep herding, although this is best left to professionals!


Border Collies should only have a bath when necessary. Their hair can either be coarser or sleek and longer. Longer hair will obviously need more brushing to ensure no tangling. However, both types of coats need brushing regularly, particularly when your dog is malting. Teeth, skin, ears and nails should be checked regularly while grooming to ensure they look good. Nails shouldn’t get too long, if you are unsure; consult your vet or a professional dog groomer.

06 Jun 2011

Breed Profile – German Shepherd

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Before buying or adopting any puppy or dog of any breed it is important to know what breed is right for you. Here is a checklist, if you answer yes to all these questions; you are a step closer to finding out whether a German Shepherd is right for you.

Do you have a house with a large garden?

Do you have an hour or two to walk your dog?

Do you have time to train your dog?

Do you have ten minutes every other day to groom your dog?

Could you cope with ongoing vet bills from a health issue such as hip dysplasia?

Can you afford food and vet bills, which increase as the dog size does?


German Shepherds can be black and tan, black and sable and all black, some can be white but this colour is deemed unacceptable. They have long muzzles with a black nose, strong jaws, almond eyes, a bushy tail and large erect ears.


Male German Shepherds can be around 30-40 kg in weight and 60-65 cm in height.

Female German Shepherds can be around 22-32 kg in weight and 55-60 cm in height.


German Shepherds need strenuous activity combined with mental activity like training. They require long walks daily whether it be a brisk walk, jog or running alongside a bike and some ball play.


Due to their breeding, German Shepherds experience hereditary hip and elbow dysplasia. Being a large dog they are also susceptible to bloat. They also can develop eczema and ear infections. The life span of a German Shepherd is around 9 – 13 years.


German Shepherds have a willingness to learn and a loyal nature. They bond well to those they are close to. However, they can be overprotective if not socialised correctly. German Shepherds respond best to positive reward training.


The German Shepherd was bred for intelligence and so is a quick learner. They are used as police dogs and for search and rescue. Training activities can include scutzhund, agility and flyball.


German Shepherds can come in three types of coats: rough, long-rough and long-haired. German Shepherds seasonally malt; however, they will shed hair all year round. Therefore, brushing every day will result in less vacuuming but brushing once or twice a week is good enough. German Shepherds should only be bathed when necessary due to sensitive skin and should be checked for nail trimming regularly.

All these factors need to be taken into account when discussing whether a German Shepherd is the right dog for you and your family.

01 Jun 2011

Dogs at Weddings

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With the wedding season in full swing, many of you brides-to-be will be planning what you hope to be the best day of your lives. So, what better way to enjoy your day than having your dog there to witness it. This isn’t for everyone, but if you want your best friend to celebrate with you, here’s how.


The first thing is to ensure that this will not stress you or your dog out too much to enjoy the day. Here is a checklist for a stress free wedding involving your dog.

1.     Check that your registrar or priest is happy for you to have your dog there.

2.     Check that your venue allows dogs inside and out, and not just in the hotel bedroom.

3.     Have a designated dog sitter; this person can keep an eye on your pooch throughout so you don’t have to.

4.     Is your dog good with crowds, strangers and children, if not, it may be too much for him.

5.     Take him or her home before the reception, the noise of a band and rowdy people dancing will result in a stressed out puppy.

6.     Discuss this with your fiancé; you don’t want him not to be on board with this plan.

7.     If your venue is not a hotel or you are going elsewhere for the night that will not take dogs, your dog will need a place to sleep for the night.

8.     Train your dog before hand; ensure that if he is carrying rings he has done it before so it is not a completely new experience. If he is walking you down the aisle, practice at home.

9.     Can your dog sit through a ceremony, will he bark or fuss? If he will, consider the impact this will have.


You can either book a dog friendly venue or book a venue and ask whether they will allow dogs and in which areas of the venue. For many venues, this will vary on whether you are having your wedding inside or out. It is up to you which way round you do this. However, if you have your heart set on a venue, you may have to give up having your dog around if they won’t allow it.

Many women do not just want to have their pooch around on their big day but also give them a role. The most obvious choice for your dog is a ring bearer. To do this, attach the rings to a cushion which is in turn attached to a collar or your dog itself using ribbon, or, if you are feeling brave, in his mouth (only for the well trained dog). Other roles can include walking the bride down the aisle, a pageboy or bridesmaid.


So, now you have picked a venue, chosen a role and trained your dog ready for the big day you need to make she he looks the part. However, do make sure your dog is comfortable in what you dress him in so you don’t cause him unnecessary stress. The choices with clothing are endless. Your dog can wear a bow tie or full tux, even a dress. Flowers can be used in a wreath around their neck (loosely of course), or in their collar. A nice new pretty collar will add some extra glam to help them look good.

Having your dog share your big day can be a blessing and for some a necessity. However, follow the checklist to ensure a stress free day and remember to not make your dog unnecessarily uncomfortable.

Venues that accept dogs

Eastnor Castle –

Based in Herefordshire, Eastnor Castle is a stately home that boasts its friendliness towards dogs. Dogs are allowed in both the home and the grounds on a lead.

Rydon Inn –

This is a restaurant in Devon that allows well-behaved dogs.

Ivy House Country Hotel –

This is a hotel in Suffolk that allows well-behaved dogs on leads. The only catch is a charge of £15

Down Hall Country House Hotel –

For a £5 charge, this hotel in Hertfordshire will allow dogs. This hotel boasts that it is one of the friendliest dog hotels in the UK. On arrival, each dog receives a welcome pack including a bowl and doggy do’s and dont’s to ensure a good stay.

Tulloch Castle Hotel –

This hotel, based in Highland, Scotland, has no charges for dogs coming to stay; the venue is both a castle and a hotel providing the perfect background for a wedding.

Brynafon Hotel –

This hotel in Powys, Wales has select dog friendly rooms.

For all of these venues, it is essential that you call/email and confirm that your dog will be allowed in the venue during the ceremony and reception, not just the bedrooms.