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Hope Rescue: The Perfect Storm


Hope Rescue is currently in the eye of a perfect storm. The aftermath of the pandemic, a huge rise in dog ownership and the cost-of-living crisis have hit the charity hard. Despite the challenges, they continue to do all they can to help dogs and owners in need, but their resources are stretched to the absolute limit.

In this time of crisis, they are reaching out for urgent help to weather this rocky storm and avoid having to reduce the number of dogs they can take in.

It has been widely reported that 2022 was a tough year for animal welfare charities like Hope Rescue and so far, the new year has brought little relief and a whole new fresh set of challenges. With around 3.2 million dogs purchased during the pandemic, it’s not surprising that Hope Rescue experienced a huge surge in the number of dogs through their doors.

The charity currently has 202 dogs in their care at the rescue centre and across their foster homes. This year alone they have welcomed 100 stray dogs through the centre’s doors with only 28% being reclaimed by owners, many of which have been deliberately abandoned due to health or behavioural issues putting further pressure on the charity.

Hope Rescue’s Founder Vanessa Waddon has said “As the cost-of-living crisis continues to hit every household, the same rise in costs has had a devastating impact on Hope Rescue’s already stretched resources.

As well as massive hikes in our energy and fuel costs, we’ve also seen an increase in the cost of other essentials such as dog food, bedding and cleaning materials. The increase in the number of dogs we are rescuing, and the heart-breaking condition they are coming to us in, means our vet bills have risen from £94,000 pre-pandemic to a predicted £312,000 this year.

We urgently need help to weather the storm. The last thing we want to do is to reduce the number of dogs we take in as this would put the lives and welfare of the most vulnerable dogs in our communities at risk.

But sadly this is a real concern. In the last 12 months, we’ve received 1242 calls from owners desperately asking for help to rehome their pets. This is a 69% increase on this time last year – too many dogs and their owners are counting on us.”

Can Hope Rescue count on you? If you can give anything, it will make a world of difference in their mission to keep giving our dogs hope.

You can make a donation to the care of dogs at Hope Rescue on their website The Perfect Storm | Hope Rescue or over the phone 01443 226659

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Funding Ellie’s Assistance Dog

Ellie Bourner is a 17-year-old girl from Kent. Unlike other teenagers her age, Ellie has to live with Tourettes Syndrome where she experiences physical and verbal tics. She is also affected by Irlens syndrome, anxiety, and joint issues. This will undoubtedly make day-to-day life harder.

Fortunately, an assistance dog can be a path of light. In the UK thousands of people own an assistance dog to increase their independence and confidence. These highly intelligent canines can assist with a variety of practical tasks, thus increasing the quality of life for their owners.

Ellie did have an owner-trained assistance dog, but by age 2, he became ill and as a result, was unfortunately put to sleep. This setback affected Ellie deeply. She was due to start college to study Animal Management but has since postponed this after the death of her assistance dog.

Jasper is a Labrador puppy. He is currently training to be Ellie’s new assistance dog. Jasper will undergo intensive training to support Ellie with her daily living. He is owner trained as unfortunately, Tourettes Syndrome does not qualify for funding.

To give Jasper the best training possible he needs to be trained by a professional. This could reach a cost of up to £10,000! Luckily, Jasper is currently training with Suzie, a qualified assistance dog trainer.

Ellie’s mum Elisa is trying to give her daughter the best start to living an independent life. She’s organized fundraisers and spoken to the media to help spread Ellie’s story far and wide. You may also see our products in her upcoming raffle so keep a look out!

If you’d like to donate to help train Ellie’s assistance dog you can do so here! To keep up to date with Ellie’s story head over to @Jasper_the_working_lab

Check out their story on ITV news by clicking here!

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What are Natural Dog Treats?

natural dog treats uk

Natural Dog Treats are typically animal products, such as duck feet, pig ears, chicken necks, goat skins etc. They’re naturally air-dried with zero processing. The treats are free from additives, flavourings, colourings and preservatives. The only ingredient is the animal it derives from. Other natural dog treats include fruits and vegetables.

The Benefits of Natural Dog Treats

Some animal parts have more benefits to dogs than others. For instance, Duck feet, Goose feet, Beef Trachea and Turkey necks contain glucosamine and chondroitin which help aid a dog’s joint health. Large or giant breed puppies and senior dogs will find this most beneficial. Dogs that perhaps pack on the pounds rather quickly will benefit from dog treats such as Lamb marrows and Cow Horn marrows as these have a 0% fat content.

Natural treats are packed with vitamins and minerals. They’re air dried to retain their nutrients and flavour. Unlike processed dog treats which are cooked at high temperatures, thus burning the nutrients out of the treats. Processed dog treats are also filled with preservatives to make them last longer and flavourings are added to bring back the taste.

You can find natural dog treats here!

What Other Benefits Do Natural Dog Treats Have?

By chewing natural dog treats your dog is improving their dental hygiene. The more they chew, the more plaque is removed from their teeth. Typically tartar and plaque is removed by up to 85%! Chewing releases endorphins, also known as ‘happy chemicals’, which is both self-soothing and relaxing to your dog. Whether it’s a toy or dog treat, chewing is a natural way to ease anxiety and stress.

Some natural dog treats are more long lasting than others. For instance, cow horns, buffalo horns, deer legs, lamb trotters etc, these will take a longer time to chew down. Long lasting dog treats are especially beneficial for larger dog breeds with strong jaws as they’re great boredom busters.

Natural Dog Treats & Raw Feeding

Natural dog treats can be fed alongside a raw diet. In the last few years, more dog owners are researching the ingredients contained in their dog’s food. Those typical brands stocked in the supermarket claim to be natural and grain free. But all you need to do is turn over the pack and you’ll see a list of ingredients that prove the product isn’t natural at all.

If you walk into a supermarket here in the United Kingdom, you won’t find natural dog treats stocked on the shelves. Instead, you’ll be greeted to a display of dog treats that are packed with preservatives, colourings, flavourings and all sorts of other nasties.

If you’re interested in purchasing natural dog treats then check out our range of box sets and natural treats!

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Why Not Turn Your Love for Pets Into a Business?

by Linda Chase

If you love animals and have an entrepreneurial spirit, starting a business that supports or directly handles pets could be the ideal career path. More than ever, pet owners are looking for ways to keep their furballs healthy and happy, 
meaning there are ample opportunities in the industry to make money. 

Below, we share some practical insight into how you can lay a firm foundation for a thriving pet business! 

Determine Your Pet Care Specialty

Let’s start with a brief look into the various pet niches worth exploring: 

  • Pet Grooming: Many pet owners love to get their four-legged companions pampered by a professional groomer. With 
    the proper experience and skills, you could thrive as a pet groomer in your community. Just remember that you need 
    to be able to keep them calm and comfortable so that you can make them look pretty! 
  • Pet Sitting or Dog Walking: One of the least strenuous pet care jobs is pet sitting, which also happens to be one of the easiest ways to get your feet wet in the pet care industry. Pet sitting is precisely as it sounds: babysitting for pets. As 
    long as you love being around furballs and you are able to take care of basic necessities (e.g., play, potty times, 
    feeding, etc.), and you could build a business as a pet sitter.  

If you love to go for walks and you love dogs, becoming a dog walker could be right up your alley. Many professionals 
and entrepreneurs, or people who live in urban areas, need dog walkers to keep their furry family members happy and healthy. An added benefit to this profession is that you get some great exercise yourself! 

  • Dog Training: Most dogs need some level of training so that their owners don’t have to deal with destructive behavior. But it’s also essential for keeping dogs safe. By becoming a dog trainer, you can ensure that the dogs obey commands from their owner, which will keep both parties happier and safer in the long run. 

Get Ready for the Business Side of Things 

Once you have an idea of the pet care niche you will serve, follow these steps to help you start strong: 

  • Research the Market: Most communities could use more pet care services, but you will want to confirm that your 
    business idea can bring a profit
     where you live. For example, if there are several other pet bakeries in the area, you 
    may want to go another route or at least gauge the potential of building a customer base first.  
  • Write a Business Plan: Every business needs a good business plan because it guides decision-making for the first several years. And if you need to raise capital for startup expenses and growth opportunities, a business plan will be downright critical. Take time to create a document that outlines your mission statement, core services, products or services description, target market, marketing strategy, funding needs, and other essential details. 
  • Develop a Marketing Strategy: As mentioned, you will need to define your target customers so that you know who you are marketing to. You will also need to create a professional website that shows potential customers what exactly it is 
    you do.  
  • Create Customer Contracts: If you need to create contracts for your customers, PDFs are a safe and secure way to 
    share these with clients. You can easily convert a Google doc and download it as a PDF. PDFs also allow for electronic 

Your site should be attractive, easy to use, and help your company stand out from the crowd. Furthermore, be sure to 
explore any online and local marketing channels and opportunities that can help you build a reputation in the 
industry. Social media is vital to a successful marketing strategy, so set up business accounts on the major platforms 
that appeal to your demographic.  

The need for pet care is nothing new but has never been more pressing than it is right now. Pet owners are more 
willing to pay for services and products than ever before. If you are ready to merge your love for pets with your 
entrepreneurial spirit, start implementing the tips above to start off strong! 

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Enjoying the Great Outdoors with Fido: Tips for Camping with a Dog  

dog camping in the uk

by Linda Chase at

Dogs and the great outdoors are a great pairing, but camping with your canine requires some preparation. Taking your dog camping can be a great bonding experience, but it’s important that you’re both ready to encounter fellow campers and avoid potential dangers. With these tips from Dogs of Britain, you’ll both be ready to enjoy the trip! 

Preparing for Adventure 

You may be comfortable throwing a few things in the trunk and heading to the mountains or desert, but this level of 
preparation won’t serve you and your pup well. Camping with your dog requires some foresight and strategic packing. 
But with a little work, you’ll be prepared for an epic human/canine camping trip.  

  • Some dogs can be afraid of fire, so get your dog accustomed to being around a campfire with a backyard fire pit
  • There are many dog-friendly campsites but do your research first because not every camp is Fido-friendly.  
  • Now that you know where you’re going, what should you pack for your pup? Get to know the canine camping 
  • Avid campers know how to avoid dangers, but your dog doesn’t. Learn the dog-specific problems you’re likely to 
    encounter on the trail so that you can help your pup avoid them and enjoy an injury-free trip. 

Essential Supplies 

If you’ve been camping for a while, you likely have your go-to gear ready to pack. But does your dog have their 
camping essentials? It’s important to have dog-specific gear that you adjust depending on where you’re going 
and during which time of year.  

  • Don’t forget to pack a special first aid kit for your canine camper. You can order premade kits or make your own. 
  • It’s tempting to let our dogs run free on the trails, but it’s also important that you can get ahold of your pup when 
    needed. Harnesses can be a great alternative — or complement — to traditional collars so that you can secure or even 
    lift your dog when needed. 
  • If you’re planning on winter or cold weather camping use this guide to ensure your pup has what they need to stay 

Helpful Health Tips 

Your camping trip is for you and your dog to enjoy, so keep these tips for your dog’s health in mind. 

  • Minor injuries are common during camping and hiking trips, but do you know how to patch up your pup if he comes to you with a cut? Here are some tips for caring for your canine companion’s health. 
  • Ticks are an unfortunate reality at many campsites. If your dog brings home a few unwanted guests, it’s important that you know how to safely remove them
  • If you’re camping in a warm climate or during the summer, be sure to learn the symptoms of heat stroke and how to 
    cool your pup down.  

Now that you know what to do to get you and your dog prepared, you’re ready for an adventure. Find a nice spot, 
settle in, and make some new friends! 

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Plott Hound

plott hound rescue

The Plott Hound is the official State Dog of North Carolina. This remarkable breed is prized for its hunting and tracking abilities. Today we’re going to look into the background of the Plott Hound.

Plott Hound Breed Standards:
Kennel Club Member?: No
Plott Hound Lifespan: 12-14 years
Plott Hound Exercise: Over 1 hour per day
Height: Male 20-25 inches, female 20-23 inches
Weight: Male 23-27 kilograms, female 18-25 kilograms
Hypoallergenic: No

The Plott Hound is not recognised by the Kennel Club here in the United Kingdom, however, they were first exhibited at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show in 2008. This scenthound was initially bred for bear hunting over 200 years ago. The North American breed is rare in the UK but still used for hunting, typically in North America.

This scenthound is one of the few that doesn’t trace its ancestry back to the English Foxhound. Plott Hounds are also the only non-British Coonhounds. Most Hounds were primarily imported into the United States via England, France and Ireland for fox hunting. Unlike the Plott Hound which was developed in North Carolina.



Below are the pros and cons of the Plott hound dog breed:


  • Easy to groom
  • Low shedding coat
  • Doesn’t drool excessively
  • Loyal to their families, protective guard dog


  • Strong prey drive
  • Requires lots of exercise
  • Independent, strong wanderlust potential
  • Doesn’t tolerate cold weather well

Plott Hounds have an athletic build and are both agile and muscular. They hunt well independently or in a pack. The breed is found in all shades of Brindle and features a long tail and glossy coat. Unlike other scenthounds, this breed doesn’t have baggy skin.


Plott Hounds are aggressive hunters and work in packs. So, it should be no surprise that this breed holds a strong prey drive. The Plott Hound is not recommended to first-time dog owners. They’re also unsuited to apartment living and do best when raised in the countryside as opposed to the city.

The Plott Hound has webbed feet making this breed an exceptional swimmer! They’re affectionate, loyal, and protective of their families. Like most members of the Hound family, the Plott Hound is independent and stubborn. They’re highly intelligent and won’t forget a dog or person that’s crossed them!

Plott Hounds are great guard dogs. They’re protective of their homes and territory and will bark at strangers approaching their domain. Plott Hounds won’t hesitate to protect their family if they sense danger. The breed is aloof towards strangers and will need early socialization to prevent fear-based reactions.

This breed is suited to families with older children. Plott Hound dogs will be affectionate and protective over the children in their household. This breed could become food aggressive so it’s important owners tackle this at the very beginning, especially when there are children in the home.

Plott Hounds that are bred to hunt large game are known to be more aggressive than those that hunt smaller game. As this breed hunts in packs, they do better in homes with other dogs. They are typically social with dogs outside their household but can be dominant towards those of the same sex.

Plott Hound History

The Plott Hound originates from Germany and is a descendant of the Hanover Hound. Their ancestors were initially bred for Boar hunting due to their stamina. Plott Hounds have the skills to hunt large game such as Boar, Mountain Lions and Bears. They’re also suited to hunting smaller game such as racoons.

In the late 18th century Georg (Johannes) Plott (1733-1815) migrated to North Carolina from Germany with his wife Margaret. He also brought with him five Hanoverian Hounds and although there are no official records stating where he lived, his son Henry settled in the mountains of western North Carolina.

Both the Plott Hound and the Plott Balsams (a mountain range in western North Carolina) were named after the Plott family. The breed was developed in North Carolina and trained to hunt bears by Johannes. The Hanoverian Schweisshund strain was kept pure until 1780.

It was in this year, that the pack of Hounds were passed down to Johannes’ son Henry Plott. He decided to breed the Hanover Hounds to local dogs, producing a large game hunter we now know today as the Plott Hound. Originally named ‘Plott’s Hound’.

There are six Coonhound members which include the Carolina Plott Hound. The only non-British member of the group and the last to be recognised in 1946. The breed is not registered with the Kennel Club but did receive its AKC recognition back in 2006.

Exercise & Grooming

The Plott Hound requires at least one hour of exercise each day, but they could definitely do with much longer! Thanks to their webbed feet this breed is a great swimmer. Swimming is a fantastic form of exercise! Plott Hounds also require lots of mental stimulation and this scenthound needs time to investigate the smells around them.

This breed requires a garden and is best suited to the countryside. Due to their strong prey drive, gardens must be securely fenced. Thanks to their intelligence and agility, this breed is an excellent escape artist. They’ll dig and even climb their way out of an enclosed space if they find a way!

Plott Hounds should also be kept on a leash unless in a remote area or enclosed dog pen. Despite their high energy levels, the Plott Hound won’t make a good jogging partner as their nose will easily divert them! A long walk twice a day will keep this breed satisfied. A lack of exercise will result in boredom leading to destructive behaviours.

A Plott Hound has a thick, yet smooth, fine coat. It’s low maintenance and requires a quick weekly brush once a week. The best tools to use are soft-bristle brushes or a Hound glove. To prevent doggy odour, the Plott Hound should receive a bath every 6+ weeks.

This breed has long ears that assist their tracking abilities. They’ll need frequent cleaning, especially after a wet and muddy walk. Debris should be removed from the ear canal weekly. Failure to do so could cause ear infections. Trim their nails fortnightly and brush their teeth at least three times a week.


Below are the breed-related health conditions of the Plott Hound:

Gastric Dilatation Volvulus (Bloat): A life-threatening condition typically caused by large meals that lead the stomach to dilate. The stomach twists trapping the contents and gases within.
Hip Dysplasia: One or both of the hip joints develop abnormally causing swelling, pain, lameness, and eventually arthritis. This condition is typically inherited.

Plott Hound Training

Although independent the Plott Hound is eager to please which helps ease training. Experienced dog owners are recommended for this breed. Their leader must be firm yet patient, a timid dog owner will quickly be dominated by the Plott Hound.

Positive reinforcement works best with this breed and early socialization is a must. Harsh training techniques will enhance this breed’s stubborn side. Plott Hounds are known to be forgetful so repetition is key. If there’s an older dog in the household, the Plott Hound will typically follow their lead.

Group puppy classes are a great way to socialize a Plott Hound puppy whilst learning basic commands. This guard dog can be wary of strangers so it’s important they are socialized with humans to prevent fear-based reactions. A lack of proper training will lead to dominance and aggression issues.

Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show 2014 Source:

Plott Hound Interesting Facts

  • Plott Hounds have ‘a big bawl mouth’. This can be described as an exceptionally long bark. A trait often found amongst Hounds.
  • In 2007, Bob Plott the third great-grandson of Johannes Plott published a book on the breed. It’s called The Story of the Plott Hound: Strike & Stay. His website can be found here!
  • In 1989, the Plott Hound became the official State Dog of North Carolina!
  • In 2009 a champion show dog Hosker’s Georgie Boy was stolen! Joi Hosker left her Plott Hound with a kennel to visit her ill mother. Upon her arrival back home, she was told her dog had gone missing, something she did not believe. In actual fact, her Plott Hound was sold to a bear hunter. Georgie Boy was injured during a bear hunt, leading the man to look for a new Plott Hound in case he did not make it. Whilst searching, he came across a missing poster and suspected the dog he bought was stolen. After 8 months Joi finally had her dog back and Georgie Boy went on to become the third-best Plott Hound in America.
  • Things can go wrong when this breed is placed in the wrong hands. In 2020 Melaka, Malaysia a 7-day old newborn baby had her hand bitten off by her uncle’s Plott Hound after being left alone with the dog. Authorities state the uncle had no license to own the Plott Hound (as required for Plott Hounds under Malaysian law) and it’s believed action will be taken against the owner.
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Hope Rescue in Llanharan, welcomed English Bulldogs Mum and pup Deedee aged five- and 12-week-old Dill after their owner took them on from a breeder and soon realised, they couldn’t meet their health needs. On arrival, it was clear that both dogs had extensive health problems that needed investigating.  

Mum Deedee had an eye condition called entropion which requires surgery, and her other eye is needs removing due to irreversible damage. She also has extreme brachycephalic features including pronounced facial folds which will need regular cleaning and a very undershot jaw. It is clear she has been bred from multiple times.  

Little Dill is very wonky on his feet and x-rays have shown serious issues with his legs and hips which need a referral to a specialist orthopaedic vet to consider surgical options. Sadly, Dill also has breathing problems, a breed-related condition common with flat-faced breeds and one he will also likely need future surgery for.    

Vanessa Waddon Founder and Transformational Manager at Hope Rescue said ‘Poor Deedee and Dill are classic examples of low welfare breeding, and prioritising #WealthNotHealth. Even our most experienced staff have been shocked and upset to see a puppy this young struggle to breathe and function properly. The total cost of treatment for Deedee and Dill is unknown, but it anticipated it will be £1,000s, at a time our resources are already stretched as we deal with the impact of the huge surge in dogs purchased during the pandemic.”  

Deedee and Dills arrival comes as Norway banned the breeding of English bulldogs this week, ruling that it breaches the country’s animal welfare laws due to the host of medical issues the breeds face. 

On the landmark ruling, Vanessa Waddon said ‘I think it’s genuinely sad that it’s come to this, but the breed problems have just gone too far. There simply aren’t enough ethical and responsible breeders out there trying to improve the breed and prioritising health. The public should also take some responsibility for not demanding higher standards when purchasing puppies. Low welfare breeders are simply meeting the demand for these inherently unhealthy breeds.” 

hope rescue charity

If you are able to help Dee Dee and Dill, then you can make a regular or one-off donation on Hope Rescue’s website 

Other ways to donate: You can make a donation over the phone 01443 226659 (9am-5pm) or Text DEEDEE followed by your donation amount to 70085 to give that amount (e.g DEEDEE5 for £5 DEEDEE10 for £10 or any amount you would like to give). Texts will cost the donation amount plus one standard network rate message, and you’ll be opting in to hearing more from us. If you would like to donate but don’t wish to hear more from us, please text DEEDEENOINFO instead.

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Bichon Frise

bichon frise dog uk

The Bichon Frise is one of Britain’s most popular small breeds. Today, we’re going to learn all about the Bichon Frise personality, health, history, exercise needs and more!

Bichon Frise Breed Standards
Kennel Club Member?:
Bichon Frise Lifespan: 14-15 years
Bichon Frise Exercise: Up to 30 minutes per day
Height: 9.5-11.5 inches
Weight: 5-8 kilograms
Hypoallergenic: Yes

The Bichon Frise is known widely for its white curly coat. A member of the toy group, the Bichon is one of the most popular small dog breeds here in the UK. Thanks to their hypoallergenic and low shedding coat, this breed is better suited to those with allergies.

Bichons are also memorable after featuring in Belgian author Herge’s comic series The Adventures of Tintin. Snowy, the dog is a Bichon Frise but is originally known as Milou by the French. Bichons have a deep and enriched history featuring in many famous paintings across history including the works of Titian, Sir Joshua Reynolds and Francisco de Goya.

bichon frise puppy uk


Check out the pros and cons of the Bichon Frise dog breed below:


  • Small breed, can live in an apartment
  • Hypoallergenic, better choice for those with allergies
  • Won’t require lots of exercise
  • Social, friendly with other dogs
  • Great with children
  • Low drooler
  • Suitable for older owners


  • Coat is high maintenance
  • Prone to separation anxiety
  • Gains weight easier than other breeds
  • Difficult to housebreak

The Bichon Frise dog is a small breed widely known for its remarkable white coat. Even their name Bichon translates to ‘white dog’! Frise describes the curls found on the Bichon. Their soft curls are often styled for presentation in the show ring.


A Bichon Frise is loveable, affectionate and just as adorable as they look! This easy-going canine won’t require much exercise and can live in an apartment. Their sweet personality, lapdog status and sociable nature is a great choice for first-time dog owners.

Bichons require companionship and enjoy being the centre of attention. These dogs are energetic, cheerful, and gentle. A perfect well-rounded dog that’s easy to fall in love with! Their cuddly personality resembles their teddy like features.

This breed isn’t a great watchdog and won’t be on the alert ready to defend their territory. Bichons are polite and even playful with strangers. However, some Bichons may feel a little shy. Of course, this is dependent on socialization during a Bichons early years.

Bichons make excellent family dogs and are great with children of all ages. Their small size won’t be hazardous to kids and these social dogs enjoy playing interactive games with the younger members of their families. Affectionate and playful, a Bichon Frise is a fantastic companion for children.

Bichons love making new friends and get along well with other dogs! They’ll happily introduce themselves to other dogs in the park engaging in friendly play! Bichons are gentle and can live with other household pets including cats. It’s always best for house pets to be raised together as opposed to an introduction during adulthood.

Bichon Frise History

The Bichon Frise is an ancient breed believed to have been introduced to Tenerife by Spanish seamen. Bichons were a part of the Barbichon types which also included the Havanese, Bolognese, and the Maltese. Their ancestor the Bichon Tenerife was the most popular of the group amongst sailors.

Bichons were used by the Spanish as sailing and even herding dogs, whilst the French developed the breed into a lapdog. By the 13th century, the Bichon became popular with European nobles. They were prized by the Royal Families of Spain, Italy and France and were prominent during the Rennaisance period. Their coat was trimmed into a ‘lion style’ and the Bichon would be pampered and carried around in a basket.

In 1789 the arrival of the French Revolution saw many Bichons lose their privileged status. Many were put onto the streets. They soon found solace amongst street performers, earning their keep by performing tricks! Bichons would also perform at the circus and funfair.

During the reign of Napoleon III of France in the late 19th century, the Bichon was such a common dog, it’d be found wandering the streets. The Bichon Frise’s official breed standard was produced on the 5th March 1933. They were originally named the Bichon À Poil Frisé but this was then shortened.

In 1955, the first Bichon Frise was imported to America with the first US-born litter arriving a year later. Bichons quickly grew in popularity across the United States and the United Kingdom. In 2001 and 2018, a Bichon Frise won the Best in Show title at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show!

Exercise & Grooming

A Bichon Frise dog doesn’t require much exercise. Thirty minutes per day is usually enough. This small breed can easily wear itself out in the garden. Interactive games like fetch are both tiresome and mentally stimulating. Bichon Frise is also suited to living in apartments.

Other forms of mental stimulation include dog sports and despite the Bichon’s cute looks, they make excellent competitors. In particular, this breed excels in agility, rally, and obedience. Keep their brains ticking over indoors by playing games of hide and seek and treat puzzle toys.

This breed’s coat is high maintenance, of course! It’ll require daily grooming to keep it in good condition. A pin brush and slicker brush are the best tools to use. Ideally, a Bichon should receive a bath monthly, unless they’re exceptionally dirty. The fur is thick so wash right down to the skin and ensure all shampoo is thoroughly rinsed out.

To prevent tear staining, trim the fur around the eyes and nose frequently. Owners should remove any crust or dirt around the eyes daily. Use cotton wool and plain water. To remove tear stains already set in, some Bichon owners have found a baking soda paste to be of help.

Ears will need a weekly clean to prevent debris from building up. Nails should be trimmed fortnightly. Smaller breeds are prone to dental issues therefore teeth should be brushed daily.


Check out the breed-related health conditions of the Bichon Frise below:

Cataracts- An inherited condition that causes an abnormal cloudiness after a change in lens. If the opacity is large enough light to the retina will be blocked, resulting in blindness over time.
Luxating Patellas- The kneecap temporarily falls out of position before relocating back into place.
Bladder Stones- Minerals form into small rocks within the bladder ranging in both composition and size. Symptoms include straining when urinating, and blood in the urine.
Portosystemic Shunt- A liver shunt is caused by the abnormal connection between the systemic circulation and the portal vascular system. Blood vessels bypass the liver draining blood directly into circulation without being detoxified.
Diabetes Mellitus- The dog is unable to produce adequate amounts of insulin for the body’s cells. This will affect the dog’s fat, protein and carbohydrate metabolism.
Allergies- A lifelong condition causing itchy skin. Owners will have to learn to manage the condition as there is no cure.

Bichon Frise Training

This intelligent breed picks up on training quickly. Bichons can live happily in apartments and respond well to crate training. They love performing so keep a Bichon mentally stimulated by teaching them new tricks. Training sessions should last up to 15 minutes to prevent boredom.

The Bichon Frise is notorious for being difficult to housebreak. It’s important owners establish a routine to help aid potty training. Ideally, they should be let out every 2-3 hours and every 15 minutes after eating and drinking. Use positive reinforcement methods as this breed won’t do well with harsh techniques.

Early socialization is important for all dogs, especially smaller breeds. Fear-based reactions could result in aggressive behaviour so a Bichon Frise puppy should be introduced to a variety of people, dogs, and environments. Puppy training classes will help socialize dogs whilst teaching them basic commands.

The Bichon Frise is prone to separation anxiety when left alone for long periods. For this reason, they should be in a home where at least one person is indoors most of the day. Otherwise, they’ll resort to destructive behaviours. Bichon Frise owners must be consistent and dedicated to training.

bichon frise puppies uk

Bichon Frise Interesting Facts

  • In December 2021, Afro Ken, the Bichon Frise passed away two weeks after his 18th birthday. He is believed to have been Britain’s oldest Bichon Frise dog. He has beaten the record previously held by Nellie who passed away in Hastings aged 17! Afro Ken was born and raised in Minnesota, America before moving to the UK aged 12.
  • In 2021, Viovet conducted a stidy into the laziest dog breeds and the Bichon Frise made the list! The breed alongside the Maltese were deemed to require less physical activity compared to others.
  • Flynn the Bichon Frise, won Best in Show at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show in 2018! Flynn beat almost 3,000 other competitors to the top spot!
  • Bella, a Bichon Frise from Willingdon, Eastbourne, has helped her owner Barry Coarse, a war veteran, overcome PTSD. Barry would suffer from night terrors and Bella would wake him up by licking his ear, then further calming him down by licking his neck. Bella is now an onwer-trained qualified assistance dog! She even won an award at the Soldiering On military event under the Animal Partnership category.
  • Bleu, a Bichon Frise from Uddingston is also referred to as Houdini after his disappearing act! It took searchers including local police more than three and a half hours to find him!
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Border Terrier

border terrier dog

Border Terriers are listed as one of Britain’s top 20 dog breeds! Hailing from the Anglo-Scottish Border, this loveable canine is also one of Britain’s oldest Terriers! Today we’re going to learn more about the Border Terrier.

Border Terrier Breed Standards
Kennel Club Member?: Yes
Border Terrier Lifespan: 12-15 years
Border Terrier Exercise: Up to 1 hour per day
Height: 12-15 inches
Weight: Male 6-7 kg, Female 5-6 kg
Hypoallergenic?: Yes

Border Terriers are the 2nd most popular members of the Terrier group. In the UK they ranked 12th with 4,587 Border Terrier puppy registrations in 2020. Staffordshire Bull Terriers take the top spot in the Terrier family with 5,010 puppy registrations that year.

Over the last decade Border Terriers have seen a steady decline in registration numbers with the Kennel Club. In 2011 there were 7,188 Border Terrier puppy registrations. However, the breed still hasn’t lost its spot on Britains top 20 dog breeds list!

border terrier puppies uk


Check out the pros and cons of the Border Terrier below:


  • Hypoallergenic breed, low shedding
  • Suitable for apartment lifestyles
  • Ideal for first time owners
  • Family friendly dog, great with children
  • Great watchdog, highly intelligent


  • Stubborn streak
  • Prone to weight gain
  • Strong prey drive
  • Prone to separation anxiety
  • Vocal, likes to bark

The Border Terrier is a small breed with a rough coat and lots of personality. Their breed standard colours include Grizzle, Grizzle & Tan, Dark Grizzle, Dark Rizzle & Tan, Dark Red Grizzle, Light Grizzle, Red, Red Grizzle, Wheaten, and Blue & Tan.


Small but mighty the Border Terrier won’t back down from a challenge. Like most Terriers, fearlessness is an inherited trait! Size means nothing to them but as the Border is smaller, it could land them in trouble with a much larger dog! However, this sociable canine is happy and friendly. Borders aren’t the type to instigate, but they’ll definitely finish it!

Loyal, loveable, energetic, and alert, the Border Terrier will make a fantastic companion. They have a unique personality and will keep their owner on their toes! Despite their stubborn streak this breed is intelligent and picks up on training well! Border Terriers are suited to first time owners.

Naturally, this breed is alert and will make a suitable watchdog, although their size isn’t suited for guard work! Borders will welcome strangers into their homes and will politely greet their guests. It’s important to socialize this breed well with strangers so they don’t resort to fear-based reactions.

Border Terriers are excellent family dogs and do well in homes with children! A child will find a forever friend in a Border! Although small this breed is sturdy, energetic, and a fantastic playmate for kids. Always supervise play in case things get a little too boisterous!

A well-socialized Border Terrier will enjoy being in the company of other dogs. They’ll quickly make friends in the dog park, politely introducing themselves to those who pass by. Border Terriers can live in homes with other dogs and also cats however, it’s best they’re raised together from puppyhood.


Border Terriers are one of Britain’s oldest Terrier breeds. They were developed along the border of Scotland and England by farmers and shepherds. An agile Terrier was needed to defend the sheep from the Hill Fox. Borders were small enough to fit into the dens of foxes but big enough to keep up with huntsmen on horses.

Their coat is wiry and weatherproof protecting them from the tough terrain. This breed was previously known as the Coquetdale and Redesdale Terrier the areas of which they originated. Their legacy, however, is attributed to Northumberland, where they became well-known fox hunters working alongside Hounds.

The Border Hunt is over 130 years old and covers the countryside from the River Rede to Jedburgh. It’s a controversial hunt that’s even seen members Timothy Allen and Shaun Anderson on trial for breaching Scotland’s fox hunting legislation.

The breed was also known to work as ratters on farms. Other prey included otters and badgers. Border Terriers were popular amongst the working-class and were typically used to hunt for work as opposed to sport. The breed will bolt after foxes and can also go to ground. Aggression is not a Border Terrier trait as they have to work alongside other dogs.

The Moss Trooper was the first Border Terrier to be registered with the Kennel Club in 1912. Unfortunately, the breed’s registration was rejected by the Kennel Club in 1914 but eventually granted in 1920. Their ancestry is shared with the Bedlington and Dandie Dinmont Terrier.

Exercise & Grooming

Energetic and playful, Border Terriers require up to one hour of exercise per day, but don’t be surprised if they want longer! Despite their small size, Border Terriers have fantastic stamina and can easily keep up with huntsmen on horseback! So they must participate in vigorous play.

Long walks across the countryside are thoroughly enjoyed but don’t forget they have a strong prey drive! Always keep them leashed unless in an enclosed space. Their gardens must be secure! Border Terriers love digging so ensure fences are fixed deep into the ground!

Border Terriers also require mental stimulation within their day. Otherwise, they could become bored and destructive. Dog sports is a great form of mental stimulation and the Border Terrier excels in a variety of categories. These include lure coursing, agility, tracking, flyball, and earthdog events.

As a hypoallergenic breed, the Border Terrier dog sheds minimal amounts. It’s advised to brush them once each day to remove any dead fur. Their coarse, short coats should never be clipped but hand stripped instead. Although some owners prefer a natural shaggy look.

Bathe Border Terrier dogs once a month minimum. Frequent washing can strip the coat from its natural oils. Every week the ears should be cleaned from debris. Nails will also need trimming. To maintain dental hygiene brush the teeth multiple times a week if not daily!


Check out the breed-related health conditions of the Border Terrier below:

Patella Luxation: The kneecap moves out of position temporarily before returning back into position just as quick.
Canine Epileptoid Cramping Syndrome: Also known as Spike’s disease, this condition is hereditary and found in Border Terriers. It causes tremors, spasms, seizures and is similar to epilepsy.
SLEM Spongiform LeucoEncephaloMyelopathy: Shaking puppy syndrome has been seen in Border Terrier puppies since 2012. It’s a relatively new condition affecting the central nervous system.
Canine Gallbladder Mucocele: The accumulation of excessive and abnormal mucus in the gallbladder causing it to become enlarged.
Cushing’s Syndrome: This is caused by an excessive amount of the hormone cortisol produced by the adrenal glands found at the top of each kidney. Symptoms include excessive urination, thirst, lethargy, breathlessness, and an increase in appetite.

Border Terrier Training

Border Terriers may be one of the sweeter members of the Terrier family, but they still have a stubborn streak! Owners will need patience as a Border Terrier won’t be forced to cooperate. Luckily this breed is intelligent and a quick learner. They’re also eager to please, another bonus to training!

Keep training sessions to around 10-15 minutes and avoid constant repetition. Be firm but not harsh as Borders are sensitive. Positive reinforcement methods work best! First-time dog owners may benefit from professional training classes.

Borders are prone to separation anxiety and mustn’t be left alone for long periods of time. This breed will form a strong bond with its owner. If they feel anxious, worried, and lonely they’ll resort to destructive behaviours. At least one member of the household should stay home during the day.

Socialization is highly important for all members of the Terrier family. Their fearlessness and mentality of never backing down could cause behavioural issues if left untrained. Introduce a Border Terrier puppy to new people, dogs and places regularly throughout their lives.

border terrier for sale uk

Border Terrier Interesting Facts

  • Border Terriers have been featured on the big screen plenty of times! Some of their movie titles include The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Return to Oz, There’s Something About Mary, Prometheus, A most Violent Year and Cheaper by the Dozen.
  • In the UK the Border Terrier Club was first established in 1920, making it Britain’s oldest breed club!
  • Alfie the Border Terrier from Derbyshire, is allegedly the oldest of his breed at 17! He was born in 2005 and has broken the previous title held by Betty aged 15! Aflie is still lively and his age isn’t holding him back.
  • Supervet Noel Fitzpatrick lost his Border Terrier named Keira on September 9th 2021. She lived until the age of 13. Keira almost lost her life last year after being ran over by a van, shattering her pelvis. Noel Fitzpatrick operated on her and gave her another year of life.
  • Bella the Border Terrier has been bringing smiles to the patients at Gateshead hospital! Bella is a Pets As Therapy Dogs and frequently visits the Queen Elizabeth Hospital to help lift the spirits of those during their stay.
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Pembroke Welsh Corgi

pembroke welsh corgi

The Welsh Corgi is one of Britain’s most well-known dogs. They’re famously known as our Queen’s favourite breed, who is often surrounded by her faithful pack. Let’s take a look into Britain’s prized dog breed!

Pembroke Welsh Corgi Breed Standards:
Kennel Club Member?: Yes
Pembroke Welsh Corgi Lifespan: 12-13 years
Pembroke Welsh Corgi Exercise: Up to 1 hour per day
Height: 10-12 inches
Weight: Male up to 14 kilograms Female up to 13 kilograms
Hypoallergenic: No

The Pembroke Welsh Corgi is mostly recognized due to Queen Elizabeth II’s adoration of the breed. Since her accession to the throne in 1952, the Queen has owned over thirty Corgis! They’re often referred to as the Royal Corgis! Her fondness began after her father King George VI brought home Dookie, the Corgi.

There are two dog breeds listed under the name Welsh Corgi. The first is the Pembroke Corgi and the second is the Cardigan Welsh Corgi. The Pembroke Corgi is the youngest of the two. Both are achondroplastic breeds (dwarf) due to their long bodies and short legs.

pembroke welsh corgi
Welsh Corgi dog on a walk in a beautiful autumn Park with yellow foliage


Below are the pros and cons of the Pembroke Welsh Corgi:


  • Welsh Corgis can live in apartments
  • Low wanderlust potential
  • Easy to train
  • Family friendly dog
  • Therapy dog


  • This breed is vocal and likes to bark
  • Achondroplastic breed
  • Sheds fur heavily
  • Prone to weight gain
  • May suffer from separation anxiety when left alone for long periods

The Pembroke Welsh Corgi is a medium-sized breed with a fox-like head and pointy ears. Their fur is typically lighter on the sides as the withers reduce in thickness. Coat colours consist of Fawn & White, Sable & White, Red & White and Tricolour.


Now the Welsh Corgi may be a dwarf breed but their size shouldn’t underestimate their personality! This breed holds a unique personality and is also incredibly loyal. As the Pembroke Welsh Corgi is eager to please, they’re a good breed choice for first-time dog owners.

High in energy, the Welsh Corgi will need some form of vigorous exercise during the day. However, Corgis can live happily in an apartment provided their activity needs are being met. As this breed loves to be around their owner they have a low wanderlust potential.

The Welsh Corgi is often reserved with strangers but generally polite with household visitors. Alertness is a trait found in the Corgi so they make great watchdogs. Socializing a Corgi puppy is highly important as it’ll enable the dog to be more trusting of strangers in adulthood.

A Corgi is one of the more low-maintenance dog breeds and makes an excellent family dog. They’re great with children and are easy to train. Due to their herding background, they may display these types of behaviours towards children. Households with smaller children must be aware of this before bringing a Corgi puppy into the home.

Corgis do get along with other dogs but are a little warier than other breeds. They can happily live alongside other dogs in their household. The breed can be around cats but should be introduced during puppyhood. Regular socialization during their early years will prevent fear-based reactions.

Pembroke Welsh Corgi History

The Pembroke Welsh Corgi is one of Britain’s most famous dog breeds and originates from Pembrokeshire, Wales. Solidified in British history as Queen Elizabeth II’s faithful companions, the Pembroke Welsh Corgi is widely recognized across the world. The Royal Corgis even featured in a cover photo for Vanity Fair’s Summer 2016 Edition!

Legend has it that two children were playing in a field and stumbled across a pair of puppies. At first, they thought they were foxes but after taking them home, their parents quickly realised they were dogs! The parents told their children the dogs were gifted to them by fairies that lived in the field. The marks on the Corgis back represented the fairies saddle!

The foundation dogs of the Welsh Corgi arrived in Southwestern Wales in 1107. They were brought by Flemish Weavers from Northern Belgium who were invited to live and work in Wales by King Henry I. The Cardigan Welsh Corgi is a cousin of the Pembroke Corgi but is slightly bigger and longer. They also have smaller ears and straighter legs.

Welsh Corgis are herding dogs and were used for cattle, sheep and horses. They’d often be found working on farms. Traditionally, the Welsh Corgi was docked, however, since the ban, this is no longer being practised in the UK. This led to a drop in breed numbers landing the Welsh Corgi on the Vulnerable Native Breed list.

In 2020, Pembroke Welsh Corgi puppies had their highest KC registration period of the last decade. There were 887 puppy registrations that year compared to 371 Welsh Corgi puppy registrations in 2011. The Kennel Club believe the Netflix series The Crown is one main reason for the increase in popularity.

Exercise & Grooming

Welsh Corgis need up to one hour of exercise each day. If their exercise needs are being met, they can happily live in an apartment. As the Welsh Corgi is an achondroplastic breed their legs are susceptible to injury. Pembroke Welsh Corgi puppies shouldn’t be overexercised. Owners should be cautious of their joints until their growth plates are fully formed. This takes place around the ages of 9-12 months.

Due to their herding background, Welsh Corgis require lots of mental stimulation. Hide and seek with food treats, puzzle games and dog sports are some ways to do this. Welsh Corgis compete well in agility, showmanship, tracking, obedience, flyball and herding events.

This breed is used to hard work so some Corgis may still be high in energy. Although a dwarf breed, the Welsh Corgi can reach up to speeds of 25mph! They enjoy long walks or even a slow jog but aren’t quick enough to be a cycling partner!

Brush the Pembroke Welsh Corgi with a slicker brush once a day to remove any dead fur. During shedding seasons a rake will help remove the undercoat. The fur won’t need trimming and can be left natural during the summer months, despite the heat.

Corgis should be bathed every 4-8 weeks. Brush through the coat prior to it getting wet to avoid tangles. Ensure all shampoo is washed out of the fur to prevent skin irritation. Use a blow dryer to dry the coat as wet fur will pick up debris. Clean the ears weekly and trim the nails fortnightly.


Below are the breed-related health conditions of the Pembroke Welsh Corgi:

Bladder Stones: A collection of minerals form in a dog’s bladder resulting in crystallised formations that could lodge in the urethra, preventing urination.
Hip Dysplasia: The hip joint develops poorly which will cause the ball and socket of the hip to rub and grind against each other. This will cause pain, lameness, inflammation and eventually arthritis.
Epilepsy: A common neurological condition causing unprovoked seizures in dogs.
Von Willebrand’s Disease: A blood platelet deficiency prevents the blood from clotting thus causing excessive bleeding.
Intervertebral Disc Disease: Discs separate the bones of the spine. IVDD is the degeneration of one or more of these discs. It’s an age-related condition that typically affects achondroplastic breeds such as the Pembroke Welsh Corgi.
Lens Luxation: An inherited condition mostly seen in Terrier breeds. The zonular fibres holding the lens in place are weakened causing the lens to wobble or fall out of place. It’s painful and could cause permanent blindness.
Cataracts: An opacity (cloudiness) in the lens of the eye. If large enough, it will block light from reaching the retina, leading to blindness.

Pembroke Welsh Corgi Training

Welsh Corgis are eager to please, an excellent trait that helps ease training. First-time owners are suitable for this breed. At 8 weeks a Welsh Corgi puppy can begin learning basic commands. Socialisation is another important part of training that should start at this age. Introduce Welsh Corgi puppies frequently to new people, places, and dogs.

Harsh training techniques won’t work on this canine! Patience, consistency and positive reinforcement methods are better suited to this breed. Pembroke Welsh Corgis are highly independent so it’s easy for them to break away from their training and display bad behaviours. Ensure they are never allowed to break the rules!

Corgis are relatively easy to housebreak. Dogs, in general, don’t like to potty in their sleeping areas. This natural instinct eases housebreaking although some breeds are more difficult than others. It’s best to set up a routine across the day with regular toilet intervals so a Corgi learns to follow this.

This breed is listed by the Kennel Club under the pastoral group. Their herding background can cause Welsh Corgi puppies to become excessively mouthy. Stop a Corgi from nipping at the heels, chewing and herding by disciplining and redirecting these behaviours.

Its important Corgis are taught respect training first. This should then be followed up with obedience training. Corgis must acknowledge their owner’s leadership position. If this breed is allowed to run rings around its owner, its behaviour will quickly spiral out of control.

pembroke welsh corgi

Pembroke Welsh Corgi Interesting Facts

  • The Pembroke Welsh Corgi is younger than the Caridgan Welsh Corgi which is around 2,000 years older making it one of Britain’s oldest breeds! Both have never collected the Best in Show title at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show.
  • When translated the name Corgi means dwarf dog. In Welsh Cor stands for dwarf and gi for dog.
  • The Queen’s Corgi and Netflix series the Crown is believed to be responsible for the 25% increase of Pembroke Welsh Corgi and Caridgan Welsh Corgi puppy registrations.
  • Marcel, the Corgi from Greenwich, London boasts 140k followers on instagram and is growing in fame. He was once featured in a photo shoot with Helena Bonham-Carter. Even Queen Elizabeth II is a fan! Marcel is increasing in popularity and has even been stalked back to his own front door!
  • Across the world Corgi Cafes are quickly becoming a firm favourite! These dog themed cafes even have Corgi puppies customers can pet and meet!
  • Cinnamon, the Pembroke Welsh Corgi from Chicago hilariously tries to stop her owner from sneezing! The video quickly went viral with other Corgi owners stating theirs does the same thing!

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Support Dogs: Raife’s Story

assistance dog

Support Dogs is a UK based charity who train and provide specialist assistance dogs to those with autism, epilepsy, or physical disabilities. Since 1992, Support Dogs have helped both people and dogs! 1 in 4 of their assistance dogs were unwanted or rescued dogs! Below is Raife’s Story!

Check out Support Dogs on their website and Facebook!

Raife: Support Dog of the Month!

Raife the clever fox-red Labrador already has a raft of domestic skills that make him the perfect canine companion. The two-year-old Lab has learnt how to load and unload the washing machine, open doors and pick up dropped items.

Raife was being trained by Sheffield-based charity Support Dogs as a disability assistance dog to provide vital practical support inside and outside the home for a client with a disability or medical condition. But because of the dog’s lively personality and high energy levels, the training team at Support Dogs decided to switch Raife to its autism assistance programme.

Now Raife is being taught all the skills he will need to spend his working life helping a child with autism to be safe, secure, and independent. Although assistance dogs need to have different characteristics for each training programme – autism, epilepsy seizure alert and disability – they all need to be confident and adaptable, dog-friendly, people-orientated with no major fears or phobias.

Raife arrived at the Brightside-based charity as one of a litter of four and spent most of his puppyhood being looked after by a local volunteer puppy socialiser. Support Dogs is committed to high standards of dog welfare, with trainee dogs never spending a night in kennels, but instead living with local foster carers.

Raife is now with a foster carer family in Sheffield with a child, to help him get used to living in a household with children. “The original plan for him was to be a disability assistance dog but we felt because Raife is so active the autism programme would be more suitable,” says Support Dogs trainer Jemima McLanaghan.

support dog
Raife, support dog of the month!

“Autism assistance dogs have to be quite confident and have to be quite adaptable. When Raife first came into training he was quite under-confident, but he has progressed so much and now is very confident. I’ve started taking him to play areas where there are lots of children and he’s been great. “He is very lively, always wagging his tail and his entire bum! He has all the energy in the world. “

Having learnt all the domestic duties expected of a disability assistance dog, Raife is now learning lots of new tasks that will help him transform the life of a child with autism – such as how to ‘brace’ when a child, attached to him by a harness, tries to run off, and prevent them getting into danger.

Autism assistance dogs are trained to keep a child safe using a wide range of methods, reducing the risk of injury or distress for the child and reducing stress and anxiety for the child’s family. “He’s sailing through his training, he just needs to relax and chill out a bit now!” adds Jemima.

“He will be introduced to the child he will be working with in September and will start training with the child and parents at their home in January. We expect great things of Raife!”

Support Dogs is a national charity based in Brightside, Sheffield. They train assistance dogs for children with autism and adults with epilepsy and physical disabilities. The dogs enable people to lead safer, more independent lives.

• Do you have a much-loved pet dog under the age of three that you can no longer look after who you would like to donate to Support Dogs to give it a second chance in life? If so, please get in touch via
• For more information about Support Dogs go to

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Rescued to Rescuer: Max the Wonder Dog!

Assisi Animal Sanctuary, in Northern Ireland, rescues and rehomes more than 2,000 animals every year. Below is their story of Max, a rescue dog turned rescuer! You can find Assisi Animal Sanctuary on their website or Facebook!

In December 2016, a beautiful young 3-year-old black Labrador was handed into the Sanctuary. His owner could no longer care for him due to significant health issues. After just a few weeks with us, Max found his new home and was adopted by Ryan.

Ryan, a full-time maritime officer with the Coastguard, had identified a real need for trained air scenting dogs to help coastguard teams on the ground.  Not long after adopting Max, Ryan saw real potential in Max and subsequently began to train him in live air scenting. 

This training can take anything from a year to a year and a half but after a year Ryan felt Max was fully trained and qualified to start work searching for missing and vulnerable people with the Coastguard teams.

In October 2018, Ryan got a call in the middle of the night from a family whose fear and worry was growing as their loved one had been missing for over 40 hours. They had heard of Max and the work he had been trained to do and were desperate for help in trying to find their loved one. 

Max on duty!

Before Max had fully graduated to become an official search dog, Ryan took Max to search the area where the family had last seen their loved one. Max got to work sniffing and searching and doing what he had been trained to do. 

After just 8 minutes into the search, Max bolted up a lane of an old house where there was an abandoned car sitting. He began scratching and pawing at the boot. Ryan investigated this further and managed to open the boot to find the missing woman inside and in need of immediate medical attention. 

Following treatment from medical staff, Ryan was told that had the woman not been found and remained there any longer in the freezing temperatures, she would not have survived.

In 2019, Max and K9 Search and Rescue were tasked by the Coastguard in a search for a missing teenager alongside coastguard teams. Max got to work and very quickly picked up a scent in a specific area which led to the team along with some divers searching the area. 

The team and divers subsequently recovered the body of the missing teenager. Although this is an incredibly tragic and sad outcome, it highlights the importance of the work that search dogs like Max do. In this case, search teams were able to focus their resources on the area Max had identified and in turn, were able to find and return the loved one back to the family as quickly as possible. 

Now a fully qualified search dog, Max, has and continues to be involved in countless searches all over Northern Ireland and is responsible for finding and returning people back to their loved ones. Albeit, sadly, not every case has a happy ending.  

He has gone from strength to strength, so much so that Max is now also trained to search coastal, urban and rural areas as well as collapsed buildings for disaster response throughout Northern Ireland. He also participates in multiple training exercises throughout the year, showing other teams what his capabilities are. 

One example of this is Max being used in helicopter rescues and being able to be winched in and out of them to access difficult areas in certain rescue situations.

Ryan has now recruited an entire team bringing on 5 other dog handlers, our very own Dylan being one of them! As well as supporting search technicians also trained in water rescue. Included in the team are 4 other new search dogs, all in training, one of which was also a rescue dog, this time from Dogs Trust and learning from the best – Max!

Max is a fantastic example of what can become of a rescue dog and proof that not every dog is affected for life from their past experiences. With the right training, care, support and attention most rescue dogs can become and overcome anything!

Check out the Assisi Animal Sanctuary:

Facebook: Assisi Animal Sanctuary | Facebook
Website: Assisi Animal Sanctuary – Help for the helpless (
Twitter: Twitter
Linkedin: LinkedIn

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Chinese Shar-Pei

The Chinese Shar Pei dog is one of the worlds most renowned dog breeds. Check out the guide below as we delve into the background of this unique and interesting canine. 

Chinese Shar-Pei Breed Standards:
Kennel Club Member?:
Chinese Shar-Pei Lifespan: 8-12 years
Chinese Shar-Pei Exercise: Up to 1 hour per day
Height: 18-20 inches
Weight: 20-27 kilograms
Hypoallergenic: No

The Shar Pei is a Chinese dog breed widely recognised for its wrinkles. However, despite their looks, many are surprised to know the Shar Pei is closely related to the Spitz family. They share the same genetic group as the Chow Chow, Shiba Inu, and the Akita.  

In Hong Kong the traditional, less wrinkly Shar Peis more common than the wrinkly version seen in the West. This breed is highly popular in the Western world although breed numbers have decreased in the UK over the last 10 years. In 2011 2,061 Shar Pei puppies were registered with the KC compared to 2020 at 714.

sharpei puppy uk


Check out the pros and cons of the Shar-Pei below:


  • Ideal watchdog, protective of its family
  • Independent can be left alone
  • Minimal shedding
  • Low wanderlust potential
  • Quiet, not an excessive barker
  • Suitable for apartment living


  • Not very dog friendly
  • Attracts a doggy odour
  • Wrinkles need frequent cleaning
  • A brachycephalic breed
  • Tendency to chew, nip, and play bite more than other dogs

The Chinese Shar-Pei is a medium-sized dog that’s renowned for its wrinkly skin. Shar Pei also have blueish black tongues a unique characteristic also seen in the Chow Chow. Folded ears and a dark muzzle are also unique features of the Shar-Pei. Their double-coat is found in all solid colours with the exception of White.

Recommended: Check out these on the go dog water bottles!

Shar Pei Temperament

A Chinese Shar-Pei is protective and devoted to its family members. They’re calm, independent and affectionate dogs but on occasion can be stubborn. This breed isn’t the best choice for first-time owners as a lack of training and socialization will lead to aggressive behaviour.

Shar Pei have a strong prey drive so may chase smaller dogs and animals. As an independent breed, the Shar Pei can tolerate being left alone and isn’t prone to separation anxiety. That being said, no dog can be left alone continuously as this is likely to lead to destructive behaviour.  

Shar-Pei are aloof and reserved around strangers. They prefer to keep their distance but Shar-Pei puppies must be thoroughly socialized with people to prevent territorial behaviour. The breed’s history plays a huge role in their natural suspicions of strangers and dogs today.

Introduce a Shar Pei to a family environment as a puppy. This breed is better suited to older children as they may nip and herd smaller children. It’s ill-advised to rehome an adult Shar Pei with children. This breed can tolerate kids and make loyal family pets. 

A Shar Pei isn’t prized for being sociable! Due to its fighting background, unless well-socialized, the Shar Pei isn’t too dog friendly. They’re not the sort to walk into the dog park on the lookout for playmates! Cats and dogs living in the same home as a Shar Pei should be raised together from puppyhood.  


The Shar-Pei originates from China with a history spanning over 2,000 years during the reign of the Han Dynasty. The breed was commonly owned by the working class as opposed to nobility. They’re versatile and were used for a range of jobs including hunting, herding, and guarding livestock.

At one time in the Shar Pei history, they were used as fighting dogs. The English even referred to them as the Chinese Fighting Dog. Their loose skin offered a form of protection against bites but the introduction of larger breeds saw them fall out of popularity in the fighting ring.

In 1949 the People’s Republic of China was formed and the Communist regime began slaughtering most of their purebred dog population. Back then and even today dog meat is still being consumed! This almost led to the extinction of the Shar-Pei. Thankfully a few specimens of the breed were saved in Taiwan and Hong Kong.

The Guinness Book of World Records listed the Chinese Shar-Pei as the world’s rarest breed in 1978. At that time there were approximately 60 Shar Peis left in the world! After a magazine feature, interest in the Shar-Pei skyrocketed across America.

This led to cross-breeding with the Bulldog, Bull Terrier and Pug being introduced into the bloodlines. Thus establishing the creation of the Meat-Mouth Shar-Pei. The traditional breed before crossing is referred to as the Bone-Mouth Shar-pei but less than 100 of this variety remain today.

Much to the dismay of breeders, some Shar-Pei enthusiasts have set out to create the Miniature Shar-Pei. Their small size is caused by a recessive gene however this variety is uncommon to come across. Blue Shar Pei or Grey Shar Pei have become one of the more popular coat colours for this breed.

Exercise & Grooming

A Shar Pei should receive up to one hour of exercise per day. These intelligent canines need lots of mental stimulation to prevent boredom! Whilst this breed does have a low wanderlust potential they should still be kept on leads due to their temperamental nature with other dogs.

This breed can live in an apartment provided their activity needs are being met. They’re adaptable dogs but enjoy active lifestyles. Dog sports are a good way to keep this breed physically and mentally fit. The Shar Pei excels in categories such as rally, obedience, agility and tracking. 

Clean the wrinkles daily with a damp cloth followed by a dry one. Bacteria and dirt can build within the wrinkles resulting in infections and skin irritation. Shar Pei ears are also susceptible to chronic ear infections and must be cleaned weekly.   

Use a rubber or bristle brush to groom through the fur two to three times a week. The Shar-Pei is low shedding but will blow their coat during the spring and autumn season. It’s typically easy to maintain. To prevent overgrown nails trim them fortnightly. 

The Shar Pei bear coat acts as a natural barrier, repelling dirt from its body. However, this breed should still receive a bath every 4 weeks. Ensure the shampoo is thoroughly washed off from under the wrinkles. Prevent dental disease by cleaning the teeth daily. 

Recommended: What is a Labradoodle? 


Find out the breed-related health conditions of the Shar Pei dog below:

Familial Shar Pei Fever: A hereditary condition causing fever, pain and swelling of the tibiotarsal (hock) joints. This auto-inflammatory disease only occurs in Shar-Pei and is estimated to affect 23% of the breed’s population.  
Brachycephalic Obstructive Airway Syndrome: As a Brachycephalic breed the Shar Pei dog may suffer from breathing issues.  
Skin Problems: The wrinkles of the Shar-Pei are prone to inflammation and infection. Atopy, an itchy skin condition caused by allergies is also seen in this breed. 
Entropion: The eyelid rolls inwards resulting in the lashes scratching the surface of the eye. This will cause ulcers, irritation, possible pigmentation development, and excessive tearing. 
Glaucoma: An abnormal cloudiness appears in the eye after a change of lens. If the opacity is big enough to affect vision it will stop light from reaching the retina, eventually causing blindness. 
Amyloidosis: A condition causing the dog to abnormally deposit protein in the body, typically the liver or kidneys which could result in kidney failure.  
Vitamin B12 Deficiency: Cobalamin Deficiency is seen more often in the Shar Pei than other breeds and it’s suspected to be hereditary. 

Shar-Pei Training

Aggression isn’t uncommon amongst the Shar-Pei breed. It’s typically down to a lack of socialization and training. As an ex hunting and fighting breed, the Shar-Pei is naturally ready to defend its family. It’s important a Shar Pei puppy experiences a variety of new places, sounds, sights, people, and dogs.

Never let the Shar-Pei break the household boundaries. This alpha dog will quickly try to take the top spot. First and foremost, it’s important to build a bond with a Shar-Pei puppy. Once this is established obedience training should begin right away. Within the first week of their arrival.  

Owners must be consistent and patient if they want to get anywhere with training. Positive reinforcement is always best. Use food rewards and toys as a form of praise. Instantly reward good behaviour just as quick as correcting bad. Keep training sessions to a maximum of 10 minutes and avoid repetition as this will bore the Shar Pei!   

Group puppy classes are a fantastic way to socialize a dog whilst learning new commands. These dogs are smart so once they’ve grasped the basics, move on to some advanced training. Teach them new tricks even if it’s just for fun. It’s a good way to keep the Shar Pei occupied.  

shar pei beach

Shar Pei Interesting Facts

  • In 1979 Life Magazine featured the Shar-Pei on their front cover! It included an earlier appeal by Hong Kong Shar Pei dog breeder Matgo Law to save the breed. After this publication, Shar Pei puppy sales increased dramatically!
  • The unique black-blue tongue sported by the Chinese Shar-Pei is also seen in the Chow Chow. Lavender is another tongue colour seen in this breed. Their unique tongues were historically thought to ward off evil spirits. 
  • The rough coat of the Shar Pei was another tool used in dog fighting due to its uncomfortability in the mouth. The name Shar Pei actually translates to sand-skin. 
  • Violet, the Shar Pei is a rescue dog from Yorkshire saved by Wrinkles Rescue Centre at the age of 6 weeks. Despite the odds being stacked against her, after seven months of treatment, Violet was now ready to meet her new family. On July 12th 2021 Violet finally got to meet her new owner! 
  • Harvey the Shar Pei is covered in deep wrinkles and resembles a blanket! Owner Teresa Arguimba has to keep the skin folds moisturized every day! Harvey has much thicker wrinkles than any of his siblings! 
  • Shar Peis are highly protective of their owners! In Middlesbrough, owner Ryan Blanchard’s dog attacked 3 police officers after arriving at his address looking for a different person. 
  • Tally the Shar Pei was rescued from Romania in 2021 after being found tied to a tree with both her paws cut off! Luckily, she was found and fostered before coming to the UK where she was to be looked after by Shar Pei Rescue Scotland. They’re hoping to purchase prosthetics for Tally to increase her limited mobility. Shar Pei Rescue Scotland and members of the public helped raise funds to supply Tally with wheels to improve her quality of life.
  • On the 24th March 2021 in Cheltenham Park, England, 3 Shar Pei puppies were discovered in a bucket! The ill dogs were suffering with sarcoptic mange and are being rehabilitated and rehomed by the RSPCA. 

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11 Best Dog Leads by Small UK Businesses

leather dog lead

There are many different types of dog leads out there and some are better suited to your dog than others. Today we’ve found the 11 best dog leads made by small businesses in the United Kingdom. Check them out below!

London Luxury 20: London, England

5 FT Strong Dog Leash with Comfortable Padded Handle and BLACK

A 5ft long dog leash that’s fantastic in quality and highly durable! The rope lead features a padded handle for extra comfort, great for larger dogs that suddenly pull! Some of the threads are reflective, fantastic for a nighttime walk! As the clip turns 360 degrees this lead won’t tangle! An excellent buy at just under £11!

London Luxury’s dog lead is found here!

Mako Pet Supplies; United Kingdom

Rope Slip Lead  Handmade in the UK  Dog Lead Olive Green

This green slip rope dog lead is handmade by Mako Pet Supplies in the South of England! Available in Olive Green, Red and Black, this dog leash is great for teaching puppies and dogs not to pull. Gundogs in particular benefit from these types of leads the most. The stopper prevents the lead from falling off when loosened around your dog’s neck.

Check out Marko Pet Supplies slip rope for dogs here!

Walkie Mountains: Glasgow, Scotland

Waterproof Dog Longline  3/4 20mm Wide  Various image 1

Walkie Mountains have this amazing waterproof dog training lead for purchase. Even though it’s vegan leather, the leash is still highly durable. The dog long line is available in a variety of colours and can be personalized to add text onto the handle. If you prefer not to have a handle please inform the seller.

Click here to view this small Scottish business!

Red Wolf Designs UK: Northampton, England

Handmade Recycled rope Dog Lead  New Colours  See pictures Rainbow

Red Wolf Designs is a small business based in Northampton. Their dog rope lead is environmentally friendly as its handmade from recycled rope and other sustainable materials. Red Wolf Designs estimate their leads remove up to 15 plastic bottles of waste from our oceans! The rope dog lead is machine washable and is available in a range of other colours.

Check out the handmade recycled rope lead here!

Pear Tannery: Hereford, England

Pear Tannery Super Soft Rolled Leather Dog Lead image 1

This soft dog lead by Pear Tannery is handmade from the finest European vegetable-tanned leather. The leash is hand-rolled, cut, finished and stitched and it’s designed to last a lifetime! For extra style and strength, brass fittings are used. Select from the 9 available colours and see which leather lead suits your dog best!

You can find Pear Tannery’s dog leads here!

Viscount Trading: Guildford, England

Double Dog Coupler Twin Dog Lead Chain. Dog Leash Splitter. image 1

Own more than one dog? Why not try walking them together with this double coupler twin dog lead. Now you can exercise both your dogs safely from one leash! Available in 3 sizes, this twin dog lead is strong and great for training puppies alongside an older dog!

Take a look at Viscount Trading’s double coupler dog lead here!

Woof Inc UK: Manchester, England

Mermaid Ombre Rope Lead Dog Rope Lead Pink Rope Lead Purple image 1

If you prefer pastel colours then you’ll love these mermaid ombre rope dog leads! Each can hold a poop bag and has been coloured with a natural dye. At 4 feet in length, this colourful rope lead is suitable for small to medium dogs or large dogs that don’t pull.

Take a look at the mermaid rope dog lead here!

Rum & Hide Shop: Harrow, England

Premium robust brown leather dog lead image 1

A brown leather dog lead traditionally handmade in a small London workshop. Rum and Hide shop use real leather that’s both soft and robust. It includes rot-proof nylon threads and reinforced rivets. You can also attach poop bags to the D ring on the handle.

Find the premium leather dog lead here!

Saddlersden: United Kingdom

A Dog lead with chain And bridle leather handle . image 1

A strong dog lead that’s great for large breeds, Saddlersden really have a great product! If your dog likes to chew on his lead, he won’t be able to anymore! The handle is made from leather and is hand-stitched. Outstanding quality and a rare find!

Check out this small business run by Philip here!

Mable & Wilson: Nottingham, England

Dog Lead  Handmade  Floral image 1

If you’re after something a little more floral then you’ll love these handmade dog leads by Mable & Wilson! The lead is 100% cotton reinforced with polypropylene inner webbing for extra durability. It includes a D ring on the handle to attach your poo bags or other accessories. A lovely design for a special dog!

Check out Mable & Wilson’s floral dog leads here!

Mollie Brown Art: United Kingdom

Personalised Retractable Dog Lead with Dogs Names and Paw Black

Mollie runs a small business here in the United Kingdom and produces personalized retractable dog leads. Add your dog’s name to a colour background of your choice and if you don’t like the font you can change that too. The retractable lead is best suited to smaller dog breeds.

You can find Mollie’s small business here!

Recommended: Love these? Then check out these 11 Best Handmade Dog Collars by UK Sellers!

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The Cavapoo is one of Britain’s most popular designer dog breeds. A cross between a Poodle and a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, we’re going to look into the Cavapoos personality, health, training needs and more!

Cavapoo Breed Standards:
Kennel Club Member?: No
Cavapoo Lifespan: 12-15 years
Cavapoo Exercise: Up to 1 hour per day
Height: 9-14 inches
Weight: 5-11 kilograms
Hypoallergenic: Yes

The Cavapoo is a popular hybrid and is a cross between the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and the Poodle. The breed can be crossed with a miniature, standard or toy Poodle resulting in the Cavapoo’s varying sizes. Due to its crossbreed status, the Cavapoo might inherit more features from one parent than the other.

This designer dog also goes by the name Cavoodle or the Cavadoodle. Over the last 20 years, these teddy bear dogs have made long strides to establish their own breed. Yet still, the Cavapoo hasn’t been recognised by the FCI, Kennel Club or American Kennel Club.

cavapoo puppy uk


Check out the pros and cons of the Cavapoo dog breed below:


Hypoallergenic, low shedding coat
Sociable and friendly
Suitable for first-time owners
Adaptable, can live in an apartment
Intelligent and easy to train
Good therapy dog


Prone to separation anxiety
High grooming needs
Not a great watchdog
Vocal, will bark for attention

The Cavapoo is a designer dog featuring long floppy ears and a wavy low shedding coat. A Cavapoo full grown will reach up to 14 inches in height and 11 kilograms in weight unless you own a smaller variety. The breed is found in a wide range of colours that include, tri-colour, bi-colour, Black, White, Apricot, Sable, Chocolate, Tan and Red.

Cavapoo Temperament

The Cavapoo dog breed is a happy go lucky dog. They’re highly friendly and sociable and make great companion dogs. This breed is good-natured, playful, and affectionate and isn’t known for aggression. Their cute appearance is matched to their gentle and sweet temperament.

Cavapoos thrive off their owner’s attention and don’t do well on their own for long periods. These lapdogs are better suited to homes where at least one person stays indoors.

This breed isn’t a natural watchdog or guard dog and won’t be a great defender of the home. They’re friendly to all including strangers. The most they’ll do is bark at the knock of a door. A Cavapoo shouldn’t be timid which is often an indicator of a lack of socialization.

All varieties of Cavapoo size are exceptional family dogs! These playful pooches get along well with children and enjoy the interactive games and extra attention! A miniature and toy Cavapoo is better suited to families with older children as they’re more fragile and prone to injury.

Cavapoos are highly sociable and love making friends at the park! They’ll play nicely with other dogs and can also live happily alongside them too! The Cavapoo is a lover of all animals and can also live with cats and smaller pets. Although it’s recommended they’re raised together from puppyhood.


The Cavapoo is a hybrid crossed between a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and a poodle. Whilst they may have been around America during the 1950s, they weren’t bred under an official aspect until the 1990s by Australian breeders. It didn’t take long for these designer dogs to skyrocket in popularity across the world.

There are a number of different Cavapoo generations developed over the years. The first is the F1 type. This Cavapoo is the oldest generation and is 50% Cavalier King Charles Spaniel & 50% Poodle. An F1B Cavapoo has been bred back to a Poodle making its parent percentage 75% Poodle and 25% Cavalier King Charles Spaniel.

An F2 Cavapoo is bred from two full-grown Cavapoos so their parentage background is still 50%. The same goes for an F3 Cavapoo as both of their parents are F2 Cavapoos. It gets slightly more confusing when the Cavapoo is bred back to one of their parent dogs but reputable breeders will keep thorough track of their bloodlines.

In the UK the Cavapoo isn’t an uncommon breed so it’s best to check any shelters or Cavapoo rescue centres before sourcing a Cavapoo breeder.

Exercise & Grooming

The standard Cavapoo requires up to one hour of exercise per day. A toy and miniature Cavapoo will need slightly less at around 30 minutes per day. All varieties of Cavapoo are suited to apartment living. Sometimes a game of fetch in the garden is enough to wear the mini Cavapoo out!

As a hybrid, a Cavapoo is unable to perform dog sports in any official capacity. However, it is still a good idea to involve them in dog sports for fun. It’s a good form of exercise and mental stimulation. Bored dogs will display destructive behaviours, so it’s important to keep the Cavapoo occupied.

Cavapoo dogs have a hypoallergenic coat so they’re better suited to allergy sufferers. This breed hardly sheds so owners will need to brush through the coat every 2-3 days to remove dead fur. A slicker brush and comb is the most ideal tool to use on their coat.

Every 6-8 weeks the Cavapoo should receive a thorough groom and trim of their fur. This should include a wash and blowdry. Be careful not to over-dry the coat as this is damaging to the fur. Some owners do this from home whilst others use a professional grooming service.

A Cavapoo has long fluffy ears which are susceptible to infection. These should be cleaned weekly to prevent a build-up of debris. Dogs should also have their teeth brushed daily and their nails trimmed fortnightly. Introduce grooming techniques to a Cavapoo puppy as early as possible to prevent fear.


Check out the breed-related health conditions of the Cavapoo below:

Luxating Patellas: The kneecap moves out of position before quickly returning back into place. A dog may run on three legs before quickly returning back to 4.
Hip Dysplasia: The ball and socket of the hip joint don’t fit together correctly due to abnormal growth. This will lead to pain, inflammation, swelling, lameness, and eventually arthritis.
Epilepsy: A common neurological condition causing unprovoked seizures in affected dogs.
Mitral Valve Disease: This disease targets the heart valve tissue causing it to degenerate thus preventing the heart valve from fully closing.
Progressive Retinal Atrophy: A degenerative condition targeting the photoreceptor cells within the eyes. Over time this will lead to blindness.
Glaucoma: A painful condition caused by a build-up of fluid within the eye. Symptoms include redness, rubbing of the eye, a cloudy cornea, and eventual loss of vision.
Entropion: The eyelid rolls inwards causing the lashes to rub against the surface of the eye. This will cause ulcers, pigmentation development, irritation, and watery eyes.

Cavapoo Training

The Cavapoo might be a designer dog but they hold mountains of intelligence and are easy to train. This makes them a suitable breed for first-time owners. As a sensitive companion, the Cavapoo will become upset with harsh training techniques. Use positive methods, patience and a calm yet assertive tone of voice.

Crate training is beneficial to the Cavapoo as their crate becomes their safe space. This dog is prone to separation anxiety so if their owners were to go out for a couple of hours, they could use the crate as a source of comfort. It’s also a tool that can be used to housebreak a dog because they don’t like soiling their own spaces.

Cavapoos are essentially lapdogs but their cute teddy like faces can be a distraction to owners. Some may fall for the cute puppy eyes allowing their dog to push or even break the boundaries. This will lead to bad habits that may include excessive barking, jumping, digging, and hyperactivity.

Naturally, this breed is pretty sociable and will make lots of friends in the dog park. Cavapoo puppies should be thoroughly socialized with people, dogs and environments to nurture them into well-rounded dogs. Group puppy classes are an excellent way to do this.

cavapoo uk

Cavapoo Interesting Facts

  • In October 2021, Maisie the Cavapoo from Wales just couldn’t stand the rain anymore. She decided to protest by laying flat like a starfish refusing to walk out the door! As soon as owner Rachel grabs her raincoat, Maisie turns straight into a starfish!
  • On July 5th 2021 in Ripley Surrey, two Cavapoos Rockie and Marnie were stolen whilst their family were holidaying in Spain. They were notified after their dog sitter phoned the family to let them know they had gone missing. Naturally, the children Henry and Archie Beckett were distraught at losing their forever friends!
  • Tia the Cavapoo, was featured on Channel 4’s Supervet after she was facing being put to sleep. Tia fell down a ditch in Buckingham Green which resulted in her hip being dislodged from its socket. The operation was estimated to be around £8,000 but luckily Tia was referred to Fitzpatrick’s Supervet where they completed a life-saving operation that cost half the price!
  • In the United Kingdom, the Cavapoo is one of the most expensive dog breeds. The Cavapoo price ranges from £1000-£4000.
  • There are a list of different Cavapoo generations. F1 is the oldest being 50% Poodle and 50% Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. The other generations are F1B, F1BB, F2, F2B, and F3.
  • On September 12 2021, Rupert the Cavapoo puppy was mauled whilst walking in Hampstead Heath by an ex-racing Greyhound. Owner James Brillant had to rush his puppy for emergency veterinary care totalling a cost of £1,200.
  • Cavapoos are highly sought after dogs with many increasingly being the victims of dog theft. In Jersey, police opened an invesitgation after a nine week-old Cavapoo puppy was stolen in July 2021. An attempted dog snatching of a five month old Cavapoo puppy was luckily prevented after partially sighted owener Gary Harkins refused. The two men jumped out of the van aggressively but thankfully left without the dog.


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Cesky Terrier

cesky terrier

The Cesky Terrier is the National Dog of the Czech Republic. They’re a cross between the Scottish and Sealyham Terrier. Today the Ceskie is one of the world’s rarest breeds!

Cesky Terrier Breed Standards:
Kennel Club Member?: Yes
Cesky Terrier Lifespan: 12-15 years
Cesky Terrier Exercise: Up to 1 hour per day
Height: 10-13 inches
Weight: 6-11 kilograms
Hypoallergenic: Yes

The Cesky Terrier is an achondroplastic breed as he is longer than he is tall. Dog breeds that have dwarfism must wait until their growth plates are fully formed before jumping or climbing stairs. Over exercise is incredibly damaging to their joints. Other achondroplastic breeds include the Skye Terrier, the Swedish Vallhund, and the Glen of Imaal Terrier.

This breed is rare so potential owners will need to join a waiting list to register their interests in a puppy. It’ll be very hard to find a Cesky Terrier rescue centre in the UK. In 2020 there were 38 Cesky Terrier puppies registered with the Kennel Club. The second-highest total in a decade behind 2019 at 43.

cesky terrier UK


Below are the pros and cons of the Cesky Terrier dog breed below:


  • Hypoallergenic and a low shedding coat
  • More sociable than other Terriers
  • Family-friendly pet
  • Suitable watchdog
  • Low drooling
  • Adaptable, can live in an apartment


  • Rare breed, must join a waiting list
  • Prone to weight gain
  • Strong prey drive
  • Easily bored and holds a stubborn streak

The Cesky Terrier is a small-medium dog breed with a robust and muscular body. It’s short-legged with drop ears and a long soft coat. Hand stripping isn’t required for this coat, unlike other Terrier breeds. Their coat colours are found in Grey Blue, and Light Coffee Brown.

Cesky Terrier Temperament

The Cesky Terrier is a friendly canine that’s calmer than its other Terrier cousins. This breed isn’t known to show aggressive or nervous behaviour unless unsocialized. Quiet in the home and cheerful around the family, this dog makes a great companion!

Loving and deeply loyal, Cesky Terriers can’t be left alone regularly as they’re prone to separation anxiety. This breed is better suited to homes where at least one person is in during the day. Although lively, Cesky Terriers don’t require heavy amounts of exercise.

Contained within this small dog is a loud and powerful bark. As a natural watchdog, this breed will immediately alert its owner to a knock on the door or a trespasser. Cesky Terriers are typically reserved with strangers but never aggressive.

Ceskies are more fragile than other breeds as they’re achondroplastic. Homes with older children are better suited for a Ceskie. They’re lively characters and enjoy playing interactive games. The Cesky Terrier will be a great playmate and affectionate companion.

Well-socialized Cesky Terriers will get along well with other dogs. They aren’t known to court fights quite as much as others in the Terrier family! This breed can live happily in a home with other canines and even cats! Smaller household pets like rodents will be chased!


The Cesky Terrier originates from the Czech Republic and was created by breeder František Horák in 1948. Cesky Terriers are a cross between Sealyham and Scottish Terriers. They were developed for hunting in the forests of the Bohemia region found in the Czech Republic (previously Czechoslovakia). The Bohemian Terrier is another name they go by.

Horak started a breeding programme to produce a Terrier that could go to ground but could also work in packs. A dog with a temperament more obedient and gentle than other Terriers. He set up hunting kennels and had some of the best Scottie and Sealy Terriers in the country.

His kennel Lovu Zdar means Successful Hunter. Horak documented all of his dog’s bloodlines making the Cesky Terrier one of the most documented dog breeds alive. He developed the coat to be silky so it’s easier to look after and managed to reduce the aggression seen in Scottie and Sealy Terriers.

In 1949 Horak produced the first Cesky litter but only one puppy survived into adulthood. Unfortunately, this dog was accidentally shot by a hunter which caused a setback to the breeding programme. Nevertheless, Horak was still determined to progress the Cesky Terrier, the first National Czech breed. In 1963 the Ceskie received FCI recognition.

The first Cesky Terrier arrived in England in 1989from Lovu Zdar Kennels by Liz and Harold Gay. The couple were popular Glen of Imaal Terrier breeders. They were quickly recognised by the Kennel Club in 1990 but were handed a rare breed status by 2000. To this day the Cesky Terrier is still one of the world’s rarest dogs. Cesky Terriers arrived in America during the 1980s but weren’t recognised by the AKC until 2011.

Exercise & Grooming

Do not overexercise a Cesky Terrier puppy. Their growth plates will close at around 9-12 months. Around 10-15 minutes of exercise is suitable for Cesky Terrier puppies aged 4-6 months old. This breed is suitable for apartment living.

Ceskies will feel bored due to a lack of mental stimulation. Dog sports are a good way to keep them stimulated and exercised. This breed is a great competitor in agility, obedience, and earthdog trials. As this breed is prone to weight gain it’s important to keep them fit and healthy.

A Cesky Terrier should be brushed a couple of times a week to keep its coat tangle-free. Their coat texture is soft and silky. The leg and facial hair need daily brushing. Keep an eye on the underarms as this area is prone to matting. The coat will require occasional trimming as opposed to hand-stripping. Use a soft bristle brush, pin brush, and comb for their fur type.

Clean the ears weekly to remove dirt and debris from the ear canal. Introduce grooming techniques such as nail trimming during puppyhood. Nails should be clipped at least once each month. Vets recommend brushing a dog’s teeth daily to prevent dental disease.

Before putting the Cesky Terrier in the bath give the coat a thorough brush. This will prevent the fur from matting when wet. These canines don’t shed their fur naturally so debris often stays in the coat. Baths should be given around every 8 weeks or sooner if they’re very dirty.

Recommended: What exactly is a Xoloitzcuintli?


Below are the breed-related health conditions of the Cesky Terrier:

Patella Luxation: The term luxating means out of place and the patella is a dog’s kneecap. Dogs can lead normal lives with this condition as the kneecap will go back into position as quickly as it fell out.
Scottie Cramp: A neurological condition that typically occurs after exercise or stress. Affected dogs will lose control over their limbs for approximately 10 minutes.
Primary Lens Luxation: (Hasn’t been detected in Cesky Terriers in the UK) The zonular fibres holding the eye in place disintegrate resulting in the eye falling out of position.
Cancer: Cesky Terriers can suffer from cancers such as lymphosarcoma.

Cesky Terrier Training

Respect training comes first for any Terrier! They must acknowledge the pack pecking order in their household. Cesky Terriers are calmer and less aggressive than other Terrier breeds, which makes them easier to train. First-time owners can be good for this dog.

Positive training methods work best for the Ceskie. Reward every good behaviour and reinforce household boundaries if they are broken. Avoid dishing out too many food treats as Cesky Terriers are prone to weight gain. Use toys, affection and praise.

A well-socialized Cesky Terrier will get along well with other dogs so they must be socialized during puppyhood! Join a group puppy class where the Ceskie can meet new canines and people all while learning new commands! Take them to new places where they can experience different sights and sounds.

Small Dog Syndrome is a behavioural condition primarily caused by fear. Dogs may lunge at other larger dogs, bark, and display dominant behaviour to humans. A lack of socialization and training will cause a small breed to develop this syndrome. Due to their size, this could land them in a lot of trouble!

Keep training sessions enjoyable to avoid boredom. Ceskies are independent and do have a stubborn streak so it’s important to be patient. If they’re showing disinterest move on to something new. Ceskies are intelligent canines and can even be trained into therapy dogs.

cesky terrier

Cesky Terrier Interesting Facts

  • Did you know Cesky Terriers are born all black! It takes a couple of years for their coats to lighten into its permanent coat colour!
  • In Retford, Nottinghamshire Joss, a Cesky Terrier was stolen from a kennel during the day. Owners Harold and Liz Gay have been desperate to find the 11 month old dog. Harold & Liz weer the first people to introduce the Cesky Terrier into the United Kingdom back in 1989!
  • Loren Marino, owner of Hector the Cesky Terrier competed with her dog at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show for the last time after she was diagnosed with terminal cancer. Hector previosly won Best in Breed in 2015 and received a merit the year before! She has been instrumental in the breeds success in America.

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Saving Yorkshire’s Dogs: Holly & Jake’s Story

Saving Yorkshire’s Rescue Dogs help rehabilitate and rehome dogs that others just won’t take. These lovely people are working hard to make sure the vulnerable dogs of Yorkshire have a place to go. This is their story!

Check out their website and Facebook to meet the dogs and keep up with the work they do!

We are SYD Saving Yorkshire’s Dogs an independent rescue based in North Yorkshire. We take in the “at-risk” dogs and dogs other rescues won’t take in. Below are two of our rescues we are glad to say had a happy ending

Jake, the Westie

Jake after his arrival
Jake after receiving treatment

We helped out North Yorkshire County Council by taking in a dog in an emergency situation as the owner was taken to hospital. Jake was a Westie who arrived looking like a sausage – no fur at all on his body. After a vet check medication was started to help his skin recover.

Over the next few weeks he improved as did his owner and for a short period returned home., Sadly that was for 3 days and then the dog was put in foster with us for a few weeks until sadly his Dad passed away.

He was adopted by his fosterers and lived a great life ruling the roost and you could never have guessed the state he had been in.

Holly, the St Bernard

We were contacted by a local vet practice as to whether we would take in a 4yr old St Bernard that had been turned away from one of the larger national rescues. Why you may ask? , well her owners were in a sad situation as the gentleman was terminally ill and the wife knew she wouldn’t be able to cope with Holly as she was a big dog.

Holly was also epileptic but stable on the medication. The rescue had told them that they should have the dog put to sleep which they were horrified at so talked to their own vets who contacted us. 

Holly in a cap!

We immediately said yes and Holly joined us and stayed with us for the 3 weeks it took to do all the vet checks we complete on all dogs and to find her a perfect home. That home was “down south” and they had had an epileptic dog in the past and she joined her new Bernese brothers.

We offered the new owners help with medical costs but to quote them “you don’t have big dogs without expecting big vet bills “.

Holly then had a full life until earlier this year when she passed away 7 years after being adopted.

Follow Saving Yorkshire’s Rescue Dogs:

Website: Saving Yorkshire’s Dogs (
Facebook: SYD – Saving Yorkshire’s Dogs | Facebook

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Finnish Spitz

The National Dog of Finland is a prized hunting dog with a fox-like appearance! Let’s take a look into this breed’s health, personality, history, health needs and more!

Finnish Spitz Breed Standard:
Kennel Club Member?: Yes
Finnish Spitz Life Expectancy: 13-15 years
Finnish Spitz Exercise: Up to 1 hour per day
Height: Male 17.5-20 inches Female 15.5-18 inches
Weight: Male 11-15 kilograms Female 9-13 kilograms
Hypoallergenic: No

A Nordic breed hailing from the Land of the Thousand Lakes, the Finnish Spitz is prized for its hunting abilities. Popular in its native land this canine is well suited to family life although their barking is a little bit of a downfall! The Finnish Spitz somewhat resembles a fox with its golden red coats and pointy ears.

The Finnish Spitz is often confused with the Japanese Shiba Inu due to their similar looks. Both are Spitz-type breeds but the Shiba Inu is smaller, has a shorter coat, and rounded ears. The Japanese Shiba Inu is the more popular choice in the United Kingdom.

Finnish Spitz


Check out the pros and cons of the Finnish Spitz below:


  • Family-friendly pet
  • Ideal watchdog
  • Low drooling
  • Can be good for first time owners


  • Prone to separation anziety
  • High wanderlust potential
  • Vocal, will bark… a lot!
  • Not an apartment friendly breed

The Finnish Hunting dog is a Spitz breed featuring pointy ears, a thick double coat, and a curly tail. Its breed standard has been revised 6 times! Finnish Spitz can grow dewclaws on their back paws so it’s recommended these are removed. Their coat colours are found in Gold, Red, and Golden Red.

Recommended: What is the history of the Glen of Imaal Terrier?

Finnish Spitz Temperament

The Finnish Spitz is a happy, intelligent, vocal, playful and independent canine. The breed is highly affectionate and deeply loyal, building strong bonds with its owner/s. A Finnish Spitz is vocal and will bark when they deem necessary. It should come as no surprise as in Finland this dog is heavily praised for its barking..

Determined first-time owners are suitable for this breed. On occasion, they can be strong-willed yet despite this the Finnish Spitz is a sensitive dog and will develop separation anxiety if left alone regularly. The Nordic breed is spirited, friendly and a great companion.

Alert and a natural watchdog, the Finnish Spitz will immediately inform their owners of trespassers. At first, they’ll react cautiously to strangers. This should never result in aggression unless a dog is unsocialized. After holding themselves back so they can assess the situation, they should settle down around visitors and may even show their friendly side.

Finnish Spitz are excellent with children and make great playmates. They’re lively and active which is a great combination for children. Their size is also ideal and less likely to cause accidental injuries. Loving and loyal this canine will be a child’s forever friend.

In the past, the Finnish Spitz would work in packs. So they’re sociable and friendly with other dogs and can live happily alongside them. Due to their strong prey drive, they may view smaller household pets as prey. Felines should be raised with this breed from puppyhood.


The Finnish Spitz originates from Finland where it’s known in its native land as Suomenpystykorva. It’s believed the breed came to Finland after migrating from central Russia over 3000 years ago. They were vital to their human companions sourcing food with their excellent hunting abilities.

Their typical prey included small game squirrels and grouse although they were known to assist in hunting and tracking Elk, Moose and Bear. Over time, this breed adapted to hunting birds. Once they’ve spotted their prey, the Finnish Spitz will slowly wag their tails whilst simultaneously barking.

By moving their tails, hunters are able to find their dogs in the thick forest. Finnish Spitz also adapted to flushing and trailing gamebirds. During the late 1800s transportation improved across the world. This led to an influx of cross-breeding amongst the Finnish Spitz which almost led to its extinction.

Thankfully, two men from Helsinki, Hugo Sanderburg and Hugo Roos helped revive the breed from its near demise. By the beginning of the 1900s, the Finnish Kennel Club officially recognized the Finnish Spitz. They’ve been known as the National Dog of Finland since 1979.

In the 1920s the first Finnish Spitz arrived in England imported by Lady Kitty Ritson. She nicknamed the breed Finkie a term still used today. It wasn’t until 1959 when the first of the breed arrived in America from England. The breed is still relatively rare in the UK with only 5 Finnish Spitz puppies being registered with the Kennel Club in 2020.

Exercise & Grooming

A Finnish Spitz should receive up to one hour of exercise per day. Some of this must include vigorous play once they reach 3 years old. They enjoy interactive games with their families such as fetch and frisbee. It’s important not to over-exercise a Finnish Spitz puppy. Well-socialized dogs will enjoy playing with other canines at the park.

This breed is a great competitor in dog sports and does well in agility, lure coursing, and obedience. It’s also a good form of mental stimulation for this highly intelligent dog. Finnish Spitz have low boredom thresholds and will resort to destructive behaviour if their needs aren’t being met.

As hunting dogs, these canines will chase after prey. They also have a high wanderlust potential so may walk off on an exploration. Always keep them leashed unless in an enclosed space. Garden fences should also be secure. The Finnish Spitz isn’t suited to apartments.

To keep the coat in good condition brush it through weekly. It should never be trimmed. As a double-coated breed, the Finnish Spitz dog will shed moderately throughout the year. Shedding will increase in the autumn and spring. A pin brush, slicker brush and comb are ideal tools to use on their coat. Lightly spray the coat with water before brushing.

The Finnish Spitz is typically a clean dog and won’t require frequent bathing. Pop them in the bath once they begin to get dirty or smell. Brush through the coat before getting it wet. Give the nails a trim every fortnight. Clean the ears weekly to remove any debris. For good dental hygiene brush the teeth daily.


The Finnish Spitz is generally a healthy dog but there are a few breed-related health conditions to be aware of:

Luxating Patellas: The kneecap moves out of position temporarily before moving back into place just as quick. Affected canines will run on three legs before returning to four.
Hip Dysplasia: Due to the abnormal growth of the hip joint, the ball and socket of the hip won’t fit together correctly. This will cause symptoms of lameness, pain, inflammation and eventually arthritis.
Elbow Dysplasia: The elbow joint grows abnormally resulting in pain, inflammation, swelling and eventual arthritis.
Epilepsy: A common neurological condition causing unprovoked seizures in affected dogs.

Finnish Spitz Training

The Finnish Spitz can be a handful to train but determined first-time owners will prevail! This breed is sensitive and will withdraw from harsh training techniques. Use positive methods, rewarding every good behaviour. Whilst the Finnish Spitz is strong-willed they’re also intelligent and will pick up on commands quickly.

Finnish Spitz puppies have low boredom thresholds so make training fun! Keep the sessions short to around ten minutes and if they begin to show disinterest, divert their attention to something new. Remember, these dogs will pick up good commands just as quickly as bad habits!

Respect training is most important. Once authority has been established obedience will begin to follow. Training must begin as soon as the Finnish Spitz puppy arrives in its new home. They must be taught boundaries they aren’t allowed to break. Get them into a routine that includes regular toilet breaks.

Socialization is important to grow the Finnish Spitz into a well-rounded dog. Group puppy classes are a good way to meet new people and dogs whilst learning new commands. It’s important to introduce a puppy to a variety of sights, sounds, and places to prevent fear or anxiety.

Recommended: Check out the story of Staffy & Stray Rescue here!

finnish spitz uk

Finnish Spitz Interesting Facts

  • Kiko, a Finnish Spitz from New Zealand can twist her head back an entire 180 degrees! Owner Ashleigh MacPherson will say the command ‘Demon’ and Kiko will bend her neck backwards! When called by her owner as a puppy Kiko would bend her neck as opposed to twisting it. Now, its turned into a unique trick!
  • According to a recent DNA analysis of the Finnish Spitz, one of their ancestors has been identified as the Taimyr Wolf although not as strongly as found in the Siberian Husky. The now extinct Taimyr Wolf’s genome is the most recent ancestor of grey wolves and domesticated dogs.
  • In Finland a barking competition is held annually! The highest amount of barks recorded in a minute by this breed is 160! After proving their barking skills on the hunting field, one lucky dog will be crowned King Barker!
  • This canine has a number of names which include Finkie, Finsk Spets, Finnish Barking Bird Dogs and Suomenpystykorva in Finnish. Their Finnish name translates to Finnish Prick Eared dog.
  • Whilst there are no black Finnish Spitz, during puppyhood their coats are much darker. This will begin to fade completely after two years.

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7 Dog Mug Gift Ideas by Small UK Businesses

A cup of coffee or tea feels so much better in a mug you love! Whether you’re after the perfect gift idea or simply a dog mug for yourself. Our list has found some of the most beautiful dog mugs supplied by local British sellers.

Original Arts Find: United Kingdom

Dog Parents  Dogs are my favorite people  Personalized Mug image 1

A beautiful Autumn mug with a cosy vibe perfect for any dog lover. The personalized dog coffee mug can include up to 4 dog breeds of your choice. The girl on the front can also be changed to better represent you or the person receiving this gift! Original Arts Find handmade these mugs amongst their small team in England.

You can find the Autumn dog mug here!

Yorkshire Print House: Sheffield, England

This Human Belongs To Dog Photo Mug Dog Parent Mug Dog Mum image 1

Simple yet sweet, this personalized mug gets right to the point! Add your dog’s name, send in their picture it’ll then be placed on a high gloss finished ceramic mug that’s dishwasher safe. This mug by Yorkshire Print House will make a perfect gift for any dog parent! Based in Sheffield, this business lovingly handmakes all their mugs!

Check out the Yorkshire Print House dog mug here!

Oh She Makes It: Stafford, England

Personalised pet mug  Personalised dog mug  Personalised cat image 1

How adorable is this personalized dog mug! Send in a picture of the dog you’d like to be featured. It’ll then be heat pressed onto both sides of the mug with the surrounding decorations. A lovely colourful display that’ll make a fantastic gift even if it’s just for yourself! Oh She Makes it is a small business run by Meg from her hometown of Stafford!

The personalized mug gift is found here!

Splatterworks: Louth, England

Splatter Sausage Dog Bone China Mug  Watercolour Design  image 1

How cute is this sausage dog mug! The fine bone china is a balmoral style featuring a beautiful Dachshund watercolour illustration. It’s both dishwasher and microwave safe. A thoughtful gift for any sausage dog lover that instantly brightens up the mug space!

You can check out the sausage dog mug here!

Illustrations by Abi: Epsom, England

Dog mug mug for dog lover bone china mug dog illustration image 1

Illustrations by Abi is a local business in Epsom. This fine bone china mug is hand-designed by Abi herself at her studio in her Edwardian home located at the bottom of the Surrey Hills! The illustrations feature some of Britain’s favourite dog breeds and is perfect for any dog lover!

Check out the china dog mug here!

Eeksiepeeksie: Arbroath, Scotland

Boxed Personalised China Dog Mug image 1

Eeksie Peeksie produces these beautiful fine china dog mugs from their base in Scotland. A fantastic small business who decorate their mugs by hand! Personalize a short message up to 50 characters long on the inside of the rim. It’s a perfect gift for any occasion.

Check out Eeksie Peeksie’s china mug here!

Magic Photo Gifts by Jo: Warden, England

Personalised Best Friends Dog Mugs Girl and her Pet dog mug image 1

A dog truly is your best friend! Whether you’re buying this for a friend or someone special, this Best Friends personalized dog mug is so heart-warming! Pick a dog breed and personalize the lady on the front. If you want different wording, check out what else is available! This lovely little business is run by Joanne Strange in Warden.

You can find the Magic Gifts by Jo mug here!

Lacervali Designs: Warrington, England

Personalised Dog Mug  Dog Mum & Dog Dad image 1

This mug is a perfect gift for any dog parent and can be personalized to the finest of details! Whether you’re a dog mum or dog dad this mug can feature multiple adults, children and dogs! Great for representing big families! Angel wings can be added to the dogs no longer here. Lacervali Designs is run by Louise Turnball from Warrington.

You can find the personalized pet mug here!

G Decor Ltd: Birmingham, England

G Decor Dog Ceramic Coffee Tea Mug With Matching Lid image 1

These mugs are a little more unusual but will make a fantastic gift for a child… and adult! It also includes a little spoon and a cute dog face lid. This dog mug will provide a little more fun in the morning. Something simple but certain to bring a smile to anyone’s face!

Take a look at the unique dog mugs here!

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10 Best Dog Tags by Small UK Businesses

The Control of Dogs Order 1992 states all dogs must be wearing a tag with the name and address of their owner. We’ve found the best dog ID tags offering value for money and style! Check them out below!

Cats Stocks: Hereford, England

Personalized engraved mini glitter paw print pet ID tags dog image 1

Small and cute, these dog tags are great for those looking for something diddy! Add your personalisation and choose from the huge variety of colours available! Why not add a bit of sparkle to your dogs life with these best selling dog ID tags!

You can find them here!

Make It Personal: Brackley, England

Dog Tag Name Tag Pet ID Dog Name Disc Engraved Stainless image 1

For something a little more stylish, check out this small business in Brackley! Simply choose the dog breed you’d like featured, select the finished colour of your prefereance, then add your personalization text! A lovely pet ID tag to compliment any collar!

The Make it Personal engraved dog tags are found here!

Made by Rach X: United Kingdom

Dog tag / personalised dog tag / resin tag / floral dog tag / image 1

MadebyRachX handcraft these dog ID tags with 3 layers of resin, vinyl and dried flowers! They’re just lovely to look at! It adds a splash of colour and is also personalized with the text you require. Its available in two sizes and can include glitter, gold or silver foil!

Check out MadebyRach’s ID Tags here!

Sweet William London: London, England

Oh Bugger I'm Lost dog tag image 1

Another best seller is this hilarious Oh Bugger I’m Lost dog ID tag! It’s made from silver plated brass and is both stylish and unique! Tags can be sent in a box for those looking to purchase this as a present. Personalize the tag with the text you need and keep your dog looking super cool!

You can find Sweet William’s dog tag here!

Tag Team 365: Enniskillen, Northern Ireland

Double sided Quality Engraved Dog Bone Tag For Dog Collar With image 8

Cheap and cheerful, these dog collar tags are fantastic for their value! Choose from the range of colours and designs available. Each tag is individually engraved with text using a diamond cutter. Tag Team 365 is a branch of SMcB & Sons a family run business with 35 years of experience!

Find the variety of engraved dog tags from Northern Ireland here!

Posh Paws Pet Tags: Kirkby in Ashfield, England

Call my human pet ID tags laser engraved  stainless steel image 1

This sweet heart dog tag gets right to the point! Tags are available in colours Rose Gold, Silver, and Gold. Both sides can be engraved with the font and symbol of your choice. If your dog collar has a particularly thick D ring contact the seller for a lobster clasp.

For the Call my Human dog tags click here!

Letters by Lucy X: United Kingdom

Custom Dog Cat Tag Copper image 1

Letters by Lucy produce these lovely copper dog tags that are easily customizable. Different charms and design stamps are also available. The cute dog tag is hand stamped and has a rustic feel to it. Over time it will wear and tear adding to its unique style.

Find the copper dog tag here!

Doodlecard Boutique: Cirencester, England

Watercolour Dog ID Tag image 1

A beautiful watercolour dog ID tag that’s both colourful and artistic. Pick the text, background colour, dog breed and wording you would like on the tag. It’s so simple! All dog tags are handmade in Doodlecards Boutiue studio located in the Cotswolds!

Check out the watercolour dog ID tags here!

Bespoke 4 Pets: London, England

Engraved dog tag Dog ID tag Pet tag Personalized dog name tag image 1

These lovely engraved dog tags are super stylish! Choose from a range of colours and engrave your wording on both sides. The tag is durable and features a stainless steel split ring. Customise the fonts and symbols by contacting the seller!

Bespoke 4 Pets ID tags are found here!

The Little Stamping Co: Oxford, England

Dog Tag Bone Dog Tag Personalised Dog Tag Pet ID Tag image 1

The Little Stamping Co is a small business based in Oxford. They have these fantastic handmade, rustic dog tags that are also available in different styles. Each character is hand stamped and polished for that extra shine! Durable and long-lasting, this personalized dog tag is great value!

You can find the Little Stamping Co here!

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11 Best Handmade Dog Collars by Small UK Businesses

You can’t beat handmade, especially when it’s sourced right here in the UK! We’ve found the 11 best handmade dog collars by small British businesses. Check them out below!

Pear Tannery: Hereford, England

Pear Tannery Super Soft Heart Leather Dog Collar image 1

Stylish and durable, this soft leather heart dog collar is handmade by Pear Tannery, a local business based in Hereford. Choose from a variety of colours in sizes XXS to XL. The dog collar is padded for extra comfort and is finished with brass heart fittings.

Check out Pear Tannery’s leather dog collars here!

Don’t Forget the Dog: Moira, Northern Ireland

Luxury Adjustable Dog Collar Plastic Buckle 'Small' image 1

Don’t Forget the Dog provide luxury handmade Tweed collars from Moira, Northern Ireland! The dog collars are totally unique and are available in sizes small to large. It’s backed with nylon for extra durability and is easily adjustable for a personalized fit.

You can find these handmade Irish dog collars here!

Ollie & Co England: Bartley

Soft Italian Leather Racing Green Handmade Dog Collar with image 1

A very classy design by Ollie & Co, a small family business with over 40 years of knowledge! This dog collar is handmade right here in England and is made from soft Italian leather. The metalwork is brass adding a luxurious finish to the collar.

Check out Olli & Co’s matte green dog collar here!

Anna Paw Co: London, England

Multiple Colour Dog Collar with Name Thick Velvet Dog Collar image 1

Anna Paw Co is a small business based in London. Their elegant personalized dog collars are handmade with 100% natural velvet. Add your dog’s name and/or phone number to the collar and select from the small-XL sizes available. Other colours include White, Grey, Beige, and Brown.

Have a look at the Anna Paw Co range here!

Beesley Made: Lancaster, England

Handmade Tartan Red Dog Collar  Adjustable Dog Collar  image 5

Who doesn’t love a bit of traditional red tartan! Beesley Made handmakes each collar to order at their workshop in Lancaster. They’re sewn together via an industrial sewing machine. All stitching is reinforced using strong thread for extra longevity. The tartan dog collars are available in sizes XS to Large. A classic design that never gets old!

Find the tartan dog collars here!

Oh My Doggy: London, England

Rhinestone Dog Collar  Vegan  Biothane  Bespoke image 1

Sometimes a dog just needs a bit of bling! What better way to style out your dog than with these vegan rhinestone dog collars! Available in sizes XS-XXXL this collar is suitable for any breed! Soft and sparkly, each waterproof dog collar is handmade to order in a variety of colours.

You can find Oh My Doggy’s bling dog collars here!

The Dog House LE65: Ashby-de-la-Zouch, England

Genuine Adjustable Biothane Waterproof collar.   Quick image 1

A waterproof dog collar made from Biothane and coated with PVC for extra durability. The collar itself is easy to clean making it perfect for those doggies that can’t resist the mud or water! The design provides more of a purpose as opposed to simply style and is suitable for small to large breed dogs.

You can find the Dog House LE65 here!

Ilse Creates Boutique: Bath, England

Handmade dog collar  Purple forest image 1

Wow! A stunningly cute dog collar handmade by Ilses Creates Boutique in Bath. The dog collar can be personalized to your taste with different buckles available. If it gets dirty just pop it in the washing machine on a cold wash. This handmade dog collar uses heavy-duty nylon webbing and is available in sizes XS-Large.

Have a look at Ilse Creates Boutique here!

Pettiquette Collars: Newcastle-upon-Tyne, England

Handmade Italian Calf Leather Dog Collar image 1

Simple and sweet, this small business from Newcastle have these lovely handmade Italian calf leather dog collars on offer! Available in a range of colours and sizes, Pettiqute Collars provide something for Every Dog! Soft yet hard-wearing these leather dog collars are made to last.

You can find the Pettiqute collars range here!

Hugo & Ted: Birmingham, England

Handmade Navy and Green Tartan Dog Collars Leads Bow Ties image 1

A Navy Green Tartan dog collar, harness, and lead for those that love to match! All products are handmade by Hugo & Ted right here in England! The chic dog collars and other items can be personalized via embroidery and are machine washable.

You can check out Hugo & Ted here!

Creature Clothes Shop: London, England

Leather Dog Collar with Silver STAR studs  various colours image 1

Creature Clothes Shop has designed and produced the original star collar for 19 years now! Each order is handmade at their workshop in Sussex using handcrafted leather. It is then treated with Neatsfoot Oil to protect the dog collar from water. Great for dogs of all sizes! Don’t like black? Then check out their other colours!

The black star dog collar is found here!

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Margaret Green Animal Rescue: Tilly’s Story

Margaret Green Animal Rescue is an animal rescue charity that has three centres, two based in Dorset and one in Devon. They take in pets that become homeless due to a change in circumstances, or that have been mistreated, neglected or abandoned.

As well as veterinary care, the rescue animals are prepared and rehabilitated ready for a new home. Finding forever homes is at the very heart of what they do and they believe there is no better feeling than finding the perfect match.
Margaret Green Animal Rescue recently welcomed Tilly into their care, who was an eight-year-old Bichon Frise.

rescue dog bichon frise
Tilly, the Bichon Frise

She was brought into their Lincoln Farm Centre in Dorset, when her elderly owner was sadly unable to keep her. She saw their vet the day after coming into the centre, as the team were concerned about her health. She was showing signs of incontinence and had urine stains on her back legs, which suggested that she’d had a urine problem for a while.

Her examination highlighted that she had stones in her bladder, which was causing her discomfort and the probable cause of her incontinence. This resulted in Tilly having a bladder scan and the vet was shocked to see what he estimated to be in excess of 100 stones inside her bladder!

bladder stones dogs
Stones removed from Tilly’s bladder!

Tilly underwent a very long operation to have the stones removed and she had to be hospitalised overnight so she could be monitored. The staff wish this had been the end to Tilly’s ordeal, but her examination also showed that her teeth were in very bad condition and she would need a major dental.

During the dental, Tilly sadly had to have every tooth removed as they were all so rotten that none of them could be saved. Even though she would initially have experienced a very sore mouth, she will be a lot more comfortable now that she has healed.

dental disease dogs
Tilly’s teeth!

Tilly returned to the Lincoln Farm Centre to recover from her operation and dental, which cost a total of over £2,000. However, this was worth every penny as it meant Tilly could start to feel comfortable and begin her road to recovery. Tilly is such a brave little girl and the team are all so proud of her courage.

They are delighted to say that she recovered really well and has now found a loving Forever Home, where she will be able to live a happy and pain-free life! Margaret Green Animal Rescue are incredibly grateful for all the support that everyone showed Tilly and the generous donations that their supporters put towards her operations.

To find out more information about Margaret Green Animal Rescue and to support animals in need like Tilly, please
visit their website at:

Keep up to date with the rescue animals: Margaret Green Animal Rescue | Facebook

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Wagging Tails Family: A Dog Sanctuary & Safe Haven

Wagging Tails is a rescue centre that saves dogs and cats from untold trauma and euthanization since 1995! Their animals are adopted by people living in the UK and this is their story! Get in touch with them today and see what they do here!

Wagging Tails: Facebook link

Pet owners who have ever adopted a dog know this: giving a second chance to a living creature is a truly
beautiful thing! Many people choose to adopt a dog through a shelter or rescue animal organisation.
This is why this interview is dedicated to the Wagging Tails Family and their amazing rescue stories from

rescue puppy uk
wagging tails

Imagine living in this world hungry and cold, with nowhere to warm up. But, then your life turns around and someone comes to pick you up. Suddenly, everything is new. Where are they taking you? You come to a place with lots of other dogs, lots of food and many warm cuddles.

Oh, it’s ok. This is the Wagging Tails Shelter every stray dog talks about…The story began 15 years ago in a little country with no animal law protection and neglected animals on every corner. This family decided to turn this around and provide chances for a new life with many happy wagging tails.

So, today we welcome you into their little family of wagging tails and wet noses! Wagging Tails Family (WG Family) was established in order to combat the neglect and abuse of animals, in order to help the stray dogs and cats who had no one else to care for them.

wagging tails rescue dog ukl
rescue dog wagging tails uk

Their vision is a world where animals no longer face suffering. Their mission is to build awareness and rescue and rehabilitate homeless and abandoned animals in a no-kill environment until each is adopted into a caring, loving home; and to act as a sanctuary for those dogs who are never adopted.

The mission was based upon dedication to the no-kill mission and commitment to rescue, rehabilitate, and
rehome abandoned, abused, and surrendered stray animals. Their work with stray animals consists of spaying and neutering to prevent unwanted puppies and kittens from being born into short lives of suffering, along with rescue, vaccination, medical treatment, sheltering, and adoption.

Their final goal is to improve the welfare of stray animals, resulting in better lives for both the animal and
human communities, to create a society without homeless animals, and to ultimately end animal cruelty. In 2020 alone, they have successfully adopted more than 90 dogs into their forever homes in the UK!

wagging tails rescue dog
Buck, now adopted and living in the UK!

Among their first dogs adopted in the UK is Buck. Buck is a black labrador, that was left in the middle of the winter near a frozen lake, with just his passport and a blanket. When we found him his condition was more than serious, he only had the force to look at us with tired eyes, as if he was giving up. But, we didn’t!

Buck is now having the time of his life in his beautiful home and is given a second chance to live a life free
from suffering and abandonment.


They also have momma Laika here, who was found left in a rural area with her newborn puppies. The puppies
were all underweight and neglected. Momma Laika and her babies were welcomed into Wagging Tails with open arms, and after lots of love, care, affection and regular treatments they gained weight and made a full recovery.

This family is actively working towards raising awareness for animals with disabilities as well, so here are few
stories that showcase the perks of adopting animals with disabilities.

rescue dog disability
dog with a disability uk

Lana was found in the winter of 2020, a day before New Year’s. “ Someone left Lana on the side of the road and when she tried running after them, a car hit her. She was screaming and laying down unable to move, but no one came to help her. The driver did not stop, nor did the ones who left her.”

We came immediately to the spot and when we saw those eyes of hope we could not understand how someone can be so cruel and heartless. Took her in our arms and we headed immediately towards the closest veterinary station. That’s where they told us that she won’t be able to walk ever again.

We did not want to leave her and promised to take care of her until she completely recovers and afterwards, we will find a nice loving home. 6 months later, she is running freely in her wheelchair. Lana is perky, cuddly, sassy, she loves to run and her favourite activity is to be outside in the sun.

In our eyes, Lana is a strong girl and we don’t pity her disability. ” Says one of the volunteers in the shelter. With Lana’s sweet nature, spunky attitude, and underbite smile, we hope Lana’s story will raise positive awareness for all disabled dogs.

Another member of the Wagging Tails Family!

We hope that Lana’s story and photos will continue to spread and more people will open their hearts to dogs with special needs. Animals with special needs are no different. “ Our bond got to be so strong, and we are better people because of the patience we learned with them.

There are a lot of learning opportunities there in caring for a special needs pet. Disabled dogs have a difficult time finding a forever home and are usually the first ones to be listed to euthanize at the shelter.

The idea of a “special needs pet” can encompass many different conditions, but cats and dogs who require additional care can still experience full, happy lives. All you need is a little patience and a lot of love. “ say one of the volunteers at the shelter.

wagging tails rescue puppies
Rescue puppies!

Denny is a cat that loves to explore the world around him. He can spend hours checking out rooms in the
apartment where he lives with his adopters. He loves playing with toys, other cats and friends. There is one
thing, though, that sets Denny apart from other kittens: He is blind, due to a neurological condition.

But that doesn’t stop him from finding joy daily and sharing it with everyone he meets. “Denny showed me that a blind cat has no idea they are blind. They are just cats”, His owner says. “They snuggle and cuddle together, and they fight with each other and they chase toys and balls and go crazy over catnip.

The perception that a blind cat just sits and does nothing is so wrong.” As it turns out, Denny is quite the athlete. He begins the day with some sprints up and down the hallway. Then he spends the rest of the day climbing the furniture and playing with toys. He squeezes in a run before dinner time and then plays a little more.

The Wagging Tails Team began adopting more cats as they realized that cats are likely to be euthanized if
injured or sick, and eventually, they created a sanctuary to provide a permanent home for more cats who were
seen as unadoptable. WG’s nonprofit sanctuary currently cares for more than 80 cats.

While running the rescue, the WG Team works to educate people about the importance of spaying and
neutering outdoor cats and maintaining veterinary care to prevent more cats from going blind. According to the
Health Centers, the most frequently diagnosed feline eye disorder, conjunctivitis, can be cured if treated

In addition to preventative work, the WG Team teaches people that blind cats—or those diagnosed with leukaemia or Feline Immunodeficiency Virus—can still have a good quality of life. Once they come here, they get forever! Everybody deserves forever somewhere, and once these cats have come to us, they have exhausted all other options.

wagging tails rescue dog

The WG Team says. “With some of the cats, it’s like, ‘You’ve used a lot of your nine lives to get to me.’ This was the case with Denny, and he finally seems to be enjoying his new life. Adopting an animal from abroad is a very rewarding and heartwarming experience.

The adopters should know that they have changed the world for homeless animals and provided them with a new life of love and companionship. And, we are forever grateful to our adopters and supporters, to our heroes! Our little family is constantly growing and we could not be happier.

Everyone is welcomed into the Wagging Tails Family, because for us, knowing that we have brought happiness into someone’s life means everything. We believe that we should all try to make this world a little bit better, in our unique way and having respect for all living beings is the best way to do that!

Gallery of Our Rehomed Dogs in the UK!

Find rescue dogs looking for their forever home in the UK by clicking here!

rescue dog groom
rescue dog
rescue dgo in new home
rescued puppies found
rescue dog uk
rescue dog in the uk
rescue dog uk
dog with different coloured eyes
small rescue dog uk
rescue puppies uk
Mia before her adoption
Mia in recovery
Mia with her friends
Mia now in her forever home

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Italian Spinone

The Spinone Italiano is a robust gundog used to track, hunt and point game. The breed will work in both land and water. Let’s take a look at this versatile and hard-working canine!

Italian Spinone Breed Standards:
Kennel Club Member?: Yes
Italian Spinone Lifespan: 10-12 years
Italian Spinone Exercise: More than two hours per day
Height: Male 23-27 inches Female 22-25 inches
Weight: Male 34-39 kilograms Female 29-34 kilograms
Hypoallergenic: No

The Italian Spinone is one of the world’s oldest hunting breeds. They’re prized in Italy for their versatility and are still popular gundogs today. The breed goes by several names including the Spinone Italiano, the Italian Griffon, the Italian Wire-Haired pointer, and the Italian Coarsehaired pointer. They were bred to hunt in thicker, bushier areas of the Italian countryside.

Spinoni are vocal and will let their owners know what they’re thinking! This dog has a lot of personality and expects regular cuddles! Their excellent sense of smell is a downfall in the kitchen as they’ll find just about anything! An intelligent, loving, active companion that has a growing community here in the UK.

Italian Spinone hunting


Check out the pros and cons of the Italian Spinone dog breed below:


  • Intelligent & easy to train
  • Low shedder
  • Family-friendly dog
  • Multi-purpose gundog


  • Prone to separation anxiety
  • High wanderlust potential
  • Heavy drooling
  • Not ideal watchdogs
  • Strong prey drive

The Spinone Italiano is a medium-sized breed with a solid, muscular build. This single-coated dog has thick, rough fur. It’s designed to protect them from the thorny undergrowth in their native land. Their coat colours are found in Brown road, Orange Roan, White, and Orange & White.

Recommended: Check out the Wagging Tails Family rescue story here!


Italian Spinoni are affectionate, loyal, patient, docile, and friendly dogs. This easygoing canine is easy to train in the right hands and can be a good choice for first-time owners. Spinoni do take longer to mature than other breeds so owners will require patience.

At times they can be stubborn but overall are pretty laidback individuals. This gundog is easily satisfied and mostly well-behaved although they do have a cheeky side! The Spinone Italiano makes a devoted companion and forever friend.

Spinoni are people-orientated and don’t make good watchdogs or guard dogs. They might be a little cautious at first but most are typically friendly towards strangers. Polite and sweet-natured the Italian Spinone is not an aggressive breed.

Family-friendly, this dog gets along well with children. Spinoni enjoy the extra love and attention received from kids! Some dogs can be boisterous in their puppy years so keep watch when around a young child. Energetic and robust, Spinoni are great playmates!

Sociable and kind, Italian Spinoni enjoy making lots of doggy friends! They can live with other dogs but should be raised with cats from puppyhood. Due to their strong prey drive, they could view small dogs as prey.


The specific origins of the Spinone Italiano are unknown. However, they’ve been a part of Italian history since their appearance during the Renaissance era. A mural painting by Andrea Mantegna of the Ducal Palace’s Camera Degli Sposi depicts the Spinone as early as 1470.

Traditionally used for hunting, tracking, pointing and retrieving, this multi-purpose gundog works on both land and in water. The modern Spinone we know today was developed in Italy’s north-western region, Piedmont.

The area of Piedmont contains an overgrowth of thorny bushes. Its referred to as Pino hence the name ‘Spinone’. The Spinone was developed to work in these difficult terrains including the hills of the Alps in Italy. They’re one of the most versatile gundogs in the world!

In World War II the Spinone Italiano was used for tracking enemies and carrying supplies. Of course, like most breeds, numbers dropped after the war. So, in 1949 the Famiglia dello Spinone was formed.

The breed first arrived in the UK in 1981 by Mrs Mary Moore. In 1994 the UK Kennel Club officially recognized the Italian Spinone. They’re most popular in Italy. In the UK 389 Italian Spinone puppies were registered in 2020.

Exercise & Grooming

Ideally, the Spinone Italiano should receive more than two hours of exercise per day. Some Spinoni aren’t as active and could do with 90 minutes instead. If they live in built-up areas, these gundogs should be kept on a leash unless in an enclosed space due to their strong prey drive.

Gundogs thrive off long explorations in the countryside! Allow plenty of sniffing time as this contributes to mental stimulation. The Italian Griffon is prone to weight gain so it’s important they’re kept active throughout their lives. Dog sports are a great way to keep them busy and fit!

The Italian Coarsehaired Pointer will need brushing twice a week. The fur between their legs and under their tail is prone to tangles. A pin brush, comb, and slicker brush are ideal tools to use. Long fur around the face should be trimmed.

The medium-length coat requires hand stripping to allow new fur to grow through the follicle. It’s a frequent grooming method for show dogs. Companion dogs are hand stripped around twice a year. Usually during the spring and autumn. Owners can hand strip their dogs themselves whilst others visit professional groomers.

As this breed is single-coated they won’t shed heavily. They’ll need their lip folds and beards cleaned regularly to prevent odour. Bath the Spinone leaving two-month intervals at a minimum. Their ears must be cleaned weekly to avoid infections. Don’t forget to trim nails fortnightly to prevent overgrowth.


Check out the breed-related health conditions of the Italian Spinone below:

Hip Dysplasia: The ball and socket of the hip joint develop abnormally. This causes them to rub and grind against one another. Pain and lameness are experienced which will eventually lead to arthritis.
Entropion: The eyelid turns inwards causing the eyelashes to scratch the surface of the eye. Symptoms include tearing eyes, squinting, red eyes, rubbing, conjunctivitis, infections and eye ulcers.
Atopy: A lifelong skin condition owners will have to manage as there is no cure. Frequent exposure to an allergen increases the dog’s allergic response resulting in itchy, inflamed skin.
Gastric Dilatation Volvulus: The stomach will twist filling with gasses and trapping the food inside. It’s a life-threatening condition commonly caused by fast-eating.
Panosteitis: This condition is also referred to as growing pains. It typically occurs between the ages of 5-18 months and puppies will grow out of it.
Hypothyroidism: An underactive thyroid causes a reduction in the dog’s metabolic state. Lethargy, dull skin and fur, weight gain, and fur loss are some common symptoms.
Epilepsy: A common neurological condition in dogs causing unprovoked seizures.

Italian Spinone Training

As a sensitive breed, this dog will withdraw from harsh training methods. Use positive reinforcement and always praise good behaviour with a reward such as a food treat or toy. A happy calm tone will attract the eager to please Spinone.

When it comes to hunting, Spinoni are pretty independent in the field. They aren’t favoured for their obedience skills! Sometimes their stubborn side shines through and can hinder training. If they become bored or simply don’t want to participate in training then try something new.

Be gentle and calm with his breed. Set a routine they will quickly learn to follow. Structure is one of the best ways to housebreak a dog. Keep training sessions to a minimum of ten minutes as Spinoni are easily distracted. Always exercise a dog so they aren’t built up with energy.

Socialization is vital to ensuring the Italian Spinone is confident in adulthood. It’s crucial to social and mental development. To prevent fearful behaviour and anxiety, introduce them to new sights, sounds, people, dogs, and places.

An Italian Spinone puppy is easy to train in the right hands. Gundogs have natural instincts out in the field. The owner will need to work on their commands and recall. Confident Italian Spinone puppies should begin gundog training at around 7-8 months.

Recommended: This British native dog is facing extinction!

Brown Roan Italian Spinone
By Timberdoodle Kennels, Ron & Pat Rosinski (User:Rrosinski), CC BY-SA 2.5

Italian Spinone Interesting Facts

  • In Wickham, 2007, six dogs went missing from breeder Sue Shrimpton. A variety of dogs went missing including one pregnant Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. Two of her dogs were found a few hours later, an Italian Spinone and a Mastiff, but she believes the rest were stolen.
  • It’s believed Sh Ch Riccini Caprice also known as Mia, gave birth to the largest ever Italian Spinone litter. The dog from Durham, England gave birth to 17 puppies! They were born in Leadgate at Prince Bishop Veterinary Hospital. This special canine is also the only Spinone to win Best of Breed three times consecutively at Crufts!
  • Marconi the Italian Spinone has won awards for his therapy work in America! Ever since arriving home with his owner, Marconi was being well-trained. He even undertook two 6-week training courses to enhance his natural therapy skills. By his first year Marconi was handed an American Kennel Club Canine Excellence Award in recognition of his help to people.
  • Even the Italian Spinone is prone to fear-based reactions when unsocialized. Dudley, the Italian Spinone from Carlilse, England bit a girl in the head and face after she began stroking him. Numerous character references were submitted to court stating this was out of character for the dog. However, there will still be a court hearing to determine if Dudley will be destroyed.
  • Clyde the Italian Spinone, needed rescuing by the Happisburgh Lifeboat Crew. He got stuck at sea after chasing seagulls! Since then Clyde has been given his own life jacket and is now their mascot.
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Dalmatians have been a part of British history since the 18th century. Today we’re going to find out why these dogs are just so popular in the UK!

Dalmatians are widely recognised after their big-screen debut in 101 Dalmatians. The novel was written in 1956 by Dodie Smith, a British author. Walt Disney later produced the animated adaptation in 1961 followed by a remake in 1996. Sequels soon followed.

This caused a jump in popularity which has remained even to this day. In 2020, the Kennel Club registered 1,126 Dalmatian puppies. A small rise from the previous year at 1,042 puppies. The Firehouse Dog just won’t budge from the hearts of British dog lovers!

Dalmatian Breed Standards:
Kennel Club Member?:
Dalmatian Lifespan: 11-13 years
Dalmatian Exercise: More than two hours each day
Height: 19-24 inches
Weight: 20-32 kilograms
Hypoallergenic: No

dalmatian jumping


Check out the pros and cons of the Dalmatian dog breed below:


  • A sociable & family-friendly dog
  • Intellgient & easy to train
  • Suitable for first-time owners
  • Excellent service and therapy dog
  • Ideal watchdog


  • High wanderlust potential
  • Prone to separation anxiety
  • Susceptible to weight gain
  • Sheds its coat heavily
  • High exercise needs

The Dalmatian is a medium to large dog breed recognized for its white spotted body. This single-coated breed sheds all year round and is found in colours Liver & White and Black & White

Dalmatian Temperament

The Dalmatian is sociable, friendly, sensitive, active and playful. These dogs are suitable for first-time owners but may experience separation anxiety if left alone. Dalmatians have eccentric personalities and make loving and affectionate companion dogs.

Outgoing and high in energy, the Dal requires an outdoorsy owner. These dogs are deeply loyal and eager to please, looking to their leader for direction. On occasion, they will be stubborn but overall Dals are easygoing.

Dalmatians are natural watchdogs and will alert their owners to a knock on the door. Some Dals are polite and friendly when greeting strangers whilst others are more reserved. A lack of socialization could lead to timid or even aggressive behaviour.

This breed is known to be an excellent family dog! They’re playful and filled with energy. However, their personality can be a little too boisterous for younger children. The Dal will enjoy playing fetch with the kids and can easily keep up with them!

A well-socialized Dal will get along well with other dogs. As sociable dogs, they’ll easily make friends at the park. Dalmatians aren’t known for aggression. They can live happily alongside other dogs and cats.

Recommended: Check out the 5 Best Dog Water Bottles here!


The beginning of the Dalmatian history is relatively unknown. Researchers have studied artefacts to indicate the Dal’s start in life. They believe Asia, Africa, Europe, and the British Isles to be the first countries they appeared in. Spotted dogs were even engraved on the tombs of pharaohs in Ancient Egypt!

The FCI lists the Dalmatians country of origin as Croatia. The first written reference to the Dalmatian was in 1370 by the Bishop of Đakovo. He came across a white-spotted hunting dog in Dalmatia, Croatia and named the dog Canis Dalmaticus.

In their early years, Dalmatians would travel alongside Romany gypsies. This explains why the breed was found in numerous places across the world. Dalmatians would work hard and were used for a variety of jobs.

Their jobs include hunting, drafting, guarding, acting as a shepherd, and even working in the circus! He is also used as a ratter, a sporting dog, and a retriever! But they aren’t great gundogs! At one time in history, they were used as war dogs on the borders of Dalmatia.

Dalmatians were introduced to the United Kingdom in the early 1800s. They were often found trotting alongside horse-drawn carriages. It earned them the name the Coach Dog. England is where the development of the Dalmatian took place.

Vero Shaw created the first breed standard in 1882. The first official Dalmatian Club was established in England, 1890. By the 1920s, Dalmatians were booming in popularity across Europe. Today, they’ve kept their popularity as a companion and working dog.

Exercise & Grooming

Dalmatians should receive more than two hours of exercise each day. Mental stimulation will also need to be factored into their day. When playing in the garden, ensure it is completely enclosed as the Dal may wander off.

A Dalmatian puppy shouldn’t be excessively exercised due to their growing joints. Once they reach adulthood, the Dal will make a lovely hiking, biking, and jogging partner! Dog sports such as flyball and agility are great forms of exercise and mental stimulation.

High in energy, these canines should receive at least two long walks each day. Include some form of vigorous play. Teach the Dal new tricks, let them explore, try out some puzzle games and keep their brains ticking over. Boredom will only lead to destruction.

Dalmatians shed copious amounts of fur throughout the year. To reduce shedding brush through their coat weekly. A slicker or rubber brush will do the trick. Their ears should also be cleaned weekly to remove any debris from the canal.

This breed should be washed with a minimum of 6-week intervals. Their short fur is easily air-dried. Nails will need a fortnightly trim to prevent overgrowth. It is recommended teeth are brushed daily to prevent overgrowth.


Find out the breed-related health conditions of the Dalmatian dog below:

Atopy: A lifelong skin condition that’ll need to be managed as there is no cure. Repeated exposure to an allergen will cause allergic symptoms such as itchy, inflamed skin.
Epilepsy: A common neurological condition in dogs causing uncontrollable seizures.
Deafness: This is a serious health issue affecting Dalmatians. In America, 8% of Dalmatian puppies are deaf compared to 5.4% in the United Kingdom. Blue-eyed Dalmatians are often linked to deafness. It isn’t recommended to breed blue-eyed Dalmatians and they’re rarely shown here in the UK.
Hyperuricemia: Some Dalmatians have liver’s that are unable to break down uric acid resulting in gout. This could lead to kidney and bladder stones.

Dalmatian Training

Dalmatians are highly intelligent and breeze through their training so they’re a good choice for first-time owners. This breed does have a sensitive side and requires positive reinforcement. Avoid handing out too many food treats and instead use their favourite toy as a reward.

Socialization is important to prevent fear and anxiety in adulthood. Introduce the Dal to new people, dogs and places. They’re naturally sociable but Dalmatian puppies still need exposure to new sights and sounds.

This breed is an excellent service and therapy dog. They pick up on emotions better than other dog breeds. At the minute it’s rather unusual to see a Dalmatian working as a service dog. But they are beginning to be recognised for their ability as assistance dogs.

Dalmatians are great tracking dogs. They can easily be trained to follow scents. It’s a great form of mental stimulation and many Dalmatian owners participate in this non-competitive sport. Tracking requires the assistance of others and is greatly rewarding.

Dalmatian sitting

Dalmatian Interesting Facts

  • In Nottingham 2021, Digby, the Dalmatian became the first of his breed to qualify under the National Scheme as a disability support dog! Owner Katie Baldock has nemaline myopathy which causes weakness to the muscles. After contacting a charity, her Dalmatian Digby undertook a six-week training course. Katie then spent two years perfecting his skills before he eventually received his qualification!
  • Dalmatians have a variety of nicknames these include The Firehouse Dog, The English Coach Dog, Spotted Dick, The Plum Pudding Dog (a dessert traditional in England), and The Carriage Dog.
  • In 1968 Fanhill Faune owned by Mrs Jean Woodyatt won Best in Show at Crufts! The Dalmatian hasn’t won this title since.
  • Molly the Dalmatian from Middlesborough, England received emergency care from the PDSA after eating 36 dog chews, buns with sultanas and chocolate! After being sick and frothing at the mouth owner Kerry Bruck immediately rushed her to the vets. Luckily, Molly made a full recovery!
  • A victorian home in Primrose Hill, London, was put up for sale at £8.95 million. The home inspired writer Dodie Smith when writing her novel 101 Dalmatians! Much of the homes original features were displayed in illustrations across the book. Dodie lived around the corner in Dorset Square and was a proud owner to 9 Dalmatians!
  • In 2019, Melody the Dalmatian gave birth to 19 puppies! Owner Melissa O’Brien stated her dog put on 15kg of extra weight during the pregnancy! Luna a Dalmatian in Texas gave birth to 16 puppies on June 24th 2021.
  • Marshall the Dalmatian is owned by Pete in Medway, Kent. This dog does not like being told to go to bed and will even argue with his owners! In September 2021, Marshall’s owner spoke to the Mirror about this dog’s bedtime routine!

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Rhodesian Ridgeback

The Rhodesian Ridgeback is also known as the African Lion Hound. A unique breed hailing from Southern Africa, today we’re going to learn all about this canine!

Rhodesian Ridgeback Breed Standards:
Kennel Club Member?: Yes
Rhodesian Ridgeback Lifespan: 10-12 years
Rhodesian Ridgeback Exercise: More than two hours each day
Height: Male 25-27 inches Female 24-26 inches
Weight: Male 38.5 kilograms Female 32 kilograms
Hypoallergenic: No

The Ridgeback’s distinct ridge of fur running down its spine is the breed’s identifying feature. It’s caused by the duplication of a mutation of the length of DNA coding for three growth factor genes. This causes the fur to grow in the opposite direction resulting in the ridge.

Not all Ridgebacks are born with this mutation but Ridgeless Ridgebacks are disqualified under the AKC breed standards. Dogs without ridges were even culled! This practice was also exposed by BBC One in a documentary. (Scroll down to the bottom of this article to read more on that!)

rhodesian ridgeback swimming


Find out the pros and cons of the Rhodesian Ridgeback below:


  • Low grooming needs
  • Great watchdog
  • Family-friendly dog


  • Not suitable for first-time owners
  • Requires a lot of exercise
  • Strong prey drive
  • High wanderlust potential
  • Prone to separation anxiety

The Rhodesian Ridgeback is a large breed dog featuring a distinct ridge of hair along the spine. Its breed standard has remained unaltered since 1922. Their short coat is found in the colours Wheaten, Light Wheaten and Red Wheaten.

Rhodesian Ridgeback Temperament

The dignified Rhodesian Ridgeback is an excellent companion with a mischievous personality! Although strong-willed and independent Ridgebacks are prone to separation anxiety. They require early socialization and training which could be a little overwhelming for inexperienced owners.

Some are intimidated by the Ridgebacks appearance and are unaware of its sensitive side. These dogs are highly affectionate and intelligent. They’re versatile hunters but are calm and relaxed in the home, once they reach adulthood of course!

This breed is an excellent watchdog, quickly alerting its owners to anything out of the ordinary. Whilst the Ridgeback is aloof of strangers they shouldn’t be aggressive. Ridgeback puppies must be socialized well to prevent territorial behaviour.

Family-friendly and deeply affectionate, Ridgebacks make excellent playmates for older children. As they’re a little boisterous in their puppy years they can be a bit overwhelming for smaller children. They may also knock them over accidentally. Ridgebacks are great playmates filled with just as much energy as kids!

The gregarious Ridgeback will get along well with other dogs provided they’ve had the right socialization. Issues caused by dominance may arise between those of the same sex. Due to their strong prey drive, they may chase small dogs. Cats should be raised alongside a Rhodesian Ridgeback puppy.


The Rhodesian Ridgeback originates from Southern Africa and dates back to the 16th century. The ridged Khoikhoi dog, a native breed, mated with European breeds brought by Dutch colonists. These included Greyhounds, Boerboels, and Terriers. They created the Rhodesian Ridgeback.

Unlike the European dogs, native breeds offered the Ridgeback a form of defence against pests like the Tsetse fly. They also inherited their hunting instinct and versatility allowing them to navigate around the African terrain.

Rhodesian Ridgebacks are fantastic hunters originally bred to pursue lions. They can also track and hold the quarry in place until their hunter arrives. However, they will chase and catch animals such as antelope, sourcing food for their family

It’s unsurprising the athletic Ridgeback holds masses of stamina. Their background of hunting lions in the Savannah even earned them the name African Lion Hound. These dogs were also great at warding off predators such as leopards and baboons.

In the early 1900s big game hunting reduced in popularity and so did the Ridgeback’s breed numbers. In 1922 Cornelius von Rooyen created a breeding programme in Zimbabwe (previously known as Rhodesia).

This led to the Rhodesian Ridgeback breed standard in 1922. It wasn’t until after World War II that their popularity began to increase across the world. Particularly in Britain, Canada and the United States. Rhodesian Ridgebacks received UK Kennel Club recognition in 1954.

Exercise & Grooming

Rhodesian Ridgebacks need over two hours of exercise each day. They’ll become bored and destructive if their activity needs aren’t being met. Vigorous play such as swimming is a great way to tire this breed out!

Dog sports such as tracking and agility are excellent forms of exercise and mental stimulation. Despite its large size, this canine can turn quickly and sharply, a hunting feature from their time in the Savannah. The intelligent Ridgeback will breeze through an obstacle course!

The Ridgeback is a moderate shedder with a short yet dense coat. It doesn’t require much effort on the grooming front. A quick brush once a week with a slicker dog brush is all they need. Brush the ridge in the same direction the hair grows.

Baths should be given monthly at a minimum. Ridgebacks are typically clean and don’t have a strong doggy odour. Remove debris from the ear canal by cleaning the ears weekly. Nails need trimming every fortnight. Vets recommend teeth are brushed daily to prevent dental disease.


Check out the breed-related health condition of the Rhodesian Ridgeback below:

Hip Dysplasia: The abnormal growth of the hip joint causes the ball and socket to rub and grind against one another. This will cause lameness and pain leading to arthritis.
Elbow Dysplasia: The abnormal growth of the elbow joint will cause lameness, pain, and eventually arthritis.
Hypothyroidism: This disorder affects a dogs metabolism which will cause changes in the skin, weight and energy levels.
Gastric Dilatation Volvulus: The stomach twists trapping food and gases within. It’s a life-threatening condition typically caused by fast eating.
Juvenile Myoclonic Epilepsy: JME will cause uncontrollable seizures during a dog’s sleep.
Dermoid Sinus: A cyst underneath the skin is found on the spinal cord. It’s an inherited and painful condition.

Rhodesian Ridgeback Training

Ridgebacks are strong-willed so aren’t the best breed for first-time owners. In experienced hands, this breed is easy to train thanks to its intelligence. Once the owner’s leadership is established the Ridgeback is eager to please.

This breed is sensitive and requires firm leadership not harsh. Instead, use positive reinforcement methods. Ridgebacks are smart and learn fast. Daily socialization, training and exercise will nurture the Ridgeback into a well-rounded dog.

Like most smart dog breeds, Ridgebacks bore easily. Keep training sessions short and fun. It’s best to exercise a dog before training so they can get rid of any pent up energy! Use food rewards and toys as rewards.

Remain patient and don’t let them break household boundaries. Rhodesian Ridgeback puppies are boisterous and can be frustrating! But if they’re allowed to break the rules this will have an effect on how the household’s pecking order is perceived.

rhodesian ridgeback

Rhodesian Ridgeback Interesting Facts

  • In 2008 Jemima Harrison produced a BBC One documentary called Pedigree Dogs Exposed. It uncovered breeders who advocated culling the Rhodesian Ridgeback simply for being ridgeless here in the UK! Even the Rhodesian Ridgeback Club stated in their code of ethics that “Ridgeless puppies shall be culled”. Despite Ronnie Irving, Kennel Club Chairman at the time, denying knowledge of the practice, the club stated their code of ethics is approved by the KC yearly. The documentary drew intense criticism of the Kennel Club and Crufts.
  • In the 1930s actor Errol Flynn purchased a Rhodesian Ridgeback from an English breeder, returning to America. He was one of the first to breed Ridgebacks in America. Unfortunately his bloodline no longer exists.
  • In Germany, Etana the Rhodesian Ridgeback gave birth to 17 puppies! She had eight females and nine males. Owner Rasmona Wegemann, an animal psychiatrist, had to help rear the puppies as the strain on Etana’s nipples was immense!
  • In Newport, South Wales, Rhodesian Ridgeback owner Sam Gordon was jailed for 28 months. He is also banned from owning dogs for 6 years. The man ordered his Ridgebacks to attack Cordell Roberts after biting the same man in a previous incident in 2020.
  • In Billericay, Essex a Rhodesian Ridgeback was put down after biting a family friend 7 times. Astrid Plamer rung the doorbell, greeted the owners in the driveway, and went round the back of the house. After entering the rear of the property with the owner’s wife, the Rhodesian Ridgeback began to attack Ms Palmer leaving her with severe injuries.
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5 Best Handmade Dog Bowls by Small UK Businesses

There’s something about handmade goods that makes them that little bit more special! The products are more sustainable and locally based. Below, we’ve found some of the best dog bowls handmade by small UK businesses!

The Little Pot Company: Sheffield, England

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Wow! These cute little handmade pottery dog bowls are created by a potters wheel using durable stoneware clay! It’s dishwasher safe and so unique! The Little Pot Company is a small business based in Sheffield. Their handmade dog bowls are available in two sizes. Colours include white, apricot and blue.

You can find The Little Pot Company here!

Yellow Door Studio 20: Edinburgh, Scotland

Custom handmade personalised medium size ceramic dog bowl Rainforest

These beautiful ceramic dog bowls are handmade by Renae Bell at her studio in Edinburgh. They’re anti-slip and highly durable. Select a colour from the list available and personalise the dog bowl to your taste. Yellow Door Studio is fantastic for quality!

Medium-sized bowls are available here! For Yellow Door Studio’s large size click here!

HKA Ceramics: Petersfield, England

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HKA Ceramics is a local Hampshire business that are specialists at what they do! Their two-toned handmade ceramic bowls are available in sizes small to extra large, in a range of different colours. You can even add your own personalised touch!

Check them out here!

Jodd Ceramics: London, England

Medium Stoneware Wheel Thrown Dog Pet Bowl image 1

This handmade pottery dog bowl by Jodd Ceramics is unglazed on the outside. So it has a more natural clay look. The approximate dimensions are 16cm in width by 5cm in height, great for medium-sized dog breeds! It’s simple yet stylish!

You can find Jodd Ceramics here!

So Long Ceramics: St Austell, England

Ceramic Dog Bowl  Personalised Dog Bowl  Pottery Dog Bowl  image 1

Check out these stoneware ceramic dog bowls that are suitable for dogs of all sizes! This new small business is based in St Austell and produces some pretty unique colours! All bowls are personalised and boast free delivery!

Click here for So Long Ceramics!

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Happy Shelter Skopje: Finding Rescue Dogs Homes in the UK

Happy Shelter is a non-profit animal shelter based in North Macedonia that relies solely on the donations of the amazing general public. These fantastic people find rescue dogs their forever homes in the UK. This is their story! Check them out on their Facebook and website.

In just under a year we have successfully adopted 80 dogs into their forever homes with 76 of those beautiful fur babies being in the UK. The shelter is just shy of a year old as it was opened on 15th October 2020. 

As it stands we currently have 23 amazing dogs at the shelter still looking for their forever homes. We hope to find each and every one of them the absolute best home possible so they can live the lives they so truly deserve. 

Our mission is to never turn away a dog in need of help and care and to find them all the most loving and amazing homes no matter how long that takes! But for this, we need the help and support of others so we can continue to build and grow. 

cropped dog ears

One of our biggest boys here, Cliff, has quite the story. On 28th April 2021, Cliff physically climbed the fence to make his way into our shelter! He must have known he would be safe with us. He was covered head to paw in mange and his ears had been brutally cut off.

But despite all he had been through he still has the most amazing and loving nature! He acts just like any 11-month-old puppy would do! He’s extremely playful and loves attention.

After lots of love, care, affection and of course treatment Cliff has made a full recovery! Although his ears will of course never grow back we still think he’s very handsome! He’s looking for his forever home now and we cannot wait to tell him when we find it! 

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Kona at our shelter a few days after his rescue
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Kona now

Kona here is a very handsome 10 month old Eastern European village dog x Sarplaninac (according to his embark test done by his family). He was rescued when he was just 6 weeks old after being found by a local man in the mountains with just one other puppy.

Of course we welcomed him with open arms at our shelter and he was very quickly adopted, although due to his age it would be a little while until he could make his journey to his new home.

He suffered with kennel cough during his time with us as unfortunately the kennel cough vaccine is unavailable here in North Macedonia. So every day for two weeks he was given antibiotics morning and night.

With the right care he was able to fully recover and receive his rabies shot, meaning in 3 weeks he could travel! He made his journey home to his family back in April where he now lives a wonderful life full of love.

His family have said ‘Kona has been with us now for 5 wonderful months and we couldn’t imagine our life without him. He’s the craziest, silliest, most loving boy and we are so grateful to HS for giving us the chance to have him home’ 

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Frankie at our shelter
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Frankie now

Frankie here is a beautiful little girl, believed to be a terrier mix of sorts. She was rescued along with her mum and siblings, then known as the spuntiks, when she was just 2 weeks old. They had been dumped in the middle of nowhere with the smallest bowl of water!

Lucky for her and her family they were found by one of our volunteers and immediately brought to the shelter. Mum Lajka, Frankie and all her siblings have since been adopted and are all living their absolute best lives in the UK with Frankie travelling all the way to the North of Scotland.

Frankie is now just over 7 months old and has been living with her new family for 3 months. It’s safe to say she is very happy with her new life! 

dog rescue stories
Maggie (left) with her blood sister Mila (right) both adopted in the UK
Maggie now (left) with her new dog brother Murphy (right)

Maggie has had it tough that’s for sure. She is currently 11 months old and was adopted back in May. At the end of May she travelled to what was supposed to be her forever family. But after just 10 days they gave up on her.

She wasn’t even given the chance. It’s unfortunate that sometimes bad adopters can slip through the cracks when they say all the right things. Maggie was taken into emergency foster by one of our UK volunteers/adopters where she stayed for 2 months until the perfect home was found for her.

During her foster stay she was diagnosed with hip dysplasia and cherry eye. We of course told her foster to go ahead with any treatments necessary for her. Thanks to her wonderful foster home Maggie was able to thrive even with her medical issues.

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Mila when she was rescued
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Mila now

She became the best of friends with resident dog Mila who is also a Happy Shelter dog that didn’t have the easiest of starts either. She was found on the streets of Drmeni as a young pup with a huge scar across her side. She’s been living with her family now for 6 months and has just celebrated her 1st birthday in style!

Maggie really learned what it was like to be loved. After surgery on her eye and medication for her hips she was ready again to look for her forever home and boy did we find it! She now lives an extremely wonderful life with her new mum and dog brother Murphy.

Unfortunately after a second eye surgery her eye has once again prolapsed and she will now need a final surgery for removal but she doesn’t let this stop her. She knows her limits but is just as playful, loving and affectionate as any 11 month old puppy. 

Happy shelter skopje
From left to right: Leeny, Louie and Tori all looking for their forever homes

You can follow us and our dogs on either of our Facebook pages, Instagram or our website where you can see all of our fur babies looking for homes and you can also see all the wonderful dogs in their homes 🥰 

We cannot thank our wonderful adopters enough for giving these beautiful babies the absolute best lives and to our supporters for continuing to support us even when times are tough. 

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Swedish Vallhund

The Little Viking Dog has an intriguing history. Today we’re going to take a look into this rather unknown breed. Learn all about the Swedish Vallhund below!

Swedish Vallhund Breed Standards:
Kennel Club Member?: Yes
Swedish Vallhund Lifespan: 12-15 years
Swedish Vallhund Exercise: Up to 1 hour each day
Height: Male 12.5-13.75 inches Female 11.5-12.75 inches
Weight: 9-16 kilograms
Hypoallergenic: No

Swedish Vallhunds are an achondroplastic breed. A term used to describe dwarfism. Their body is longer than their short legs. Some Swedish Vallhunds are born without tails whilst others vary in length. This confuses people into thinking the tail has been docked!

In Sweden the breed is called Västgötaspets and is also referred to as the Swedish Cow Dog. Their name Vallhund means herding dog in English. Although rare in the UK these dogs are well-loved in their native land.

swedish vallhund


Check out the pros and cons of the Swedish Vallhund dog breed below:


  • Highly intelligent and easy to train
  • Tolerant of cold weather
  • Ideal watchdog
  • Low drooler
  • Sociable and friendly with humans dogs, and cats


  • Susceptible to weight gain
  • Prone to separation anxiety
  • Strong prey drive
  • Vocal
  • High level of grooming maintenance

The Swedish Vallhund is a medium-sized breed with short legs and a long body. Their ears are pricked and tail length varies per individual dog. Their medium-length coat is found in colours, Reddish Brown, Greyish Yellow, Reddish Yellow, Steel Grey, Greyish Brown, with dark hairs along the back, side of the body and neck.

Swedish Vallhund Temperament

Swedish Cattle dogs are alert, energetic, friendly, and fearless. They’re deeply loyal towards their families and are adaptable, making them suited to a variety of different environments. Humorous and intelligent, Swedish Vallhunds are an intriguing breed!

These dogs are eager to please and make excellent companion dogs as well as herding dogs. Swedish Vallhunds aren’t aggressive or shy. They do have an independent side but that doesn’t prevent them from developing separation anxiety.

The Little Viking dogs are alert and will keep a watchdul eye on their territory. They won’t be afraid of strangers but their size doesn’t make them ideal guard dogs. At first they may be wary but should soon settle down with visitors.

Vallhunds are great with children but they may display herding behaviours. This commonly includes nipping at the feet but they’ll quickly learn its wrong. They’re playful and easygoing around children but are better suited for older kids.

In their past this breed used to drive away strange dogs. So it’s no surprise that some Vallhunds are wary of other dogs. Although their sociable nature is easy to make friends with! Socialization will help encourage friendlier behaviour.

Recommended: Which dog is the National Dog of Mexico!


Hailing from Västergötland, Sweden, the Swedish Vallhund settled in Britain from the 8th century. They arrived with the Vikings who raided and conquered parts of Britain including the British Isles.

The Vallhund is thought to have been developed by Scandanavian Spitz breeds mating with Welsh Corgis. Their ancestry is also linked to larger spitz types and moose-hunting dogs from Scandanavia. These canines were used as all-purpose farm dogs and cattle herders.

In the 1930s the breed almost became extinct. Thankfully, breed enthusiasts Count Bjorn von Rosen and Karl Gustaf Zettersen decided to establish a breeding programme. They travelled across Västergötland, looking for the best of the breed.

Their work led to the recognition of the Vallhund by the Swedish Kennel Club in 1943. The ancient Vallhund is now listed as the National Dog of Sweden. To this day they still work alongside Swedish farmers.

The modern breed arrived in England in 1974 by Lady Elizabeth Cartledge. Soon after, in 1983, they were imported to the United States. In 1984 the Swedish Vallhund received its UK Kennel Club recognition.

Exercise & Grooming

This breed requires up to one hour of exercise per day. Some adult Vallhunds could do with a little longer. As this breed is achondroplastic it’s important they don’t jump or climb until their growth plates have closed. This will usually take place around 9-12 months of age.

The Swedish Vallhund is great at dog sports and excels in agility, flyball, showmanship, rally, obedience, tracking and herding. Don’t forget to factor other forms of mental stimulation into their exercise routine.

As active herding dogs they’ll need exercise sessions across the day as opposed to all in one go. Vallhunds won’t make great jogging partners and sometimes a game of fetch in the garden is enough activity.

Vallhunds shed heaviest during the spring and autumn months. Their coats won’t need a trim but will need a brush once or twice a week. The best tools to use are slicker brushes, pin brushes, deshedding rakes and metal combs.

Clean their pricked ears from debris weekly. Baths should be given every 3 months or longer. Ensure their thick coat is washed thoroughly and blow dried after. Give the nails a fortnightly trim and brush the teeth multiple times a week.


Check out the breed-related health conditions of the Swedish Vallhund below:

Persistent Pupillary Membrane: The pigmented tissue remnants in the eye usually disappear before birth. If this doesn’t happen tiny strands may be noticed across the pupil.
Cataracts: A genetic disorder causing an abnormal cloudiness in the eye due to a change of lens. If the opacity is large enough it’ll lead to blindness.
Distichiae: A few eyelashes grow abnormally and touch the surface of the eye. This can cause irritation but affected dogs typically live normal lives.
Swedish Vallhund Retinopathy: A hereditary eye condition damaging the rod and cone cells of the retina. In 2017, a genetic test was developed for this disorder.
Hip Dysplasia: Abnormal growth of the hip joint will cause hip joint laxity. Symptoms include pain and lameness which will develop into arthritis.

Swedish Vallhund Training

Deeply intelligent and eager to please, the Swedish Vallhund quickly learns new commands. Although they’re strong-willed these dogs thrive off attention from their owners, so in the right hands Vallhunds are relatively easy to train.

Repition is a turn off for this quick learner. Make their training sessions short and different each time. Practice in new environments and venture outdoors after developing a level of trust. But remember these herding dogs aren’t pushovers!

Whilst the breed is better for experienced handlers, determined first-time owners are welcomed. Begin socialization as soon as the Swedish Vallhund puppy starts its new life. Join puppy classes where they can meet new people and dogs.

Clicker training is a good method for herding dogs like the Vallhund. Press the click the moment the dog perfects a command. Give a food reward alongside this click. Repeat this and eventually, the click will become the reward. Avoid too many food treats as Vallhunds are prone to weight gain!

Recommended: Check out the 5 Best Dog Water Bottles here!

swedish vallhund UK

Swedish Vallhund Interesting Facts

  • Sweden released a documentary on the breed in 2014. It’s called Swedish Vallhund: A Big Dog in a Small Body. Originally filmed in Swedish, the documentary is also available in English.
  • Across the world the Swedish Vallhund has been featured on stamps. These countries include Sweden, Russia, Ukraine, Nicagarua, Mali, and Tajikistan.
  • Locki from Cannock, England won Best of Breed at Crufts in 2018. Despite the two-year old dog lacking show experience he managed to win the highly sought after prize at one of the world’s most well-known dog events! Loki is owner Lynn Pallatina’s first show dog. It was her first time entering him into a competition!
  • Swedish Vallhunds have an impeccable sence of smell and are used as Search and Rescue dogs!