May issue

May issue
May issue

Friday, 31 May 2013

Common culprit

I have a two-year-old Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier who scratches a lot and her skin is a bit flaky. She just looks so uncomfortable, poor thing. My vet has confirmed she doesn’t have mange and has suggested it might be an allergy to an ingredient in her food, so I have changed brands but this hasn’t had much affect.

A friend at training suggested I try an elimination diet to see what the cause might be. Could you tell me if you think this will help, and if so, what are the common culprits as I think I should begin with one of those?

Ms Sanders, by email

Thursday, 30 May 2013

Gone with the wind

I know this is not a nice subject but I do need some help for my dog and the ambiance inside my house! She is prone to passing wind quite a bit and it really does not make for a nice environment. I already feed her a premium range canned food.

Please help!

Mrs B. Coles, Edinburgh

If you’re on the banned list, you’re not coming in

We’re looking at going camping this summer for our family holiday in Europe, either in France or Germany and have started the process of getting our Staffie a pet passport. A friend has says she thinks Staffordshire Bull Terriers might be a banned breed in Germany. Is this true, and if so, where can in the EU can we take our soppy dog, who is very well socialised, camping with us?!

Karen Parks, by email

All aboard?

My husband has been offered a job in Australia. It’s something we’re having to think long and hard about as a family, and one of the considerations is our five-year-old Pug. I’ve heard it’s difficult to travel with a Pug and other brachycephalic breeds due to airline restrictions, but she is part of our family. Can you tell me my options?

Dogs Today reader, via Facebook

Cabin fever

When I was delayed for nine hours (!) at a Tenerife airport after a summer holiday, I saw a lady boarding a plane bound for Madrid holding a carry case containing her dog. It was toy breed-sized, but I’m not sure of the actual breed. I’ve never seen a dog in the cabin on a flight in the UK. Are the rules preventing this? This lady was going from Spain to Spain, so perhaps Spanish internal flights have different rules. I’d be interested to know.

Kate Conway, by email

Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Falling foul of the law?

I attended a seminar by a dog law specialist who said not all assistance dog were exempt from clear up after their dog and that it is only Guide Dogs. How can someone in a wheelchair clear up after their dog? I have an assistance dog and most times I find it totally impossible.

It seems unfair that assistance dogs registered by one particular charity should receive special treatment over those trained by other, just as reputable charities.

Can you clarify the law?

Name supplied, via Facebook

Philip Biggs, Assistance Dogs (UK) Access Group, advises…
Dog Control Orders are made under the Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act 2005

Dog Control Orders replace the previous system of byelaws for the control of dogs, and also the Dogs (Fouling of Land) Act 1996, which has been repealed.

The Dog Control Orders (Prescribed Offences and Penalties, etc.) Regulations provide for five offences which may be prescribed in a dog control order:

(a)   Failing to remove dog faeces;

(b)   Not keeping a dog on a lead;

(c)   Not putting, and keeping, a dog on a lead when directed to do so by an authorised officer;
        (d)  Permitting a dog to enter land from which dogs are excluded;

        (e)  Taking more than a specified number of dogs onto land.

Dog control orders provide exemptions in particular cases for registered blind people, and for deaf people and for other people with disabilities who make use of trained assistance dogs.
Anyone with any type of assistance dog is not subject to a Dog Control Order excluding dogs from specified land (d) in respect of his or her assistance dog.
Anyone (assistance dog user) other than a registered deaf person (whose disability will not prevent him or her from being aware of and removing dog faeces) is similarly exempt from a Dog Control Orders on the fouling of land (a)
These exemptions are not relevant to the other three offences which can be the subject of dog control orders.

It can be seen from the above that all assistance dog users are exempt from removing their dog’s faeces other than deaf people who use trained hearing dogs (this is assuming the deaf person is not also registered blind or has any other additional disability that would prevent him or her from removing their assistance dog’s faeces).  All assistance dog users are exempt from any Dog Control Order which excludes dogs from specified land.  Assistance dogs spend a very substantial part of their day under close lead control or in harness, it is vital for their wellbeing that they are able to have free running exercise during the day. Exclusion from land may place assistance dog users at a substantial disadvantage if they are unable to travel to land which is not subject to a dog control order.

All assistance dog users are not exempt from (b) (c) and (e) above.

Assuming liability?

Is it true that dog coats designed to warn others that a dog is nervous, in training, or aggressive, for example, could be seen as an admission that an owner is aware there is a problem, and could be used against them in the event of an incident?

Or, would it work in the owner’s favour and be seen as an attempt by the owner to improve the dog’s sociability and warn others away?

Does it make a difference if the only signs are a yellow ribbon or blank coat, as opposed to a coat or lead that states ‘warning’ or ‘dangerous’?

Where does the law stand on all this, and will it change when the new laws come in?

Ren, via Facebook

Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Tough but informed decision

I wondered if you know of anyone who has been in the same situation we sadly are with Izzy at the moment? She has been diagnosed with colitis and rectal carcinoma recently.
She is such a lovely girl and we really want to make the right decision for HER...not selfish for us and not taking into account finances, though may have to rob a bank! I wondered if anyone has been in the same situation? Surgery may be a possibility, though , it’s pretty major, and we have already been told the tumour will regrow. We’re soul searching as to what is kindest for Izzy. 
Anyone else's experiences/outcomes may help, We don't want to pit her through so much if her quality of life is not likely to improve, indeed may do the opposite if surgery is opted for, however we do want to give her the best option. 

Dogs Today reader, by email

Friday, 17 May 2013

Keeping tip top

I take probiotics to keep me going and I really feel the benefits.

Do dogs benefit from these types of supplements, and, if so, where can I find them? 

Lesley, by email

Bright future ahead

Dear Dogs Today,

Well done for another fabulous edition! I love the magazine and I buy it when I can!

My name is Emily and I am a budding animal behaviourist/dog trainer. I am currently in year nine so have been choosing my options this year and was wondering how your fantastic dog behaviourists and dog trainers got to where they are now? I would love to know which colleges/sixth forms they went to, what they studied, what universities they went to, what hey studied there, and how they built up their careers to where they are now.

I know I am very young, but our generation is finding it increasingly more difficult to find jobs and I would love to set myself in good stead for the rest of my life so that maybe one day I could be as amazing as they are! They are a big inspiration to me as they are changing the harsh opinions that people have on different dogs and rescues. This is what needs to happen because many dogs are suffering because of it.

I have a rescue dog myself called Jasper. The only training he had had was toilet training when we got him. So, me and my family had to train him right from the start! He was in a really bad state when we got him, but now, besides his arthritis, he is a happy, fit, healthy, well-behaved Toy Poodle.

Thank you for taking the time to read this letter. I look forward to your reply.

Yours faithfully,

Emily Foster, age 14, by post

Dogs Today says...

Dear Emily,

Thank you very much for your letter. It is wonderful to hear you have such a passion for dogs and for learning. Jasper must be in very safe hands.

We would like to send you a couple of dog training books and a subscription to Dogs Today to help with your background reading. I do hope they are useful and enjoyable.

Very best wishes with your future career. You are certainly asking all the right questions, and it sounds like the dogs you care for will have a very bright future.

Rachael Millar
Dogs Today

Monday, 13 May 2013

Of dogs and men

Hey Dogs Today magazine, 

I was wondering if you could do a article on dogs who are nervous of men? My two-year-old Labrador Jayde is nervous of strangers but its mainly men. From about eight months old, for some reason our happy and sociable little puppy was gone  and was terrified of men. We think that maybe someone came to our house, be it the postman or delivery man while we were working, and it scared her a lot.

We've worked with her a lot over two years by taking her to work with me and dog shows, trying to build her confidence, and she's slowly starting to get better. She still has her bad days where she will run, hide, cower and growl to get away from men and unfortunately because she is a Labrador, people don't see this breed as having any problems and they will often just stroke her without asking which sets her back. However, when she first had this problem their wasn't a lot of information out there about how to deal with it and I was scared that she might have had to be put down in the future for gowling and scaring someone.

Thank you.

Laura Bicknell, by email

Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Down to business

I know this might sound like a funny question, but is it possible to train my dog to 'go' in my garden? I've found my local authority isn't changing the dog bins so often and they fill up quickly. It might just be easier to train her to go in my garden before we go on a walk. The problem is, she's a shy goer (she goes behind a tree when we're out so I have to subtly watch so I can find it after, but avoid her embarrassment!) so I'm worried she might not want to. She does go in the garden when I let her out before bed, but she knows I'm not watching then.

Thanks very much!

Jules Morris, by email

Fitting tribute

Dear Dogs Today,

I am after some advice and hope you can help.

My dog has not got very long left to live unfortunately. I am making his last weeks as comfortable as possible but I want to give him a good send-off when the time comes. I’ve heard awful stories about some pet crematoria just cremating pets all together, or worse, and I want to ensure he is treated well. Are there any laws or industry standards to prevent things from going wrong? He deserves the very best.

Thanking you in advance.

Emma Miles, by email

Wednesday, 1 May 2013

On the road

Hi there,
My wife and I and our two JRTs are looking for a bit of a different summer break this year. We want to travel around the south coast and do a bit of exploring, particularly of the Jurassic Coast. Do you know of any caravan hire companies that will allow us to travel with two dogs?

Thank you.


John Fraser, by email

In the dock

I've seen a discussion on a breed club Facebook page. It's from the breeder of a litter of pups whose tails have been docked. They're going to pet homes and I wondered what are the regulations in terms of docking. I haven't seen much demand from the UK working community for the breed. 
Can you advise on the legality?

Name withheld