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Judging by appearances

The other day I met a friend’s dog, Delby. He’s a beautiful Pekingese, and he was so sweet trotting along. Having enquired whether he would welcome the attention, I called to him and held my hand towards him. Far from the snooty aloof response I expected, he scampered over happily, fur ruffling with each movement. He sniffed my hand and was quite happy to be fussed.

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DogCast Radio Episode 70

Episode 70 of DogCast Radio is now available, so you can catch up with some of the people we met at the Cold Wet Nose Show. The day was such fun, for both us and the dogs. I only have one regret from the day – we left the VIP tent just before Chris Evans (www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/chrisevans/) arrived, and returned just after he had left. Aaargh!

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AB 1634

AB 1634 is a bill in California that has been brought to my attention by Bichon Frise breeder, Matthew Culmore. (http://homepage.mac.com/mculmore/Bichons/) This legislation seeks to force owners to spay or neuter their dogs by the age of six months. While I can understand the dreadful suffering that motivates the bill, it seems there are many problems with such harsh measures.

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Obama's dog

Finally an election issue I can really get my teeth into! Which dog breed should the Obama family choose? The American Kennel Club has advice for the family on their website. (www.akc.org/news/index.cfm?article_id=3536 )
You can visit and vote for the breed you feel is the best candidate. Choices are Bichon Frise, Chinese Crested, Poodle, Soft Coated Wheaton Terrier and Miniature Schnauzer.

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Off to Cold Wet Nose Show!

The big day is almost here and a little later today we’re starting our journey to the Cold Wet Nose Show. Beverley Cuddy has been blogging about the show which you can find at www.coldwetnose.blogspot.com/ and it sounds absolutely fantastic.
If you’re in the UK and you’re free tomorrow take a look at the show’s website www.thecoldwetnoseshow.co.uk/ Kate and Gin who made it to the final ten of Britain’s Got Talent will be appearing, there’ll be fun dog show classes, dock dogs, and too many other things to mention.

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Alfie needs our help

I've just heard from Emma who is fostering a young Golden Retriever puppy called Alfie who needs urgent surgery to have any chance of survival. To find out more about Alfie and how you can help him go to www.alfiesheart.co.uk/

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Weather for dogs?

I’ve just been reading on the internet about the dog show going on in Blackpool yesterday. Apparently the winds were so strong that the tent blew down. Fortunately, most owners and dogs had been evacuated by then, although from some accounts there was confusion about what was going on. To read what I’ve been reading, visit the Champdogs site, (www.champdogsforum.co.uk/) and go to the showing section.

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Animal husbandry and wifery

Last week I interviewed Jennifer Keene, author of We Can’t Stay Together for the Dogs. She was fascinating to talk to and has written a thoughtful, useful book.
Jennifer is an experienced dog trainer who has personally navigated the potential minefield of divorce. She has some excellent and relevant advice about how couples splitting up can avoid upsetting or unsettling their dogs any more than they have to. There are so many issues involved here; communication can become difficult, and it’s impossible to explain to a dog why his routine is changing.

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Britain's got talent - and so has Buddy

Every time I see heelwork to music performed, I feel the urge to have a go. I never get round to it – until recently that is. So I phoned the nearest heelwork to music trainer I could find and had a very enjoyable chat on the phone with her.
Not only had I contacted a lovely person – Carole Thornley, who runs Aricia Dog Training (www.ariciadogtraining.co.uk/ ) – but she also happens to be the trainer who worked for years with Kate and Gin who have just competed in Britain’s Got Talent. Kate and Gin made it to the final ten competitors, and their performances were breathtaking.

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Bronze Medal (well certificate anyway)

Last night Buddy and I passed the test for the Bronze level of the Kennel Club’s Canine Good Citizen Scheme. Hooray!
It was great to know that all our work for the last few weeks has been worth it, and we displayed our certificate and rosette prominently at home. Even though he was fairly well trained before, this more formal training has switched his brain back into work mode. He listens a lot more now, and he certainly walks on a lead better, because he responds much more to verbal commands and so he doesn’t get to the point of pulling.

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Sharing

208 - Benefab and Jayda finds a home

In Episode 208 of DogCast Radio, you can hear how Kat Chrysostum invented benefab, a fabric that is helping dogs to life as healthily and happily as possible. When Duschanca Singh met rescue dog Jayda at the Mayhew, it was love at first sight. Plus the DogCast Radio News with stories of dogs around the world who are being bribed, learning to cope with being blind, training to lead visually impaired people - and one emotional roller-coaster of a story!

189 - The Dog Healers and War Dogs Remembered

In this episode you can hear Mark Winik talk about his debut novel, The Dog Healers, and listen to Julia Robertson explain why she founded the charity War Dogs remembered. Plus there's the DogCast Radio News, and what Mischief the German Spitz puppy has been up to.

188 - Service Dogs UK and Roxie the Doxie Finds Her Forever Home

In this episode you can hear about Service Dogs UK, a fantastic charity which trains assistance dogs to support veterans of any service - military personnel, police, firefighters, paramedics and the coastguard - who develop Post Traumatic Stress Disorder due to their job. Also, listen to Dr Jody A Dean, a clinical psychologist talk about how her book, Roxie the Doxie finds her Forever Home, is helping children understand and talk about adoption and other family issues. Plus the DogCast Radio News and some thoughts on the alpha dog myth.

187 - Muffins Halo and Chorley Fun Dog Show

In this episode you can hear about Muffin's Halo for Blind Dogs, and what motivates people to enter their dog in a fun dog show. In the DogCast Radio News, listen to stories about the latest dog related research. Plus there's a new member of the DogCast Radio team!

186 - Maxwell Muir on wolves

In this episode you can hear trainer, behaviourist, writer, broadcaster and wolf expert Maxwell Muir talk about what wolves mean to him personally, their plight in a modern world, and his hopes for their future. Plus we have the DogCast Radio News.