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Saturday 28 December 2013

Surprising DNA results

Today we had a visit from Sarah Morris from Black Dog DNA (www.blackdogdna.com) following the results of our office dog Sandy's DNA test. We were very surprised to find out that, despite looking like a Sheltie crossed with a Dachshund, she is actually made up of Labrador (grandparent level), a Jack Russell (grandparent level) and smaller amounts of Miniature Poodle and Welsh Corgi!

Sarah talked us through the behaviour traits that Sandy is likely to show, based on her ancestry, and what sort of training and activities we could look at doing to keep her enjoying life to the full.

Monday 16 December 2013

National Animal Welfare Trust, castrations and massage

On one of the many wet and windy days in December, we set off to visit the National Animal Welfare Trust (NAWT) in (Watford). As we were given a guided tour, it certainly made us very aware of the dedication of these people who are out in all weather conditions, smiling and undaunted, as they go about taking care of the needs of a large range of dogs.

We were made to feel very welcome and were particularly impressed by the inventiveness of the centre in creating a range of facilities to provide opportunities for agility, play, training and even somewhere to just give the dogs a cuddle.

Then it was just 20 minutes down to the road to Pinner where Medivet veterinary Surgeon, Reena Patel, kindly opened the doors of her practise again to give us an opportunity to film what happens during a castration. Watching an operation may not be everyone's cup of tea but it is reassuring to see how much care goes into ensuring the well-being of the dogs there and is a fascinating look at what goes on behind closed doors.

We finished the day back in Stevenage with a visit from Jenny Youdan from K9 Elements Massage Therapy (www.k9elements.co.uk) who demonstrated some massage therapy with the help of office dog Sandy. Sandy looked like she was thoroughly enjoying it, even nodding off to sleep at times. Jenny explained an overview of canine massage, the possible benefits and also some signs that you can look out for in your own dog that might suggest they would benefit from some massage therapy.

Tuesday 10 December 2013

TD Rally

Becky Skelhon made us very welcome today in her Talking Dogs Rally class. We enjoyed watching her students show off their skills until it was time for our very own office dog Sandy to give it a try.

Becky showed us some of the second level moves so it was a challenge for Sandy and she was tired out afterwards but we think she did pretty well.

Friday 6 December 2013

Down, boy!

Today we visited Vicky French and her two staffies Stella and Storm. As soon as we entered the house we were aware of the problem! While staffies are known for their exuberance and friendliness, these two were at the extreme of this spectrum, repeatedly jumping as high as they could at you. There was no aggression or viciousness there, just a very high level of hyper-excitement which had been left unchecked. We filmed an article on how to deal with this problem, a simple solution but one that requires patience and more than anything consistency. We look forward to bringing you this article soon.

Sunday 1 December 2013

December 2013 Issue

Seasons Greetings everyone!

In this month's issue we begin our new series of looking behind the scenes at the world of day to day veterinary medicine. With the help of Vet Reena Patel, we cover topics like neutering, dentals and X-rays. Reena is no stranger to the camera, having been the Blue Peter Vet, but has happily agreed to our filming actual veterinary procedures at her practise in Pinner. The first of these looks at Anaesthetics. Another first this month is Flyball. This month's video introduces the sport; future issues will demonstrate how to teach flyball skills.

In addition, we continue with some popular topics begun in previous issues. We take a step back in time from the Whelping video shown in November's issue to look at the topic of Mating. We find out the uses for the herb Psyllium and about the life cycle of the tick. We also look at how TTouch can be used to help with rehabilitation and how to teach the basics of Disc Dog.

Lastly, Trevor Nelson, who has demonstrated a range of grooming skills in previous issues, tells us what it is like to work as a Dog Groomer.

Just one more thing to mention, with Christmas just around the corner, is a reminder that we do have a couple of videos to help you to keep your pet safe and stress free at Christmas in our Seasonal Advice category