Category: Blog


Renting with dogs

I was thrilled with how my recent piece for Edition Dog (on the minefield that is renting with dogs) came out. I would like to say a big thank you to everyone who shared their opinions and experiences.

As we have discovered, renting with one dog is hard enough; renting with four is almost impossible. We actually got to the stage where we thought we would simply have to split our household – Marc and I going one way with the boys and Mum going her own way with the two girls.

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The Good Shepherds

I’ve long been a keen advocate of our rare and vulnerable native breeds and have written numerous articles about them and possible ways to boost their dwindling numbers over the years. Usually, I have gone along the lines of how to redeploy these beautiful dogs into brand new 21st century vocations – given that many of the jobs they were originally bred to do – now longer exist or no longer require them.

However, for my recent two-parter in Country Smallholding Magazine I tried a completely different approach, I wanted to showcase examples of some of the “at risk” terriers and herding breeds doing the job they were initially bred for and their possible usefulness for the modern-day smallholder/hobby farmer.

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I recently wrote a piece about the suitability of several of our terrier breeds for the smallholder. I particularly wanted to focus on their ability to control rats and mice – the bane of any livestock keeper.

I am keen that, to significantly raise their numbers (and interest in them) more of our rare/vulnerable native breeds need to get back to work.

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I kept a number of ferrets in my youth; they are absolutely fascinating animals and make wonderful pets. My brother worked them, something I wasn’t too keen on – memories of Watership Down seriously affected my view of rabbiting. Instead of hunting, I far preferred the day-to-day care and breeding of my mustelid pets.

Recently, I wrote a piece on keeping ferrets and ferreting for Country Smallholding Magazine, and it reawakened memories of one particularly spooky ferreting expedition many years ago.

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A Mini Dachshund Mystery

I recently wrote a piece on the extraordinary rise of the Miniature Dachshund for American dog magazine, Canine Chronicle.

Whilst researching it I came across a fascinating photograph of a girl with what looks like a very respectable looking Miniature Wirehaired Dachshund.

What’s so odd about that you may ask?

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Unperturbed

The previous “quiz” was far too easy! In fact, it seems humans (build, weight, style, shape, etc) have changed far more over the past 120 years than some of our more popular dog breeds.

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Changed beyond all recognition?

Can you name them all? Add your answers in the comments.

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Forget the talk of the mutating CV19 virus; has anyone noticed the fast-mutating examples of human behaviour when outside while simply walking down the street?

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This particular piece relates to my other article ‘Levelling the playing field’ which was published in my Dog World column ‘Crossing the headlines’

A number of us have recently become increasingly worried about the number of private registries mushrooming up that claim to cater for both pedigree and crossbreed.

In America a number of these entities have had relationships with the ‘puppy mill’ industry and it seems a similar thing could be quietly happening here. Continue reading

Well, my recent article about dangerous dogs has certainly got you talking and I received a number of emails concerning readers’ experiences when out walking their own dogs or when with their children/grandchildren. A number of the stories were quite disturbing and it is clearly evident that something urgently needs to happen to the cowardly thugs who abuse, brandish and goad these poor animals into action. Continue reading