[ November 8, 2021 ]

Q&A with Karen – Southern Golden Retriever Society Display Team

Name/Company
Karen Menter – Southern Golden Retriever Society Display Team


Who are the Southern Golden Retriever Society (SGRS) Display Team?
The team consists of 16 golden retrievers and handlers performing obedience routines to music.


How did you get involved in your demonstration/discipline?
Over 20 years ago I started training at the SGRS obedience classes and obtained my Kennel Club Good Citizen Scheme Gold Award. I wanted to carry on training as did seven others, so we started to put together obedience moves to music. This was the start of the display team. After being invited to perform at a local village fete by one of the members, we became known in Kent, where we are based, and the invitations grew, as did the team. We increased to 12 then 16 performers with a squad of around 22 goldens. We were invited to Discover Dogs in 2003 and to Crufts in 2004 and have performed at each event every year since.


What are you most looking forward to at Discover Dogs?
The team love coming to Discover Dogs. We love entertaining the audiences and meeting the public to talk to parents and their children about responsible dog ownership. I also enjoy the variety of shopping and meeting so many different breeds of dogs and talking to their owners.


What advice would you give to someone looking to join your demonstration/discipline?
To join the team your dog must be trained to The Kennel Club Good Citizen Scheme Gold standard. It must also have the right temperament and be relaxed when strangers want to pet it. New handlers and dogs are required initially to watch training sessions and then take part, sharing with an experienced handler and dog. The pair then have to attend many small events before graduating to the bigger shows. It is quite a long apprenticeship, but we want the dogs to become used to crowded and noisy environments, such as Discover Dogs and Crufts. The dogs have to be steady but mistakes do happen- they are dogs after all!


Handlers have to be committed to the team. We train for two hours a week for 10 months of the year in any weather. They also have to be available for the many events at which we are asked to perform.


Belonging to the display team is a wonderful way of forming a very special relationship with your dog and sharing many different adventures.

[ November 8, 2021 ]

Q&A with Kath Hardman – Heelwork to Music

Name – Kath Hardman
DemonstrationHeelwork to music

How did you get involved in heelwork to music?
I tried heelwork to music as a change. I’d previously taken part in obedience with a dog that developed epilepsy at 18 months old. She went on to compete at Crufts when she was 14 years old and placed 2nd!

What are you most looking forward to at Discover Dogs?
I’m passionate about heelwork to music and have been involved since the very early days. I would like to help attract new competitors and show them what a great discipline this is.

What advice would you offer to someone looking to take part in heelwork to music? 
Look on The Kennel Club website and find a club – look on social media and start looking for good training days to find out more.

[ November 8, 2021 ]

Q&A with Chris – Medical Detection Dogs

Name/Company – Chris from Medical Detection Dogs

What’s your role at Medical Detection Dogs?
I’m the Puppy Supply and Training Manager at Medical Detection Dogs. I’m responsible for selecting our four-legged team and supporting their training journey to become medical alert assistance dogs or bio detection dogs.

What will you be doing at Discover Dogs?
We’ll be introducing some of our puppies, showing how our medical alert assistance dogs give clients a five minute warning when their medical condition is about to cause a medical emergency, setting up a COVID phase 2 demonstration and chatting to one of our clients.

How did you become involved with Medical Detection Dogs?
I tried to get as much experience with dogs and was keen on understanding how they think, learn and use their olfactory system. I then gained as much practical experience as possible, which gave me a good base level in dog training,  allowing me to work for Medical Detection Dogs.

What are you most looking forward to at Discover Dogs? 
An opportunity to showcase our fantastic dogs to a large audience and to watch their reaction. I never tire of seeing how amazed people are when they realise the power of a dog’s nose.

What advice would you offer to someone keen on training medical detection dogs?
Gain as much practical experience as possible and never think you know everything about dog training. If you’re not successful in getting a job straight away, then turn the feedback from that interview into a positive pointer and develop any areas of weakness.

 

Attached is a picture of Chris will Maple with Willo, our flat-coated retriever

[ September 10, 2021 ]

Cyrus – Discover Dogs – meet the hero dogs behind the campaign

Dog’s name: Cyrus

Dog’s age: 7

Dog’s breed: Afghan Hound

From: Reading

Dog’s favourite toy: Anything! At the moment a wind up cat toy 

Dog’s favourite treat: Liver or a peanut butter biscuit

 

Do you participate in any canine activities, or have you come to Discover Dogs or Crufts before?

We go to Discover Dogs every year, on the Afghan Hound booth to tell people all about the breed. We also compete at dog shows with Cyrus and his sisters. 

 

Would you say your dog helped you through lockdown? How? 

Our dogs kept us going through the pandemic – without them we just wouldn’t have gone out at all. Although we couldn’t meet people during lockdown, we could get out for them, but it also helped us through. 

[ September 10, 2021 ]

Zuri – Discover Dogs – meet the hero dogs behind the campaign

Dog’s name: Zuri

Dog’s age: 2

Dog’s breed: Samoyed

From: Holmfirth, West Yorkshire 

Dog’s favourite toy: Honking duck

Dog’s favourite treat: Chocolate, cheese and fish

 

Do you participate in any canine activities, or have you come to Discover Dogs or Crufts before?

Zuri really enjoys hoopers, agility, dog parkour and obedience. She also does canicross but with less enthusiasm. 

 

Would you say your dog helped you through lockdown? How? 

Zuri is a very sociable dog and loves saying hello to all dogs and people so during lockdown taking her for a walk encouraged us to talk to people, making new friends which helped us all through the trials of the pandemic. Zuri has lots of local dog friends, who can often be seen waiting at our garden gate to see if she’s coming out to play. 

Zuri is very family orientated and provides support for everyone. Her human dad was diagnosed with a heart condition during lockdown and Zuri has been helping him providing cuddles and kisses as well as being gentle and well behaved on walks allowing him to walk her as part of his recovery. 

[ September 10, 2021 ]

Millie – Discover Dogs – meet the hero dogs behind the campaign

Dog’s name: Millie

Dog’s age: 3

Dog’s breed: Yorkshire Terrier

From: Scotland, South Ayrshire 

Dog’s favourite toy: Cow’s hooves 

Dog’s favourite treat: Chicken

Dog’s unusual habit: She thinks she’s human! 

 

Do you participate in any canine activities, or have you come to Discover Dogs or Crufts before?

We take part in breed shows and have been to Crufts.

 

Would you say your dog helped you through lockdown? How? 

I appreciated Millie more than ever during lockdown, spending time with her became an outlet. My son is autistic and him and Millie have really bonded – he’s very sensitive around her and she gets him like nobody else does. 

[ September 10, 2021 ]

Evie – Discover Dogs – meet the hero dogs behind the campaign

Dog’s name: Evie

Dog’s age: 3

Dog’s breed: Cocker Spaniel

From: Northampton

Dog’s favourite toy: Tennis ball

Dog’s favourite treat: Salmon bites

Dog’s unusual habit: She will find every single piece of kibble if we scatter a handful around! She loves to work – in any situation.

Do you participate in any canine activities, or have you come to Discover Dogs or Crufts before?

We go to Discover Dogs together every year, along with my other Cocker Spaniel Anna, and meet lots of potential owners to chat about the breed. We also participate in breed shows at all levels, with some success, and we’re excited to be attending Crufts 2022. Evie also does agility and she excels at it, she’s so fast. Taking on agility was definitely a bit of a learning curve for us both, you have to teach and work hard too! It’s quite unusual that Evie is a show dog and an agility dog – but she’s so intelligent she does just adapt.

Would you say your dog helped you through lockdown? How? 

My dogs crucially helped me to maintain my fitness (and spirits!) during lockdown. Even though you couldn’t meet people to exercise, we were still exercising together and that benefited both of us. Evie really kept my spirits up too when we couldn’t see others and the pandemic was having a huge impact on life.

Do you think dogs have been a lifeline for lots of owners during the pandemic? Why? 

If you’ve got a dog, it’s a reason to get up in the morning. Their companionship is like no other; dogs are always are there for you, at every moment of the day. I’m a groomer and clients regularly tell me how their dogs have been their lifeline – pandemic or not.