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Notes from the ChairWinter 2019

Welcome everyone to our Winter Newsletter.

I’d like to take the opportunity to wish you all a rather belated happy new year and I also hope you enjoyed the Christmas break. I’m pleased to see that the weather has reverted to the more traditional chilly but fresh as opposed to the constant rain of recent weeks. I expect like me you were finding it difficult to find suitable places for dog walks. Bobby and I have decamped to the Tide Mills environs for our morning walk which is nice but I miss the openness of the downs and the golf course. Hopefully we can get back to our normal haunts very soon but as always I never tire of thinking how lucky we are to have such a wonderful choice of locations to exercise our little friends whatever the weather.

Just after Christmas I took Bobby to the vets for his annual jabs which triggered the fact that I have actually had him for a year now. There is nothing like owning a dog or a new car to remind you how quickly time flies by these days. He has turned out to be such a great little dog. I have had no problems with him from day one apart from a little medical issue and I count myself very lucky to have him.

Talking of time flying, this year, 2020, is the diamond jubilee of the formation of the club. I’m told that our club is the longest continuous running dog training club in the U.K. Whether that is true or not, I don’t know but it’s a testament to all those people past and present who have given so much of their free time over those 60 years. If any of you have any legacy data from those early days like photo’s or even recollections, we would love to see hear from you. The club intends to mark the occasion with several events through the year which we hope you will support. At present ideas are being crystallized by the committee but as always, this is your club and if you have any ideas you would like to propose please contact the club, details on our website.

Mentioning of the website brings me nicely to the news that our new website was rolled out at the start of the year. We elected last year to invest a not inconsiderable sum to have the website upgraded and streamlined. The result is very impressive and the implementation team should be congratulated on the successful conclusion of the project. We are carrying out final stage snagging at the moment and by the time you read this, the project will have been completed and I hope you will enjoy exploring the site.

So, now we move in to the New Year with lots of new members and dogs to train. First date for your diary is Wednesday May 6th when we will be having our 60th annual general meeting. The venue this year is at the Seaford Constitutional Club. If you don’t know the location it is just off Crouch Lane. So it is very central to the town and also benefits from a large car park. If you haven’t been before, it’s well worth attending where you can meet the committee, ask questions and applaud the various winners of trophies awarded throughout the training year.

As mentioned previously we shall be marking the diamond jubilee but there will also be other social activities as usual organised throughout the year. The first of those will be a sausage sizzle at the end of the March forest walk on Sunday 29th. Come and join us for a cup of soup and a sausage in a bun. Finally, I’m sad to report that Jenny Barnes passed away just before Christmas Jenny was a stalwart of the club and held the role of treasurer for an incredible 19 years, for which the club will be eternally grateful. Jenny retired from that position in 2017. There is a full testament to Jenny further on in the newsletter. As Always, I look forward to catching up with you at the various events and functions throughout the year. In the meantime I hope you enjoy all the pleasures that being a dog owner brings even at this rather bleak time of year.

Dick and Bobby

Remembering: Jenny Barnes 9/3/1941 to 17/11/2019

Many of you will not have had the privilege of knowing Jenny but happily the older members of the club will remember her with much affection. Jenny joined the dog club in the early 1970s and trained with her Spaniels and Labradors before becoming interested in breeding and showing Cocker Spaniels, which she did with some success.

However she remained a loyal member of the SDDTC and was our highly efficient and much valued Treasurer for many years until she retired in 2017. She could always be found on a training night sitting at the table and taking the money for the classes and chasing people for their subscriptions. She was an avid supporter of Guide Dogs for the Blind and when the club held the annual Fair to raise money for the charity Jenny always ran the highly successful plant stall spending months bringing on plants to sell and encouraging others to do the same, the proceeds paying for the training of several Guide Dogs over the years.

Jenny sadly passed away in November 2019 and her happy friendly personality is very much missed by all who knew her.

God bless Jen.

News from the Kennel Club

RECOGNISING THE HEALTH BENEFITS OF DOG WALKING

Dogs have been man’s best friend for centuries; the latest figures suggest that there are approximately nine million pet dogs in the UK, with one in every four households having a pet dog. Dog ownership results in physical and mental health benefits for the whole family.

One of the most important and enjoyable elements for most dog owners is getting out in the fresh air to take their dogs on a walk. Since the introduction of the Animal Welfare Act 2006, there is a legal requirement for those responsible for dogs to provide them with ‘suitable exercise’, which means regular opportunities to walk and run off lead.

IMPACT OF AN IRRESPONSIBLE MINORITY.

Whilst the majority of dog walkers are responsible, unfortunately there is an element that don’t pick up after their dog or allow their dogs to run out of control. This behaviour has resulted in an increasing number of local authorities introducing ever-more stringent restrictions on where dog walkers may exercise their dogs. Many restrictions require dog walkers to keep their dogs on a lead in places such as parks or beaches, or ban people taking dogs into these areas altogether.

The Kennel Club accepts that there are scenarios where restrictions on dog walkers are required and justified, but many simply make it harder for dog owners to provide appropriate exercise for their dogs. Since the introduction of Public Spaces Protection Orders, under the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014, we are increasingly being contacted by dog walkers whose lives are being blighted by these Orders, as they are being left without accessible or practical spaces to walk their dogs.

CONSULTATION AND LEGAL CHALLENGE

The Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act allows local authorities to introduce restrictions on dog walkers with very limited requirements to consult. The Kennel Club is the only welfare organization cited in guidance as a body which should be consulted as we are a leading expert on these orders, and have the most accurate record of what restrictions have been enacted across the country.

However, we typically rely on concerned dog owners to let us know about their local authorities proposals. What is more concerning is that the financial cost and time required to challenge the Orders through the High Court is not within the means of a typical dog owner.

His Apologies by Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936)

Master, this is Thy Servant. He is rising eight weeks old. He is mainly Head and Tummy. His legs are uncontrolled. But Thou hast forgiven his ugliness, and settled him on Thy knee… Art Thou content with Thy Servant? He is very comfy with Thee.

Master, behold a Sinner! He hath committed a wrong. He hath defiled Thy Premises through being kept in too long. Wherefore his nose has been rubbed in the dirt and his self- respect has been bruised.

Master, pardon Thy Sinner, and see he is properly loosed. Master, again Thy Sinner! This that was once Thy Shoe, He has found and taken and carried aside, as fitting matter to chew. Now there is neither blacking nor tongue, and the Housemaid has us in tow, Master, remember Thy Servant is young, and tell her to let him go!

Master, extol Thy Servant, he has met a most Worthy Foe! There has been fighting all over the 3 Shop — and into the Shop also! Till cruel umbrellas parted the strife (or I might have been choking him yet), But Thy Servant has had the Time of his Life — and now shall we call on the vet?

Master, behold Thy Servant! Strange children came to play, And because they fought to caress him, Thy Servant wentedst away. But now that the Little Beasts have gone, he has returned to see (Brushed — with his Sunday collar on) what they left over from tea.

Master, pity Thy Servant! He is deaf and three parts blind. He cannot catch Thy Commandments. He cannot read Thy Mind. Oh, leave him not to his loneliness; nor make him that kitten’s scorn. He hath had no other God than Thee since the year that he was born. Lord, look down on Thy Servant! Bad things have come to pass. There is no heat in the midday sun, nor health in the wayside grass. His bones are full of an old disease — his torments run and increase.

Lord, make haste with Thy Lightning and grant him a quick release!

The Dogs we love and why

In response to my appeal for items about ‘the dogs you love and why’ I was disappointed not to receive any articles for publication. However I made a personal appeal to old friends of the club to tell me about their love of their own special breeds and here is the Second response.

THE GERMAN SHEPHERD

Everybody knows what a German shepherd dog (GSD) is and some people are careful and wary of them. They are big and powerful dogs and if not properly trained they can be a nuisance and cause harm. However the GSD is rather special to me. I have had GSDs now for some 32 years sometimes two together as a new puppy joined the older one. I have always liked their physical appearance, their alertness and the intelligence in their eyes also their willingness to learn and their desire to do tasks for their owner. As my dogs come from working lines I was somewhat prepared for the possible challenges before me and I liked these challenges.

The first thing for me always was to establish leadership and control using kind training methods (rewards, praise and patience). Firm boundaries are essential. The GSD can be rather slow in maturing so the process of establishing leadership and control can take from 6 months to 2 years depending on the dog’s personality. However once established it lasts for life and their loyalty to their leader is outstanding. The instinct to protect the leader is highly developed and a plus for me a lone female walker.

The GSD is not a dog to sit all day with you by the fireside, he will do that too but I believe that one would fail the breed if they are not kept stimulated and use made of this intelligence. I am an outdoors type of person and the GSD for me is the perfect dog for the outside, not just for long walks in open country but for putting them to work. The GSD thrives on working for you. He enjoys nose work and will do searches for you. Lose your keys in a field and he will find them and bring them back to you. He will do seek backs, tracking and send always and more. The GSD loves it all plus is keen to do it and that has always given me great pleasure and made for a deep bond with each one of my dogs. My dogs could have done more in the ‘dog working world’ but I felt relaxed about it and it seemed enough for me seeing them work for me with such enthusiasm in the field.

Also they are excellent with children. It has always been such a joy to see the interaction between my dogs and my grandchildren. They have always been the best of friends. One day it will be hard for me not to have GSDs but I will remember my life with them with great fondness and I feel privileged to have owned four wonderful dogs.

Barbel Rehman Now I await your input!

Diane

Tips for choosing the right pooch By Anna Webb

Talk to people in the park about what kind of dog they have, and whether they like that breed. Everyone loves to talk about their dog.

Go to your local rescue centre and talk to the staff about your circumstances. Look at the array of dogs in the centre and see if one catches your eye.

If you are a first-time dog owner, why not volunteer to walk some of the dogs in the rescue centre to see how it feels to have a dog.

Be realistic about your lifestyle are you good at getting up in the mornings? Have you got a garden for the dog to run around in? Are you away from home often either overnight or at weekends? The Kennel Club website has some great advice on which dogs are suitable to country and city living.

Check which breeds of dog will best suit your lifestyle.

NEW LAW

The popularity of certain breeds is feeding the demand for so-called puppy farms. So much so, that the Government has brought in new measures. From April 2020, third party sale of dogs will become illegal under legislation known as Lucy’s Law, named after a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel who died in 2016 after being poorly treated on a puppy farm.

Puppies sold on the internet may have been bred in terrible conditions. “Sadly, they are often very sickly and many of them die, causing heartbreak for their owners as well as suffering to the puppies – all to earn unscrupulous people money” says Anna Webb. The safest way to buy a puppy is to know a reputable breeder; the Kennel club can help with their accredited breeders list or a visit to a rescue centre.

Remember buying from an unknown source only perpetuates the suffering of these poor pups.

Dog Food

Information sheet From Alison Burgess alisonwright@wheelgates.co.uk

Commercial pet food has advanced considerably in recent years, but it’s easy to be overwhelmed by the choice. I will look at the different categories of commercial pet foods that are currently available and some of their associated pros and cons.

There are really two main ways of classifying foods – the first relates to whether the food contains everything your dog needs- i.e. “complete”.

The second describes how the food was prepared. Complete foods are by far the most popular choice for dog owners in the UK. They come in many forms including dry, wet and raw. In order to be legally labelled as ‘complete’, a food must contain every nutrient required by a dog in sufficient amounts to keep the dog healthy.

Complementary foods are usually wet or raw foods that don’t contain the full range or the right balance of nutrients and have to be fed alongside other foods. For some people wet foods represent a more natural and appetizing choice. More care should be taken to brush the dog’s teeth when giving it a totally wet diet.

Raw feeding is regarded by many as the most natural way to feed a dog. Owners research and prepare their own, or buy a complete or balanced diet. Raw feeding is by no means free from criticism. Some vets and industry experts have raised concerns over the safety and nutritional balance of raw foods. More care needs to be taken handling the raw meat. I don’t recommend it if you have small children. Raw feeding is often a topic of heated discussions!

One other category of pet foods has just started to emerge – fresh complete foods. These provide a convenient version of home cooking and include a balanced selection of high-end fresh ingredients. With fresh ingredients and a low level of processing, fresh complete foods are likely to retain a high proportion of their natural nutrients, at least compared to conventional dry and wet foods.

DRY FOODS

The majority of British dogs are fed on dry foods. Their popularity owes a lot to their convenience. Dry foods can be produced in a number of ways:- Extrusion is by-far the most common cooking method for dry dog foods.

A growing number of critics claim that the multiple levels of processing and high temperatures they involve may destroy 6 many of the natural nutrients. Supporters, however, advocate that the cooking process kills parasites and might actually increase digestibility. Baking is an alternative cooking method that allows foods to be cooked at lower pressures than extrusion and therefore may leave more of the nutrients intact. Baking does, however, usually rely on a certain amount of wheat gluten to bind the biscuits.

Cold pressed dog foods are growing in popularity rapidly as they present all of the advantages of more conventional dry food processing but without the potentially damaging high temperatures. Ingredients do, however, still have to be dried and ground before pressing and some, like grains, also have to be precooked so there is a certain level of processing, but the final stage is a lot less intensive than extrusion.

Air drying takes things one step further as the ingredients usually start the procedure fresh rather than ground or pre-cooked, and the process may reduce the damage to proteins, vitamins and enzymes compared to conventional cooking methods. Some air -dried foods need to be rehydrated by adding water so, while these packs might seem small, the volume of food you get from them is considerably larger.

Freeze dried foods are created by first freezing and then gently heating the ingredients within a vacuum to remove any moisture. In this way, the nutrients undergo very little damage making it arguably the most ‘natural’ form of dry food available. The disadvantage is the cost but they store well without the need for any artificial preservatives. Many freeze dried diets require rehydration with water before feeding. Information is taken from www.allaboutdogfood.co.uk.

Once you have decided which category of food you would prefer to feed, you can use the filters in this website to find the best options for your dog. If your dog has any health problems you should consult your vet or a canine nutritionist for advice. To obtain a 75% discount on your first order of Butternut Box (a complete fresh food) use the link: www.Butternutbox.com/Wheelgates

Editor

Contact details: Diane Costanzo

01323 899032

michael.costanzo@btopenworld.com

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