What The Judges Look for In Confirmation/Dog Shows

In dog breeding and showing, a conformation point is any one out of a long list of dog attributes known as the breed standard. This is a set standard, usually written, which is used to judge a given dog against the hypothetical ideal specimen of that breed. All the winners of Best of Breed (or Variety in some cases) compete in group competition with other breeds that do relatively the same thing. However, each individual dog in the group ring is being judged against its own breed’s standard.

An incorrect conformation point is known as a fault.

Common conformation points

  • Coat, includes colour, type, length, pattern and tactile quality
  • Quality, quantity and distribution of markings
  • Temperament (should be characteristic of breed) and general attitude
  • Head shape; colour of head
  • Bite (how the teeth meet when the jaws are closed)
  • Eye shape and colour
  • Shape, set and carriage of ears
  • Size of animal
  • Ratio of animal’s height to its length
  • Skin health (and often pigmentation)
  • Gait (quality and style of stride and general movement)
  • Grooming, in breeds where that applies
  • Tail shape, set and carriage
  • Shape of feet

There are many other qualifiers, and many specifics within these. For example, in some breeds, skin must include an assessment of the quality of the wrinkles. In some breeds, an examination of the mouth includes measurement and judging of the flews, in most others, this does not apply.

Article Obtained From: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conformation_point

Symptoms of Poisoning In Dogs

Dog Poison Symptoms

Once your dog shows poison symptoms, your pet must be treated immediately; any delay would cost its life.

Dog Poison Symptoms vary on the type of poison consumed. Sometimes dog that recovers from the acute phase may suffer from kidney damage.

The common symptoms are;

  • Mental depression

  • Weakness

  • Uncoordinated gait

  • Vomiting

  • Coma

Some of the poisoned dogs may be found with no apparent reason. Some poisons (Warfarin) may cause hematuria (blood in urine) or melena (blood in stools). Even you may notice epistaxis (bleeding from nose).

Once you confirmed that your dog-swallowed kerosene, gasoline, alkali or acid, inducing vomiting is not indicated. Provide milk for poison dilution and rush him to the nearest vet.

Check the label of the container or bottle of the poison to find out if there is any recommended antidote is available. Even you can try to induce vomiting by providing him a mixture of hydrogen peroxide and water.

Mix 3% hydrogen peroxide with equal parts of water. Administer the mixture carefully from the side of his mouth instead of pouring the liquid straightaway into the mouth. This forceful introduction of medicine may cause aspiratory pneumonia.

Pull the dog’s lip away from the side of his mouth, deposit the required liquid in the pocket formed in-between the cheek and the teeth. The recommended dosage is a tablespoonful of the mixture per ten pounds of your dog’s weight.

Once his stomach is settled down, a teaspoonful of Epsom salts in plain water will evacuate the contents from the intestine quickly. In case of the dog rat poison symptoms, hydrogen peroxide is the best antidote. The hydrogen peroxide will get converted into hydrogen and oxygen, once it reaches the stomach.

After this emergency treatment, the stomach and bowels of your dog have been evacuated; get an immediate appointment from a vet to relieve the dog poison symptoms completely.

Buy A Honda…For Your DOG!!!!

Dog-lovers of the world, unite… around Honda

Thu May 29, 2008 9:43am BST

1 of 1Full Size

By Chang-Ran Kim, Asia autos correspondent

TOKYO (Reuters) – At first it was single women. Then retiring baby-boomers. Now, Honda has sniffed out another growing demographic of potential car buyers in Japan: the dog-lover.

Japan’s No.2 automaker is looking to win points with canine fans using a website that offers information on dog-friendly cafes and hotels, dimensions for its cars’ cargo space for stashing cages, a rating system that ranks seat fabric for ease of removing dog hair, and much more.

Visitors to the Japanese-language site, called “Honda Dog” (www.honda.co.jp/dog/), can also find out about events where they can test-drive Honda cars with their pups, or view a race in a section reserved for dog-accompanied guests.

“There’s definitely a need there that wasn’t being met,” said Teruhiro Murai, an Internet marketer at Honda who came up with the idea seven years ago to fulfill his own needs as the owner of a golden retriever and miniature dachshund.

Honda may be on to something.

Thanks to a recent pet boom and a declining birthrate, Japanese now have more dogs and cats than they do children under 15. Detecting a trend, Honda came up with the W.O.W. concept car at the 2005 Tokyo Motor Show designed especially for dogs: detachable, easy-to-clean seats, wooden floors and a netted, built-in pup-crate in the dashboard.

The site, which can also be reached by clicking on the dog on Honda’s Japan-based home page (www.honda.co.jp), gets 1.5 million page views a month. Internal surveys show that about 100 people decide to buy a Honda after visiting the site, Murai said.

“It helps to show people exactly how our cars can be canine-friendly,” said Tokio Isono, a fellow dog-lover and a chief engineer of Honda’s cars.

The new Freed minivan, launched in Japan on Thursday, is a perfect example, he said.

The vehicle has the lowest floor yet among Honda’s minivans, at just 39 cm (15.35 inches) from the ground to the rear section, while the cargo space is just 48 cm off the ground.

“It’s low enough even for my dog, May,” Isono said, commanding his short-legged, three-year-old corgi to jump in during a demonstration for reporters.


Dog-conscious car shopping also has legs outside Japan.

Independent site dogcars.com, with readers clicking in from the United States to Russia and beyond, provides reviews and “paw” ratings for vehicles and pet gear such as backseat restraints and de-shedding combs.

Toyota Motor has also pricked up its ears, creating a rival site to Honda Dog last year in Japan. (http://toyota.jp/corolla/dog/)

Still, the Japanese juggernaut may have some way to go to catch up with Honda’s dog-friendliness: dogcars.com’s first-ever “DogCar of the Year” award went to the 2007 Honda Element SUV for its easy-to-clean interior and anti-nose print windows.

“Thanks, Honda,” raves an Element owner in a user comment. “You were trying to fill a surfer dude niche and you accidentally made the most rockin’ dog-friendly vehicle ever!”

© Thomson Reuters 2008 All rights reserved.

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Canine Influenza

Canine Influenza Was Around Earlier Than Once Thought

ScienceDaily (Mar. 20, 2008) — The canine influenza virus, first identified in 2004, had been circulating in the greyhound population for at least five years prior to its discovery and may have been responsible for numerous outbreaks of respiratory disease among dogs at racing tracks during that period, according to research presented March 18 at the 2008 International Conference on Emerging Infectious Diseases in Atlanta, Georgia.

“We have demonstrated the virus was in the greyhound population as early as 1999 and we speculate it was likely introduced sometime before that,” says Tara Anderson of the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine, a lead researcher on the study.

Canine influenza is a highly contagious respiratory infection of dogs that is caused by the H3N8 influenza virus. The canine influenza virus is closely related to the virus that causes equine influenza and it is thought that the equine influenza virus mutated to produce the canine influenza virus. Two clinical syndromes have been seen in dogs infected with the canine influenza virus–a milder form associated with infection of the upper respiratory tract and a more severe form that is accompanied by pneumonia.

Because the virus is a novel pathogen, virtually all dogs that are exposed to the virus become infected and nearly 80% show clinical signs but most affected dogs have the mild form. Fatal cases of pneumonia resulting from infection with canine influenza virus have been reported in dogs, but the fatality rate (5% to 8%) has been low so far.

The first recognized outbreak of canine influenza in the world was believed to have occurred in racing greyhounds in January 2004 at a track in Florida. From June to August of 2004, outbreaks of respiratory disease were reported at 14 tracks in 6 states (Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Kansas, Texas, and West Virginia). Between January and May of 2005, outbreaks occurred at 20 tracks in 11 states (Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Kansas, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Texas, West Virginia, and Wisconsin).

In June 2006, more outbreaks occurred at 3 tracks in Florida. Infection has also been confirmed in pet dogs in 25 states and Washington, DC. These cases occurred in animal shelters, humane societies, rescue groups, pet stores, boarding kennels, and veterinary clinics.

Anderson and her colleagues were concerned that a number of respiratory outbreaks of unknown cause at greyhound tracks prior to 2004 might be an indication that the virus had been in the dog population earlier. They were able to acquire greyhound blood samples for the period 1999 to 2004 from Hemopet®, an animal blood bank in California that uses retired greyhounds as donors. They tested these samples for antibodies to both the canine influenza virus and the equine influenza virus.

“For most dogs we had 2 to 3 years’ worth of samples, so we were able to follow up with the same dog from year to year to see if it maintained antibody levels,” says Anderson.

In 1999, 33% of the samples tested positive for antibodies to both canine and equine influenza viruses. Antibodies were also detected in samples collected in 2000 (38%), 2001 (19%), 2003 (44%) and 2004 (28%). Tracking the dogs using their ear tattoos, the researchers were able to determine that seropositive greyhounds were present at tracks or farms in a number of states during respiratory disease outbreaks in 1998, 1999 and 2003.

Only 1% of the 2002 samples tested positive. Interestingly, says Anderson, there were no outbreaks that year, and most of the sampled dogs had not been on tracks during the outbreaks in 1998 or 1999.

“Based on the serological evidence, we conclude that influenza A H3N8 virus was circulating in the racing greyhound population as early as 1999. The seropositive dogs were located at tracks involved in respiratory disease outbreaks of unknown etiology, suggesting that influenza A H3N8 virus may have been the causative agent of those outbreaks,” says Anderson.

Adapted from materials provided by American Society for Microbiology

Ester C® calcium ascorbate supplement – This is a must read!!!

Ester-C® is a buffered form of Vitamin C that is “body ready” and 4 times more available to the tissues than ordinary Vitamin C, which is highly acidic. In Ester C®, the acid is buffered with calcium and processed to contain threonate, a metabolite which dramatically enhances absorption. 

Ester-C  Canine Usage is increasingly proving beneficial.  Although animals can manufacture Vitamin C in their bodies under ordinary conditions, stresses such as heavy exercise, injuries or respiratory problems increase the demand for Ester-C in dogs. An important component of collagen or connective tissue, Ester C® functions as a chondroprotective, anti-inflammatory and immunoresponsive substance.Vitamin C has non nutritional properties in higher dosages. For example, the anti inflammatory and antioxidant properties of large doses of Vitamin C are widely recognized. A growing body of anecdotal evidence is accumulating from veterinary practitioners who have begun recommending Ester C vitamin ascorbates in place of ordinary ascorbates to achieve these effects.

Many veterinarians and pet owners have turned to Ester C® calcium ascorbate because it is a gentle way of administering Vitamin C to dogs and horses without gastrointestinal upset.  Because they have found that Ester C® ascorbate is gentler in the stomachs of animals, it could be given at the higher doses necessary to achieve desired non nutritional actions.

Dr. Geir Erik Berge, a veterinarian in Oslo, Norway, gave 100 disabled dogs 30 mg/kg of Ester C® three times daily for six months. To qualify for the study, a dog had to have one of the following chronic conditions involving the joints and connective tissue: severe joint injury, arthritis, spondylosis, hip dysplasia, older disc prolapse, muscle atrophy as a result of functional loss, or senile wear and tear in support and motion systems.  After one week of treatment with Ester C®, some 75% of the ailing dogs showed dramatic improvement in their conditions. This percentage improvement remained relatively stable for the rest of the study. At the six month mark, 78% of the previously suffering dogs had experienced a significant reduction in symptoms.

Berge concluded that dogs manufacture sub-optimal concentrations of Vitamin C in some tissues under the stress of certain ailments.  He recommended high dosage supplementation with Ester C® ascorbate to help correct those deficits.

Free and Easy for Dogs contains suggested levels of

Ester C

® which works synergistically with the other vitamins and supplements to provide the necessary and expected relief of many dogs.

(Berge, 1990). The Norwegian Veterinary Journal 102: 579,580,581

Additional Reading
Ester-C: Miracle Cure for Hip Dysplasia?

Toxic Plants To Dogs/Animals-Update

Did you know that there are actually over 700 plants that can be poisonous or toxic to your pet?’ That size of a number seems almost incomprehensible and makes you wonder if there are actually any plants left over that are NOT poisonous to animals!

The list included here cannot possibly begin to cover every single poisonous plant in existence, and it should also be said that some of these plants are much more toxic than others are. It is important to use your best judgment when determining whether or not these plants should remain in your home or garden. Consider your personal situation and the normal behavior of your pets. If you keep any of these plants in areas that cannot be accessed by your pet, or if you have a pet that has never bothered with getting into your plants in the past, then it is likely you shouldn’t have a problem with keeping those particular species of plants in a home with pets.

The most important thing for you do to when assessing your current plant situation, is to dig a little bit deeper and find out exactly how toxic certain plants can be and how they can affect your animal.

Let’s begin by looking at a list of the 10 Most Common Poisonous Plants

Marijuana – Animals who attempt to snack on this plant can suffer serious consequences such as diarrhea, vomiting, increased heart rate, drooling, in-coordination, and even possibly seizures and coma.

Sago Palm – While the seeds and nuts of this plant are most poisonous, the entire plant is toxic. Animals ingesting parts of this plant may suffer from diarrhea, vomiting, depression, seizures and liver failure.

Lilies – Plants of the lily variety are very poisonous to cats. Even very small amounts of this plant could cause serious kidney damage.

Tulips – The toxic portion of this plant is the actual bulb, which can cause drooling, central nervous system depression, gastrointestinal irritation, cardiac issues and convulsions.

Azalea – The toxins in azalea plants can be very severe and potentially cause drooling, diarrhea, vomiting, central nervous system weakening and depression, and in some cases possibly coma or death.

Oleander – All portions of this plant are poisonous and can cause gastrointestinal irritation, hypothermia, heart problems and possibly death.

Castor Bean – Poisoning as a result of this plant can cause abdominal pain, drooling, diarrhea, vomiting increased thirst, loss of appetite and weakness. More serious cases could also lead to dehydration, tremors, seizures, twitching muscles, coma and possibly death.

Cyclamen – The most poisonous portion of this plant is located in the root. Ingestion of the plant can cause severe vomiting and gastrointestinal irritation. In some cases death has been reported as a result.

Kalanchoe – Ingestion of this plant can cause gastrointestinal irritation and cardiac rhythm and rate problems.

Yew – Poisoning as a result of the yew plant can affect the nervous system and cause in-coordination, trembling and breathing difficulties. It may also result in gastrointestinal irritation, cardiac failure and could possibly lead to death.


The following is a list containing many other well-known and common plants that can be poisonous or toxic to pets.

Aconite – Is a garden flower whose roots, foliage and seeds can be poisonous.

Apple – The seeds of an apple can be poisonous to pets.

Arrowgrasses – These are marsh type plants whose leaves contain poisons.

Atropa Belladonna – This is a type of garden herb in which the entire plant can be poisonous to pets, especially its seeds and roots.

Autumn Crocus – This is a commonly found garden flower in which the entire plant can be poisonous.

Baneberry – This is a wildflower whose berries and roots are the poisonous portions.

Bird of Paradise – This is a garden flower whose pods are poisonous.

Black Locust – This is a tree in which the entire plant can be poisonous, especially the bark and shoots.

Bloodroot – Is a wildflower and herb whose stem and roots are most poisonous, however the entire plant is toxic.

Box – Is an ornamental shrub that is poisonous in its entirety, but especially the leaves.

Buckeye – This is a tree whose sprouts, nuts and seeds contain poisons.

Buttercup – This is a wildflower and garden herb that is poisonous in its entirety but mostly in the leaves.

Caladium – Is a houseplant that is poisonous in its entirety.

Carolina Jessamine – This is an ornamental plant whose flowers and leaves contain poisons.

Chinaberry Tree – Is a tree whose berries are poisonous.

Chockcherries – This is a wild shrub whose poisonous parts include the leaves, cherries and pit.

Christmas Rose – Is a garden flower that contains toxic leaves and rootstock.

Common Privet – Is an ornamental shrub whose leaves and berries can be poisonous.

Corn Cockle – Is a wildflower and weed whose seeds are particularly poisonous.

Cowbane – This is a wildflower and herb that is poisonous in its entirety, especially the roots.

Cow Cockle – Is a wildflower and weed whose seeds are poisonous.

Cowslip – Is a wildflower and herb whose entire plant is poisonous, especially the leaves and stem.

Daffodil – Is a garden flower whose bulbs are poisonous.

Daphne – This is an ornamental shrub that contains poisonous bark, berries and leaves.

Death Camas – This is a field herb whose poisonous parts include the leaves, stems, seeds and flowers.

Delphinium – Is a wildflower that is poisonous in its entirety, especially the sprouts.

Dumbcane – This is a houseplant and is poisonous in its entirety.

Dutchman’s Breeches – Is a wild and garden flower whose roots and foliage are poisonous.

Elderberry – Is a tree whose poisonous parts include the leaves, bark, roots and buds.

Elephant’s Ear – This is a houseplant poisonous in its entirety.

English Ivy – Is an ornamental vine that is completely poisonous but especially the leaves and berries.

European Bittersweet – This is a vine poisonous in its entirety but especially in the berries.

False Flax – Is a wild herb whose seeds are poisonous.

False Hellebore – Is an ornamental flower whose roots, leaves and seeds are toxic.

Fan Weed – This is a wildflower and herb whose seeds are poisonous.

Field Peppergrass – Is a wildflower and herb that contains poisonous seeds.

Flax – Is a wildflower and herb whose seedpods contain poisons.

Foxglove – This is a wild and garden flower whose leaves are poisonous.

Holly – Is a shrub containing poisonous berries.

Horsechestnut – Is a tree containing poisonous nuts and sprouts.

Horse Nettle – Is a wildflower and herb poisonous in its entirety, especially the berries.

Hyacinth – This is a wild and houseplant whose bulbs are poisonous.

Iris – Is a wild and garden flower whose leaves and roots are poisonous.

Jack-in-the-Pulpit – Is a wildflower that is entirely poisonous, especially the leaves and roots.

Jatropha – This is a tree and shrub whose seeds are poisonous.

Jerusalem Cherry – Is an ornamental plant whose un-ripened fruit and foliage are poisonous.

Jimsonweed – Is a field plant that is entirely poisonous, especially the seeds.

Laburum – Is an ornamental plant whose seeds, pods and flowers can be poisonous.

Lantana – Is a houseplant whose foliage is poisonous.

Larkspur – Is a wildflower that is poisonous only as a young plant.

Laurels – This is a type of shrub with poisonous leaves.

Lupines – Is a shrub whose seeds and pods are poisonous.

Manchineel Tree – A tree containing poisonous sap and fruit.

Matrimony Vine – An ornamental vine containing poisonous leaves and shoots.

Mayapple – A wildflower poisonous in the form of its un-ripened fruit as well as the foliage and roots.

Milk Vetch – A wildflower poisonous in its entirety.

Mistletoe – A houseplant with poisonous berries.

Monkshood – A wildflower poisonous in its entirety, especially the roots and seeds.

Moodseed – A vine whose fruit and roots are poisonous.

Morning Glory – Is a wildflower containing poisonous seeds and roots.

Mountain Mahogany – Is a shrub with poisonous leaves.

Mustards – These are wildflowers whose seeds can be poisonous.

Narcissus – This is a garden flower whose bulbs contain poisons.

Nicotiana – Is a garden flower whose leaves are poisonous.

Nightshade – Is a wildflower and vine with poisonous leaves and berries.

Oaks – Are trees with poisonous leaves and shoots.

Philodendrons – Are houseplants poisonous in their entirety.

Pokeweed – Is a field plant containing poisonous roots, seeds and berries.

Poinsettia – Is a houseplant with poisonous leaves, flowers and stems.

Poison Hemlock – This is a field plant containing poisonous leaves, stems and fruit.

Potato – A garden plant whose shoots and sprouts can be poisonous.

Rattle Box – Is a wildflower that is entirely poisonous.

Rhododendron – Is an ornamental shrub whose leaves are poisonous.

Rhubarb – A garden plant with poisonous leaves.

Rosary Pea – Is a houseplant whose seeds are poisonous.

Skunk Cabbage – This is a marsh plant whose entire plant is poisonous but especially the roots and leaves.

Smart Weeds – Are wildflowers containing poisonous sap.

Snow-on-the-Mountain – This is a wildflower whose sap is poisonous.

Sorghum – Is a type of grass whose leaves are poisonous.

Star of Bethlehem – Is a wildflower poisonous in its entirety.

Velvet Grass – A variety of grass whose leaves are poisonous.

Wild Black Cherry – Is a tree with poisonous leaves and pits.

Wild Radish – A wildflower with poisonous seeds.

Wisteria – Is an ornamental plant containing poisonous seeds and pods.

Woody Aster – A wildflower whose entire plant is poisonous.

Yellow Jessamine – An ornamental vine that is entirely poisonous.

Yellow Pine Flax – A wildflower poisonous in its entirety but especially in the seedpods.

NOTE: If you suspect that your pet has been poisoned, contact the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) Poison Control Center at 1-888-426-4435. This is 24 hour a day hotline. (Note that in some cases a consultation fee may be charged to your credit card.)

This list has been compiled using the following sources…

American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals
Toronto Humane Society
St. John’s Poison Resource Center
Humane Society of the United States

The Dog Ownership Suitability Test

 This something I discovered on the UK parliment (goverment) site….It looks like something we should consider in the US before we are allowed to own nothing but Teacup Poodles and mini breeds (which are far more vicious than the currently banned breeds!! They are just to small to cause the same degree of damage)

Dog Ownership Suitability Test

Better for dogs – Better for people

The Proposal

This is the 2nd draft of the Dog Owner Suitability Test proposal.

Shortly, via the Pet Owner’s Parliament, we will begin a consultation process designed to refine and improve this proposal further.

The key features of this proposal have been arrived at over the course of more than two years of planning and research into the strengths and weaknesses of existing canine legislation, reviews of specific environmental and public safety cases involving dogs and general consultation with a wide variety of individuals and organisations involved with domestic dog issues.

Please note: This proposal can be commented on here but at this time this is NOT the public consultation stage. Official consultation on the proposal will take part in April and will run for 12 weeks. If you would like to comment on the proposal, offer feedback, support or opposition please feel free to do so here. If you would also like to consult on the draft officially, this will be available to members of Pet Owner’s Parliament which will be open for business and (free) membership to all British citizens above the age of 16 from April 1st 2008. Thank you.

The Dog Owner Suitability Test, hereto referred to as D.O.T is a proposal designed to achieve the following objectives: 

  • To place a far greater emphasis on the prevention of dog attacks, dog neglect and environmental nuisance
  • To improve the general level of canine awareness amongst all UK dog owners
  • To bring about radical change in the standards of those involved in the supply of dogs to the public
  • To ensure greater comprehension amongst all UK dog owners of the various laws affecting domestic dogs
  • To provide a workable alternative to the failed aspects of the 1991 Dangerous Dogs Act
  • To place full legal accountability upon dog owners for the actions and welfare of their dogs
  • To repeal breed specific legislation which has failed to save human lives and is practically impossible to implement fairly

10 Point Plan for Achieving Stated Goals:

1) Lobby government to create and fund an executive agency of DEFRA which would deal with administrating the dog owner suitability test. For the purposes of this proposal we shall give this agency the working title of ‘Dog Owner Licencing Agency’. The responsibility of this agency would be as follows:

  • Dog and owner licensing database.
  • Issuing certification and processing applications to the Dog Ownership Suitability Test which would be run and administered in a style similar to the driving licence theory exam of the British Citizenship Test
  • Provide access to the central dog and owner licensing database to enable those involved in the supply of or control of dogs to verify if an individual has a valid dog ownership licence
  • Set the national fee for sitting the D.O.T

2) Develop a Canine Ownership Code. A curriculum similar to the highway code which will be the foundation of the D.O.T. The Canine Ownership Code will consist of questions based entirely on non subjective issues. Matters of fact will be tested which would include:

  • Questions relating to dog laws
  • Questions relating to canine health care issues as approved by British Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons most up to date guidance (to be regularly reviewed and updated)
  • Questions relating to canine behaviour. Questions must be a matter of broadly acknowledged fact and would not be subjective in nature.

Example of an acceptable canine behaviour question.

“A dog displaying an arched back, licking lips with a tail tucked between the legs is most likely to be: A) Showing signs of fear or nervousness. B) Showing signs of playful confidence. C) Showing signs of territorial aggression”

Example of an unacceptable canine behaviour question.

“What would be the correct way to train a dog who is fearful or nervous of people?”

  • Questions relating to particular dog breeds, their origins and lifestyle requirements
  • Questions relating to responsible management of dogs in relation to society and the environment
  • Questions relating to options and resources available to owners who may encounter problems with their dog at some point in the future such as: What to do if a dog becomes ill or injured. What to do if a dog has started to show signs of aggression (in terms of contacting professional advisors, not generic behaviour advice). What to do if a dog goes missing. What to do if lifestyle circumstances change significantly.

3) Introduce a Supplier Level Dog Ownership Licence which would be required for any person, group or organisation if they intend to transfer ownership of a dog in exchange for money. The Supplier Level Dog Ownership Licence would be subject to an ‘advanced’ version of the D.O.T and would include questions relating to the responsible supply of dogs to the public. It would be a legal requirement that no dog be sold, given away or transfered by any one person, business or group to any person who is not able to prove they have passed the D.O.T and holds a valid dog ownership licence. The punishment for a person, group or organisation found guilty of supplying a dog to a person who does not have a valid ownership licence will be an instant revocation of their Supplier Level Dog Ownership Licence plus a significant fine and a ban from being permitted to sell or transfer ownership of any dog under penalty of a further fine. Repeated offences of selling or transfering dogs from a person not in possession of a valid Supplier Level Dog Ownership Licence would entitle a court to hand down a custodial term to the offender. This part of the proposal is absolutely crucial in forcing up standards for the responsible supply of dogs.

4) To repeal the breed specific legislation section of the dangerous dogs act and replace them with meaures as proposed by the National Dog Warden’s Association, a group who were not consulted or involved in the drafting of the current dangerous dogs act despite the fact they are the organisation who have the most practical experience dealing with dog control and who are most acutely aware of the strengths and weaknesses of the dangerous dogs laws and other legislation affecting dogs impact on the environment.

5) Unless it is absolutely neccessary in a case of an immediate threat to public safety, dogs that have been involved in a suspected attack should not be destroyed until they have been independently assessed by a competent dog behaviour expert. It is not possible to learn or establish the cause, motive or stimulus for a dog attack if the animal is summarily destroyed before an assessment is carried out. This does not mean the animal should not be destroyed at a later date but all serious dog attacks where a dog is to be euthanised should be accompanied by a behaviour report and case account which is made publicly available in order to assist the public with learning about the circumstances that can lead up to a dog attack.

6) All dogs to be covered by compulsory 3rd party insurance.

7) To increase maximum prison sentence and limits of fines available to hand down in cases of serious animal abuse or neglect.

8 ) To require all dog owners to sign and agree to a Responsible Dog Ownership Charter upon passing the D.O.T. The charter will be an agreement from the dog owner that they will provide the minimum level of care for their dog as detailed by the Animal Welfare Act 2006 and that they will endeavor to care for any dog(s) in their ownership for the lifetime of the dog. In the event that a dog may need to be re-homed, euthanised or treated for accident or illness the charter would require the dog owner to minimum level of appropriate action under their duty of care to the dog.

9) To make it an offence for a person who has been convicted of selling or transferring a dog to a person, group or organisation not in possession of a valid ownership licence to advertise for sale or transfer any dog in the UK.

10) To make it an offence for any UK based publication, website or business to knowingly accept advertising – paid or otherwise – from a person not in possession of a valid Supplier Level Dog Ownership Licence. It will be possible to check on the validity of a person’s Supplier Level Dog Ownership Licence via the Dog Owner Licencing Agency.

How will the test be implemented?Have your say, ask your questions about the Dog Owner Suitability Test here  

Useful Resources