What to expect when buying a puppy from an Assured Breeder

The Do’s and Don’ts of Buying a Puppy

June Heat Wave

Heat Wave Dogs warning

June heat wave: BVA reveals half of UK vets treated pets for heat-related conditions last summer

As forecasters predict a heat wave in the first week in June, vets are warning that pets can struggle as the temperature rises.

The warning follows findings from the British Veterinary Association’s (BVA) Voice of the Veterinary Profession survey that show nearly half of vets (48%) questioned treated animals for conditions related to hot weather during Summer 2014.

  • More than one in three small/mixed practice vets (36%) had seen cases of heat stroke last summer, while a similar proportion (31%) had seen animals with other conditions relating to hot weather, including:
  • Respiratory problems and worsening of conditions affecting the heart or lungs (seen by 11% of small animal/mixed practice vets)
  • Skin conditions (7%)
  • Fly strike (7%)
  • Heat stress/ heat exhaustion/ collapse/ lethargy (4%)

Overwhelmingly, vets who had seen heat-related conditions treated dogs, with 9% mentioning small mammals (such as rabbits and guinea pigs), 8% mentioning cats and 4% other animals.

Dog owners should take extra care to keep their pets healthy and happy in the sunshine and contact their veterinary practice immediately if they are concerned

Dogs, and other pet animals, may struggle in high temperatures as they are unable to cool down quickly through sweating, rendering them vulnerable to overheating. Despite publicity campaigns in recent years, dogs still die in hot cars every summer or succumb to heatstroke as a result of over-exertion on walks and daytrips – this can be a particular problem in short nosed dogs and older animals.

BVA and the British Small Animal Veterinary Association (BSAVA) are highlighting seven simple steps to help keep dogs safe as the temperature rises:

Don’t leave dogs in vehicles or conservatories.
Make sure they always have water to drink.
Provide ventilation at all times to prevent the temperature rising.
Avoid exercising dogs in the heat of the day.
Provide shade from the sun in the hottest part of the day.
Watch out for early signs of heatstroke, such as heavy panting and profuse salivation.
Contact a vet immediately if the animal does not respond to efforts to cool it down.

Vet John Blackwell, President of the BVA, has some advice for owners as the weather gets warmer. He said:

“As it gets hotter this summer, all owners need to think about taking simple steps to ensure their pets are happy and healthy during the warm weather.

“Most people know that dogs should never be left in cars by themselves, even when the day is warm as opposed to hot, but it can be tempting to ignore advice if you think you won’t be gone for long.

“Leaving the car windows open and a bowl of water is not enough. As a dog can only cool down through its tongue and paw pads, it cannot react quickly enough to cope with the rapidly rising heat inside a car.

“Dogs are also vulnerable to heatstroke while out with their owners. I see animals in my practice every summer that have overheated while out walking or exercising. A dog won’t stop enjoying itself because it is hot, so it’s up to the owner to stop the animal before it suffers.

“Older dogs and those with respiratory problems are particularly susceptible but it’s sensible to keep a close eye on any dog on warmer days. If your pet is affected by the heat the quicker you get help the better the animal’s chances of survival.”

Detecting overheating early and treating it promptly is essential to dogs and other pets recovering successfully. Signs that animals are overheating can include faster and heavier panting, and restlessness, which may include lack of coordination. They might produce more saliva than normal and have darker coloured gums than normal. Eventually their eyes may become glassy and they may start to become unresponsive and may slip into unconsciousness.

Pet owners should immediately get advice from a vet if they are concerned their pet is suffering from a heat-related condition. In addition, if heatstroke is suspected, pets should be taken to a cool, well-ventilated place and given water to drink. Dogs can also be cooled down with a fan or by covering them with a wet towel. However, pet owners should always contact a vet for advice rather than trying to treat on their own an animal who could be suffering from a heat-related condition.

Crufts 2014

Crufts 2014

If you have read our 2013 news pages you will see that Dancer a.k.a. Rhodenash Sundance for Lancastria had been busy and achieved some very special firsts!

She qualified to go to Crufts at the Labrador Club of Scotland’s Championship Show. It was her first show, the first class she had entered and she came first!

She then made her first attempt at gaining a Kennel Club Good Citizen Certificate and was successful.

She then blotted her copy book by needing two attempts to gain her Kennel Club Working Gundog Certificate! But Dancer worked really hard, ably assisted by myself and Peter, to pass her tests at only 14 months of age.

This now meant that not only had she qualified to enter competition in the Labrador breed classes at Crufts but she could also enter in Labrador breed classes specifically for dogs who had attained Good Citizen status and held a Working Gundog Certificate.

After a dish of milk and a chew on a bone she selected to enter classes for the Good Citizen and Working Gundog.

The rest, as they say, is history.

We took two very good friends with us who gave her and me great help and support. The judge liked us and we came home with a second place rosette from the Good Citizen Class and a third from the Special Working Gundog.

As you can see from the photo we were both very pleased with ourselves.

Rhodenash Sundance for Lancastria (aka Dancer)

As well as being successful in gaining her Working Gundog Certificate she was awarded her Bronze Good Citizen Certificate which is mainly a test of obedience.


At her first Championship Show she came first in a large Puppy Bitch Class to qualify her to go to Crufts in 2014. Showing classes are judge to select a dog which fits the Kennel Club Breed Standard for a Retriever Labrador. The standard looks at both conformation, movement and temperament.

Very proud of my special girl.

Fun Day

As Chairman of North West Labrador Retriever Club in 2012 and 2013 I worked with a team to organise Fun Days and Companion Shows to help raise funds to support Hounds 4 Heroes.

This year I felt we had asked enough of the same people so decided to hold a special day, at my place and invite Lancastria Labradors and their forever families.

The response was phenomenal, so many friendly people with even more friendly dogs. We had a ball!

I am sure it was the hottest day of the year. We had sprinklers running all day to keep dogs cool when they were not playing in a water filled canoe in which floated plastic yellow ducks. Yes, mind blowing, I know, but we have pictures to prove it!

The day was a laugh from beginning to end with Dog Sausage Chase, Agility, Retrieving and we even played Hoops with Horse shoes. Everyone brought their own picnics which they turned into a joint banquet. It was a great pleasure to see relaxed two/four legged people just living up to the days title, that of…….having fun.

Many thanks to all who came, donated raffle prizes and then bought raffle tickets. We made a sizeable donation to Hounds 4 Heroes Charity.

I have promised that we will do the same again next year so please keep in touch and keep filling in your Puppy Diaries.

It might be unfair of me to single out helpers but here goes anyway. Peter who carried everything we needed onto the field, my son who cut grass with tractor and lawn mower and Rachel who rushed around all morning so we were ready on time.

Photos are a collection sent by everyone who was with us.

Working Gun-dog Certificate

At a Working Gundog Certificate Day, run under Kennel Club Rules and organised by The North West Labrador Retriever Club Rhodenash Sundancer for Lancastria was deemed worthy to be awarded a PASS certification.

Working Gundog Certificate

Manchester Pet Show 7/8 September 2013

The North West Labrador Retriever Club were invited by The Kennel Club to take a stand at this show to explain the Labrador breed to the public. We understood our brief to explain what owning a Labrador entails, health testing, where to find a puppy, pitfalls associated with buying a pup including puppy farmers. We were also keen to encourage owners to attend training classes and point out the many activities that they could take part in.

I helped on the Sunday afternoon ably assisted by my Show Secretary. We both took second place to our Labradors who got all the attention!

Duggie, my chocolate boy, came to help me and did a fantastic job of drawing people to the stand and keeping them there until I could open a conversation with them.

We spoke to loads of people answering many questions. Sadly we are still loosing the battle against puppy farmers judging by the sad stories that came to us on that day.

Yes, I am back on my ‘band wagon’ buyer beware

Canine First Responder Courses

Certificate – First Responder

As part of my promise to support Lancastria families I organised a course which would prepare them to help dogs who were injured or in distress.

It was an official course which if completed and passed gained the candidates recognition as a First Responder for two years AND a certificate. The course was supplied by MJFirst Aid Training and delivered by Joanne Smalley a qualified veterinary nurse who is an excellent instructor.

Both Peter and myself took and passed the course. The paper work appeared daunting but everyone got into their stride with lots of explanations and practical demonstrations from Joanne. We all got loads of ‘hands on’ tuition

We ran two courses from which the feedback was excellent.

Next year we intend to repeat this course as well as looking at Rearing Pups and Care for the Elderly Dog.

I have included Joanne’s web site contacts if you would like any further information on the First Responders Course.